Archived entries for Mizrahi

Obscured by Details

I only discovered her last year, at the Tower outlet in kibbutz Gan Shmuel, while running errands. It was a classic Cairophone/Digital Hellas anthology, filed in between obscure Mizrahi fusion titles.

I’d heard of Leila Mourad before, but only as an actress, as credited in this vintage Egyptian film poster. Even though she was better known as a singer, because of her relationship with Om Koulthoum.

Clignancourt flea market, Paris, June.

Hadera Boombox

The manager of the garage offered me a cup of coffee. “Bo, Yoel,” he said, inviting me in to the office. Asking me how I wanted it prepared, I told him I’d prefer it black, with sugar. The message was immediately relayed to his secretary, who replied sharply “I’m a Yemenite. I know how to make coffee like that.”

A few minutes later, I took a cup of instant Turkish coffee into the garage, to join my father as he spoke to the mechanic about the repairs to his car that were required. To my left stood this vintage 1980s era boombox, which announced itself ever so subtly by serving as a conduit for a local Arab music station.

“You ought to be on Dizengoff, not in a garage” said my father to a woman wearing knee high patent leather boots, who immediately drew up a receipt for the work that was agreed on. The complement was not immediately understood. If it was, she wasn’t taking it. None of us, including the mechanic, was entirely clear.

“You mean on the Mizrahi side of the street?” she replied in Hebrew, handing us our paperwork.


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