what on earth are you doing here?!

i took a metered cab in cairo to the train station a few days ago.  the driver and i started talking, and amidst our discussion, i told him that i lived in the us for the greater part of my life.  he asked, “what on earth are you doing here?“  in other words, “who in their right mind would come here when they have the option of living in the us?”

i gave him my reasoning and he wasn’t at all convinced.  the conclusion of the discussion was this translated and paraphrased quote (based on my memory and understanding):

“in 20 years, you’ll think back and realize that you wasted your time here and that you should have stayed there.  regardless of what good you see here, you’ll realize that things are better there (whether in terms of work, money, religion, or anything else), and you’ll regret the time you wasted here.  at that point, i want you to remember that the old man who drove you in the taxi said so, and ask Allah to have mercy on me regardless of whether i am alive or not.”

i posted this so that 2 decades from now (if i am alive), i can insha’Allah remember to look back to this conversation and say, “al7amdulillah, he was wrong - i have no regrets.”

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