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Clara, a fellow with The 21, smiles with children in Egypt


Today’s guest post comes from Clara Habib, a fellow who attended The 21 in June 2022. We asked Clara to write about her time in Egypt and share the parts of her experience that stood out the most to her. In today’s post, Clara shares what she learned about the “real” Egypt, despite having visited before.

I always thought that because I saw the pyramids, took a picture with the Sphinx, and went on a camel, that I could tell people that I visited Egypt… but little did I know. What if I told you that I’ve never seen Egypt… the real Egypt… before The 21?

A thousand thank yous to Coptic Orphans would never be enough for making me see what I saw. By going on this trip, I got to see with my own eyes what the definition of simplicity is.

I got to see children having almost nothing, but their smile would make you say they’re not missing a thing.

I got to see families so welcoming, that they could almost convince you that you’re the one giving the blessing, when in fact it’s the opposite.

And finally, through these people, I got to see that happiness is possible when you put Christ in the middle.

Sometimes, when I would wake up, I would be so tired and wished I could skip class today, but trust me, this feeling goes away the second you see the kids: If they are jumping in the bounce house, you are jumping too, because “No” is not an option. If they are playing “duck duck goose,” you are playing with them – and obviously, why would the kids choose their classmates if there’s no rule that forbids their “Miss” to ALWAYS be the goose?

After going to this trip, if someone would have asked me what comes to my mind when I think of Egypt, I would answer: going to school with a tok tok, eating kebab chips for a snack, and drinking sugar cane juice (in a plastic bag, obviously). But all of these memories don’t come alone; they come along with the fellows who I got to serve with, who I learned so much from, and who became like family after the first day.