Outside, the men are about to perform ablution required before acts of worship, washing their faces and limbs. I listen to them as they make the niyya-intention to do ablution and recite, ‘’Bismillāh i’r Rahmān i’r Rahīm. In the Name of Allâh, the Beneficent, the Merciful.’’
Syria is hot. I always thought Mombasa my hometown was hot but this heat beats the dense humidity of my coastal hometown in Kenya. The midday scorching sun makes the black hijab covering my head and face feel like a hot iron-box and I’m sweating profusely. Peeping from my veil, I catch a glimpse of the men doing ablution intent on purifying themselves, yet I know no matter how much they scrub, they can’t purify themselves of their filth.
The ocean wavered, transferring its energy through gentle crests which crushed against the coral below us. The sound of the crushing waves fused with the cheerful laughter from my friends harmoniously. I zoned back in to the energy of my friends as they cheerfully tell stories, sipping away at their gahwa beneath the residential storey buildings shading us from the setting sun. The buildings gave way to a cemented patio that stood just at the edge of the corals with a railed ending; this made up the coffee joint. I loved my gahwa as sweet as they come.