alhamdulilah: praise God!
Alhamdulilah is actually Arabic, but it is said often, all the time, every day. How did you sleep? I slept very well. Alhamdulilah! Or, I am satisfied from eating. Alhamdulilah! A call and response, a happy, joyful word.
This city is deeply religious, populated by people of faith. People of many different faiths, intermingled. My family’s handyman, who is always at our house, chatting up my mother, is Christian. My mother is a devout Muslim. The handyman, Mikáel, has a Christian mother and a Muslim father. I am told that these kinds of friendships, these close relationships, are not unusual.
(Just don’t say you’re agnostic or atheist, warn our professors. In Senegal, you must have faith in something.)
Anyway, I’m here in Dakar, Senegal. I’m sleeping well and eating well and things are wonderful. Alhamdulilah! Alhamdulilah!