Sunday, January 22, 2006

الحمد لله

الحمد لله is an Arabic word that transliterates into "Alhamdulillah", which means "praise be to God", kind of like "Halel luyah" in Hebrew. This will come in handy as I jet off to Egypt in a few hours for the African Cup of Nations. I was in Tunisia a couple of years ago for the same tournament, and this was the phrase I heard (and began to use) the most. This will be my second trip to Egypt, I went with my mum when I was a mere sapling at eleven years old. The pyramids were the most terrific things I'd ever seen, and I haven't seen anything as wonderous since. Despite the fun I had, one of my most enduring memories was of the camels smelling of wee. There's something about certain smells that never leave you, sometimes nostalgia kicks in, and other times it's just nausea.

It'll be a working holiday, so lots of lazing around and doing nothing, followed by a frenzy of activity to meet deadlines. It'll also be a chance to chase some stories I've been thinking about recently. If I get enough remuneration to cover the costs of my trip, I'd have done very well. I'm not sure how often I'll be able to update my blog, but any chance I get, I will holla. If anybody has any sense at all, they'll put £100 on Nigeria to win. It's a sure banker. I know I say this everytime, and I'm wrong everytime. But this time, I'm convinced I'm right. Trust me on this one.

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