I asked Amun to bless and protect her. You are a man of peace. When I saw you I felt that you were his match. But your son, “What is death, Meri-Ra?” he asked. Akhenaten was left to die, bitter and alone. When I recounted my experience to him, he grimaced and said, ‘You must be examined by Bento, the physician.’ I replied politely that I was in good health. We became so familiar with them that we knew their names and faces and professions. “Will you accept my friendship?” he asked. “Now you can hear the whole truth.”. Then, while the prince was still away, some grave events took place. Overwhelmed by the intensity of his memories, the high priest was silent for a while. “Now it is time for the other part. Thus the throne used the priests to curb each other, and the king and queen monopolized power in the country. He fought against the most powerful and resourceful men, the priests. “Bento,” he asked, “can you help us bear a son?”, “Do you believe in the sorcery of the priests?”. Ay recounted the details of their return to Thebes, the grand entombment ceremony, and the crowning of the prince on the throne of Egypt. At the beginning of her marriage, Tiye faced some difficulties. The women rightly guessed her real motive. We knew that in his reign something of grave significance was bound to happen; we were frightened to predict what it might be. Even after our marriage, I felt the weight of her shackles. He had a tender yet penetrating look that made a deep impression on me. Is there another heir?”. When all the other priests had left, Toto said, “Perhaps you can discuss the matter with Chief Commander Mae.”, “Toto,” I replied earnestly, recognizing the danger in his allusion, “we cannot defy King Amenhotep III and the Great Queen Tiye.”. Maho gave in to his grief and remained silent. We gave him time to consider our counsel. Akhenaten would wake up in the darkness of the early morning hours. I was ushered into a small, elegant room. I believe that Akhenaten knew that they were not sincere. I wondered how I would reply if he ever asked me, “Do you love me, Nefertiti?” I knew I could not find the courage to lie to him. “How unfortunate. My faith in my gods was never shaken. He had intended to confront his people and the rebels alone. Soon after my marriage to Amenhotep III his health began to deteriorate. I was encouraged by his strength of spirit, and my strength returned afresh. I continued, “I suspect that Queen Tiye and the sage Ay are behind all this. Likewise, when Nefertiti became queen, she chose Tey as one of her maids of honor and gave her the title of queen's matron. “I shall not leave my palace until death takes me.” She refused to say more. The first winds of trouble came with the death of the beloved princess Meketaten. After all, I was related to the pharaoh's family. Beyond common human experience, Akhenaten provides glimpses into a more specific cultural-historical context. “He will learn more of this life as he grows. I find that hard to swallow. Akhenaten drowned in a swamp of foolishness, and neglected his obligations to the throne, while our men and loyal allies were being massacred by the enemies of the empire. I was so distracted by his appearance that I could not utter a word. “Only the sun rises again after it has gone. I am his mother, and he loves me above all else,” she said proudly. Perhaps Nefertiti was a final proof of the role Ay played in the tragedy; she was the product of her father's flaws. Before we see the light of your land. But she failed to climb onto the other ship in time.”, I visited Maho in his village in south Thebes. “I am in excellent health,” he said calmly. “He creates, and He destroys. The maturity of his mind, in one so young and delicate, made a deep impression on me. One day I said, “I believe in your God.”, “Rejoice!” he cried. Why did God forsake him? He came to watch and learn, and he engaged us in conversation with such friendliness that we soon forgot he was a member of the pharaoh's family. Then she tried to gain the friendship of the priests to secure herself a place in the new era. The priests had gathered a mob of their followers and they stood outside the temple calling the name of Amun. The once glorious streets of Akhetaten had disappeared beneath heaps of dust and the dried leaves of withered trees. I was extremely happy with our friendship. But when fate is in command, we become helpless spectators. When I found out that I had given birth to a girl I was overcome with grief. He was something in between. Queen Nefertiti was quiet, her sweet voice stilled. Instead, he prayed constantly like a priest, and read like a sage. My husband had been his tutor since he was a boy, so we got to hear a lot about him. That was Akhenaten, who rejected the old ways and was fascinated by novelty. His grandfather, Tuthmosis III, had established an empire that surpassed all others in its vastness and the multitude of its peoples. On the way from Thebes with his father, the scribe Amunhoben points out the ruins of Akhetaten, the city that the "heretic pharaoh" Akhenaten built for his One and Only God. “You will never accuse me of meekness hereafter, Father, for I am swept by a sacred desire, strong as the northern winds, a desire to know the truth and record it, as you did in the prime of your youth,” declares Meriamun, the protagonist of Nobel Prize-winning Naguib Mahfouz’s novel Akhenaten: Dweller in Truth. “The enemies of the empire have crossed our borders,” Nakht said. “And I have built myself a tomb for the hereafter.”, He sighed. “Your name is Nefertiti?” she said. “You must never doubt that,” I replied earnestly. So he sacrificed everything, without ever losing the smile on his face. I doubted his sanity, and in time I was proven right. Many times we were betrayed in return for our generosity, but Akhenaten never lost heart. He grants and dispossesses, aids and forsakes. I waited patiently, until at last he laced his fingers and rested his hands in his lap. “You and I have known each other for a very long time, Ay,” he said. That was not true, Meriamun. Then my mother said, ‘All we ask of you is to honor and respect a holy duty. Relieve your conscience of its burden and do what is expected of a man in your position.”. 2. Again, their offer was rejected. He talked at length about the wrath of the gods and the fate of the empire. Abashed, I lowered my gaze, and remained silent. “You do not seem happy, my daughter,” he said with a smile and a keen look. I watched Nefertiti curiously, to see if her attention was drawn to anyone in particular. Record it faithfully. The king was entranced, his face beaming with ecstasy. He grasped my hand firmly and said, “Haremhab, you are a man of many merits. He would be convinced that I had betrayed him, but at least his life would be saved. Akhenaten, Dweller in Truth is a novel written and published by Nobel Prize-winning Egyptian author Naguib Mahfouz in 1985. He fought for the happiness of people, as his God commanded him. I met with Maho, the chief of police, and asked him to step up security, particularly among the cooks in the palace. She meant to deprive me of my husband when I was going to deliver my child at any moment. I invited him several times to join me in my favorite sport, hunting. “Their power is no less than that of an army,” I warned him. “My father will not forgo his desire to make me a warrior, Meri-Ra,” he complained. The truth is that she wanted him to be abreast of all religions. “God is one and has no partner,” I replied. “You must have heard a lot of tales about Akhenaten and me,” she said. I'm sure they killed him and made out he had died a natural death. In the past, they had heard about pharaohs without ever seeing them, but now the image of Akhenaten and Nefertiti in their public appearances became engraved on their memories forever. The people of Akhenaten could be anyone, for while history changes, moral dilemmas do not. Meri-Ra was once the high priest of the One and Only God in Akhetaten, the city of light. “What about Nefertiti, Chief Commander? “Your faces betray bad news,” Akhenaten said. To understand thelife and rule of the infamous Akhenaten, Meriamun travels throughout Egypt with a letter of introduction from his father and interviews fourteen people closely associated with Akhenaten, including a high priest, relatives, friends, harem member, advisers, and the former queen herself, Nefertiti. I prepared myself for holy war, and was ready to sacrifice everything for the sake of Amun and my country. His spirit engulfed me and filled me with so much light that I expected God might speak to me as he had spoken to him. Perhaps I was unable to resist his tender, delicate emotions and his charm. The book ends with only two real conclusions—Meriamun is certain of his “growing fondness for the hymns of the One God, and [his] profound love for the beautiful Nefertiti” (172)1.

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