Al-Ahram Weekly   Al-Ahram Weekly
7 - 13 September 2000
Issue No. 498
Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875 Issues navigation Current Issue Previous Issue Back Issues

Front Page

My daily routine

Naguib Mahfouz Ever since my eyesight began to deteriorate, I have started my day with the visit of a friend, who comes to read the newspapers out loud to me. The reading session brings me in contact with the world around me, in Egypt and abroad, and lasts for nearly two hours.

My next visitor is often the doctor, who administers physiotherapy to my injured right hand. I train my hand to perform writing movements for half an hour daily, an exercise I have performed tirelessly over the past six years, since I was attacked. It has done me a great deal of good. I have come a long way: my hand was almost totally limp at the time, whereas today I can write without much difficulty. Still, I cannot tolerate the writing posture for more than half an hour at a time.

I look forward to the afternoon outings with my friends with great anticipation. They have become my ears and eyes. Through them I perceive the world and learn of current events, debates and controversies. To me, these friends are all the media at once: the radio, television, the Internet and books. Back home, I eat dinner and take my sleeping pills. But I must give the pills a chance to act on my system. I very rarely sleep through the night in a single, uninterrupted stretch. Numerous intervals of wakefulness are the pattern. As a result, I cannot rise from bed before eight in the morning.

My routine may seem boring, but it is far from that for me. I am very satisfied with this pattern and profoundly thankful to all those who come to take me out of my shell. Their company adds so much to my life -- without it, I would be a prisoner in my own body.

Based on an interview by Mohamed Salmawy.

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