January 27, 2023

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My family escaped from Egypt

My family escaped from Egypt

Manuel Tatroz began his artistic career as a singer-songwriter in the late 1970s. youth And Pop Express.

In the world of dubbing, he has participated in almost 1000 films and is still composing songs for many artists. Her father, a jeweler and her mother, a seamstress, instilled in her the values ​​of life.

Manuel Tatroz was a great builder of Old Montreal.

You were born in Cairo.

Yes. My father taught me myths de la Fontaine and at the age of 5, I could read and write.

When you were 7 years old, you went on a college tour.

My elementary school teacher organized a reading trip myths of the fountain. He simply told academics: “It’s a way of learning Myth of the fountain “.

What are your hobbies?

There were no streets or alleys to play in, so we went to the parish grounds or gymnasium to play bocce, ping pong and football.

You spent your summer in the Mediterranean.

School holidays lasted for three months. I stayed at a summer camp in Ras El Bar, on the Mediterranean Sea, run by Father Amba Tambe. Occasionally, the whole family came to join me.

The family left Cairo.

We were Christians, so life was difficult for our parents at times. Let me explain to you what my father suffered under the regime of President Gamal Abdel Nasser.

Have you been threatened?

A cross was nailed to the door inviting people to burn down the house. In 1966, my father saved enough money to flee the country.

Where did you live in Montreal?

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I was 10 years old and we lived in an apartment located in the Park-Extension District. That meant my dad, mom, brother, my younger sister and I shared a big room because our accommodation wasn’t arranged yet.

First time you saw snow?

On October 30, 1966, when I was ten years old, around 3 am, my father woke up the whole family to see this white powder. I even went outside to throw snowballs.

The next day is Halloween.

We are not aware of this tradition. My father was so frustrated that he opened the door and shouted at his parents, “Leave us, we are political refugees.”

At Barthélemy-Vimont elementary school, that was your life lesson.

You must not forget that I was away from others. I often had to fight, but luckily there were other students who stood by me. Then at my Saint-Luc secondary school, I was accepted.

You speak many languages.

In Cairo, I spoke my mother tongue French, Arabic and Italian. When I arrived in Quebec, I learned Quebec, English and Spanish at Barthélemy-Vimont Primary School during a school exchange in Spain.

You played hockey and baseball.

I learned to skate to play hockey. I had a strong throw in baseball, although at Cégep Saint-Laurent, I excelled in volleyball and handball. It was hard at times because I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 13.

Got your first guitar at age 12.

My dear father made great sacrifices to give me this gift that started my singing career. I went to my music lessons in the rue de l’Épée.

What was your first job?

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I worked with my father in a jewelry store and as a baker at Steinberg’s. I also worked as a table singer with a guitar on my shoulder in two restaurants.

Was your first car used?

I removed the rusty Toyota. I got a Datsun, and shortly after, I proposed to my fiancee, Dion. Her father, who worked at GM, told me: “You have no intention of taking your future wife for a ride in a Datsun car”. I changed my car to GM.

Your singing career in Old Montreal.

Michel Gélinas, who runs the Hotel Iroquois, suggested I change careers because I had no talent, but a hundred meters further on, I stopped at Saint-Vincent, and that was the beginning of a career of more than forty years.

Robert Ruel believed in you.

My good friend Robert Ruel, who is currently suffering from serious health problems, came to see me at one of my seven shows in Saint-Vincent where people were standing and singing along St-Vincent Street. He comes to me and says, “You’ve finished your classes, follow me and I’ll take you to Saint-Thomas,” which later became Les 2 Pierrots Music Club.

You wanted to be a doctor.

May 13, 1927 It was my father’s dream that he could not realize due to an accident. He sacrificed his dream to help his family. After a year at Cégep Saint-Laurent, I changed career direction.

You have two wonderful children.

Jean-Philippe, the eldest, suffers from a rare genetic developmental disorder called Hartsfield syndrome, is a film buff and a keen bowler. We often spent Sundays at the cinema. I must say the support from my first wife, his mother Dianne, was remarkable.

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How do you feel about being an “in” father?

First, I would like to describe my wife Emily, thanks to whom my life is full of happiness. Being Xavier Dolan’s father is so much fun because we share a family emotional ball right now.