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Elizabeth Thornhill,
Cultural Attache of the American Embassy

24-sep-03, evening

Around 6:30 PM we take a long ride to the Maadi district, a wealthy enclave. The neighborhood has many security checkpoints with armed guards. We reach the home of Elizabeth Thornhill, Cultural Attache of the American Embassy. It's a charming house built in 1935. She is giving a party in our honor.

The party is a buffet on her back lawn, with no alcohol served. (We are "dry" for the whole trip.) We meet and chat with a number of Egyptian intellectuals, some of whom we've met before. The food is excellent, with mostly local dishes and Egyptian "street food".

I meet the founder of Islam Online, a psychotherapist whose wife is Dr. Heba Raouf, who so impressed us this afternoon at Cairo University. I discover that psychotherapy, as taught in Egypt, is behaviorism and medication. "Talk" therapy is not taught and is not available here. He is quite surprized when I mention that many American therapists practice and recommend meditation; the connection is not obvious to him.

Barbara talks with Dr. Magd of the League of Arab States. He is married to a Roman Catholic woman, and previously was married to a Protestant. He is a charming man in this social setting.

Bashar gives a short talk to the party, explaining our mission. He is clearly exhausted, and I seriously fear that he'll fall over.

Barbara talks to an American woman who is married to a Palestinian and lives on the West Bank. She has been to more than 100 funerals. Everyone knows someone who has been killed. An elderly man, shot dead by Israeli soldiers when he looked over the edge of his roof at a disturbance below, was her husband's uncle.

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