Excerpt from Chapter One……
I was always fascinated by the Red Sea—its calming, clear blue water, the coral reefs, colorful creatures, and the ecosystem. The more I learned from my parents to respect the Red Sea and the life in it, the more I loved it.
Growing up vacationing in Sinai, the neighborhood children always compared notes regarding their sea-faring activities. Some people vividly remember their first experience with swimming. Not me. I could never remember when I had learned to swim, or, as my father would phrase it, “learned to float.” He would tell me, “You did not swim at first, but you knew how not to drown.” He also claimed, “We threw you off the boat, and you floated.” My mother smiled at that story. “It was a little extreme, but you were a very young toddler,” she said.
One thing from my childhood that I remember very clearly is the first time I swam with a shark. I was five years old. There was an odd, tickling movement around my feet as I stood in the shallow water, looking to the horizon with admiring eyes as my father sailed away to catch some fish for dinner. The water was clear and the sand soft. Looking down to see what kind of fish was so playful, I saw it—almost flat, swimming at the bottom around me, brushing my feet. “Shark!” I shouted as loud as I could. “Shark!”