“My parents never regretted leaving Egypt, but they spoke with nostalgia about their lives there. Jews, Christians and Muslims had lived together peacefully, and Jews thrived as an integral part of society. However, as the Arab/Zionist conflict emerged, they began to be viewed as enemies of the state, culminating in their forced departure under terrible circumstances.
But out of my family’s tragic upheaval something beautiful arose: my lifelong love affair with France. Growing up, my best friend was Catholic and I was embraced by her family without question. My first boyfriend, Jean-Jacques (also Catholic), could not have been more French. Religion was never discussed because it had no place in our conversations or our feelings toward one another.”