The Girl from Cairo is a memoir covering Peggy Hinaekian’s early life in Cairo, Montreal, Boston and Manhattan, from 1940 to 1960.
It is a riveting story of an Armenian girl born and raised in Egypt, her trials and tribulations, her anxieties and desires. She describes her life in Cairo through WWII and two Middle Eastern wars that brought uncertainty and insecurity to her cushy life.
Her father having worked with the U.S. Army during WWII, Peggy was accustomed to meeting Americans and reading American comics and magazines as a child. American movies were the biggest entertainment of the family and this ignited a desire in her to go to the U.S. She focuses wholeheartedly on this venture and strives to make it happen.
In her boy-crazy youth, she yearns for a fairy tale life of marrying the man of her dreams. She finally meets K — as he is called in the Memoir — her first boyfriend, and they plan to get married against his parents’ will, who think he is too young, only nineteen, and she eighteen.
They finally get married and go to the U.S. as university students with no financial means of support as that was the only way out of Egypt. Their future is nebulous but they are both young, naive and full of dreams.
Married life has its ups and downs. Peggy is restless. She has confused feelings about marriage. She falls out of love with her husband and looks at other pastures.