The mosques were chanting and we were in a hurry.
“Come on Ahmed,” I shouted for the millionth time. He was always making us late.
I made my way downstairs as fast as possible; I needed to put my shoes on.
“Well, did you tell him?” asked my mother anxiously.
Annoyed, since it was the same question being asked for the millionth time, I answered, “Yes!”
“Why are you giving me attitude?” she scolded. But I didn’t answer, and she wasn’t waiting for one. She just walked away.
I was wearing my traditional black abaya, but I liked to change it up by wearing a different colored scarf. So, today I wore my long, rectangular, burgundy one. It’s my favorite. I was fixing my veil when Ahmed decided to bless us with his presence.
“Yalla, let’s go!” my mom shouted.
Yalla means “come on” in Arabic. We were brought up in both the USA and in Egypt, so we tended to integrate Arabic and English words in a single sentence when speaking; it’s a linguistic jambalaya if you ask me.
“Oh! You’re still fixing your hijab! OH MY GOD!” she fumed.
“I’m just fixing it,” I said.
Ahmed just stood there, looking around him like he didn’t know if he was still asleep and dreaming, or if this was real.
My mom barged out of the house and to the car, while Ahmed followed. Ahmed and I were carrying the prayer rugs, just in case there wasn’t enough space inside the mosque to pray and we needed to pray on the sidewalk outside. It was always really crowded during Eid Prayer.
As we drove to the mosque, we could hear chants coming from the other mosques, as well as the mosque we decided to pray in this year. They weren’t saying the same thing simultaneously, but there was a harmony.
When we got to the mosque, Ahmed went to the men’s section and my mom and I went to the women’s section. We decided to meet at the car after the prayer was over.
To my relief, we were actually early to prayer this year and there was space to pray inside. My mom and I sat down together and started chanting for a good fifteen minutes.
Then the Imam started making the call for prayer and we all stood to pray together. We all stood next to each other, like a family.
I never realized how different this family was, compared to the typical idea of family: We didn’t know one another’s name, or what the other person’s job was; they could be a maid or a doctor for all I knew. We were light-skinned and dark-skinned, old and young, tall and short, some had prettier veils on than others, but, when it was time for prayer, that didn’t matter. The color of my scarf wasn’t what I was thinking about when the young lady with the baby was standing to my left. My mom getting mad at me wasn’t what I was thinking about as she stood to my right. I only thought of standing in a straight line, shoulder to shoulder. We were all nestled between each other; trying to make the other person comfortable. It was about remembering that there’s more.
Edited by: Maddy D.