I'm having trouble working out exactly what is going on in this sentence from Naguib Mahfouz's Awlād Ḥāratinā. The speaker is talking about his work writing up complaints and so on for the largely illiterate people of his quarter of Cairo, and he says: وعلى كثرة المتظلمين الذين يقصدونني فإن عملي لم يستطع أن يرفعني عن المستوى العام للمتسولين في حارتنا, إلى ما أطلعني عليه من أسرار الناس وأحزانهم حتى ضيق صدري وأشجن قلبي. I understand the gist of this sentence - his work doesn't provide him with the financial means to rise above the level of the quarter's beggars, but he does learn all about the 'secrets and sadnesses' of the people, until his heart is saddened and his chest narrowed (though I suspect this ضيق is intended idiomatically, like ضاق بـ). What I don't really understand is what إلى ما is doing here. Looking it up in dictionaries finds only an interrogative 'to what' (apparently spelt إلام). My translation as it stands would run like this: '(Even) with the great number of unfortunates who sought me out, my work was unable to raise me above the general level of the beggars in our quarter, ??? it taught me of the secrets of the people and their sadnesses, until my chest was narrowed and my heart saddened.' Edit: oh and in case it helps, I'm reading it like this (possibly I've misread a word and this explains my confusion although I don't think so): wa-3alaa kuthrati l-muta6'allimiina l-ladhiina yaq9iduuna-nii fa-2inna 3amal-ii lam yasta6i3 2an yarfa3a-nii 3an il-mustawaa l-3aammi li-l-mutasawwiliina fii 7aarati-naa, 2ilaa maa 2a6la3a-nii 3alay-hi min 2asraari n-naasi wa-2a7zaani-him 7attaa 9'iiqa 9adr-ii wa-2ushjina qalb-ii. But what exactly is إلى ما doing here? Thanks!