I’m a little hesitant to say this in fear of jinxing myself, but something went right: my passport (with visa inside) arrived in the mail today!
After shipping it off last week, I have been calling the Houston Consulate and frantically tracking the return envelope online. Apparently, Egyptians really don’t like answering my questions. My first call consisted of a woman sighing for a good minute when I asked her to confirm that the consulate had received my package, before mumbling that they had about 100 passports to sort through before they even got to mine. The next day, I got a call from a cheerful man who assured me not to worry about my application, and that they would send it out in a day or two. So much for 10 days of processing- but I’m not complaining!
As of yesterday, the tracking info showed that the package had been shipped, and today it arrived on my doorstep. After doing a little happy dance in my room, the one phrase that came to mind was الحمد لله (al-hamdu-lilah), which means “thank God” in Arabic, and is a widely used phrase by both Muslims and Arabic-speakers in general. For weeks, all I have been hearing is إن شاء الله (en shah allah), meaning “God willing”. It’s nice to hear the former phrase- let’s hope I’ll have more to be thankful for when it comes to university housing.