Equal Partners
by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners

By Roland Ezri

"Women are the backbone of all societies. They do a substantial part of the work, and play a major role in raising the future generation yet they are largely powerless. The decisions that count are made by men and foisted upon women."

Writings by Roland Ezri

The Second Exodus – Egypt – CIV. My Years at 12A Rue Khantaret Ghamra – Entertainment (30 of 30)

In the ’50s

By then I was already a young adolescent, but very far from being what we call today a party animal. I did go to parties when I was in Alexandria; it took a lot of arm-twisting, but at least I can report first-hand on the party scene in the 1950s.

The first piece of good news were the brilliant advances which took us from the mechanical turntable to the electric one. Another innovation was also introduced. The central rod on the record player was extended and machined in such a way that you could stack from 2 to 3 extra records; when one finished, the next one dropped. Thus, for some 10 glorious minutes you could dance without interruption.

Parents offered to prepare food for the party, but they were never taken up on their offer. I wouldn’t have been “cool” to eat food prepared by mommy! Instead, junk food was purchased by the party-goers. Of course, back then, the so called junk food was far superior than its equivalent today.

Many parties (but certainly not all) were unsupervised. The ones I went to were adults-free! Hormones could have free rein! Close dancing and cheek-to-cheek were the norm. Parents retained the right to drop in unexpectedly; but such heresy, to my knowledge, rarely took place.

Sooner or later, the party would turn into a tahsis party (an approximate translation would be “grope and feel”). The lights would be turned off in all the house except for one faraway room. I leave the rest to your imagination.

This then is how young people partied in this distant era. Great care had to be exercised for girls were expected to remain virgins. It would have been unthinkable for a man to marry and find out that his wife has previously been “sullied.”

Strict morals notwithstanding, people got married, had sex, and had children. As you can see, regardless of time and mores, the basic system introduced by the first male and female of the Homo Sapiens Genus remains unchanged!


1) Om Kalsoum: Legendary Singer and Mother of the Egyptian Nation. Andrea Nader

2) Umm Kulthum

3) Mohamed Abdel Wahab

4) Mohammed Abdel Wahab

5) Farid El Atrache – egyptian moviestars

6) Farid al-Atrash

7) Youssef Wahbi

8) Asmahan, The Golden Voice – Asmahan’s Profile From the biography written by A. Hachlef Translated by M. Stoffel Paris November 1988

9) Actors – Leila Mourad

10) Leila Mourad

11) Biography for Faten Hamama

12) Welcome To Shadia’s Official Website

13) Shadia

14) Actors-Sabah

15) Sabah (singer)

16) Ismail Yasin

17) Anniversary of Naguib El-Rihani, the Egyptian theater’s philosopher (1890-1949) Egypt, People, 6/9/2000

18) Egypt State Information Service Naguib El Rihani

19) Rewind: Naguib El Rehani Naguib El Rehani Heba Habib

20) Naguib el-Rihani

21) Ali al Kassar

22) Ali Al-Kassar

23) Elias Moadab

24) Badia Masabni

25) Badia Masabni – Belly Dance Forums

26) Orientalys La Danse Orientale

[The above French text was used as a source for Oriental Dancing (Belly Dancing) in general, and for belly dancers mentioned in specific in the preceding and upcoming text].

27) Samia Gamal – the queen of raqs sharki (oriental dancing) Samia Gamal

28) Samia Gamal

29) Tahia Carioca – Egyptian movie stars

30) Al-Ahram Weekly/ Culture Page/ Dancing to the rhythm of time (Re Tahia Carioca. The article was written shortly after her passing on September 20, 1999)

31) Naima Akef

32) Naima Akef – Egyptian movie stars

33) Naima Akef

34) The Vanished World of Egyptian Jewry (Re Tseppas)

35) Egypt Michael Haag (Re El Hatti) Google Books

36) Groppi of Cairo Samir Raafat June 15, 1996

37) Delices (A Landmark Patisserie & Cafe in Alexandria, Egypt)

38) AL-Ahram Weekly/ culture/ Alexandria of the heart’ mind (Re Pastroudis)

39) Trianon Review at Frommer’s

40) Al-Ahram Weekly/ Living Going Greek in Alexandria. Alexandria still enjoys a particular Greek flavor, Dina Ezzat (Re Patisserie Baudrot; Le Grand Trianon; Le Petit Trianon; Elite; Zephyrion; Hamos)

41) Al-Ahram/ Living Restaurant Review. Easy with the Ouzo, Gamal Nkrumah drinks in the Alexandrian view (Re Athineos)

42) Al-Ahram Weekly/ Bibliotheca Alexandria/ Madame Christina: A place apart, Hala Halim (Re Elite)

43) Alexandria still enjoys a particularly Greek flavor/ Egypt Then and Now (Re Zephyrion) particularly-greek-flavor/

44) Casino des Pigeons Restaurant

45) GARDEN CITY: A Retrospective, August 6, 1998 (Re Issaevitch).

[This a reader’s comment on an article on Garden City, an upscale area in Cairo. The reader, Clement Issaevitch, is reminiscing on the time when he used to live in Cairo, in the Garden City area; Clement is the son of one of the Issaevitch brothers].

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