Hashim is a bawab (a guard) at the funerary complex of the Stepped Pyramid of Xoser (the first pyramid) at Sakkara in Egypt. On a blistering day I had sent my visitors into the sun after a briefing on what they would see, and settled into a breezeway in the long walkway through the 'papyrus' carved columns. Hashim kept me company and talked of his own contentment with his job, but for his son he has a dream of education, and University and that he will be something better. He said, "life is hard, in Egypt", but it was a statement and not a complaint.
My husband was with the Australian Embassy in Cairo and this was my fifth Middle Eastern posting. I love the region and the thing I will remember most about Egypt is the stoic practically of its people, and the kindness and generosity which has nothing to do with wealth. Hashim's expression seems to sum up this acceptance of what ever life will throw at him.
I used commercial and hand-dyed cotton fabrics, Matilda's Own wool mix batting and cotton and polyester threads.
Photograph by Patricia Boulton.