The man, the boyfriend, sat on the couch in the next room drinking steadily, a brooding angry presence, he was leaving, moving out, they had just decided. I was an intruder, an interruption. She tells me her story with the intensity of someone who is in pain. She is Egyptian, an Arabic scholar and Palestinian activist, and also a Westernized woman. When, at the age of twenty she moved out of her house to live with a boyfriend, her father disowned her, would not speak to her for several years. She has reached back towards her culture, immersed herself in it, yet it can neither understand nor accommodate her. She must reinvent herself. The quote is from a song by a famous Egyptian singer, it is how she feels about home.

back to exile project