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roof. I was getting ready to photograph this fantastic home when a tall, slightly built man
stepped out from under the arch of the doorway.
I said, "Buenos días."
He answered in English, "Good afternoon." I commented on the beauty of the building
and he said, "Step inside; it's cooler."
Inside was a piano, bar, art gallery. My host was Maher Naamanni, a Canadian. "Pro-
nounce it 'New Money,'" he said.
We sat in the cool bar. I gazed at the art, large paintings along the wall. He said his
favorite was The Carnival, a rich red modern art painting of a dancing, swirling woman by
Magalé. "It's a tragedy," he said, and then explained that Magalé underwent an operation
last year and a nerve was severed. "Left him paralyzed from the chest down."
There were five Magalé paintings on the wall. Each was painted in oil, in a different style.
It was an impressive collection.
I asked, "What brought you to Mexico?"
"An airplane," he said.
I guessed that he was tired of the question, and I laughed. "Naw, naw," I said, "what mo-
tivated you?"
"My father-in-law died." And then he told me his story.
Maher had been working for years, building up a business, putting all his time into making
it a success. "When my father-in-law died in 1988, he had five children. They loved him,
but within two weeks everything he had … everything, his car, his clothes, furniture …
everything was sold and the cash divided. It was as if he had never lived. Right then I
wanted to sell my business and do things that I liked. Six months later, I sold."
We talked of his experiences. “What do you like most about Mexico?" I asked
"Every day the sun comes up. Every morning, the same sun. In Montreal, it's pull back the
shade and ask, 'What's the weather like?' Here you know, in the morning it's sun."
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