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Just a quick note to say how happy I am to be part of MyFest, and in particular that this wonderful space is led by Maha Bali of the American University in Cairo. I was a professor at the AUC from 2020-2022 and found there to be a lot of structural inequity there. My own attempts to deal with this and frustration with it and unhealthy coping mechanisms ended in the disaster of being institutionalized in Cairo’s Behman psychiatric hospital. Most of my former friends withdrew temporarily or deserted me completely. In theory Behman tried to help me, but they mainly just medicated me heavily and refused to acknowledge or help me cope healthily with any of the issues that had put me there besides my unhealthy coping mechanism of heavy hashish use. In theory AUC admin tried to help me, but their main goal seems to have been to quarantine me away from the AUC community and prevent me from causing them any liability. Finally they fired me and I was forced to find work outside academia, first at Walgreens and most recently at Macy’s. Through all of this messy drama, Maha has helped to make me feel welcome and that my life is not a hopeless, irredeemable mess. It is so lovely to see someone at AUC leading the way on intentional equitable hospitality both externally and internally. And I see the evidence that her efforts are paying off in all kinds of unexpected places, such as AUC’s new TikTok account 😂 MashAllah!!!!