Friday, 11 December 2009

2. Extaday. A childhood in Cairo 1939-1949 (The Jasmine Necklace II)

The second book of the trilogy is our story as seen through the eyes of a child.
Two wars contributed to the demise of the Jewish Community in Egypt.
1948: the birth of the State of Israel and the war that ensued breaking up our established and happy life. We paid very harshly for the foundation of that state.
A good part of those who saw no future in Egypt for Jews, rejoined Israel.
Thus our 80.000 strong community shrunk by half.
In between that war and the Suez Canal War there was also another war, WW2.

It was a very happy period for me as a child in spite of the war.
Living at the Extaday Hotel with the Americans as part of our life was exhilarating.
The raids when we all had to rush for shelter four floors downwards were also part of my contentment.
The hotel was a vast playground and my constant battles with boys a mammoth joy for me.
My day-to-day adventures as a very boisterous child convinced my parents I should be tamed.
They sent me to a nun’s school and that is how I was almost tamed.
But you know what the French say: Chassez le naturel et il revient au galop!”


  1. Rhéa Amelon Valascakis28 January 2010 at 07:00

    Un mot de notre enfance, doux et précis. C’est le Naguid Maafooz de la rue de Rivoli (ex-rue Fouad) au Caire, remplit de souvenirs cosmopolites toujours vivant dans notre esprit, et ce depuis cette époque bénie.
    « Extaday » j’ai adoré.

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