Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Prayers amid the pleasures in Sharm
Muslims employed at Egypt's racy resorts believe that God blesses the working man. They hope he will also forgive them for what they see.

By Jeffrey Fleishman and Noha El-Hennawy
Special to The Times
October 8, 2007

SHARM EL SHEIK, EGYPT -- The men hurry down the narrow road to the whitewashed mosque, waiters, janitors, busboys, cooks; they peel off their shoes, wash their hands and pray. Then they return to the glittering resorts, hoping that serving alcohol and glimpsing topless women will not push them too far from God or their families back home in the Nile Delta.

They are at once ubiquitous and unseen, a service industry army of matching uniforms and smiles, cobbling enough English, German and French to charm the tourists lying on beaches and lingering in polished courtyards. They move briskly in the moonlight, bowing their heads and speaking in perfected cadences:

"Good evening, sir. How are you, sir? Have a nice time."
the rest


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