Jul 9, 2008 20:35 Updated Jul 10, 2008 9:08
One on One:
A 'dhimmi' view of Europe
By RUTHIE BLUM
'I always thought I'd be writing novels," says Bat Ye'or, her wistfulness somehow adding an extra touch of class to her thick French accent. "Not such serious work."
Given the gravity of her subject matter, and what some might consider her alarmist way with words, this is hard to believe. But then, so is the historian's life story, which is the stuff that sagas are made of.
Hers began in Egypt during World War II. The daughter of a middle-class Jewish family named Orebi, Bat Ye'or (her trademark pseudonym, which in Hebrew means "daughter of the Nile") fled with her parents to England in 1957 - after suffering the brunt of the anti-Semitism she claims characterized the entire Arab world.