Escape from Egypt with my kitty cat Michmich….

The ship Aeolia

Reading Carolina Delburgo’s story of her escape from Egypt by ship to Italy in 1956 brought the memories flooding back for Ermoza Bonavida, who left this moving comment on Point of No Return.

Dear Caroline,

“Fifty-three years later now, we did escape the same way, after a night of black-out. At three o’clock in the morning they came to arrest us, and (it is) likely our nextdoor neighbour told them we were not at home. So immediately my father made arrangements withHIAS, and also left in the middle of the night from Cairo to Alexandria, and took the ship Aeolia to Marseille and on to Paris until we got our visas for Los Angeles, California. Thank you HIAS!

“But the memories are still here, and reading your story made me go back to 1958 and I am very emotional about it. I remembered one thing not to forget, my parents did let me take my kitty cat Michmich, and bought her a ticket and (she) came with me on the boat. My boyfriend who loved me so much surprised me and came for me on the boat..surprises happened later and I hope one day to write a great life story – very interesting, From Egypt to America – I am just waiting for encouragement.

“The COJASOR in Paris were very generous with all the refugees from Egypt, helping feed us food-wise and money-wise. We really appreciated these years, waiting almost three years to get our visa. Now I have three great children, nine grandchildren – and am single!!! I live in Beverly Hills, California, but still miss the good times we had in Egypt before the war with so many friends, a big united family celebrating all the holidays together, and now everybody went all over the world.

“But as we celebrate Passover, Jewish history has repeated itself. It’s very funny that my grandchildren see me as an Egyptian, and ask me if I wandered the desert for 40 years to escape slavery!”

Happy Passover everyone!


Ermoza Bonavida (School: Mission Laique, Cairo)

A leavened Passover


  • Thanks but it was also a therapy for me, otherwise i would have drowned in my sorrows for losing my family and friends.
    That is the worst part, not the buildings of Egypt or the Pyramids.
    it is strange however that one never gets over Egypt or our life there!!!
    Suzy Vidal(aka sultana latifa)

  • It is wonderful that you Suzy have gone to the trouble of publishing your story!

  • i do not mean to be boastful, but my Jasmine Necklace trilogy (342 pages)recalls our story and brutal departure from Egypt. (with pictures and recipies as well as nokats)
    On n'est jamais aussi bien servi que par soi même!
    Sultana Latifa aka Suzy Vidal
    A Jewish refugee from Egypt


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This website is dedicated to preserving the memory of the near-extinct Jewish communities, of the Middle East and North Africa, documenting the stories of the Jewish refugees and their current struggle for recognition and restitution.

Point of No Return

Jewish Refugees from Arab and Muslim Countries

One-stop blog on the Middle East's
forgotten Jewish refugees - updated daily.