Born tells the story of the author’s mother based on their conversations collected over 10 years. Marie Elie Rosenthal (1931-2010), was born in Cairo to a Jewish father of Turkish-Ukrainian origin and an Italian mother. She becomes Naela Kamel when she marries the journalist Saad Kamel. Naela’s life coincides with momentous changes in Egyptian society. The protagonist recalls childhood memories, when she was immersed in a mixed religious and cultural environment attending the Italian school in Cairo, and living through hardship during World War II. Soon afterwards she joined the Communist party and was an activist with her husband Saad: both of them were jailed for their political activities. When the foreign community left Egypt in the 1950s with the arrival of Gamal Abdel Nasser, Naela’s relatives moved to Italy and Israel, leading her to question her religious background. She was a journalist concerned with gender issues, a friend to intellectuals, a mother to Nadia and Dina, and a caring grandmother to Nabil.
Indicative number of pages: 552 p.
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