Never forget that Egypt is in Africa -- it is clearly and most definitely an African nation. Only look at the map to confirm this fact. The media repeats endlessly the Arabic character of Egyptian culture -- true, but not true enough.
Egypt is African. The great book of the Bible is the Exodus, about going "out of Africa" -- a sentiment repeated endlessly in Jewish liturgy -- "Thank God we are no longer slaves in Egypt."
Thank God we got out of Africa.
Out of Africa -- The title of Isak Dinesen's wonderful book, and the movie of the same name, with Robert Redford and Meryl Streep.
Out of Africa -- the story of the human race, is it not? The human race began in Africa and lived within that vast continent on the savanna for a hundred thousand years, and another hundred thousand years, and we did not leave, expand or evolve until a mere 60,000 years ago -- although scientists keep adjusting that figure up and down, but they all agree -- we came "Out of Africa" and spread across the globe.
And the people of Africa -- always mentally include Egypt, even though it is also Arabic and part of the Middle East -- but the people of Africa endorse the findings of scientists -- that Africa is the true home and mother of the human race.
This all happened before the invention/development/discovery of agriculture, and we need to know what happened before that, before we planted crops and built cities and learned to read and write.
That is what we call pre-history, which is actually pre-literature and pre-agriculture.
Almost all pre-history took place in Africa, where the Nile and the Congo Rivers flow, and the River Niger, and the Limpopo and the Zambezi Rivers flow. Those are the principle rivers.
So, as events unfold in Cairo, I just want to remind people that this is a story about Africa.
Who Cooks for You? I'm going to write a book about Africa, but not until next winter. I'm too busy on the farm right now.
But the book will be about, or developed from, the year I spent in Africa in 1997.
I would like to call it "Out of Africa" or "Exodus" or "Heart of Darkness" but those titles have been taken. Well, I have plenty of time to think of a title.
The book will be classified as fiction. It has to be fiction. There are no facts in Africa -- I never found any. Anything that looked like a fact in Africa turned out to be a mirage, or the first layer of a hidden truth, which also turned out to be a mirage.
All non-fiction books written about Africa are quite dubious, in my opinion.
So the book will be fictional, and one chapter will be titled "Who Cooks for You?" which is the story of my romance and engagement to an African woman.
She -- She -- I'm not even sure of her real name, but I met her near the Matopo Hills, which is clearly, or possibly, the site of King Solomon's Mines, as described by H. Rider Haggard.
You understand? It will be so much easier to write this if I just let it be a fictional story.
These kinds of stories are really necessary for understanding Africa, and understanding the current crisis in Egypt.
Well, I have to go out now and tend the sweet peas and look after the horses. We had a good rain yesterday -- what a blessing.
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