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When I first graduated I was appointed to work for the Ministry of Culture, the Department of Foreign Cultural Relations. The greatest recommendation for accepting that job was the fact that the office was a 15 minute walk from my house, and another 15 minutes from the club.
It turned out to be a very interesting job which lasted for ten years and where I was promoted several times and could be of some benefit to my country, but before that I was one of the foot soldiers and learned a great deal about human nature then.
At that time I had adopted a kitten that was being tortured by street children. It was a scrawny little thing, but with care and a lot of love it grew into a lovely cat. A couple of years after I adopted him, he fell sick and I asked my father to take him to the vet, which he did while I was at work. At the end of the work day my father came to my office, I thought to pick me up and tell me about the cat. He started to tell me about going to the pet clinic in Mohandessin, carrying the cat in a box. Just before getting to the clinic, the cat panicked and jumped out of the box and disappeared in a mosque. Being Christian, my father couldn’t follow him in, but drafted a young man to go in and look for the cat, but to no avail. The cat was gone.
I burst into tears, went back to the office, took my things and left for the day. I was very upset and cried all evening.
It just happened that on that particular day a national tragedy of large proportions, the crashing of an Egyptair flight with many high profile personalities on board, took place.
On returning to the office, I was treated with a lot of sympathy and consideration, thinking that I had burst into tears and left the day before because of having lost someone dear to me on that flight. Of course, after realizing that was what they thought, I found it impossible to let them know that it was my cat that was lost. To this day none of my Ministry of Culture colleagues know about that.

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