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An Egyptian Friendship

By Stargirl

Š2012


It was a hot summer day in Giza, 2539 b.c., and Husani and his friends, Jamila, Nubia and Ishaq, were playing the board game Senet at Jamila’s house, since hers was the biggest one. Let me explain them a bit first: Husani is a boy who has dark hair, likes to play Leapfrog and is really good at the board game Senet. He doesn’t have any brothers or sisters but has always wanted a little brother. Jumoke is Husani’s dad and he came from a poor family. He has black hair and has a mustache. He will accept any job he can find because he wants to let the family have a better life. Layla is Husani’s mom, she is pretty and smart, but also comes from a poor family, like Jumoke. Layla can cook really well and is the housewife of the family. Like Jumoke, she also wants to help the family. Jamila is a girl with dark brown hair, she is rich because of her father. Her mother is an Egyptian lady but passed away when Jamila was only 7 years old. Her father is a rich person from Arabia and works hard so he earns a lot of money. He is a lawyer. Nubia is a girl whose mom and dad both got murdered so she is an orphan. She stays at Jamila’s house for now, hoping that she can find new parents to take care of her. Nubia was a slave girl when she was young. She has brown hair and tanned skin color. Ishaq is a boy whose dad has died and lives with his mom. He is very nice and has empathy. His mom used to be the Pharaoh's wife but they got divorced. Ishaq goes to school because his mom hopes that he can be rich and powerful one day. Ishaq is the smartest of the bunch and knows many different languages. Now, back to the story......so they were playing Senet and everyone knew that either Husani or Ishaq would win, because Husani had the skills and Ishaq had the strategy. Jamila and Nubia already lost, so now it was up to Husani and Ishaq. The game was drawing to an end, and finally......Husani won!!! “Good job!” Ishaq said to Husani, “I knew you were going to win!” “You could’ve won too you know, you’ve got the strategy.” “But you’ve got the skills!” “But you still won!” “Let’s stop fighting” “Let’s.” So they went to Jamila’s room and just relaxed and sang songs. They were having a wonderful time......until Jamila’s dad said: “Husani, you need to go home, your mom needs to talk to you about something important.” “What could it be?” Husani thought as he went back home...... When he got home, his mom and dad were sitting at the dinner table. His mom said: Husani, we have to talk to you about something very important.” “Okay, what is it?” He asked. His mom took a deep breath and said: “Your father got an offer to go help build the Pyramid of Giza and he accepted it. He will be gone for around 20 years.” “What?” “I said-” “I know what you said, but why did dad have to accept it? Leaving for around 20 years, I can’t survive like that!” “Calm down Husani, he’s only going to leave for a while.”


“A while? That’s not a while! That’s a very long time and you’re just acting like it’s only a day!” “Husani, go to your room. I don’t have time for your arguments.” “Ugh!” Husani went up to his room. The next day, Husani told his friends(well, not all of them, because Ishaq had to go to school) that his dad was going to help build the Pyramid of Giza. Jamila said: “That’s okay. Wait, how long is it going to take? A month?” “I wish! He’s going to take around 20 years!” “Oh my gosh! That is terrible! Don’t worry Husani. We’re going to help you overcome that sad feeling inside once your father has left.” “Thanks guys. I really appreciate that.” “No need to thank us, that’s what friends are for!” When Ishaq came back from school, Husani and his friends told Ishaq about Husani’s dad. “That really is bad, Husani. I feel sorry for you. If you want, when your dad’s in the other side of Giza, I can help you write letters to send to him. I just learned how in school.” “Thanks Ishaq. You guys are all being so nice to me.” “We have to. Your father going away for so long, that’s going to be very sad. We need to help you!” The week before Jumoke(Husani’s dad) left, Husani had a lot of fun having family time with his dad, playing Senet, talking together, laughing......Husani and his friends also helped Jumoke: they helped pack his stuff, Jamila helped him get good transportation, Nubia used to be a slave so she gives him some tips and Ishaq makes sure that Jumoke has enough knowledge. On the day of Jumoke’s departure, almost all of town was standing outside, waving goodbye, some were crying, but the saddest of them all was Husani and his mom. Jumoke was crying too. He told Layla(Husani’s mom)to take good care of the family and not to ever forget him. He told Husani that he would miss him the most and he hopes that he can see Husani again. Husani and his mom cry very hard as they watch Jumoke get farther and farther away...... The next day, Husani didn’t come out to do anything. He lay down on his bed crying and crying and crying and he didn’t stop. Finally, his mom came in and said:”Husani, I know it’s sad for your father to leave, but you’ll need to get over it soon. Your friends are all waiting out there, they want to talk to you and make you feel better. So go and have fun with your friends and forget about your father for a while. It’ll help you fell better, I promise.” Husani was very sad, but he listened to his mother and went out to meet his friends. They did a lot of fun things together, and soon, Husani forgot all about his dad and just focused on having fun. When he came back home, his mom saw the huge smile on his face and right at once she knew that that had worked. A few days later, Husani and his mom were walking on the street when they heard someone say:”Hey! Aren’t you two the family of that guy who left to build the pyramid?” “Yes.....”


“Well, last week was the last time to see him. I heard that after the pyramid is finished, the workers get killed because the pharaoh doesn’t want them to get in and steal his precious things.” Husani and his mother stared at each other in awe. They rushed home and started crying again. “I don’t want father to die! I want to see him again!” “It’s okay Husani. Maybe that man was lying.” “He wasn’t. I know that man. That’s old Khalid. He knows everything and he tells the truth. Always.” “Well then. Let’s just hope that the person he heard it from was lying.” 20 years later they get news that the pyramid finished. Husani is already a 30 year old man and his mom is 56 years old! Husani and his mom feel very sad because they knew that that meant that Jumoke was dead. But, old Khalid was calling them to come over. He said:”There’s a chance that old Jumoke is still alive! My friends say that some people escaped on the last day, and Jumoke is one of them!” Husani and his mom were very happy and when they went back home, they shouted with joy:”Yay! My dad is alive! I can see him again!” “Don’t be so sure my dear boy. Your father still might have died. They could have caught him, or he could’ve suddenly died when he was escaping, or-” “Don’t talk about it mom! I don’t want to know how my dad might have died!” “I’m sorry dear. But don’t get your hopes up, because your father might actually be dead.” “I know mom. I’m going to go tell Jamila, Nubia and Ishaq the good news!” “Jamila’s relaxing at home I guess, and so Nubia should be with her. I think Ishaq might be at adult school, but you can check his house to see if he’s there.” “OK. See you later mom!” “See you.” Husani went to Ishaq’s house first. His mom was sitting there, knitting. He asked:”Ishaq’s mom, is Ishaq here? Where is he?” “Oh, my dear son Ishaq? I think he’s at that girl Jamila’s house. They’re always going to see each other. Either he goes to her house or her to his. “Maybe they’re in love.” Husani thought. When he got to Jamila’s house, he saw Jamila and Ishaq together, talking. But Nubia was nowhere to be seen. “Hi guys.” He said as he walked in. Jamila and Ishaq looked up quickly and Jamila said:”Hi. We were just discussing something.” “I just came to tell you some important news. Where’s Nubia?” “Oh, she’s coming over. I asked her to leave for a while because we had to discuss about......” “About something really important.” Ishaq finished off for her. “Yes. About something really important.” “Are you willing to tell me?” “Um......well........we don’t really want to share it with everyone just yet.” “Okay. I understand.” “So......what were you going to tell us? Should we wait for Nubia first?” Suddenly, the door to Jamila’s bedroom opened.


“Hi guys.” “Hi Nubia!” “Did you guys hear? Jamila bought me a new house!” “That’s great!” “Yeah!” “Husani has something important to say to us all, okay?” “Okay. What’s so important, Husani?” “Well, do you guys remember when my dad had to go and help build the pyramid?” “Yes, I thought you already overcame that. And that was a really long time ago.” “I know. But, my mom and I heard news that the pyramid is already done, and that some people escaped on the last day, including my dad.” “Oh my gosh, Husani! So there’s a chance that your father is still alive?” “Yes.” “Then we better go look for him! I mean, he won’t have gone that far. I know how much it means to you if you get to see your dad again, so I think we should really go look for him. What do you think, Nubia?” “I think it’s a great idea.” “And you, Ishaq?” “What? Oh, sorry, yes, it’s a good idea.” Husani had noticed that Ishaq hadn’t really talked since he’d gotten here. All this time he’d just been staring out the window. “Ishaq, is there something wrong? You hardly said anything in the conversation.” “What? Oh no, I’m fine.” “Okay then. So, when are we going to go look for my dad?” “What about right now.” “We’re not prepared.” “Fine, tomorrow morning we’ll all meet at my living room at 5:00 in the morning. It’s going to be a long day. Pack all the things you’ll need for the trip. Be prepared.” “Okay.” “Sure.” “You can count on us!” “Great. So I’ll see you all tomorrow. I need a rest. I woke up at 6:00 this morning to go to an interview for a job.” “Okay. Can I come later? I still need to talk to you about you-know-what.” “Ya sure. Come 4 hours later. I need my beauty sleep.” “Sure. See you then!” “Bye Ishaq.” What was it that was so important? Husani wanted to know. He asked Jamila:”Can I stay for just a bit? I need to talk to you.” “Fine. What is it?” “What is it that’s so important?” “I told you, I don’t want to tell anyone just yet. You’ll find out soon.” “When is soon?” “I don’t know. Around 1 or 2 years later.”


“That’s so long!” “You’ll still find out. Now, please go out, because I really need to sleep.” “Okay, sorry.” “See you tomorrow, Husani!” “See ya, Jamila.” Husani left and headed for home, but he still kept thinking: Was it that Jamila couldn’t get a job and she needed one badly? Or she’s getting a baby? Or...... The next morning, Husani woke up at 4:00 am. He brushed his teeth, combed his hair, shaved......then he got his bag he’d packed from the night before, left a note to his mom saying where he was, and headed out to his friend Jamila’s house. At her house, he saw that Ishaq was already there, sitting with Jamila, talking to her. Husani was just close enough to hear the 2 words”It’s okay.” before Jamila and Ishaq turned around. “Hi Husani.” “Hi Jamila, hi Ishaq. Where’s Nubia?” “Oh, she’s in the toilet. She’ll come out soon.” “OK.” “So......” “So......” “So......” “Hey guys!” “Hi Nubia!” They said together. “Are we ready to go?” “Yes. Everyone, get your stuff and let’s go!” Everyone got their stuff and walked out. They decided that they should walk towards where they built the pyramid, and hopefully, on the way there they’d find Jumoke. On the way to where they built the pyramid in Giza, each person had a different role: Ishaq was the leader, Jamila was in charge of the food, Husani was in charge of the drinks and Nubia knew this part of Giza quite well (because she grew up here as a slave), so she led the way. They all kept their eyes open for any movement and for Husani’s dad. Finally, after a 2 and a half hour walk, Husani shouted:”What’s that?” There was a figure lying down near the pyramid under a big tree. “Let’s go there,”Husani said,”That might be my dad.” As they got closer and closer, they saw the human more clearly: He definitely was a man(he had a beard), he was an old man(he had quite a lot of wrinkles), and he wasn’t wearing a top, so that meant he had helped build the pyramid. This was one of the escaped people. “Husani?” Jamila said, “Come here. Is this your dad?” Husani stared at the old man’s face. He knew right away that that had to be his dad. He could see a bit of him in the face. The old man woke up. “Who are you people? Are you the cops?” “Dad? Is it you?” “I don’t know who you are.” “Describe yourself. I need to know if you are my dad. What’s your name? Do you have a family?” “Well, my name is Jumoke Mobarak, I have a family who lives near here......My son’s name is Husani Mobarak, my-”


“You are my dad! I’m Husani Mobarak! Dad, I’ve missed you so much!” “Husani? It’s really you? You’ve grown so much!” “Yes dad, yes!” “How’s your mother? Who are they? I’m sorry, I’ve forgotten almost everything because everyday I’m building the pyramid. But I’m better now that I’ve found you!” “Mom’s fine, she’s old now, just like you, and she still really misses you. These are my friends, Jamila, Nubia and Ishaq. Remember them?” “Oh yes! I remember seeing them when you were a child.” “That’s good. We should get you home and bring your memory back, and bring you around town, and-” “Um Husani? Sorry to interrupt, but I think we should get your dad home first, then do the talking.” “Sorry Jamila. I guess I got a little too carried away because I haven’t seen my dad in a long time.” “Son, we can talk later at home. I really need to get home, because I’ve been out here for a day and a half with nothing to eat or drink.” “Sorry dad. OK guys, let’s go.” So they headed off, supporting Jumoke and even one time, carrying him because he was so tired. They finally reached home and Husani ran off, telling everyone he passed that knew his dad that his dad was back. When he reached his house, he raced inside and shouted:”Mom! Mom! Where are you? Dad’s back! We found him!” “Jumoke is back! Where? I must see him!” “Right over here! Come quick!” They rushed to where Jumoke was and Husani said:”Dad! Dad! This is mom!” “Layla?” “Oh, Jumoke, you’re finally home!” They all brought Jumoke in the house and helped him recover, brought him food, and drinks, and brought him to his bed to relax. Then, while Husani and his mom stayed with Jumoke, Husani’s friends were busy telling the others that Jumoke had come back. Soon, everyone was outside, wanting to see Jumoke. They let some close friends see him, then shooed everyone away. A few days later, Ishaq went to each house and told everyone to go to Jamila’s house to discuss some things. Everyone went and waited for the rest to come one by one. Once they were all there, Ishaq began talking. It was the most he’d said all week.”First, I want to say thank you for all coming here. I’m going to talk about one and maybe two”-he looked at Jamila and she nodded-”important things. The first one is, that I have been picked to be pharaoh and I have accepted it!” “Great job, Ishaq! But I have a question: why did you get picked to be pharaoh and not the others? You have nothing to do with the royalty. Well, you do a bit.” “Good question. The reason is, they now like people with good education to be the pharaoh, so they went to each of the adult schools to ask the teachers about the students. They wanted a new pharaoh because our most recent one has died. So, the teacher picked me, so I was on the list. I was a candidate. Why did they pick me and not the most recent Pharaoh's son? I am also the


Pharaoh's son.....sort of. And because I had more education, so I got picked. The second important thing is not all about me. It’s about me and Jamila.” He took a deep breath, looked at Jamila, and said: “We plan to get married a while after I’m on the throne.” “That’s great Ishaq!” “Congratulations to both of you.” “So is that the ‘important thing’ that you two have been discussing?” “Yes. We reveal it to you.” “So why did I hear the two words”It’s okay” on the day of departure?” “What? Oh, because.....well......we knew that Ishaq was going to be pharaoh for a very long time. And we wanted to get married, but we knew that that would never happen because Ishaq is all royal now and I’m just an ordinary girl. We knew they wouldn’t allow that. So that’s why you heard that.” “Yup. So later on, we have to go talk those high-class people into letting us get married.” “And that way, I won’t have to work so hard to find a job. I can just relax all day.” “We’re thinking of getting married this week, no matter what they say. We’re going to talk to them tomorrow.” “Well, good luck then!” “Thanks Husani.” “I have to thank you for helping me find my dad.” “It wasn’t just me who helped.” “But you were a big help, being the leader and all.” “Well then, you’re welcome Husani.” The next day, after a lot of talking and a lot of money, the high-class people finally let Jamila and Ishaq get married. They shouted with joy and rushed to tell the others. The day after that, they got married. And it was a grand, proper one too, because Ishaq was the pharaoh now. There was a big celebration and all of Egypt was invited. After the celebration, Jamila and Ishaq ask Husani and Nubia to stay for a while. “Thanks for being our friends all these years. We are going to move to a bigger house so we can live together and because Ishaq is now pharaoh. By the way, have you two been dating or something? Either she goes to your place or you go to hers. Are you?” “Um.....yes.” “I knew it! When are you guys getting married?” “We’re thinking around...a few days later.” “Great! Come to our new house tomorrow and I’ll give you a wedding present!” The next day, Husani woke up and went to see his mom and dad. He said:”Good morning mom, good morning dad! I’m going over to Jamila’s to get something. You know that me and Nubia are dating, right? We’re getting married 2 days later.” “Congratulations son! Is this Nubia pretty?” “Dad!” “What? I want to know.” “You’ve seen her before. She was my friend when I was young. She’s got brown hair and tanned skin color. She’s an orphan. Remember her?”


“Yes, now I remember her. She stayed at your other friend Jamila’s house, right?” “Yes! You’re remembering it now! I’m going to go to Jamila’s house and get some things, bye!” “Bye! Come back soon!” “I will!” So Husani went to Jamila’s house. He went inside and saw Jamila sitting with Ishaq on the bed. Husani walked in and said:”Hi guys! Sorry to interrupt, but I just wanted to come and get something from Jamila.” “Hi Husani. Here it is! Have a nice wedding!” “Thanks! When are you going to move?” “We’re thinking tomorrow.” “We’ll help you move some things.” “Okay. Thank you! See you tomorrow!” “See you.” Husani went to Nubia’s house to see her and found her sitting on her bed, relaxing. “Hi Nubia!” “Hi Husani!” “I just went to Jamila’s house and this is our wedding present from her. And, we’re going to help Jamila and Ishaq move tomorrow.” “Okay. Open it! I want to see what it is!” They opened the box and found: things for a baby, things for a house, things for a family........ “Wow! Jamila’s really thoughtful. Well, see you tomorrow then, I need to clean the house, this place is getting dirty.” “Okay. Bye Nubia.” “Bye.” The next day, Husani and Nubia went to Jamila’s new house. It was huge and had all the rooms Jamila and Ishaq could possibly need! “Wow! Jamila found an awesome house for her family!” “I know. It’s great.” They looked around the house, and found Ishaq and Jamila in a big room which looked like the living room discussing about rooms and colors. They said hi and thank you for the presents and Husani and Nubia helped them move and carry and place and move...... A few days later, lots of people gathered at a church on the hillside. Why? Because that day was the day that Husani and Nubia would get married. Husani and Nubia got lots of gifts and they put the precious things in their house. They were very happy that they finally got married. The next day was the day that people would start working to build another pyramid, but this time for Ishaq. Ishaq had specially ordered the workers to build it before he died, so they started now. This time, the pyramid took 16 years to build, because Ishaq had hired younger people to help build the pyramid. After the pyramid was finished, Ishaq did something different than what all the other pharaohs did: he paid the workers, and let them go but he made everyone who helped build the pyramid promise not to go in the pyramid or tell anyone how to get in. He did that because he knew of how Husani felt.


So he thought everyone else would be really sad, too. But, he also didn’t want anyone stealing his stuff in the pyramid so he made them promise. After all the workers left, Ishaq felt proud of himself. He had made his people happy! The workers all ran home to their families and told them what Ishaq had done. The relatives were very happy, they thought they would never see them again! Now everyone was happy and they knew that they had picked the right person to be pharaoh!


Charlotte Historical Fiction