Edmond Jabès was an Egyptian Jewish writer who fled to Paris after the Suez Crisis. His best known work is The Book of Questions. He was made an officer of the French Legion of Honor in 1986.
"It is very hard to live with silence. The real silence is death and this is terrible. To approach this silence, it is necessary to journey to the desert. You do not go to the desert to find identity, but to loses it, to lose your personality, to be anonymous. You make yourself void. You become silence. You become more silent than the silence around you. And then something extraordinary happens: you hear silence speak."