So Then, Farewell Cairo: Let My Exile Begin

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I prefer not to write about my personal miseries: other people’s miseries are so much tidier. But this misery is an exception, as it affects you. (Well, it affects regular ArabLit participants. If you turned up just today because you put “arabic sex” into a search engine, then you can disregard all that follows.)

Tomorrow, I will get on a plane and travel away from the Mother of the World, one of the world’s great centers of energy, creativity, warmth, and craziness. For financial and family-health reasons**, we will be staying out at the far edge of the map for at least a year.

Questions people have been asking me:

What about the blog? Will you keep doing the blog!? I certainly hope so. I am imagining this blog as the Ariadne’s thread that will keep me tied to the belly button of the Universe, will keep me from drifting into nothingness, and will eventually lead me safely back.

That’s very nice and hack-poetic of you. But how, when you’ll be at the edge of the map, far away from any sort of Arabic literary dialogue, will you keep churning out this stuff? I don’t know. I hope to rely more on correspondents like Mohga Hassib, Mona Elnamoury, Jennifer Sears, Nora Lester Murad, and others. (I haven’t asked most of them yet, but…how could they say no?) If you would like to pitch in, of course I want to hear from you. Perhaps we could even apply for some funding for you.

I also want to run more series-type things, a la the “10 rules.” This summer, I would like to start a “Why I Teach X” (where X is an Arabic book in translation not generally taught in UK and North American universities). More teaching-assistance materials. As Mona Zaki has suggested, a whole section for educators.

If you want to pitch in to help with any of that, let me know.

Can I have your stuff? …

Are you leaving because of Morsi/Shafik/Tantawi/fondue shortages/etc/etc? No.

Where should I send your review copies now? Very nice of you to ask. Please email me at mlynxqualey – at – gmail.com for an updated address.

*There are many people upset at my use of “exile.” All I can say is: Yes, I claim this word, I claim this as my home, and if you disagree, that is your right, too.

**It’s not my health; I’m (physically) fine, touch wood. At least, as far as I know. Touch wood, masha’allah.

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