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 – CXXIII. Alexandria – My Vacations (9 of 10)

When the state of Israel came into being in the spring of 1948, Egypt went to war against the young nation. The whole thing angered the Egyptian people and they turned their wrath against the Jews of Egypt.

This tense situation was not conducive to planning a vacation. And so we stayed in Cairo for the next two years.

I have very fond memories of those summers. While it was hot as hell, it gave us a chance to explore and really get to know Cairo.

Mom took us to museums and gardens. She took us to the Museum of Egyptian antiquities, a huge museum which cannot be fully covered and appreciated unless you devote a lot of time to it.

She also took us to the Museum of Agriculture which I loved for it showed the plants that were sustaining the Egyptian nation, and the history of agriculture from antiquity to the present period.

We went a few times to the Zoo, an amazing place, for Cairo had at the time one of the most extensive collection of animals in the world.

Another favorite was Le Jardin (garden) Moor. At the time, it was a beautiful garden designed as the Moors designed their gardens in those faraway times when they governed Spain and Portugal.

However, by far, my favorite was the Aquarium. It had a comprehensive collection of fish. I love water and fish, and once I stood to admire an exhibit, it was difficult to get me moving again. The exhibits were part of a beautiful garden, and in the middle of this garden was a huge pond full of fish and frogs.

One day when we were at the Aquarium, I talked my mother into buying us 2 Leibovitchs. The cry of the vendor, “Leibovitch, Leibovitch be ta’arifa,” proved irresistible. But what is a Leibovitch? It is a small clay vessel with an elongated tip at one end, and an opening in the middle, sort of like a tiny teapot. You fill it with water and blow at the tip, it produced bird-like sounds. And it was cheap, for a ta’arifa or 5 cents. It’s nice to hear it for a while, but eventually it proved to be too taxing for my parents, and the 2 Leibovitchs mysteriously vanished! (Why was it called a Leibovitch? Is it the name of the inventor? Or perchance they were manufactured by the Leibovitch Company? I never did find out; I was too young to care)

During those Cairo vacations, we went more often to movies and restaurants. We frequented more the Ezbekiah garden where you can dine and see a movie.

The Ezbekiah was a large garden in the center of Cairo. If you allow me to grossly exaggerate, I will compare it to Central Park in New York!

At times, I went to the Ezbekiah and other gardens with my friends.

By far my favorite occupation was to buy old French books from resellers who were all around the perimeter of the Ezbekiah garden. The books were supposed to be read sometimes in the future (my own intention), but as soon as I got home I started devouring them. Thus, before I knew it, I was back at the Ezbekiah to buy more books.

I realize today that the charm of this period was in our togetherness; for the first time during our vacations, the four of us were by ourselves; thus we got a chance to know each other better.

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