The Birth of an Idea

As a child, my attention was drawn to a commercial on Egyptian television in the form of a short animated film set to beautiful music and lyrics. It was modeled on a simple fairy tale of a young prince who fell in love with a beautiful young princess, and the only way for him to win her heart was to obtain a small treasure hidden in a cave in a remote part of the land, the road to which was lined with all sorts of risks. The treasure was in fact nothing but a 'bottle of perfume' called "kismet", a word that in Arabic means "destiny". At that time, I did not know anything about the 'Book of Thoth', the ancient book of learning which the Egyptians attributed to ‘Thoth’, the god of wisdom who brought the arts of civilisation to humankind. The ‘book of Thoth’, according to legend was in fact lost and never recovered.

I did not envisage too, that one day I would become a psychiatrist- one of those who claim to have some understanding of the human soul (Psyche in Greek). 'Psyche' was driven by curiosity to know the nature of her lover ‘Eros’, and in her pursuit of such knowledge, 'light' was necessary to see through the ‘darkness’ of the night that envelops him. This is the journey of the soul in her quest to gain the sum of knowledge that is hidden inside, the inner vision or "insight" that guides us all out of darkness to the shores of wisdom.

The same journey took me to that part of Egypt where my father is buried and wisdom was born. It took me to Hermopolis, the place where "being" is seen as perpetual "becoming" and the knowledge of yesterday is nothing but a well of inspiration for tomorrow.

Dr. Mervat Abdel Nasser, Founder of New Hermopolis