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Sharing Food, Sharing Voices: Girls of the World Unite!

Today is Friday, and we are in Heliopolis, a very ancient city in Egypt, that sits below Cairo. I bet you didn't know that Friday is the first day of the weekend in Egypt. In Egypt, children don't go to school from Monday to Friday like you do. Egyptian children go to school from Sunday to Thursday. Can you imagine going to school on Sunday?

Have you heard of the language called Arabic? We learned that a person who speaks a little Arabic and a little English, speaks, as they say in Egypt, "shway-shway inglizi." "Shway" means "little" and "Inglizi" means "English." Can you say "shway-shway inglizi?" One of the first Arabic words we learned right away was the word "yanni." "Yanni" means "no" in English.

Vocabulary Box

Heliopolis - ancient city in Egypt, in the Nile Delta, below Cairo.
Ramadan - the great annual fast of the Mohammedans, kept during daylight through the ninth month.
Vegetarian - one who eats no meat or fish or (often) any animal products.
Fasting - to go without food for a time for religious reasons

Today we made a big pot of lentils for lunch. We added potatoes, onions, and spaghetti to the pot. There was no meat at all in the meal. It is what we call a vegetarian meal. At first I thought my friends would not like a meal without meat, but they did. They said the meal was "very beautiful." They said that spaghetti can make people strong.

After the meal, we shared chocolates with our Egyptian friends. They told us about the festival of Ramadan. We learned that Rammadan takes place every year for one whole month. During the month of Ramadan, people don't eat from sunrise to sunset. Not eating for religious reasons is called fasting. Have you ever had to fast?


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Jasmine - Valley of the Dead

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