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Nede Emara

by The Administrator last modified Jan 20, 2008 16:18


United States




****@bellsouth.net

Barbara, a relative loaned me "Virgins of Paradise" last night, and I could not put it down until I finished it. You have done incredible research. I was married to an Egyptian for 32 years, and am now married to another and can relate to everything you narrate including the changes in Egypt during the last 36 years. When I first visited Egypt in 1973, it was for my mother in law's funeral. She was a passenger of a Libyan plane shot down by the Israelis. Visiting Cairo at age 23 during the war and for a funeral, was a culture shock. During other trips, we enjoyed Cairo as a very progressive and somewhat cosmopolitan city. When I returned 5 years ago, I was really surprised to find so many of the women veiled. I wish that I had read a book like this one 36 years ago. At least I may have been able to understand the culture a little better. I have read of all Naguib Mahfouz' books, read the "Yacoubian Building", and years ago I bought a Middle Eastern cookbook by Claudia Roden, full of anecdotes from the Jewish point of view, so reading about the Jewish family was like revisiting friends. As to the religious conflicts, my veterinarian in the US is a Copt named Dr. Mansour, although not Yacoub. Every time I visit him, he tells me horror stories about the Muslims, and every time I talk to Muslims, I hear horror stories about the Copts. My present husband was a soldier during the Israeli Egyptian conflict. He has a daughter from a European ex-wife, and nothing describes this girl's feelings more than we you wrote: "My mother and I were the only fair-haired ones in the family. We never did quite fit in, people would stare at us. I wondered if I could find a place among my mother's race...." Wow! I intend to read all your books, and in addition, will buy many copies of "Virgins of Paradise" to give away as gifts to my sons, to my step daughter and friends. I had never found a book that I could relate so much to. Your book is fabulous. Thanks!

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