March 23, 2008
A Series of Pointless Posts -3- Om Ali
The Egyptian marriage rituals always amaze me and the thing that amaze me the most is the wedding party ritual. Regardless the class, always the wedding party will be as huge as possible, with as much food as possible, with as much attendees as possible. Celebrities will entertain the audiences whenever applicable. Weddings in Egypt are a way to show class. And regardless the class people always try to appear as elite as possible.
I have just attended another wedding, a typical Egyptian wedding, a nice ball-room, nice entertainment that included a belly-dancer and sure a mouth-watering menu. I hate weddings but I can’t deny that the only thing that would make me go through the whole rituals of partying till the early hours of the morning is my all time favorite pure Egyptian dessert “Om Ali”.
Though socialization isn’t one of my hobbies but people say that I have a welcoming smile. And that smile is my only weapon in such social occasion. And using that very smile I found my way to my beloved Om Ali.
At the dinner table I was chatting with a relative about my passion towards Om Ali. He wasn’t a fan. And I wondered how an Egyptian cannot be a fan of one of the few pure Egyptian desserts.
He had no clue about how a bowl of pastry, milk, and sugar be a pure Egyptian invention. And that is another thing that amazes about Egyptians. Regardless how well educated they are they give little or almost no attention to history.
I believe it is so important to know the history of things, even if this thing is a small bowl of dessert. I believe it is so important to know the history of this little bowl if it is connected to the Egyptian history in a way. How can anyone miss that this dessert was the way Om Ali, Aybak’s first wife, celebrated the death of her enemy, Shajar Al-Durr the queen of Egypt and Aybak’s second wife. How could anyone miss relating that pure Egyptian invention to that critical period of Egyptian history? I have always thought that this story is a fun way to know what happened at that time.
And regardless that some historians might argue that this wasn’t the way Shajar Al-Durr died but yet, why not telling our kids these kinds of stories. Why don’t we Egyptian value history? Why don’t we read?
So please next time before attacking your delicious dessert have a moment an think that this food made history.