My name is Omar Ahmed Amer and this is the story of the first twenty years of my life here in Qurna. I want to record the times I grew up in, before the way of life here disappears completely. Modern life is taking over and the old traditions and customs are slowly dying along with the older generations.
This book also represents the foundation of my life as I progress through life’s experiences as an Egyptian man. These beginnings were my ‘formation’, and much of what I learned then has now to be unlearned. I strive to heal myself and change my old outworn behaviours and beliefs while still holding on to the wealth of my Egyptian heritage, as it has been passed down to me from generations of family who have always lived close the earth.
This book is both my personal history and the history of a changing world.
I hope you enjoy it.
Post Script. My wife, Ann Murphy, is the scribe of this story. I tell her the stories and together we create the narrative. We live together in my family home and for the past six years, we have asked family members about their recollections of life and of the early parts of my life, the parts that I am too young to remember. So this is their story too.
It is a collaboration; the first of many we hope.