Goodbye Hani

Dear Julie, Dear Cherif,

Writing to you and Cherif, whose email I do not have, is because shar­ing pain is another form of love. I am so sorry Hani has passed away, this bland set of words can­not express my sor­row. Part of me is gone with him, the part that he woke every morn­ing when we were 13, when he came burst­ing into my room, at 6:30 sharp, to shout me out of bed, have break­fast and dash to school.

Another part is hid­ing his naughty draw­ings, (at fif­teen he had ima­gin­a­tion, far bey­ond his years) from his par­ents, in a recess of the lib­rary at home, between two enorm­ous Encyclopedia Universalis 1908. Another is dis­cov­er­ing togeth­er the Egypt he loved so much on the sandy beaches of Marsa Matrouh; we were almost 20 then.

So many memor­ies flash back, higgledy-piggledy, our trips to France before and after I left Egypt, the vis­its to the States, meet­ing you and Cherif later on, the enorm­ous cof­fee on the ter­race of this lovely cof­fee shop, just before the usu­al vis­it to the met­ro­pol­it­an museum shop to buy rep­licas of Egyptian jew­el­ries, the blue hip­po ties he kept send­ing me, (BLUE PORCELAIN HIPPO, you know what this means???) the arrival of Cherif, keep­ing the prom­ise he made on a teary and emo­tion­al even­ing, when he declared, reit­er­ated ad nauseam his Friendship, cap­it­al F, please. ‘Cherif. I will call him Cherif, so that you know!’ Just to let me know…

The last time we spoke, his last “recess”, he soun­ded so con­fid­ent… what a shame…

Love to both of you

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