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Not an easy question

Updated: Feb 20, 2023

She lies there at rest. Majestic. Mighty. Substance in the form of a pyramid that has become an image. It radiates strength. Clarity. Timelessness in stony form. As if it wanted to be proof of true immutability. As if it could be a testimony for the existence of the great principles of this world. She stands there at rest. Draws its contours into the sky with its two long lines. Two axes and a common point. A point. Where I am, there will be nothing equal as soon as. Clearly. The very thought is presumption. It is there.

How universal must have been the human thought, which could have made the origin of this building possible? How all-encompassing must the idea of the world have been felt and thought to be able to let this come into being? The implementation alone is unimaginable, but what size must the foundation of the idea first have?

Yes, it is impressive.

And then there's the trappings. The flickering lights of the vehicles whizzing by, their lights, if any, drawing red and white stripes on the road, on which the dust lies, sticking together into a brown mass at the moment when drops fall from the sky. Everyone, as briskly as they can, pushes themselves on two wheels, three or four, in a car, SUV or rattling mini-bus, on a horse-drawn cart or in a cab, over the main multi-lane road in town and the small obstructed streets where laws other than those of straightness prevail. The attention-seeking, nervous honking of the apes, the short friendly warning toot of the wagons, a greengrocer advertising his wares through a rattling megaphone. A slightly scratchy carpet of engine noises, from which now and then a dark, humming sound emerges or, more often, a howling shrillness. A booming hip-hop bass from the speakers of a passing Ape. A siren that waftingly embeds itself in the polyphony before, from somewhere, the muezzin begins to sing his verses through the clanging loudspeakers of a mosque in the distance, soon to be followed by more, from him and from other muezzins who send their message from other mosques into the cold air of Cairo, which smells of exhaust fumes on long-distance roads.

That, too, is impressive. Especially in its combination.

And I think about Heny's question: What do you think about Egypt?

And so it stands there side by side, leaving me perplexed.

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