Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

A lady through a book

Sun 03 Mar 2024 | 12:17 PM
By Dr. Hadi Eltonsi, Former Ambassador And Medical Doctor

She was not born in this neighborhood, nor was this her country, nor did she even live her formative years in it. However, she knows the neighborhood more than its residents, knows its personalities more than they know each other, and belongs to it and serves it more than most of them feel and do. She makes them feel their past, their merits and their young times, even more than those who grieved over a past and those who despaired of a future to come, so they preferred to emigrate from it in search of hope and comfort outside it. Instead, she preferred to remind everyone of the treasures they had rather than regretting what was lost, and to revive in them the positivity of hope, the vitality of passion, and the joy of living.

She devoted three years of her life to publishing an elegant, illustrated book full of memories and characters, of buildings and streets, of trees and poetry, of facilities and houses, of ideas and flowers, of the club and the Nile nearby, until her book in English called” Tales of Maadi “became a must-read reference for anyone who wants to live in the integrate with its residents, and enjoy its lifestyle and possibilities.

After studying the art of photography and professionally playing basketball in her German homeland, Kathrin came to Cairo in 1990, to live with her Egyptian husband’s family. She lived in Sinai for four years, wrote her first book “ Sinai People -Faces of Time” about its residents, then settled in the Maadi Cairo neighborhood for 25 years, during which she completely integrated with its residents, traditions, and culture, it’s common language and spirit until she and her two daughters and son became like typical well to do mixed Egyptians and remained a bridge between two cultures and two peoples, connecting them with passion and enthusiasm, ambition and affection, so this book was made with knowledge of even the smallest details and the deepest roots after historical study, objective research, and extensive communication.

The book includes categories of Maadi population from the ancient aristocracy to owners of handicrafts shops, from scholars and doctors, to artists and poets, from pioneers of thought and creativity, to merchants and manufacturers, from businessmen to officials and workers, from those who were born in it to those who came to it, from Young and old, to designers and painters, from Egyptians to foreigners and mixed people, ambassadors and writers, monks and head masters, from sports enthusiasts and singing professionals, to lovers of trees and enchanting gardens. She gathered them all, and perhaps brought them together, and asked them until they told and shared their memories, expressed their opinions, presented their visions, and explained their sciences, arts, works, and hopes. They enriched readers with their knowledge, experiences, and lifestyle through answers to questions that reach their roots with grace, to reveal the diversity of knowledge with tact.

While presenting her book in a magnificent garden of a residential architectural masterpiece, Kathrin did not forget to give credit to all those who helped her, including historians, thinkers, scholars, designers, and publishers. She combined their experiences and knowledge with loving, passionate management, as if she were an owner of a professional publishing house. The book was presented in the most beautiful way, with an eye of beauty and inclusion of the ancient, dazzling past of Maadi, which seduced filmmakers with its elegance, wealth, and lifestyle to its lively and intellectual present, even despite the urban expansion that may have affected the harmony of its construction and its inhabitants.

As you browse the book, you feel that you are also reading its author, you feel her enthusiasm and vitality, you feel her dedication and her unique ability to adapt and communicate socially, you feel her ambition, her leadership, and her tireless effort, which she exerted with love and imagination, you feel her depth and tendency toward mastery and love of beauty, She feels that she belongs to the community and the place, and she feels that she is having fun as she lovingly presents to us what she enjoyed, to enrich our lives and bring us closer together in a book written by the imagination of an artist with athletic effort and a belonging spirit.

Articles by Dr. Hadi Eltonsi