Nassif Isaac: Spiritualism, Esperanto and the End of Race

Will Harris

Nassif Isaac esperanto 1.pngOne Sunday evening in the late 1930s in Egypt’s Fayoum Oasis the 26-year-old Nassif Isaac gathered his family in their sitting room. It was him, his 60-year-old mother, his teenage brother and sister – Nagiba and Noshi – and his two young nieces Isis and Iris. Isaac pulled the curtains closed so no light could get intrude on their meeting. Then he recited a verse from the Bible and put some gentle music on the gramophone. The family joined hands and earnestly set about trying to contact the spirits of the dead. Nothing materialised – at first.

For three Sundays they kept trying and on the third they succeeded. Isaac’s siblings, Nagiba and Iris, both slipped into a trance and made contact with their spirit guides, Feda and Whitehawk respectively, who would help them communicate with the dead. The first person to appear to the group was the spirit of…

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