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Jean's Blog (Check out links to Guest Blogs in lefthand Column)

Echoes of a past and intimations of a future

My parents on their honeymoon in Luxor in 1937
In 1937, my parents, Guido Mosseri and Joyce Smouha, were married in the Nebi Daniel synagogue, in Alexandria, Egypt. The synagogue was ablaze with flowers and candles and packed with relatives and guests. So it was with a gathering sadness that I read a recent blog in Tablet Magazine (see my biography page for the link) and learned that a handful of elderly Jews -all that was left in Egypt from a community 80,000 strong - will in fact be deprived of a rabbi and cantor and do not have enough men for a minyan as we approach the High Holidays. Rosh Hashana services will not be performed in Egypt in 2012, probably the first time in 2000 years.
As Egyptians riot in self-righteous clamor in the name of insults to their faith, and Libyans commit murder in the name of outraged religious fervor, I am struck by the irony lived by the Egyptian Jews, last guardians of their past, elderly, vulnerable, and unable to rise above the menace that surrounds them.
And what of the Coptic Christians? They who claim to possibly be descended from the Pharaonic splendors of old? Their churches are burned and their populations suffer silently in fear of exile from the only country that holds their roots.
Why is there not more clamor? Human values are at issue here. The Middle East hosts a war that destroys history and leaves the Arab lands in economic chaos, unable to fill the void they themselves have caused. This virus will not die, and it will compromise everything we hold dear unless an antidote is found soon.  Read More 
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1956-2012: We meet again in London and remember.

56 years later, Jean signing Brian Massey's book in London
Lost in wonder, we talk about the days when he was an earnest small boy, and I was his teacher, in a world we all invented to guide us to unknown worlds that lay ahead. Brian also brought a book about heroes that I had given him as an award for hard work, and he told me that it had been one of his favorite books growing up. I looked at the message Jean Mosseri had written carefully onto the flyleaf of his prize, then at his smiling face, then at the words Jean Naggar had just written into his early copy of SIPPING FROM THE NILE that had brought us back together after all these years, and I marveled at the ways of fate and destiny. Read More 
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Once Upon a Time

In 1956, Jackie Frescoe, Brian Massey and Susan Mosseri stood in a garden in Cairo with their teacher
In 1956, I took the teaching of three nine-year-olds very seriously, and filled the year when none of us could attend outside studies with cultural tidbits, general knowledge, spelling tests, and as much discipline as I could muster.
I never heard from Jackie Fresco or Brian Massey after we all left Egypt and settled in various distant countries, while our parents tried to darn our lives back into meaning.
Many years later I wrote a memoir for my grandchildren. It grew wings and flew out into a wider world, and on its travels it came into the hands of an attorney living and working in London, a grandfather himself.
One thing led to another, and finally to a memorable meeting in London in early August of 2012, where my husband and I spent three days on our way back to the States after a magical 50th anniversary trip that began in the Florentine hills of Italy.
Brian Massey, his little sister Corinne and his lovely wife Lili met with us at our hotel, and we wondered at the twists and turns that our lives had taken to bring us to this moment. Read More 
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