Arrows from the Bow of Exile

Wednesday, January 14, 2015 | Algiers, Algeria (map)

"You shall leave everything you love most: this is the arrow that the bow of exile shoots first. You are to know the bitter taste of others' bread, how salty it is, and know how hard a path it is for one who goes ascending and descending others' stairs."
Background photo by author, in Casbah of Algiers.
Life in North Africa can feel far from home and its many comforts. On the tough days—of which there are many—I sometimes recall this quote I came across last year from Paradiso, the third volume of Dante's Divine Comedy. Somehow, I draw strength from the words, perhaps because they are a reminder that the daily difficulties of life abroad are inevitable, and have always been so.

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