reflections on living in luxor
Here is an article I wrote for Egyptian Streets about teaching boxing to girls here Luxor Boxing Girls: How I Punched My Way Out of Christian American Patriarchy | Egyptian Streets
I love this Nile River life of feluccas, temples, and interconnecting villages and canals.
I love running along the Nile and through the villages. My Egyptian name is Sama. It means “sky.” Children run along with me, yelling, “Sama! Sama!” It’s a lovely sound and puts a big smile on my face. I look to the blue above me. At night, wispy clouds have covered the sky and the big yellow moon has seemed more mysterious than ever as it slides in and out of the shadows. I love the skies of Luxor.
I brought a boxing bag and set it up on my terrace.
Now I teach boxing to young people. I have a twelve year old girl who is amazing. It’s her parents’ wish for her to be well educated and go to college. Her father is very proud that she is learning boxing. She gets it better than any of my male students–she can remember combinations and she naturally breaths right. I also have an eighteen year old young man who is on the Luxor villages soccer team. He wants to get in the best shape he can because he wants to apply to be a police officer. Main thing, give me strong abs, he says!
My boxing student, Iya, and her little brother.
My boxing student, Osama.
I feel like I’m doing my little bit to bring power to young girls here and show boys that girls are equal. Life still goes on in these villages as it has for hundreds of years. But change is coming, and I contribute to the most positive aspects of that change.
2 thoughts on “Girl Power on the Nile”
Hi Karen. I never doubted you’d find your space in Egypt, carving it from the riverbanks like your own pyramid. You’re inspiring to young women there, but I like what you said about teaching the young boys they’re equals. Bravo!
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What you say is absolutely right, Renee. Girls and boys learning martial arts together is the best scenario. Learning to treat each other with respect and honor.
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