not the best note to go out on, but here we are
It is heartbreaking to hear of people without the freedom to say what they wish or to go where they want. My prayers are not limited, so I will pray for your safety and theirs. I will pray that all people have freedom and the right to choose how and where they live and or worship.
This is so beautiful! It reminds me a lot of how I feel with my family back home in Iran. How I can freely come and go as I please, and they can’t even make it to my wedding. It’s so textured and sad and nuanced and it just... is what it is.
You captured a feeling I had ever sing year when I would return back to the states from my summers in Egypt. You learn a lot about the privilege we have here. The world is filled with good caring people and it’s hard to reconcile the different hands we are dealt.
Breaks my heart, Sam. So many times I’ve left wonderful, amazing people behind - beginning in the 1960s - Okinawa, Kwajalein, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel, Moscow, Kiev, and so many other places I’ve lived or visited. Always, I remember the people. I carry their love, laughter, and sadness with me. I’ve been told this is my final visit to Earth. If so, perhaps before too very long, I’ll make my final voyage from Earth never to return. I shall miss the natural beauty of this planet and kind and loving people near and far. I shall not miss suffering and war although it seems that chaos is universal. Please keep writing about your life and travels. Often I relive my own life through your stories. I pray for you and for peace on Earth.
Wow 😮 people say the same thing to me in Napoli. “Can I come in your suitcase”. You describe that awkward feeling and the mixed emotions that come with it so well. Glad I found your newsletter!
Great read as always. so sorry that you guys are leaving Egypt and leaving many friends and people who you have had good times with. I hope all of them are safe and well during these crazy times, same goes for Nick and Boo, hopefully Boo hasn't been too much trouble since then.
In a world of AI, we need to make reporting and essays more human than ever. We can turn to a search function for information, but we need humans to turn it into real art. That's exactly what this piece did for me. The narrative with Basbousa weaving its way through the bureaucratic and sociopolitical hell makes this piece so much more absorbable yet heartbreaking at the same time.
This is beautifully written, Sam. I want to pass along my mom's appreciation, too (since she's not big on online commenting). She said this piece really grabbed her emotionally. It is heartbreaking to think of all the people living in your neighborhood (and sharing my planet) who are denied basic necessities and rights. This essay is a sobering reminder. As long as you and Nick seem happy, I never think about what's going on in Egypt. Today I went Christmas shopping for the first time this season, so now I'm thinking of "A Christmas Carol" and hoping I, like Scrooge, can profit from this reminder and be more mindful of my fellow human beings.
You’ve been on my mind, Samantha.
This is probably the only instance where I would condone the idea of a Snickers bar. I want to adopt this friend of yours Samantha and shower him with chocolate the likes of which he's never dreamed of.
My heart hurts reading this essay. I have friends who come from those ancient lands now at war.