On February 24, The American University in Cairo will be screening a documentary on the final years of the late Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd (d. 2010). It is a reminder that Abu Zayd’s work–his suffering–have a place in post-revolutionary Egypt and that hope–although scarce–lives on even after his passing. In the handful of conversations I had with him, I recall his tremendous humility, but also his strong sense of purpose.
“Belief, like fear or love, is a force to be understood as we understand the theory of relativity and principals of uncertainty. Phenomena that determine the course of our lives. Yesterday, my life was headed in one direction. Today, it is headed in another. Yesterday, I believe I would never have done what I did today. These forces that often remake time and space, that can shape and alter who we imagine ourselves to be, begin long before we are born and continue after we perish. Our lives and our choices, like quantum trajectories, are understood moment to moment. That each point of intersection, each encounter, suggest a new potential direction.”