• 05:42
  • Thursday ,01 November 2012

Leon and forced displacement

Ezzat Boulos

Article Of The Day


Thursday ,01 November 2012

Leon and forced displacement

Copts have suffered from many patterns of forced displacement over the past few months. I remembered many stories I had read about the displacement of Egyptian Jews after the revolution of July 23, 1952 as well as their massive suffering because they belong to a different religion from the majority of the Egyptians then. Furthermore, they were accused of betrayal.

One of the best-seller books was “The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit” by the Egyptian Jewish lady Lucette Lagnado, who tells the story of her family's exodus from Old Cairo to the New World.
Lucette is a Jewish lady who was born and raised in Egypt. She was overcome with acute nostalgia for her years in Egypt. Lucette describes the cruelty of the military regime that’s never considered their feelings and right to stay at their homeland no matter what their religion is.
The main character in the story is her father, Leon, the handsome man who lived in the 1940s in Cairo. He was such a successful Egyptian businessman and boulevardier.
The story describes how he was forced to leave Egypt after his property and money were confiscated. Moreover, they had to sign an affidavit to give up their Egyptian nationality.
Leon, the man in the white sharkskin suit, shouted on the ship that took him away from his homeland: Bring us back to Egypt!
Then, they traveled from France to USA, where they had to survive under the new strange Eastern traditions. He has never forgotten about Egypt till his last day.
The daughter continues talking bitterly about the life of her father that was changed completely from a successful businessman and boulevardier to a poor ties seller in one of New York City Metro stations!
I felt worried upon recalling such image of the Egyptian Jews while being forced to leave their country. Their suffering is so similar to the one of many Coptic Christians after the revolution of January 25 that brought the Islamists in power. Many sheiks are calling the Coptic Christians as infidels and defame their Christianity in public places, and the government has really done nothing as if it's been not able to protect them or their property.
Copts have been suffering for ages, which give them a good reason to seek immigration as they don’t feel safe and neither do their children, especially under such fascism of the Islamic current.
Many of them never consider the hardships he or she is going to face after immigrating to other country, as they don’t know another language and they don’t carry a degree.
They do immigrate thinking that heaven is out there, but they find another nightmare like the one of Leon who was a successful businessman in Egypt and had to live from hand to mouth in America. 
I don’t advise anyone to immigrate unless he or she is going to enjoy a good standard of living, and for the rest I say: work hard to achieve your dreams in Egypt. Don’t leave your country to a punch of disloyal people who belong to the darkness of the middle ages.