In my last days in uniform, Antar would accompany me wherever I go. He would sleep next to me in my  guard  shifts and  wake  me  up  if   I fell asleep.  He was a  scary  one year  old  to  many,  a  deep loving  dog  to  few  of  us.

The Dog Sat Where We Parted

A PERSONAL project of my one year long path through service in Egypt. I had to do it. Army service is obligatory for all eligible men here. I could not travel or work unless I do my time. 

Apart from endless guarding hours, miles of walks everyday, caring for the ill and tending for the wounded as a doctor, I spent my year of service on a trail around the country. I spent most of it in solitude. Suddenly, my aspirations, dreams, feardoms, even my haircut looked just like everyone else’s. It was one of the greatest challenges in my life; to be stripped away of my individuality, to submit and to find comfort in a stranger’s company who looked and dressed just like me.

I have been marooned.
I have been taught to obey. To follow orders
I have been rediculed
made fun of
thrown in jail
I  caught a geko
I raised three dogs
I heard a snake but never saw it
I cried
a lot
I grew plants. I watered them everyday. Sometimes every other day.

I don’t have a name tag. I’m a soldier. Dressed as a soldier. Referred to as a soldier.

I saw the last lunar eclipse in awe. It was once in a lifetime. I saw the eclipsed moon and our milky way. Together.

I shaved my head like everyone else.
We wore camouflaged skin that appealed to sand.

for more of this story, contact  mahmoudm.khattab (at) gmail (dot) com