Growing Up Jewish in Alexandria: The Story of a Sephardic Family’s Exodus from Egypt by Lucienne Carasso
Lucienne Carasso grew up in Alexandria, Egypt. Her cozy, secure and settled world was shattered by the Suez Canal Crisis in November 1956 when her father and uncle were interned by the government of Gamal Abdel Nasser. This marked the beginning of the end of the century-long sojourn of her extended Sephardic family in Egypt. In her memoir, she shares the magical world of her childhood in the rich, multifaceted city of Alexandria, while giving the reader an intimate sense of the changes wrought by the nationalistic policies of the Nasser regime and of the greater historical forces which caused the multiple peregrinations of her family from Spain to the Ottoman Empire (Salonika) to Egypt with their ultimate emigration to America. She successfully portrays the arc of her life while weaving in the stories of her patrician grandmother and other family members into the tapestry of Egyptian history. Her family’s deep connection to Spain leads her to investigate what she can reconstruct of her family’s odyssey around the Mediterranean.