Community//

A Cup of DCAF and A Silent Glass Of T!

How Meeting Egyptian-Arab Women of Egypt's Deaf Community Continues to Highlight the Silent Language of Love In Cairo, While Sending Lessons of Peace For the Hearing World!

Language of a sign. Signing in love. Symbols of Love. Symbolic Love. Loving signs. Love’s sign. In Love with Signs. Signals of love. A Sign of Love.

When you can not hear, you are pressed to connect with a different energy. An energy that those of the unhearing world can see. Can feel. Can embrace. It is the world of silence. And in silence, we are forced to go deeper. Into another way of being and experiencing this love, called life. When you move in silence, foolishness and ignorance cannot be heard. Neither can their worlds be given life. This is the beauty, magic, and gift of the international, deaf community.

(Photograph By Attendee; Edits By Lauren K. Clark)

In Cairo, Egypt I had come across many Egyptian-Arab men and women of the deaf community. Outside of the hectic work life and scheduling, they often came with the Spirit of peace. In my journey in Cairo, I have immersed with many of them. In grocery stories, on the metro train station, walking past the gated opera house, and even while riding on the train. Upon seeing them, my heart always fluttered with excitement. Taking any opportunity to sign with them and exchange contact to connect with them in the future. My mother reared me in the deaf community.

Ever since I was a little girl, I was exposed to their world. So, their silence is a familiar sound. Often, it was the Egyptian sign language that I had seen. Very few members of the Egyptian-Arab community, whom I encountered, knew ASL (American Sign Language).

(Photograph and Edits By Lauren K. Clark)

So, on the night of April 5, 2019, at the Downtown Greek Campus, I met a new group of Egyptian-Arab women and men, who specialize in the art of silence. One of the fabulous moments of being at the D-CAF Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival (and being among other sisters as we sipped on T) was the meeting of these gorgeous dames, and gents. Many of them had come to experience the sound of silence, with a taste of music. A few of the women in the group were hearing. Yet, they were there with their deaf Sisters. Memories of chilhoood’s past time, would re-live in these times.

(Photograph and Edits By Lauren K. Clark)

For my new crew of Egyptian-Arab deaf maidens, I was enthralled with them, as they were of me. Even more fascinating is that all of these women, and gents, were familiar with ASL. They knew this dialect, and signed it to me. There is something glittery that happens when artists of the invisible sound come together to celebrate in silence.

While also capturing the event, I often returned to their sitting spot, where they held my belongings. I snapped the night away. Our comfort space was our silent place. We signed together and enjoyed the festivities of the night.

The funny thing about meeting these silent ladies, and gents, is that images of “I Love Mom,” were presented around the Sadat Metro Station. I saw these artistic signs throughout Sadat, and they served as inspiration in leading me to these Darlings. It was a reminder that my mother’s presence was near.

(Photograph and Edits By Lauren K. Clark)

My time with these women was very euphoric. It was a timber of recognition, and our ability to hear life when we are silent. Many times we sent out the symbol of love. We did it on more than one occassion, and made sure to capture the moment.

Symbolic Love. Signs of Love. Love Sign. Symbols of Love. Love of signing. With love signs. Signs of love. Love symbols. Signs of Language. Love signs.

So, for my Sisters (and gents), we got to experience an uncommon sound. For many of us, life was loud. Loud and boisterous for all to hear. For others (that’s the majority of attendees), we gardened in silence. And for my own girl group of the night, we danced in a different way.

(Photograph and Edits By Lauren K. Clark)

In all of my experiences with the deaf community (since my time as a young girl) I never met a racist, deaf person. In Cairo, Egypt, I never met a racist, Egyptian-Arab woman or man. What is it about the world of silence, which forces people to understand humanity in a different tune? The musical lyrics where every color, culture, and nationality are the invisible notes supporting this song of non-traditional hearing. Its a realm that rids any sonnets of difference, as we become united through one sound. The fascinating thing is that we get to imagine those new sounds of our curiousity. Of our endless adventures to master Universal imagination.

With love of signs. Signs in love. Loving signs. Of Symbolic Love. Of Signs For Love. Signs of Love. Loving Signs. For Love’s Sign. . .Signing Love!

(Photograph By Attendee; Edits By Lauren K. Clark)
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