My friend ahmed and i
Book chapter, 2017
Ahmed and I were close - at least that is what I always felt - he called me his big brother (I was one year his senior). While I was more direct about most things, even personal matters, he was generally more difficult to read and, everybody I know agrees, intrinsically quite private. However, we shared the same sense of humor and the same curious, I would say almost childlike, mindset when approaching scientific problems - though his was that of a genius. Ahmed was, despite his deeper felt reservation, very social, with an eye for everybody, whether a janitor or a Nobel laureate. To really see people is something I think I learnt very much from him and indeed find very important in life. His social ability was always combined with humor: I remember many a good laugh together. At the same time, he was reflective and a deep philosopher - often finding scholarly parallels with ancient Egyptian or Greek science….