Cross­ing Cairo: A Jew­ish Wom­an’s Encounter with Egypt

Ruth Sohn
  • From the Publisher
May 13, 2013
In Cross­ing Cairo, Rab­bi Ruth Sohn has writ­ten a com­pelling por­trait of her and her fam­i­ly’s expe­ri­ences liv­ing in Egypt. Advised not to reveal that they are Jew­ish, they dis­cov­er what it means first to hide and then increas­ing­ly to share their Jew­ish iden­ti­ty. Would it be pos­si­ble to cross the bar­ri­ers of lan­guage, cul­ture, and reli­gion to form real friend­ships and find a home among Egyp­tians? As she nav­i­gates new rou­tines of dai­ly life, finds an Ara­bic teacher, and gets to know the mys­te­ri­ous veiled woman who came with the rental of their apart­ment, Sohn takes us with her on a remark­able jour­ney as she encoun­ters the many faces of Cairo. After the fall of Mubarak, she returns to Cairo to find a new­ly exu­ber­ant and infec­tious patri­o­tism and hope. Through­out this prob­ing con­tem­pla­tion of self and oth­er in a world that is for­eign and in many ways inim­i­cal to her own as an Amer­i­can Jew, Sohn shows how even the seem­ing­ly mun­dane events of dai­ly life can yield unex­pect­ed discoveries. 

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