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Mohammed Massoud Morsi

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Ash

Sprinkled

I was invited to a 5 course fancy dinner. Two sets of everything, had never seen anything like it. It was extravagant; a company treat. The waiter was acting very quaint with a hand behind his back, served us an in-between snack of some sort of melted exquisite cheese, sprinkled with ash. He didn’t mention where the ash came from. I hadn’t even tasted it and I remembered this moment, across the world, in Cambodia, looking down at Boupha sucking her finger; covered in a fine layer of ash coming from the chimney of the brick making factory. Burning hard wood. We were all covered in ash, it got in our ears, nose, eyes and any surface it could attach itself to. By the end of the day it had deafened my taste buds and my breathing was affected. I was documenting the lives of the people, not just working but also living with them. It was slavery, a short life. In reality not worthy of any life. The taste was delicious, but somehow I couldn’t really sink the combination properly. I was served the ash.

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