Thursday, 13 August 2009

Image 6 - Ahmed Hafnawi and Muhd Hassan

On the girl who gave her name as Muhammad from Petrie's journal 22.2.1884:

“I begin to learn their names tolerably, particularly if they are distinctive; but what with Hassanen Ali, Ali Ibrahim, Ibrahim Muhammed, Muhammed Hassan, Ali Hassan, Ibrahim Ali, Ali Muhammed, etc, etc, etc it is rather puzzling; and such distinctions as Riani, Dafani, Shergawi, Adib, and Gandur are refreshing changes. They regard the weekly payment as a sort of sign of respectability and “nahar es sebt” – seventh day – is generally added on by the children to their names “Muhammed Hassan Dahabieh nahar es sebt andak” is run out all in a string (andak = “you have it” = it is booked so) and one says proudly to another “ana maktoub” – I am written.”
“Among the boys one girl came and gave name as Muhammed Hassan. So I asked Ali how it was a girl had such a name. “Oh they think you not take a girl for work, so that call her father’s name”; “Did they think I could not see it was a girl” I asked. “Oh time Mariette work here, so many girl, they dress in white, and send work for boys”. (mem. girls and women wear dark blue, and boys and men white & brown)”.

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