a near death experience

on monday, june 7th, myself and two brothers needed to go to the smart village in the morning and come back to alexandria in the afternoon.  we rented a “limo,” (which is just a normal rental car with a driver) to take us, wait for us, and bring us back.  we left early in the morning, finished our work, and left cairo to go home a few minutes after maghrib.

the road that connects cairo to alexandria is called “taree2 (masr eskenderia) al sa7rawy,” or “cairo-alexandria desert road” as google maps translates it.  the distance is about 200km (~120 miles).  the way people in egypt drive, combined with the high speeds, bad lighting, and bad conditions of the road make this road a dangerous place, especially at night.

anyhow, along the way, after traveling about 46km from cairo, the driver smelled something and said, “i smell something, let me check on the tires” - he parked on the side of the road and found a tire had gone flat, so he put on the hazard lights and said he would replace it.  we looked and found a masjid right next to us and decided to go and pray maghrib and isha there while he finished repairing the tire.

the masjid was at a lower elevation than the road (10-20ft), so we went down (on quite a sandy area) to the masjid which was very small, old, etc.  we prayed, and started walking up to get to the car.  we saw the driver was done and started backing up the car a little bit.  we finally got to the top (to the shoulder of the highway).  we approached the car, and when we were one step away and i was about to open the door, i saw a medium sized going at full speed crash straight in the car, leaving a track of dust, glass, debris, and making the car fly into the ditch into the lower elevation of the area where the masjid is.  for a few seconds, we saw fire, and then it stopped.

when the dust had settled, we were really shocked and worried about the driver - miraculously, al7amdulillah, nothing happened to either driver - both were okay.

needless to say, we were very thankful - if there hadn’t been a masjid there, and if we hadn’t gone to pray, i would have been on the left passenger side of the car, the area of the car which took the majority of the impact.  if we had been just 3 seconds later, i would have been opening the car door and/or have gotten into the car, and in this case, i may have been seriously hurt.

so al7amdulillah that i am alive - as Allah (swt) says in:

“And He is the subjugator over His servants, and He sends over you guardian-angels until, when death comes to one of you, Our messengers take him, and they do not fail [in their duties].” 6:61

sub7anAllah.  so anyhow, it appears as though the driver of the truck had fallen asleep or something and thus hit the car, even though it was clear that it was on the shoulder (well inside), the blinkers on, etc.

after the accident, the car was in the hill between the higher and lower grounds - on it’s right side was a huge concrete block that the car could have hit.  the driver later told us that he felt something telling him to reverse the car - had he not, he would have hit one of many metal poles hanging out from the ground on his way down.

but get this - the truck stopped - in the middle lane of the highway, and that’s where it stayed for about an hour until a big truck was able to come.  people stopped the traffic manually (with nothing but one of those red-lit sticks) and had a big truck (literally) drag (with a rope) the medium sized truck to the side of the road.

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anyhow - some interesting points were that 1.  the people that reside in the area where we stopped got out and left what they were doing to help us, offered water, support, and helped moving the cars to safety.  2.  people in egypt are really afraid of police, especially in high speed accidents.  3.  the man decided not to press charges when the police came (one possible reasoning is that the company he works for has brought the car into the country on a “diplomatic visa” so that they don’t pay taxes for it, and yet aren’t using it for “diplomatic purposes,” and so they could get in trouble).  3.  people in egypt drive at insane speeds on that road and corresponding small roads.

the driver had someone else working at the company come from alexandria to pick us up and drop us back.  it was hard to sleep on the way back - the new driver was a very aggressive one, and along the way, we encountered fire fighters putting out a car on fire from a different accident, a car going the opposite direction on the highway, and cars going extremely slowly in the left most lane of the highway, thereby almost causing accidents.

i’ll write about the aftermath in another post insha’Allah.

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