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» Arab lit and art, Articles, English » Proust’s Madeleines and my Grandmother’s Couscous / Or Tshuva

Proust’s Madeleines and my Grandmother’s Couscous / Or Tshuva

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Like many other Arab Jews, I tried to ‘Ashkenize’ myself. I used to long for my grandmother’s couscous, which we ateCouscous Laghoo

every Friday, but when my teachers or classmates asked what is my favorite food, I usually said something like ‘french fries’.

 

Only the thought of pronouncing the Arab names of my favorite dishes in front of them was terribly embarrassing for me. My grandparents were poor and fat and could barely speak Hebrew, so they always referred to me in languages I could not understand. They were nothing like the grandparents that some children brought to school on the holocaust memorial day.

 

My grandparents’ mumbled tales couldn’t even compete with their thrilling stories of how they managed to hide from the Nazis and survive the war. I’m not even sure whether my grandparents were able to tell their life stories in Hebrew. But it didn’t matter, no one ever asked them to.

 

Or Tshuva : Israeli writer from Moroccan origins

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