Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Annual Helene Spring Library Event: The Man In The White Sharkskin Suit:

video
Held at the East End Temple where ex KVer Paul Levine is currently the Vice President.
Chair of the event Barbara Ringel introduces Lucette Lagnado, the author of the poignant memoir, The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit: My Family’s Exodus from Old Cairo to the New World. Home-baked desserts and book sale & signing followed the talk. The above is a portion of the talk combined with images taken of the event, some images from the book and others revolving around Jewish life in Egypt.
Sources:
The Historical Society of the Jews from Egypt
The Jewish newsletter reporting directly from Egypt.
Jews from Arab Countries
The Lost World Of Egyptian Jews
from Booklist
Lagnado's captivating account of her family's life in cosmopolitan Cairo and painful relocation to America centers on her beloved father. Dashing man-about-town Leon Lagnado, who kept to his carousing ways even after marrying a beautiful women 22 years his junior, was enraptured at the age of 55 by the author, his fourth child; affectionately called Loulou, she became her father's companion, even at temple services and the Nile Hilton bar. But the Suez war in 1956 and the Nasser regime's cultural holocaust began forcing Jews from their native Egypt. Leon's injury in a fall and Loulou's mysterious illness (first diagnosed as cat scratch fever, eventually found to be something far worse) delayed the Lagnados' departure until 1963, when they arrived in New York with $212, the maximum they were allowed to take out of Egypt; and Leon, once a prosperous, independent businessman and investor, was reduced to selling ties on the street. In Lagnado's accomplished hands, this personal account illuminates its places and times, providing indelible individual portraits and illustrating the difficulty of assimilation.

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