Invent­ing Zacharias: Writ­ing Mizrahi Stories

In my sepia-toned mem­o­ries, I am four years old, and it’s my first vis­it to Cairo. We are stay­ing with my aunt in her lux­u­ry apart­ment in the Zamalek neigh­bor­hood over­look­ing the Nile, but I have no appre­ci­a­tion for it. I long for McDonald’s, Sesame Street, and piz­za, the kind that is so saucy and cheesy, my moth­er must wash my clothes after I eat it. I’m afraid of the man’s voice that stretch­es over the city in the bel­ly of the night.

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