Christmas 2005 is a blur. I was between Lebanon and Egypt for my field research. I remember the Lebanese Thanksgiving with awesome food and another family who has taken me in repeatedly, as if I were their own daughter. Christmas was low-key in England. By Orthodox Christmas, 7 January, my parents and I were already in Egypt, where I started up Phase Two – aka the difficult phase. Oh, Egypt tore me up and tried to spit me out!

That year, Eid al Adha, the big Muslim holiday, coincided with Orthodox Christmas. When we arrived in Egypt, lamb were on sale everywhere, ready to be slaughtered in sacrifice

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