First time I interacted with Ahmad Hatem, 14, was at the convenience store below my apartment. I was trying to communicate with the owner by making hand movements as if I were a bee since I wanted to buy honey. I had found a golden jar which appeared to be honey, but by any means, I wanted to make sure I was buying the correct product.
After hand movements and charades did not work, I used the Google translator on my phone. However, this didn´t seem to work either. Thankfully, Ahmad was playing soccer outside and speaks perfect English. In seconds he achieved what I had been trying to do for the past five minutes.
I now know honey is “assal” in Arabic.
A few days later I met his sister Deema, who is 12 years old and speaks very good English as well. As I talk to them, both are very energetic and eager to show me examples of their hobbies and every day activities.
Ahmad brings his guitar from home and starts playing a few notes, as Deema shows me several of her beauty games on her Ipad.
“I would like to be a judge when I grow up because I like to review between good and evil,” he says when asked about his future career. “Also, half of my family is judges, and I like what they do.”
On the other hand, Deema dream to be a fashion designer, yet she shows interest in science as she draws and explains the pulmonary circulatory system on my notebook.
Both of the siblings are keen and inquisitive about different situations, and both agree that Egypt is a beautiful and historical country.
“It is the best country for me,” Ahmad says.
CAIRO- Ahmad and Deema; the Hatem siblings. (Photo: Constanza Gallardo)