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

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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The last Seder in Egypt

SEDER NIGHT in Egypt, 1957

The preparations for Passover went on for days as they had done for years in our large echoing house in Cairo. Carpets were marched out to the lawn outside the dining room window and beaten with flat bamboo beaters to eliminate the last crumb. My aunt Helen wielded her cane and her stentorian tones, berated the butcher, raided the store cupboard to make our traditional family haroseth, pounding nuts relentlessly into powder with mortar and pestle. We scoured our upstairs nursery rooms, emptying every closet, dusting every book and toy, knowing our rooms would have to pass our mother's eagle-eyed inspection. Read More 
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Exodus of Cairo's Jewish daughters

I was raised in a beautiful mansion on the banks of the Nile, in a multi-cultural multi-lingual Sephardic Italian Jewish family in Egypt: a Middle Eastern family, where men rose to prominence by their acts in a larger world, while women ran households, managed a large staff, volunteered their services to Jewish charities, and gained their reputations from their family backgrounds, skills at needlework and music, as cooks, and hostesses, and their elegance at all times.

My father was a mild man. He was gregarious and funny, a lover of literature and music that fate had pushed into finance. He left much of the parenting to my mother, whose fiery red hair was matched by an engaged and passionate nature. Read More 
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Egypt Revisited:

Egypt Revisited
With a timely memoir, a literary agent comes full circle
By Jean V. Naggar
Feb 24, 2012

Growing up, I always knew I would have something to do with books. I even dared to hope that I might write one. Books were my initiation into worlds far removed from my quiet nursery life in  Read More 
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Every Diaspora Echoes the Past

Omnivoracious
Hungry for the next good book®

"Every Diaspora Echoes the Past and Foreshadows the Future" by Author and Agent Jean Naggar
by Publishers Weekly Editor on February 15, 2012

These past months, reading with fascination of the turbulent events in Egypt, the fall of Mubarak, and the groundswell of energy and hope that galvanized the young inTahrir Square, I was cast back once again into the lost world of my childhood, a world I had summoned from the caverns of memory in order to write Sipping From the Nile, My Exodus from Egypt - a deeply personal memoir - not quite realizing that every diaspora echoes the past and foreshadows the future. Read More 
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