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An Egyptian Goes to Israel

Haisam Hassanein

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Wall Street Journal

November 23, 2017


Israel's absorption of Jews from eastern countries and across linguistic and cultural barriers is a modern-day success story that deserves to be remembered and emulated.

As a child in Egypt, my image of my Jewish countrymen was shaped by the numerous Egyptian television dramas that depicted them as spies, thieves and fifth columnists. I never knew any Jewish people personally. Naturally it came as a shock when, during my first visit to Israel in 2014, I met a man who spoke to me in perfect Iraqi Arabic, laced generously with profanity. He introduced me to the concept of “ Mizrahi Jews,” or those from the eastern lands...

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