It looked promising. The humanitarian ceasefire during the weekend was the window we were looking for. Otherwise the plan was to return to Malaysia on Syawal eve. Tickets were booked and we were ready to go back. However, Ust Anas enquired whether we would like to stay and try because it seemed possible to cross Rafah at that time.Without hesitation, I agreed because as conditions are not getting better why say no now. Hence, the group has been divided into two. Hasbe, Finaz and Bob would be taking the flight out to Bangkok on Saturday 26th of July. The team was optimistic.
We were off early from rumah tamu Perlis on Sunday morning. The day looked peaceful and we were praying hard that our trip would be fruitful this time around.
It looked like it was a breeze, no petty stop over on the earlier stops ie in Ismaili and while crossing the SUez canal via the ferry. I was optimistic Insha Allah. The thought of the gazans were stronger in my mind. Again we were stopped at the Arisy gate and the palpitations begin.
The guards this time looked friendlier but i was warned not to be deceived. Gone were the heavy guarded military personnels unlike our previous try. Our letter of approval from the Egypt Internal Affairs ministry was legit and as per protocol the call was made to the office.
Our names were verified one by one.. I was optimistic. Until the end of the phone conversation..
" I will call to confirm in 5 minutes"
And we waited..... We waited for an hour before the post guard called again.
"Another 5 minutes..."
And we waited... the next hour.. " Another 5 minutes..."
And the pattern continued. We arrived at 9am and it became noon. I guess the wait maybe nothing compared to what our prophets had to endure in their da'wah and we waited. The wait of no guarantee.
Somehow despite the dry conditions of the desert, there was a breeze that made the wait bearable. I cannot imagine if it was still wind with the sun without clouds shining mightily above us.
And on the 5th hour..
" No... they can't cross Al Arisy to Rafah.."
Oh.. the most dreadful answer you would like to hear on the day where our optimism was its highest. I cannot describe my feeling at that moment. Disappointment? Despair? Helplessness?
And so forth we made our return to Cairo. Again.. another attempt failed not by the army but by the authority who initially gave us the green light to go. Funny? Well not funny and its just the complexity of how things work here in Egypt.