Bruised Foreheads

Posted by len on March 7th, 2007

“Hey, I swear I saw that same guy yesterday!” But I hadn’t. The new man passing me in the streets of Cairo just had the same very prominent bruise in the middle of his forehead. Once you start looking you find it on about half the men you see, often slanting more heavily towards men over 40. It’s a marker of devotion to prayer and Islam. During prayer a muslim touches their head to the mat on which they kneel repeatedly, and if you do it fast, hard, and enough (5 prayer calls per day for the pious) you develop a welt that passer-bys can’t help but notice. Haven’t noticed a similar mark on women but the devout are the ones most certainly shrouded in a head scarf.

3 Responses to “Bruised Foreheads”

  1. soren Says:

    Is that what El-Zawahiri has on his forehead? I was wondering what that was and where it came from.

  2. len Says:

    Could be. The photo’s not super clear. It’s in the right spot though.
    It would not be surprising to me, though it was virtually non-existent in Morocco. Who knows about gulf states?

    As an interesting counterpoint to this tidbit, Cairo is dotted by little boutiques called “Fair and Lovely”. The signage shows a dark skinned woman on the left and the same face beautifully whitened on the right.
    I’ve considered trying their products to see if I could push myself toward albino since I’ve heard it’s very IN these days.

  3. Antonio Says:

    < a href = “ market@tien.sheldon“>.< / a >…


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