Cairo in November of 2001 was the right place at the right time for me. It broadened my world view, and I felt, really, like I was a small part of the Great Cycle of Beautiful, a feeling I haven't lost.
Zahi is a great, larger than life figure, during the two weeks I was there my pervading memory of him was talking on two telephones at once, one in Arabic and the other in English while people brought him things to sign or look at.
He asked me if I liked what I was doing, and I said I loved my job. "That is not enough," he replied, and then went on to say:
"Do not say, I have a small job. If you give your passion to any job—if you are fixing cars or are a librarian or anything—you can make a small job the most important job on Earth, if you give it your passion. Love is not enough, because you can love anything. But passion is the most important thing.... I gave my passion to archaeology."
It was some time during those magic days in that antique land that I understood passion for what I was doing. Zahi may or may not find Cleopatra and Mark Anthony -- but he was right about that.