Most visitors to Mara House would tell you that, upon personally opening the door and extending them a warm welcome, I would often invite them for tea or coffee in our traditionally furnished Mohamed Ali sitting room, located just inside the entrance. The initial question I frequently pose is, “Why did you come to Egypt?” This inquiry stems from my genuine desire for guests to leave Egypt with more than the usual knick-knack souvenirs to remind them they were here.
Over the years, I’ve observed that many visitors lack a clear purpose or intention beyond wanting to “see the sights” when coming to Egypt. Even those with a lifelong dream of visiting Egypt might struggle to articulate their reasons immediately. And there is nothing wrong with people just wanting to see the sites, but my wish is for guests to leave with personal and memorable experiences of Egypt.
Among the diverse array of individuals who have crossed Mara House’s threshold, I have yet to encounter any two alike. Each person is uniquely individual, which, in itself, is a marvel.
So, what did I “get” from Egypt? Initially, I discovered that the “energies,” if I may use that term for lack of a better expression, differ significantly for those passing through as visitors compared to those, like myself, who choose to stay on a more permanent basis. Shortly after relocating to Egypt, I learned that Egyptian women, despite their outward appearances, possess remarkable strength, resilience, independence, and assertiveness. To navigate and carve my own space here successfully, I realized I needed to emulate these qualities, which I did with one exception—I’ve yet to achieve the calm and serene exterior, mainly because my life resembles a rollercoaster that seldom allows me to stand still. But I hope I am gradually getting there.
Typically, during the initial face-to-face conversation with my guests, I often find myself suggesting a specific section of a temple, tomb, or edifice without any apparent reason coming to mind at the moment—reasons that, more often than not, escape my memory afterward. It no longer surprises me when these guests return to me after their visit or occasionally reach out via email upon returning home, expressing that “something clicked” during their exploration. They frequently share that they are in the midst of making changes in their daily lives or within themselves based on that experience. There are occasions when those changes are really big, such as moving house, leaving a partner or a job, starting a new relationship, or mending broken ones. I do so love getting those emails!
Coming – My next post will be “What Might Egyptian Temples Reveal to Me?”