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What has changed in Egypt


Visit to Egypt after 30 years
Claudia Roden Writer
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So, I had been to Egypt the first time after 30 years. And for me it was a mixture of sadness and also happiness to find the country is still there. That it was 30 years after 1956. And I went alone which was sad. Because I was always with my family when I was there. But also, I was remembering all the people that had been there. I would walk and look up at houses and imagine people at windows. My cousins and so on. We would call them and say, 'We're going to the club to swim'. We had to walk across the bridge. And we'd call out and they ran down. And for me I just suddenly imagined them all the time. But there was also lovely moments. Like I went into a café we used to have café glacé, iced coffee. And it was called L'Americaine. And I just saw there was a parrot, painting of a parrot on the wall, and there had been a fingerprints. Somebody who had painted it left marks on the wall from years ago, from 30 years ago. And then I just saw it there and for me, I just thought, 'Oh my God, this is still there'. We've gone but nothing had changed. But just had got more and more derelict for many reasons. 

Claudia Roden (b. 1936) is an Egyptian-born British cookbook writer and cultural anthropologist of Sephardi/Mizrahi descent. She is best known as the author of Middle Eastern cookbooks including A Book of Middle Eastern Food, The New Book of Middle Eastern Food and The Book of Jewish Food.

Listeners: Nelly Wolman

Claudia Roden talking to her granddaughter Nelly Wolman about her life in food.

Tags: Egypt

Duration: 2 minutes, 1 second

Date story recorded: September 2022

Date story went live: 04 December 2023