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massimousai@mac.com

How to feel eternally away from home. Even when you thought you found the house where all your escape attempts stopped.

How to feel eternally away from home. Even when you thought you found the house where all your escape attempts stopped.

A personal reflection starting from a nobel prize author and his words


Naguib Mahfouz was an Egyptian writer. One of the important ones.

The only Arabic-language writer to have won the Nobel Prize. It happened in 1988.

He was a writer of which I have read little to date. Anyway, there are some of his sentences that have become a symbol and a way of thinking.

I have to read his books or some of them.

I need to read more books of him because at the basis of his philosophy there is this quote:

In all my writings, you will find politics. You may find a story which ignores love or any other subject, but not politics; it is the very axis of our thinking.

I also can’t avoid politics in my words. Although I’m certainly not a writer.

At least not one of the “real ones” who write books and win the Nobel Prize.

But today, inspiration comes from Naguib Mahfouz because he said a phrase that has become an icon, one of those phrases that end up on Pinterest or on Instagram frequently.

“Home is not where you were born. Home is where all your attempts to escape cease.”

Naguib Mahfouz

I spent 20 years in England, and for 17 years, I stopped planning trips. Every day I got up, went to work, and it was a journey for me.

You know fate is mocking, don’t you?

When I left Italy, in search of a new home in England, I landed tired and in a lousy mood. This was because ‘I no longer felt’ the place where I lived as what they had to give me the feeling that the escape was over.”

I was a stone’s throw from the most famous tennis courts in the world. My house had a view in the back on a green garden.

From the front window, I could see children of every colour and religion every day, go to the nearby school and immediately my daughter also attended that school.

It was a journey, an experience, even accompanying her to school.

But after 17 years, an episode, a kind of political atomic bomb. A mark on a ballot paper changed everything.


So what used to be my “Home” is much less now. My escape attempts to continue, waiting to find the house from which I will no longer have to escape.



Massimo Usai
Massimo Usai

Associate of British Freelance Photography



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