Over thirty people crowd. Silent. Women's heads are covered as they grip onto the ends of their ornas. Men place their hands on their hips, looking around nervously and impatiently. No one stands too close. The buildings guards place plastic white chairs for all neighbors, as if someone will perform.
An old woman in white screams, "Baba!" Her deep nasal voice cuts through the air and starts the symphony of sudden sounds. A dozen women sob, wailing and yowling. Women engulf the body, men start shouting and directing people where to go. Children dance and jump around the crowd, trying to catch a glimpse. Someone gently unfolds the cloth that covers the head. In his tomb, the face is shown. Big nose with a mustache underneath. A woman almost faints from the heat stimulated by both weather and the irrupting onlookers. Hand fans are brought out. No one moves.
The crowd turns into seventy bodies. Four video cameras filming the whole thing.
A religious leader comes out to say prayers. The old woman continues to bawl and rock her body. An green electric fan is brought out. New people arrive and I feel the heat rise to my balcony. One man continues to remove the head covering, waving his hand over the bare, dead face as if he's some magician. Perhaps he is a magician. He will cover the body, say the magic words and PRESTO, he breathes.
It's Easter Sunday-- but no rebirth today.