In 1974 we moved to Ofira as a family of 4: my wife Elka, the children Aviv, Iris, and I – Efraim Ratzman.
In Sharm I was a partner and managed the supermarket in the Marshal compound with the help of my wife and Bedouin workers from the area.
We brought products from the center and sold them to businesses all over Sinai and to individuals.
It was a challenging time – unloading trucks from the goods was done manually and another challenge was the hours when the trucks arrived – sometimes in the middle of the night when in some of the time the unloading was done without any help at all due to the difficulty of recruiting workers.
The people who came to Ofira and visited the supermarket were very diverse – tourists from all over the world, soldiers stationed in the area, Bedouins from all over Sinai, UN people who came from Egypt, and of course local residents.
The connections with the Bedouins created over the years led to interesting hospitality – one of them was lunch at the tent complex of Sheikh Abdellah – the Sheikh of the Sheikhs of Sinai with whom a particularly good relationship was established.
The Bedouin fishermen would bring large, fresh fish for sale and the taste of fresh fish is an indescribable delicacy.
Life in Ofira was amazing, few cars, no traffic lights, no television reception, and newspapers are delivered the day after – peace and quiet.
On weekends we would go to Naama and settle near the last refuge in the sea equipped with diving masks and enjoy hours of swimming above the crazy reef just us, the fish, and the corals.
Throughout the period, we traveled all over Sinai and enjoyed the views, and the desert adjacent to the Red Sea and hosted a lot of family and friends from the center who came to relax and enjoy this pastoral place.
The children would walk around the neighborhood without shoes in the Ashkovite area, the playground, and the school and ride bikes towards Ras Om Sid.
The school was also one of a kind – Aviv studied in first grade when the class consisted of one table for first grade and one table for second grade – a total of about ten children in the class and let’s not forget his teacher Tirsha Simchoni RIP who taught him and was loved by all.
When you look back, the time in Ofira is engraved in our memory as the most beautiful time in life.