It was possible I was being scammed, I told myself, but very unlikely I would be kidnapped or hurt or robbed. That kind of thing really didn’t happen much in Egypt.

Before stopping to see the pyramids, we stopped at various “panoramas”, as Mahmoud called them, where I could take pictures. I could think of little I wanted less than an image of the pyramids befouled by my grungy presence, but when Mahmoud did what was clearly his job as he saw it and asked for my phone and photographed me, I didn’t fight it.


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