Sunday, August 07, 2016

Cairo Jews are down to six women

 Egypt's Jewish community has lost another member with the death of Lucy Saul last week. This brings to six the number of Jewish women in Cairo. (There are purportedly five other Jews in Alexandria). This announcement by Egypt Independent is effusive in its praise for the remaining Jews and their  compliant leader Magda Haroun ( called 'Magda Tania' here).  It has a dig at the HSJE, which has been campaigning for Egypt's movable heritage to be shipped out of the country. 

 The library at the Shaare Shamayim synagogue: Magda Haroun has 'given away' the books to Egypt

The number of women in Egypt's Jewish community shrank to just six on Friday, when the death of Lucy Saul was announced by the community leader on social media.

Magda Tania, Head of the Jewish community in Egypt, announced the loss of the cherished member of the petering community saying, "I will miss you Lucy. We have become just six women.”

“Everybody knew Lucy and her love and interest in the field of cinema," read Tania's statement. "She was determined to attend film festivals and exhibitions of the visual arts”. Tania also celebrated Lucy's insatiable appetite for learning, having been known to speak Arabic, French, English, and Italian fluently.

Great swathes of the community left Egypt in the years following the fall of the monarchy, when the country entered into a series of wars with Israel and President Gamel Abdel Nasser began a policy of expulsion. By the end of the 6th October War in 1973, wrote the New York Times, the community had been reduced to just a couple of hundred people.

The community has fought hard over the years to defend the remnants of Egypt's rich Jewish heritage. Though depleted in numbers and dwindling with age, the community has proved itself a force to be reckoned with over the years. The late president of the Jewish Community Council of Cairo, Carmen Weinstein, had many iconic Egyptian-Jewish monuments restored, and successfully fended off the attempts of an American Jewish group backed by congress to transfer a number of artifacts to the US during the 1990's, the New York Times wrote following her death three years ago.

Read article in full 

 'People of the Book' lose books to Egypt

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