This post has been half-written in my mind all day, but that ends up just being part 1 of what you’re going to read.
For clarity – it’s not about what you think it is.
Part 1: Prequel
It’s the second trip where I get a chance to wear my hijabi swimsuit (burkini is a weird term because a burka is a FACE covering and the hijabi swimsuit covers hair and body but not face!)
Second day swimming today. Took my little one to the beach a bit. Some sandcastles and such, some hitting waves…then when we were done she insisted on going to the swimming pool (it’s really on the way back to our room anyway… So even though she had showered we went to the indoor swimming pool coz they have a tiny one that’s v shallow for kids.
We walk in and I glance a wheelchair but no people there. Soon, we are joined by a woman wearing a niqab (full face cover except for her eyes) and two kids. The boy jumps in and starts playing. The girl sits on the edge. Her mom sits behind me but up on a chair (I am in the pool with my kid). I figure out pretty soon they are Saudi and try to coax the little girl into the pool but she says she doesn’t want in. I ask her mom if she is shy because we are there and encourage my girl to say hi. A few moments later her mom goes over to the girl and does something unexpected. She uncovers her face and rolls up her pants and lowers the girl into the pool such that the girl is leaning on her mom’s legs. The kiddies pool is a little secluded so no one sees her and as the mom’s eyes shift I tell her I will warn her if someone comes. We spend time splashing each other – my kid and me against the other two kids and everyone squeals and enjoys themselves. Later, as the mom starts talking to me? She mentions they are in Egypt (Cairo but here today on vacation) for therapy for her daughter. I glance at the wheelchair and ask if that’s hers and make the customary Islamic wishes for her to get better.
I look at her and what she’s doing for her kid and it’s another level of what one would do for their kid. I am sure her kid needed that fun pool time. Whatever her reason for wearing a niqab, in that moment, she found a way to be there for her child. I stayed as long as I could in the pool to keep them company but it got late and we had to leave them eventually.
Part 2: Incident
Rest of the day went relatively normally. Until we were getting into the hotel through the revolving doors.
I wanted to use a regular door but she insisted on these ones and we got into one space together as we had done several times already today/yesterday.
And my girl started screaming
Her feet, BOTH OF them, were caught under one of the glass doors/panels in the revolving door.
May you never live to see any part of your child’s body stuck anywhere.
It felt like hours passed but it must have been mere seconds. I must have kept repeating something either to calm her down or to conjure up divine intervention. I got inspired suddenly that if I got her crocs off I would be able to get her foot under the door and out. The first foot was easy. The second took longer.
You have to imagine this situation. It’s a revolving door. There’s no one in any space able to help my kid but me. Her dad says he was out there holding the door to stop it from moving. The hotel people said they stopped the door with an emergency button. My husband says it was her foot stopping the door from moving.
We got out. Crowds of people around us. We check her foot. She’s fine. Her feet seem fine. No ugly anything. Toes move. She cries in my arms a bit and eventually walks normally. Al hamdulilah. Having q doctor for a husband helps in these situations. A lot. Coz the first aid person didn’t look too competent to be honest.
In the midst of it all…people come by to ask about her. Different hotel personnel come by. Different theories on why this happened and how it can be prevented or how anyone could have acted better. All I am thinking is thank GOD she is ok. And wonder that I was able to act at all in the circumstances because I don’t know what the heck anyone else was doing to help me. I saw no action from anyone else and it’s terrifying.
No more revolving doors.
No more revolutions for her.
Part 3: Aftermath
الحمد لله الذي رزقنا هذا من غير حول لنا و لا قوة
Roughly translated (couldn’t find a proper one online):
Praise be to Allah who blessed us with this with no strength or power of our own
But of course beyond thanking God there’s the analysis. What happened?
One hotel person had a theory about crocs getting stuck in revolving doors. Another said that isn’t true. I said if hse hadn’t been wearing crocs i would not have been able to get her feet out (I don’t know how they got in in the first place. It was like hwr entire feet were on one side and above the ankle were on my side of the glass panel/door. I cringe as I remember. It was a nightmare.
I can’t imagine what kind of negligence from my side could have caused this. We have no idea what the proper emergency procedure should have been.
While her feet were stuck my mind flashed back to earlier that day and the girl on the wheelchair.
I recalled that incident aloud and someone said maybe they gave my girl the evil eye. But I have another theory. I think God saved us because we were kind to them.
Neither explanation is scientific of course. Nor do I demand or expect reward for bringing kind to someone (it was not even a hardship).
I wish I had something more useful to conclude. Just thanking God
And no more crocs apparently (?)
Or revolving doors