Please note that this is pure movie version stuff and not based on the real events described in Seven Pillars. As one might expect, Hollywood took plenty of liberty with Lawrence's text just as I have taken liberties with David Lean's representations of Ali and Lawrence. This was originally written and posted to my LJ in March of 2004.

Ali and the Sands of Time

Those that do not live in the desert call it barren. They say it is a place without life. The English do not see the life before them in the sand. They see only emptiness because in the solitude of the desert they discover their souls are barren and without honor. It angers them and so they covet our desert like the Turks before them.

But Merciful Allah, his name be praised, is in all things. Even where the ground becomes so hot that to touch it will blister your skin, there is the Hand of God. Where there is the Hand of God there is life – to be given and taken away though Will and Law. The desert is the test of our faithfulness and those who pass shall find the paradise of the ancient gardens and the bounty of the Lord.

I met el Aurens at a well. It was Written - our meeting in that auspicious place. He called me barbarous and cruel. I thought him arrogant and condescending. Later he goaded me to Akaba with fifty men and blasphemed that Allah could not write his fate in the Book of Life.

In time, I wondered if he was right.

Aurens changed me. He molded me a different man than I once was. He was not like the other English. His hair and skin were fair like the others but his eyes and heart were not the same. When Aurens stood with me and faced the rising of the sun I saw in his eyes what I felt in my own heart – a longing for the sand and open spaces from which the prophets came; a yearning for the past of my people to become the grandeur of their future.

When we had passed through the sun's anvil together I burned his clothes and gave to him the robes of a Sharif. They were made for me by the hands of my grandmother -- white with golden trimmings in anticipation of the day when I would marry. I made the desert his bride that day and he made Arabia mine.

By turns I hated, resented, respected, loved, and feared Aurens. I cursed him. I desired him. I held him in my arms like a child after they broke him in Deraa. I tended him by my own hand and would let no other touch him. My heart bled for what they did to him – to his body and his spirit.

Once, I threw garlands at his feet. I told him one gave tribute to a prince and flowers to a man. Aurens said that he was neither and when I asked him what he was he told me, "I don't know." Perhaps he was a demon or a Jinn, I cannot say. Aurens was like the desert wind that blows hot, harsh, and full of passion -- he gathered men to him like grains of sand and flung them out to lash against the unworthy.

In the end, I became just another grain of sand.

He is gone now, my Aurens. He will never return to this desert. The Hand of God that led him to this land has revoked favor and he is no longer beloved by any but me. I wonder, when I stand and face the rising of the sun over the desert sands, if I shall see him again before I die. I should like to tell him, just once, that I loved him best of all.