We Have Articles in the Forward!
We were lucky enough to have a few articles published in this week’s edition of the Forward. One is an article I wrote about the Jews in Yemen, one is a slideshow and audio presentation by Rachael, and the last is an article written about us and our experiences.
Caught in Strife, Yemen’s Jews Cling Fiercely to Their Ancient Heritage
Letter From Sana’a
Yahya Yousuf al-Marhabi idly breaks off leaves from a branch of qat and adds them to the walnut-sized ball of pulp puffing up his cheek. As he sits on the carpeted floor of his living room, the television facing him shows Yemeni soldiers loading an artillery shell into a cannon and firing it toward rebel positions in the hills that surround his former home, Sa’ada. When an on-air reporter mentions the name of the rebel leader — the recently killed Abdul Malik al-Houthi — al-Marhabi spits.
“Dog,” he mutters under his breath.
Rachael’s audio and photo essay:
The article about us:
Obsession With Yemeni Jews Inspires a Mideast Odyssey by College Grads
By Gal Beckerman
Josh Berer made a decision when he arrived in Yemen: He would tell people he was Christian. He had taken this precaution before — when he lived briefly in Jordan — but now, in the heart of the Arab world, where antisemitic rants blared at him constantly from loudspeakers and “Jew” was synonymous with evil, it was a necessity.
And it worked. Except for those few times when a Yemeni would begin to question him about his “religion.”
“Suddenly I found myself having to defend the concept of the trinity,” Berer said.
It was just one of the absurdities that Berer, a Canadian Jew and recent graduate of the University of Washington–Seattle, encountered during his time in Yemen.
But the ploy enabled Berer and his girlfriend, photojournalist Rachael Strecher, to spend time with the last remnants of Yemen’s endangered Jewish community. Berer’s report and Strecher’s photos are featured in this issue of the Forward.