Adonis Diaries

“A Jewish childhood in Moslem Mediterranean Sea States”

Posted on: July 3, 2012

“A Jewish childhood in Moslem Mediterranean Sea States”

Yves Turquier is one of the 34 contributors to the French book “A Jewish childhood in Moslem Mediterranean Sea States”. Yves was born in Beirut, Lebanon, before immigrating to France for good at the age of 23.

“Ahmad is 7 year-old and my best friend. We know the religions of our parents. In the courtyard of the synagogue, the Jewish kids play violent games, such as “khabissa“, and I was frequently beaten, thrown to the ground and suffocated by many bodies on top of me…

Even in the Jewish school Alliance, khabissa was my lot…

Ahmad never laid a hand at me or tore at my hair…I once asked my beautiful mother to bring Ahmad to the synagogue, and the answer was a categorical NO. Why? Because Ahmad is Moslem and he goes to a Mosque…Discussion closed.

In our street of Riskallah, you have shops lined up, owned by Christian Maronites, other christian sects, Moslems…

Ahmad father is the best baker around the block. Ahmad helps his father and frequently saves a hot loaf of bread to share with me behind the bakery. We lived at Zeituny (Olive), by the seashore (in current West Beirut).

My parents talk of “Them” the Goyim and “us” the bene ammenou

In our street, almost all the ambulatory merchants and daily workers and artisans are Moslems: mostly from the Shia sect… Mother says: “They are very nice people, they carry their heart on their hands…except that they listen to the radio…” (The State of Israel was created and the “Arabic” radios were pretty virulent against this new insertion of a foreign body of occupation in Palestine…)

One morning, mother wished us (dragging dad along with us) for an extended vacation at my grand mother. Mother decided to remove the “mezouza” (a tiny wood cylinder containing this tiny parchment of Jewish law) off the entrance door, in case demonstrators happened to climb the stairs of the building and discover the religion of the people living in the apartment…

When we came back to Beirut, everything was as we have left…Ahmad was very understanding: “I also visit my grand mother now and then…”

Except that one morning, a bomb blasted and torn down my school around 7 am, before students converge to school. One of the dead bodies was a female keeping her eyes wide open…She was my school principal. I didn’t cry. As Ahmad got this piece of intelligence, he had wet eyes…

Note 1: Yves Turquier, born in Beirut in 1941, immigrated to France at the age of 23. He is into movies, directing and teaching. He produced the documentary for ARTE “La derniere fuite” and is one of the founder of FEMIS. In 2000, Yves decides to research the immigrants of his community and produced the documentary “Little history of the Jews of Lebanon”

Note 2: There are evidences that it was the secret services of the Israeli State that blew up the Jewish school Alliance. In that period, Israel targeted synagogues in Arab States in order to give the strong impression of the Jews that they are no longer wanted in the various Arabic States such as Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Egypt…Most of the Jews from the Near Eastern States immigrated to European countries (France and England…) and the USA.  The few who landed in Israel didn’t appreciated the life-style and security they enjoyed in the “Arabic” States of origine and re-immigrated to European countries. Only the Jews from Morocco and Yemen stayed in Israel and now consitute the majority of the Sepharadi Jews…

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