In two weeks, it will be the anniversary of one of the worst days in Egypt’s modern history. In addition to the hundreds that were killed on that single day, Aug. 14, and hundreds more in following days and months, many friends and colleagues had close calls. It’s the anniversary of when many of us, myself included, narrowly escaped death. The sight and sound of whizzing bullets is still very much alive. A lot has happened since, here and in the region. And it only made the idea of death much more real. It has become a constant possibility with the name of every fallen journalist/colleague, when seeing the scars and implications of gunfire injuries still visible a year later, and especially when every morning starts by checking that friends covering war zones are still alive. I’ve been bracing for the worst for more than year, but more so ahead of these two weeks. And the passing of a dear friend this year was a reminder that death isn’t only tied to danger or certain jobs. This is not meant to be as bleak as it sounds; this realization of death has translated into an attempt to enjoy life as much as fearing its loss and it often comes with an urge to always tie up all loose ends.

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