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 – CXXVII. My Education – (3 of 13)


On Rue Tour Sina, within walking distance of my paternal grandparents, was a school, L’Ecole Keyroub. This school started with kindergarten. And that it were I was sent early in 1943 at the age of 6. The idea was to introduce me gradually to the school system, for by October 1943, I was expected to begin school in earnest. But, to no one’s surprise, things didn’t work well at all.

At the beginning, I cried everyday. More than once, the school’s janitor had to take me back to my grandparents. On one occasion, I wouldn’t go with the janitor, and my grandfather had to come down and fetch me. I am told that a month went by before I calmed down. However, that didn’t mean that I madeĀ  peace with the school system; when I was asked if I liked school, I responded with a frightening passion that I hated it. What was happening in kindergarten was a harbinger of things to come.

I was given origami paper, it came in different colors, and the teacher showed us what we could do with it. Other kids embraced the concept, but not me; I found it frustrating and the origami sessions resulted in tears and hysteria. (Origami is an ancient Japanese art of folding paper. You can make a paper plane, a boat, birds, etc. Origami paper comes in different colors and is fairly thin to facilitate folding).

Playdough? I found it boring and refused to use it. Paper and colored pencils? Yes, I loved it, but the signs were clear, I would never be an artist! Story time? My favorite. The teacher was also partial to this activity for she had a pliant class. Sing-song? I could live with it, but here again, it was clear that a career in music was totally out of the question!

Most of that period was spent by my grandparents. Early in June, I was shipped to Alexandria. Thus, for most of 1943, my parents were given a reprieve. But the question hang in the air: What would happen in October? (Because Egypt is a hot country, summer vacation runs from the end of June to the end of September. School resumes in October. Same thing for university).

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