Most people go to Egypt to see the pyramids, but I believe I have come here for the rare pleasure of sitting at a café in Khan al Khalili,
where Naguib Mahfouz wrote his Nobel-winning novels about ordinary life in Cairo, to sip hibiscus tea and take notes. I’ve packed a book in my suitcase and into its margins I’ve copied the same seven lines over and over till I can recite them by heart. But the book isn’t Mahfouz, its Rumi. The lines are:
Lo, I am with you always,
You promised that,
And when I realized it was true
My soul flared up.
Any unhappiness comes from forgetting,
Remember, and be back close
With the Friend.