I believe in one god, Allah. He is the most merciful, the ever forgiving and the sustainer. I believe that He created me without power from me. I believe that if all the people congregate to benefit or harm me, they will not be able to except if Allah wanted that for me. When I’m alone and nobody can watch me, I believe that only Allah can. He knew everything that happened in the past, is happening in the present and will happen in the future. He counts every leaf that falls from a tree. He can see the black ant walking on the endocrine rock in the dark night. This belief was my backbone support in many situations where I could not help others, family or even myself. This belief helped me at the age of nineteen when I was returning to Egypt from visiting my family in Saudi Arabia.
While on this journey, I crossed the Red Sea by a ferry. I was used to this journey from the past experiences, but it was still very exhausting. A couple of days before the last journey, I began preparing myself for travel and packing my luggage. When the day for travel came, I took the bus from the bus stop in the evening to arrive at the port in the early morning. That winter night was very windy and it was raining heavily. Thunder and lightning made me feel as if my heart was coming out from my chest. The bus driver drove with the minimum speed allowed which increased the time and made the journey more exhausting and boring. After a long arduous night, where no eyes took a rest, we arrived in the port in the early morning as planned; the weather was very nice, the sky was clear and the sea was blue and calm. But the port was on alert and full of security guards; some people were crying and children were screaming. At that moment we knew that, during the last night, the sea was rough and one of the passenger ferries which had been traveling to Egypt sank. There were fourteen hundred people on the deck. Also a big fire broke out on the ferry before it sunk. It was a shock for me. I began to think about those who were on that ferry; what happened to them, did the rescue teams save all the people from the fire and bring them out of the water? Or did the sharks celebrate a barbecue that night? Many questions were in my head with no answers. I began to think about myself: what should I do? I either had to return back or continue the journey I had already begun. The psychological state made a lot of people decide to return back. They thought that they would face the same fate. But I decided to keep moving forward and continue what I began. I trusted my belief that if I’ll die, I’ll die anywhere: in the sea, in the bus or even while I’m thinking and before I decide. I’ll never know where or when I’ll die. I wasn’t the only one who decided to continue; many people did.
The port was closed that day for security reasons. The rescue teams were searching for people in the sea. After hours, people had nothing to say and a terrible silence overshadowed the place. From time to time, we were getting some news: good news and also bad. We stayed that day in the entrance area of the port until the night. There were no nearby hotels, so we had no choice except to sleep that night on the ground in the mosque. We only tried to sleep, but our minds were busy thinking about those people and about the next day’s journey in the same sea, from the same port, and to the same destination. The morning came after a long time. When I looked at the sea, I pictured the tragic accident in my mind; I could hear the peoples’ call for help, and in the breeze coming from the sea I could smell their blood. I tried as much as I could to ignore those thoughts and keep calm and confident. At that moment it was announced that we had to go to the ferry if we wanted to travel. I saw people beside me as if they were dragged to death. We finished the entrance procedures and stepped on the deck. The ferry began sailing and we began dreading each wave. Many people prepared the life preservers beside their beds and others wore them. While sailing, the ferry stopped many times to get dead bodies from the water. At the moment I saw dead people on the ferry, I entered my room and started praying. I asked the creator—who controls the sea, wind and rain—to bring me safe to my family. I began supplicating Allah for help. Allah, The one who can see the black ant walking on the endocrine rock in the dark night, is the only one who can give protection and security. I began saying “o’ my lord, who can see my place and know my status make me safe and secure.” I repeated these words the rest of the journey. I asked him to forgive my faults and give me patience and confidence. Then I remembered the story of the Pharaoh when he was chasing the prophet Moses until he reached the Red Sea—the same sea we were in. Moses and his followers were trapped: the sea was in the front and the pharaoh—who wanted to kill them—was behind. Moses’s followers said “Lo! We are indeed caught.” But Moses believed that Allah would guide him. Then Allah inspired Moses, saying”Smite the sea with thy staff.” And the sea was parted, and each part was as a mountain vast. Allah saved Moses and those with him and He drowned the pharaoh and his soldiers. I believed that the same God—who saved Moses—could also protect and secure me. I believed that Allah will answer my call if I asked him sincerely even if I’m not as great or close to God as Moses. And He did.
The hours passed and finally we arrived safe to the port. My relatives were waiting for me. They could not utter a word when they saw me; they were only crying and trying to touch me as if they wanted to be sure that it was me—their son. They took me to the house; I entered as if it was the first time in my life to be there. I prayed again to Allah who secured my journey. Then I slept deeply in my bed after a long adventure.
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