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 – CLXXXV. A Return Visit (14 of 15)


The city that enchanted me during my childhood was, needless to say, going to be included in my return visit. This trip was going to allow me to relive the magic that was Alexandria. The only sight I visited there was The Greco-Roman Museum.

Planning for this voyage didn’t prove easy. I first went to a well-known travel agency; I can’t say that the service was poor, it was simply non-existent! After waiting 20 minutes for the staff to eat a substantial Egyptian breakfast, I left.

At the entrance to the building was a security guard; I decided to seek his help. I told him that the staff at the travel agency was very busy and that I was in a rush to book my trip. He asked where I was going and I told him. Next he informed that he had to check some books in the back, and disappeared. I knew what that meant. I took a few bills and kept them in my hand. When he came back, he glanced at the cash and told me that he knew of a very good travel agency. He gave me the name and address. I then handed him the money to “buy a dress for his little daughter for the next mouled (fair or celebration).”

The lady that assisted me in that travel agency spoke a fluent “Egyptian French.” She booked me for a hotel which was both very nice and moderately priced. Regarding transportation, the bus, while not ideal, was still the fastest and cheapest way to get there.

The bus terminal was very chaotic, and you risked life and limbs to cross the streets to get there.

The distance between Cairo and Alexandria is about 225 kilometers, but the way the driver drove you have thought that it was a faraway trip. His driving (really all drivers on the highway) was wild. The good news was that I survived!

The bus included an attendant who catered to the needs of the passengers and prepared you a coffee; except for the children, everybody had a coffee. There was also pastries and sandwiches, and everything was reasonably priced.

The bus itself was very comfortable, and the driver put nice Arabic music for the benefit of the passengers.

The hotel was by the sea and I had a seaview during my stay. The bed was comfortable and the service attentive; baksheesh had to be handed right and left for as I was told at the reception, “the staff here makes very little money.” But it was worth it. I have a very good memory of the time I spent there.

The first item on the agenda was to revisit Stanley Bey where uncle Maurice had his cabin. I obtained the necessary information to get there. I had predisposed myself for major changes, but nothing could have prepared me for what I found out.

There was a tiny and empty beach. That’s all! But Stanley Bey used to have cabins on three levels, a large beach, and a vast portion of the sea with three distinct bays. What happened to all that? Can 40 years make so much difference? I asked a passing lady to confirm that this indeed was Stanley Bey. Yes, it was; or rather what’s left of it.

Next, I decided to walk along the corniche. Obviously, I had not learned my lesson. All the stations along the corniche were obscured by low buildings, club houses as it were. You could barely see the beach let alone the sea. Where was, Ramleh, Ibrahmia, Cleopatra, Sporting, Shatby, and all the other stations? They were still there, but I could no longer see them from the corniche.

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