We Four in Egypt

Now back in the US!

Honoring Dr. King

The boys had school today, and Mr. Four was at work. Like most other US federal holidays, it’s a regular work day in Egypt. I had off, but only because it’s the eastern Christian Epiphany, called Timket in Ethiopia (where it’s one of the most important holidays of the year).

But I didn’t want to let the day go by without talking about Martin Luther King. This is a tough one because so few people are talking about it here, and because it’s all very complicated. Giggle is a smart kid, but I think his language comprehension isn’t as strong when we wander into new topics.

In any case, Giggle and I chatted a bit about Dr. King (“he’s a doctor and a king?” he asked when I first raised the issue). When I said that in America, the people with white skin weren’t very nice to the people with brown skin, he said, “I know, I know, you told me!” But we talked about this a bit more, because he’s getting older and can understand some of this stuff better. Bug was still sleeping.

Then we turned to YouTube, and we watched Dr. King’s I Have a Dream speech. I think it’s really good for my boys to see people of color, and especially men of color, and especially black and African-American men, in positions of leadership. Bug joined us, and they were both impressed by the massive crowds and by the people (they noticed there were people with white skin and people with brown skin). And they really like the rhythm of the speech as well (who wouldn’t?).

Giggle also wondered why there wasn’t more color on the screen. So we had a mini technology lesson as well.

We talked about how in America today, many people dedicated the day to service and to helping others. Giggle said, “Hey, we do that!” and reminded me of some ways we’ve given to others here in Egypt.

I do wish Giggle’s school would discuss Dr. King. They go crazy over Halloween, Thanksgiving, Ramadan, Christmas–every holiday in the book, it seems, except this one.


19 January 2009 - Posted by | bug, giggle, our life in egypt, race


  1. My kid told me they showed a film about Barack Obama today, but gave no more real info. I asked if they mentioned MLK Jr. and was told no. Did you get any info out of Giggle about what the film was about, or what was said?

    So we have also been talking about Dr. King at home this past weekend, how he used his words to help brown and black people be treated more fairly. “Like me?” my kid asked. Strong identification as a brown person.

    Comment by J | 20 January 2009

  2. Thanks for the info, J. I hadn’t heard about the Obama film, but I’ll ask.

    Giggle told me, as we watched the inauguration, “I’m like Obama’s father because I was born in Africa!”

    Comment by Ms. Four | 21 January 2009

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