Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Victor Sanua z''l - a key voice of Egyptian Jewry
The Egyptian-Jewish and Sephardi communities have lost an important voice. Victor D Sanua, PhD, passed away after a long illness. His funeral took place on 13 July in Brooklyn, USA.
Shelomo Alfassa writes: "Victor was proudly a Jew from Egypt who grew up speaking French, Ladino, Hebrew and Arabic. His family was from Spain 500 years ago, but moved to Italy and later settled in Istanbul. He grew up in Cairo. His name Sanua means 'modest' in Hebrew, and that is what he was. He dedicated his life to educating politicians and everyday people on the persecution against Jews in Egypt and their forced departure.
"Victor Sanua was Research Professor in the Department of Psychology at St. John's University and the President of the International Association of Jews from Egypt (IAJE). He was also a dear friend and neighbor, and I, like so many others, will miss him very much."
Dr Sanua was a prolific writer and fount of invaluable knowledge on Egyptian Jewry. His Guide to Egyptian Jewry in the Mid-Twentieth Century was a compilation of newsletters written for the IAJE - reviews, comment, photographs - some smuggled out of Egypt - conference papers and a dozen articles. His work is all the more precious in view of the fact that the Jewish community archives in Egypt remain off-limits to the descendants of Egyptian Jews.
You can read three of his articles online here, here and here.