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 – CXXX. My Education – (6 of 13)


Before I talk of my secondary years, let me tell you about the love of my life: Reading.

My parents were voracious readers and we had a well-stocked library. I could hardly wait for the day when I could read many books which were reserved for me when I grew up.

I was 8 when I read my first book: “Un Bon Petit Diable.” (A Good-Hearted Little Rascal) by la Comtesse De Segur (at the time a well-known children author). How I loved this book and other that followed. I can still see myself as a child curled up with a good book. It was as if I was swallowed in a different world; a magic kingdom filled up by the characters of the book I was reading.

Monsieur Doyen, who was to become my French teacher in 4th primary, was in charge of the school’s library. Really, the “library” was a small glass bookcase situated in Mr. D.’s class. At most there were 150 books there. But they were important books, the kind that imparted the knowledge every child should have at the onset. There were biographies such as Christopher Columbus and Galileo. Robinson Crusoe. The Travels of Gulliver. French translations of some of Dickens’ books. Some of Victor Hugo’s books. Greek and Roman mythologies books. The Thousand and One Night. And many others.  Doyen proudly referred to his books by saying: “Il sont triés sur le volet.” It roughly translated into: “They are carefully chosen.” And they were. Monsieur Bonin, the principal, and Monsieur Doyen had chosen them with an eye on their mission: Spread the French language (although many of these books were translations from English books).

When my mom eventually met Mr. D., he “complained” to her that I had read all the library’s books, and that he had no longer any reading material for me! This was, of course, an exaggeration, but I had certainly read all the books I had coveted.

At the beginning, of course, I read in French only. I was 13 when, during my summer vacations, I asked Micho (who, as already mentioned, was educated in an English school) to lend me one of his English books. He handed me “A Tale of Two Cities!” Needless to say, I quickly gave up on my good intentions to read in English. Towards the end of the summer, Micho urged me to try another book, “The Swiss Family Robinson.” I did, and quickly made up my peace with the English language. Later on, I would read more and more in English. Today, I am comfortable reading in either language.

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