Dana and Daria were visiting Egypt for the first time, and they were excited to experience the country’s rich culture and traditions.
Jummah Prayers in Egypt: Dana and Daria’s Experience
Today was Friday, a special day for them as it was the day of Jummah, the weekly congregational prayer that Muslims offer in mosques.
Dana and Daria woke up early to attend the Friday afternoon prayer at the Al-Hussein mosque that was close to their hotel. They recited some Quranic verses and made dua (supplication) before leaving for the mosque.
At the mosque, they were greeted by some of their local friends who welcomed them with open arms, offering them dates and a cup of tea before the prayer began.
Before the salah prayer, Imam delivered a khutbah (sermon) reminding the worshippers of the importance of faith, good deeds, and kindness towards others.
As Dana and Daria prayed alongside the community, the soothing voice of the imam and the synchronized rhythm of the worshippers created a serene atmosphere. It was as if a sense of harmony and unity had enveloped the mosque, and they felt a connection with the worshippers around them.
After the prayer, they greeted other worshippers and exchanged hugs and handshakes.
They were now feeling hungry so they decided to visit a local meshwar eatery for a traditional Egyptian lunch of Ful Mudammas and Tameya, enjoying the rich flavors and aromas of the food.
After lunch as they strolled along the lively streets of the nearby Khan El-Khalili market in Cairo, Dana and Daria were mesmerized by the vivid hues and sounds of the city.
They paused to appreciate the intricately painted street murals and to observe the everyday routines of the locals, from street vendors selling fresh koshary to children playing soccer with a makeshift ball.
Dana is deeply interested in history and decided to spend the afternoon at the local madrasah library, immersing himself in the study of Islam and Arabic language.
Meanwhile, Daria devoted her time to volunteering at a nearby orphanage, sharing her kindness and care with the children there.
The Story Behind Dana and Daria’s Trip to Egypt
The recent loss of a beloved aunt had left Dana and Daria feeling distraught, but their visit to Egypt provided a welcome respite from their grief. Amidst the unfamiliar sights and sounds of this new place, they found a sense of peace and solace.
Dana and Daria had always been close, but their bond grew even stronger when their aunt had fallen ill. They took turns caring for her, comforting her, and praying for her recovery.
Despite their best efforts, their aunt’s condition continued to deteriorate. One day, as they sat by her side, she whispered to them, “My darlings, never forget that kindness and love are the most powerful forces in the world. Always be there for each other and those in need.”
Those words stayed with them long after their aunt had passed away. They made a vow to carry on her legacy of kindness and compassion.
Now while strolling home from the mosque, they noticed an elderly woman struggling to carry her groceries. Without a second thought, they went over to her and offered to help. The woman was touched by their kindness and thanked them profusely.
As they walked with her, the woman shared her own story of loss and struggle. She had recently lost her husband and was struggling to cope on her own.
Dana and Daria listened intently, offering words of comfort and support. When they arrived at her home, they helped her with her groceries and even offered to help her around the house.
During their stay in Egypt, the siblings continued to visit the woman. They ran errands for her, cooked meals for her, and kept her company. They soon realized that their small acts of kindness had made a huge impact on the woman’s life.
One day, the woman took them aside and said, “My sweethearts, you have reminded me that there’s still good in this world. Your kindness and love have given me hope and a reason to keep going.”
Dana and Daria felt a deep sense of joy and fulfillment. They realized that their aunt’s words had rung true – kindness and love were indeed the most powerful forces in the world. And they had made a real difference in someone’s life just by being there for her.
As they made their way to their guest-house, hand in hand, they knew that they had found a new purpose in life – to spread kindness and love wherever they went. And they knew that their aunt was watching over them, bursting with pride at the kind-hearted and compassionate individuals they had become.
Fun Facts about Egyptian Tamyea
Tameya is believed to have originated in ancient Egypt, where it was a staple food of the Pharaohs. The dish was traditionally made with fava beans because they were readily available and affordable, but it has since been adapted to include other ingredients like chickpeas or a mixture of both.
In fact, in modern-day Egypt, the terms “tameya” and “falafel” are often used interchangeably to refer to fried balls or patties made from a combination of fava beans and chickpeas.
Tameya is typically served with a variety of toppings, such as tahini sauce, pickles, and salad (e.g., salata baladi), and is a popular street food in Egypt and other parts of the Middle East.
There is a fun historical story associated with Tameya that goes back to the 19th century during the rule of Khedive Ismail in Egypt.
As the story goes, Khedive Ismail once invited the French emperor Napoleon III and his wife Empress Eugenie for a visit to Egypt. The Khedive wanted to impress the French royalty with the local cuisine and ordered his chefs to prepare a lavish feast.
However, during the dinner, the French Empress Eugenie didn’t like the Egyptian food and refused to eat anything served to her. Khedive Ismail was embarrassed and worried that he might have offended his esteemed guests.
In a quick attempt to find a solution, the Khedive called upon his most innovative chef, who came up with the idea of frying fava beans into patties and presented them to the Empress. She took a bite of the Tameya and was impressed by its flavor and texture.
After the meal, Empress Eugenie reportedly asked for the recipe for the delicious fried fava bean patties. And from that day, Tameya became a popular Egyptian street food that is enjoyed by locals and tourists alike.
Tameya Recipe: Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Egyptian Falafel
Tameya Egyptian Falafel Ingredients:
• 2 cups of dried, peeled fava beans
• 1 onion, chopped
• 1/2 cup of fresh parsley, chopped
• 1/2 cup of fresh coriander, chopped
• 3 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 tsp of ground cumin
• Salt and pepper to taste
• Vegetable oil for frying
Tameya Egyptian Falafel Instructions:
1. Soak the fava beans in water overnight.
2. Drain and rinse the beans thoroughly.
3. In a food processor, blend the beans until they turn into a paste-like consistency.
4. Add the onion, parsley, coriander, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper to the processor and pulse until everything is well combined.
5. Form the mixture into small balls and flatten them slightly into patties.
6. Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium heat.
7. Fry the falafel patties until they turn golden brown on both sides.
8. Remove them from the pan and place them on a paper towel to soak up excess oil.
9. Serve hot with tahini sauce and pita bread. Enjoy!
As kids, Dana and Daria practically lived on their grandpa’s farm. That’s where they fell in love with nature and learned the value of hard work.
Their grandpa was a wise man who regaled them with stories from Islamic culture and the lives of Sufi saints. These tales had a profound impact on the siblings and instilled in them a deep respect for values such as truthfulness.
Grandpa’s stories are documented in the book series “Grandpa’s Farm Stories”