Mix white cooked rice, with fried onions, macaroni, and vinegar red sauce; now I know what your thinking, what is this mess! I’ll pass and grab pizza! But trust me after the 25th of Jan, once you call out those ingredients anywhere around campus, you will have a great number of Americans and exchange students lining up to get seconds from this traditional Egyptian dish; Koshary.
In spirit of the anniversary of the Egyptian revolution of Jan 25th, I decided to host an Egyptian themed party in my apartment room of Amsterdam hall. It was not supposed to be a political event nor any type of protest, just some traditional Egyptian food of “Koshary” and an Egyptian desert of “roz b laban” which translates into “rice pudding”.
With a gigantic poster that read “ Egyptian revolution” hung in the living room and different colored belly dancing belts wrapped around our waists, this Egyptian themed party was soon to start at 8pm.
Arabic music in the background, and belts making a whole lot of noise; within 30 minutes over 40 eager foreigners were in my living room getting ready to try their first Egyptian dish. Bringing out two large platters of Koshary with the red vinegar sauce on side, I couldn’t help but laugh at the puzzled faces of the students as they feasted their eyes on a plate of macaroni, rice and lentils, drained with vinegar red sauce. Yet however as soon as their forks dived in the plates I knew it was going to be a success. “Dude this is amazing! Thank you for feeding me!” yelled Atay an exchange student from Turkey. “I’m coming to Egypt” called out Marie, an exchange student from Czech Republic. With smiling faces and students running in for seconds, it was no doubt that we needed to make more red sauce.
When their stomachs were satisfied, it was time to take them on a cultural dance experience. A group of Egyptians and I put on some traditional belly dancing music, and started shaking away to some of the most popular Egyptian songs. It almost felt like back home eating my favorite Egyptian food while listening to some of my favorite music. “Teach me teach me!” we had some exchange students yell, and even some of the guys. We took turns with the belts and danced away to the rest of the night.
It was such a memorable day for me where I was able to bring a little piece of home to DC. Now not only will Egyptians remember Jan 25th but also the foreigners, who were able to get a piece of Egypt on such a remarkable day.