The Yemenite Arrival
Last night, in another secret operation, sixteen Yemenite Jews arrived in Israel. And, like before, they are now staying in my building in Beer Sheva, the Merkez Klita Yeelim. They comprise members of the Jaradi, Nahari, and Hamdi clans.
The Jewish Agency threw them a small party in the building, full of Yemenite food. Many relatives came in to greet them, mostly from Rehovot.
I didn’t take any pictures. Instead, I let the kids pass my camera around and take pictures. Not surprisingly, almost all the pictures were blurry, save a few.
The girl on the right is Saadia ben Yisrael‘s daughter Leah. She arrived in February. She’s sitting next to Aharon Nahari, from the family of Moshe Nahari, the Jew who was gunned down in December, sparking this exodus. She spent the time explaining to him the differences between Yemeni Judeo-Arabic (their native language) and Hebrew, which she now speaks fluently. She started with the food. “Bisbas. Ze harif b’ebrit.” Hot sauce. It’s harif in Hebrew.
Aharon Nahari. I gave him the camera and he took a lot of pictures. He was really excited to talk about their trip (which he technically isn’t allowed to do). I’m not going to give any details, suffice to say that he was really jazzed about the airplanes.
Not bad photos for nine-year-olds.
Notice the bulge in the guy’s cheek: there was gat aplenty, in addition to the food.
This is Dawood (David), from Sa’ada. He arrived with Saadia in February, and according to Saadia, does nothing but chew gat all day long. He always has this deer-in-headlights look that you see now.
The guy on the right, Ezra, has been in Israel since the early 90s. He’s originally from Sa’ada, but spent time in New York working in the jewelery industry. He now lives in Rehovot. He also was the only one who spoke fluent FusHa (Modern Standard) Arabic, as opposed to just the local dialect. When he mentioned jewelery, my ears perked up. He learned filigree work from his father and grandfather. I got his contact information and he invited me to visit him in Rehovot.