We were there for the sake of words. Words written by some in Europe about others in Asia. There was power embedded in those words – power to change Europe, power to arrange Asia. Ours was often a contentious gathering. Some believed, perhaps rightfully, that those days were long gone when locating words into histories and geographies shaped those geographies and histories. Others weren’t convinced. Every day, from 10 to 6, we would gather at the AUC campus and listen, or speak, about the philology of our historical work (and sometimes the other way around). There were lots of different texts which were shared, and talked about. After, we would be free to roam about. Even away from work, I kept seeing text everywhere. Here are some of those photos of Cairo (also from Alexandria, where we visited a rare manuscript collection).