Cairo: and a tale of a man with {maybe} 2 or 3 wives - Part 3

(This is a continuation of:  Cairo: and a tale of a man with {maybe} 2 or 3 wives.  If you haven't already, read Part 2 of the tale here and Part 1 here. )

So, Ahmed, How are you?  I asked, when I got in the car. 

I didn’t vote for him, he replied.  I didn’t vote for Morsi but he won anyway, he said, shaking his head.  He’s Egypt’s president now.

Ahmed 3

I nodded.

And how’s your family? I asked. 

They’re fine, he said.  My wife, my children.  All fine.

Ahmed 7
Ah, just one wife still? I asked, smiling.

Yes, yes, he laughed.  Just one wife.   But Fouzia -- that Palestinian wife of my brother’s – she’s still causing trouble.  It’s terrible!  I don’t like Palestine, he roared {condemning the country because of Fouzia’s flaws}.

Ahmed 4
Ahmed continued, After my brother died, I sent his wife Fouzia to the house in upper Egypt.  But she still calls meCalls and calls and calls.  Every day, every morning, every night, every time, he sighed wearily.  Fouzia calls just to yell at me.  She’s angry, angry, angry that I won’t marry her.  Meanwhile, my own wife is so happy that I'm not taking Fouzia as my second wife.

Ahmed 1
Oh, I said.  That sounds complicated. 

It is, he agreed, sweating despite the air conditioning.  But I have a plan, he added, looking serious.

Ahmed 5
What plan? I asked.

I am going to marry Fouzia’s daughter to my son, he replied.

What? I said, confused. 

He explained, I want my brother’s children near me, so I can look after them but Fouzia won’t give them to me unless I agree to marry her.  My niece is 16 and she’s a beautiful girl.  So my plan is for my 19 year old son to marry her. 

Ahmed 6

But do they want to marry each other?  I asked, alarm creeping into my voice.

Ahmed looked over at me, Yes, yes, don’t worry.  The girl doesn’t mind.  And my son -- he said he’s okay with it. 

And what does Fouzia say about her daughter marrying your son?  I asked.

Ahmed muttered, She said, No, his voice bitter.  I can't get her to agree.  But it doesn’t matter.  This Summer they are going to get married. That’s that, he said emphatically. 

Ahmed 5
Ahmed then abruptly switched topics.  Look, I didn’t vote for Morsi.  I don’t like him. I don’t want him as Egypt’s president. But at least now, at least since the revolution, we have freedom -- per-son-al free-dom, he articulated the words carefully.  Now we can say what we want!  That’s something, you know! It’s not nothing!  It’s something! he exclaimed. 

Yes, it’s certainly something, Ahmed, I agreed. 

And then it was time to get out of the car.

Ahmed 2

Read Part 2 of the tale here and Part 1 here.

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