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Hedonistic Cairo

Reader comment on item: "Cairo and the Age of the Hedonists"

Submitted by Maurice Picow (Israel), Nov 25, 2006 at 11:30

I wouldn't count on Cairo returning to those earlier days during the reign of the decadent King Farouk, when upscale Egyptians in both Cairo and the seaside resort city of Alexandria tried to copy sheek Europeans, and a young Egyptian actor, Mohamad Omar Shareef , had yet to be discovered by Hollywood.

My wife came from that culture, along with nealry 80,000 Egyptian Jews, most of whom spoke French as their first language and only Arabic on the 'street'. All this changed, however, with the rise of Gamal Abdul Nasser and Pan Arabism; and came to an abrupt end in 1956 following the Sinai Campaign war with Israel and the Anglo-French alliance.

My wife and her famly were unceremoniously expelled from Egypt, with only 7 days to 'dispose' of all their possessions, including property. They wound up in France as near-penniless refugees, and from there, went to Israel. Egyptian Jews, are other non-Arab Egyptians had largely been responsible for this earlier Egyption 'Europeanism' which faded out even faster following the assassination of President Anwar Sadat, following his peace treaty with Israel.

Islamic fundamentalism, responsible for Sadat's death and numerous acts of terroriam against foreign tourists, has also been responsible for many acts of international terrorism as well, including the September 11, 2001 Al-Qaeda attacks against America, in which some of the terrorists came from Egypt. The Egypt of today, in which many women in Cairo dress in traditional fundalmentalist Islamic garb (many are also veiled), is a far cry from those more romantic days of the early to mid 1950's. The possiblily of Cairo ever returning to a more Western oriented life style is also very doubtful, as Islamic influence is increasing in Egypt and other countries world-wide.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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