Sephardi Voices - Bob Abitbol Interview

00: 01: 03: 01

Interviewer: (holding slate) Well, hello, I'm with Sephardi Voices. Today's interview is Bob (name) Abitbol. We September 12, 2016, in Montreal. I conduct the interview; I'm Natalie (last name) and the camera we Bessner Louis Philippe.

00: 01: 20: 18

Natalie: What is your full name?

00: 01: 37: 12

BA: Hello. My name is Bob Abitbol, ​​and for professional reasons, I added a few years ago ... at least thirty years, the name of Oré, which is the name of my company. So now my official name on my passport and the name of my children, but I'm the only one in my family called Bob Oré Abitbol. My original name is Bob Abitbol.

00: 02: 02: 03

Natalie: What is your date of birth?

BA: I was born in December 8, 1948.

Natalie: Where were you born? Which town?

BA: In Casablanca, Morocco

00: 02: 11: 21

Natalie: Well first of all thank you for participating in the Sephardi Voices project

BA: Thank you for inviting me

Natalie: Can you tell me something about the origins of your family?

BA: My family, I think, come, since is currently researching, Spain instead. Part of my family comes from the Berber side. But Spain is predominant, because it is a European root. But my father was born in Fez. My grandmother in Marrakech. My mother in Casablanca. All (word unclear?) Was born in Morocco but my family comes, in part years of the Inquisition, my family came from Spain, and some came to Marrakech and a Berber family. Our main family, my mother called Malka (sp.) And that of my father, Abitbol. It is a well established family in Marrakech for many generations. Malka and also, Marrakech and Casablanca.

00: 03: 09: 18

Interviewer: So, is it that you can tell us something about your grandparents, memories or anecdotes ... or your grandparents, Morocco?

Well yes. In fact, as it will come later, I write; I am also a writer, to share a lot of things I do. But, uh, I write a little about my grandparents. My grandmother, a wonderful woman named Miriam, and my grandfather, whose name was Abraham.

00: 03: 42: 10

BA: (They) met by chance. On the side of Marrakech. And married an extraordinary way, to (name of town?), A few kilometers in the north, near a valley, in a happy valley, where a saint, a very important saint, whose name was (Schlomo?), the son of the serpent is native.

00: 04: 04: 04

BA: And they met there. And by an extraordinary chance, have managed to marry while someone else asked for her hand came to my grandmother, almost simultaneously. (Name), who came, who was a wealthy merchant while in the time my father was a poor rabbi ... helpless. And as it happened, ah, to (name of town) to the application, the other was already there.

00: 04: 31: 02

BA: But the father of my grandmother refused the (name unclear) and decided to give the hand of his daughter, Miriam, to Abraham, and they married. She was the daughter single-extraordinary-and he was the son single-extraordinary-and both, they had ten children. And these ten, there were 7 average of children per family. 70. What makes the death of my grandmother, who was great-great grandmother when she died, there were 450 to 500 people come from her directly because she was married in an extraordinary way in 13 years. Promise to 7 years, married 13 years.

00: 05: 14: 09

BA: And to her, today we are virtually 500-800-1000, I know. But of his birth, his marriage, in the end, he died in '81 -'82, it was small, great-great grandchildren to his death. Amazing ... only Son and only daughter ... My grandparents ...

00: 05: 37: 02

Interviewer: Maternal? Do they have Arabic names too?

Well no. My grandmother called Miriam, possibly an Arab and Jewish name. My grandfather's name was Abraham, it could not be more Jewish than that.

00: 05: 52: 17

Interviewer: And on the paternal side?

BA: From the paternal side, while my paternal grandfather (? Name) had several women, because it was allowed. He had concubines, not concubines, bridal women, so he married his first wife, who was unable to have children, and he married a second, which he made children, and a third that made him children. And a fourth, which made him children. My father was born in this fourth wedding. And it was Solomon, who was the brother of my father, (name?), Who is the brother of my father, (name?), Who is the sister of my father. But who are themselves born in Fez, and he had other children that they are half-brothers of my father. There have been several.

00: 06: 48: 02

Interviewer: And with names, uh,

BA: Always Jews, David, uh, (Gives names). These are names always strictly Jewish and they were all very traditional Jews and sometimes religious Jew. My grandfather was a rabbi, my maternal grandfather, career.

00: 07: 02: 14

Interviewer: Do you have any idea why your father's father had so many women?

BA: My grandfather? My grandfather, because he liked it ... (laughter)

00: 07: 13: 00

Interviewer: Uh, can you tell me something about your parents?

BA: My parents, so I had ... I had parents like everyone is going to say, I am certain, exceptional parents, but why?

00: 07: 27: 22

BA: My father, Simon, could neither read nor write. And became a bookbinder, printer. A job where he had to read and write all day. But he could neither read nor write; he wrote Hebrew, but could neither read nor write French. He was talking, of course, but he did not write, he did not read it.

00: 07: 53: 14

BA: So he waited until I come back from school, because he had to make the letters in gold, behind the books, and I had to check: the Three Musketeers ... Dostoevsky, etc. so I can see if the letters were good, before that can register them. The gold letters behind the books. And when he finished to the book, I had 10-11 years. He gave me the book that I go read it in the attic. Although we need money as we were a large family like all Jewish families at the time. We had no TV.

00: 08: 33: 02

BA: So we had to do for children. And, uh, my father gave me books to read, it's that at the age of 9-10 years, I read (French author), Balzac, Victor Hugo I read, I read Dostoyevsky I read the great authors, I had 10-11 years, so that I became a writer. He was proud of my father, to see his son, who was reading authors as extraordinary, while he could neither read nor write.

00: 08: 55: 16

BA: And my mother? My mother was exceptional. My father died young: he was 53, 54 years. He has never been ill, and one day, he fell like a tree, a heart attack and he is gone, overnight on 13 September. It will do exactly 45 years since he died.

00: 09: 13: 15

BA: We were all very young. My mother took up the torch. It was an exceptional feminist. A woman's heart, a woman of character. A strong woman. She never remarried. She had seven children at the death of my father, who had a one-year-old Michael the last, since my father died in '61, and my brother Michael was born in '60. And she took up the torch. She took care of us. She feeds us all a wonderful way she took care of us in a formidable way. It was an exceptional woman. She died recently, and I still cry now, because everyone who knew her, may (can) say that it was an unusual woman. A woman of character, a great woman.

00: 10: 00: 06

Interviewer: And how did your parents met?

BA: So a half-brothers of my father, David, had blue eyes, was in a kind of (word?). A (word?) Is a place where, uh, we traditionally brought together, to pray over the tombs and mausoleums, the great saints, the great rabbis. And my father, my father's brother and his wife named Marie, see my future mother, falls in love with her, proposed to my grandmother and my grandfather, to present their father.

00: 10: 42: 14

BA: And, uh, my mother was a very intelligent woman, cultivated, because it makes the Universal Israelite Alliance, she wrote impeccably, without making a spelling mistake when she was seven, eight years, or nine years of schooling.

00: 11: 02: 06

BA: But the teaching of the Israelite covenant was so great, who had taught him exceptional bases, so she was educated. She was educated. My father could neither read nor write, then imagine this meeting a little ... inadequate, it is the least we can say.

00: 11: 23: 10

BA: But it was very, very kind, father. Very soft, great kindness. We see it in his eyes, his humble attitude, modest and nice. As you can see a very handsome man, because we all like him. And, uh, she ends up marrying him, so she was not in love with him, but then that was the time when we listened to his parents. And we did what our parents told us.

00: 11: 53: 02

BA: And everyone had adopted my father, who was generous, which was nice, etc. And who had promised him an outstanding ketubah! So it had a bit flattered, because I do not know ... millions at the time. My mother was flattered that he put so much money on her ketubah and she ended up marrying him, fortunately for us, otherwise we would not be here today.

00: 12: 15: 18

Interviewer: So that's what year they were married?

BA: Well, I know, because she was 17, so we'll say 1937, 1938.

00: 12: 28: 17

Interviewer: And so, the name of your father was?

BA: The first name was Simon; moreover the same as my son. And the same as that of my nephew, and my other nephew, and my other nephew, because all the first born called the name of their grandfather and then my children are called as my father.

00: 12: 47: 18

Interviewer: OK, so (word unclear) he was born?

BA: In Fez, in 1907

00: 12: 55: 20

Interviewer: And his job is binder-printer

BA: (nodding) Bookbinder-printer. Yes, bookbinder

00: 13: 00: 14

Interviewer: And the name of your mother?

BA: Timone gold Simone (sp?)

Interviewer: Born in?

BA: In Casablanca, in 1920

Interviewer: And so, her maiden name

BA: (reaching for water) Pardon?

Interviewer: Her maiden name was?

BA: Malka (sp?). Malka Simone (sp?)

00: 13: 22: 14

Interviewer: And she got married, she had what age?

BA: 17

Interviewer: Okay. Okay, and then what she was your mother?

BA: Well, my mother, she made children very quickly. The first, Jacqueline, I have not named, who died at the age of 4 and was a horrible tragedy for her, because it was his first daughter.

00: 13: 43: 20

BA: It had meningitis that was common at that time, there's been a kind of epidemic. And she lost her first daughter named Jacqueline ... it has never been able to forget. And I think the last words before you go ... here was the name of her daughter, Jacqueline ... she spoke to her, she lay under the blanket and she was crying like this ... Despite the seven children she had later, his daughter Jacqueline n has never, never, never left his memory, his memory. And she remained deeply attached to this first daughter, who was great obviously, since she was not there to show him his fault, but its fabulous qualities. And then there was Mark, Mireille, etc.

00: 14: 27: 18

Interviewer: So she looked ... she was a housewife

BA: Initially. And after she came to work with my father, because my father, as I said, was a man very hardworking, wonderful, but at the same time, not ambitious, like my mother. She was deeply.

00: 14: 51: 00

BA: And so she continued the business with my father. She did prosper. She rework, and became a wealthy family. Rather, uh, a bourgeois family, thanks to her, because she was shopping.

00: 15: 05: 17

Interviewer: Can you talk, you hear talk of the Vichy government, war?

BA: No, not much. It was not an issue, since it was ... is born in the fifties. The war was already over. When we heard the talk? Not in my memory.

Interviewer: So tell us about your siblings ... Jacqueline ...

BA: So my brothers, uh, I told Jacqueline ... well there was Marc unfortunately it just died out there a month and a half, two months.

00: 15: 40: 10

BA: There was Mirelle, which is my only sister, and then that of boys. Me, Armand, Daniel, Charles and Michael, we are all boys and everyone works and everyone has done studies, and everyone is traditional Jewish.

00: 16: 02: 03

Interviewer: And you had a good relationship growing up?

BA: Well, yes, even that month I left very, very young. I was 16-17 years old when I left Casablanca to Paris. Just after the death of my father. A few months after. I decided ... my mother had 6-7 children, and I had, and we'll talk if you will, was scout and scout. So I was resourceful! So with my backpack, I went hitchhiking and I arrived in Paris, I was 16, 16 and a half. I lived 5 years there, and after I did the Canadian experience. But I have lived five years in Paris.

00: 16: 42: 23

Interviewer: Do you scout your experience, if you will?

BA: So as scout I started very young, and I was very proud. My brother Mark was already patrol leader etc. and had an important role ... it has 5-6 years older than me. And when I entered I loved this scout life, and I was the youngest scout Morocco, I was 10 and a half years; you had to have 13 normally. But I was a Cub from 6 to 10 years, and 10 and a half years, I became a scout, and the mascot of the (word unclear). So it allowed me to go travel, go to (city name), to go to (city name), to go to Fez, to travel, which I, first we were resourceful original, my brothers and me, but this experience and these experiments allowed us, in due course, make decisions, and go on an adventure.

00: 17: 41: 12

BA: Because my mother, to let us go to fourteen fifteen or sixteen to go to Paris, but this is madness! My mother was not afraid, she trusted us. And she let us go, she let me go, anyway. Then my other brothers, made Israeli experiences etc., but I was alone in Paris, and I was the first in my family to do this kind of trip, my brother went to Israel trip etc.

00: 18: 03: 23

Interviewer: So, do you want your first memories of where you grew up?

BA: In Casablanca, you mean?

Interviewer: Yeah

BA: Well, as I told you, I'm a writer, so I write a lot about this, uh, this youth course. I do a lot, I write five books on these topics, through novels or through the news. I relate these different stages of my life, like when I was young in September, when I was older, summer days, days of beaches, I tell different stories about me that make me now.

00: 18: 39: 18

BA: I'll tell you a poem if you like, that tells a little bit my relationship with Morocco. We'll cut my chat with this:

00: 18: 51: 15

BA: It's still his country / Whatever we say, whatever we do / You always drags his nostalgia, wherever it is lively, wherever we go / I am a snail, I wear my house, I'm going from town to town to sing my songs, I have no fear at all, I'm not afraid of anything, if it rains on my way, I change path. And a squirrel, I keep as nuts, memories today of old, I carry in my luggage, some of my friends, I carry in my suitcase a bit of each country, and I wear like a dove turns, but dreams of my hopes as a love story, I have no fear at all, I'm not afraid of anything, if it rains on my way, I exchange path. And a swallow, I wear under my wings a little bit of my country, it is still his country, what we say, whatever we do, we always drags his nostalgia, wherever we live, wherever one goes. Never, never again is forgotten, it is still, it is always in his country.

So that's my poem

Interviewer: Thank you, thank you. Very, very beautiful. Beautiful.

00: 19: 55: 12

Interviewer: So do you have stories about parents, friends, the Shabat, celebrations ...

BA: I will say that in all the Jewish families in general, and ours (word unclear) shabat was extremely important! For us, for we maintain that Judaism. Every Friday regularly for years, except when I was also in Paris or elsewhere in Montreal on Friday was absolutely respected here, shabat. My mother, most of the time, because she held in someone came home, she does shabat, it makes us fish, it makes us all the dishes we liked, and we meet with her, and that's what brings Jewish families, and that's what keeps them talking around the table, create this connection, being Jewish, effective and real way, and shabat create that, more than others of course feast ago the Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur and all that, but the Shabbat is extremely important to maintain our traditions, our culture, our attachment to Judaism, our attachment to Morocco, our attachment to our family. And it all together, becomes extremely important to us and we have maintained, even until today.

00: 21: 18: 08

Interviewer: And you went to the synagogue shabat?

BA: Not all the time, but every time I could, I do. I'm not very religious, but today I love aler, uh, especially on Saturday, more than on Friday night.

Interviewer: In Morocco?

BA: In Morocco. Yes, yes to Morocco with my father all the time.

Interviewer: And (what?) Synagogue?

BA: Uh, yes, we were several synagogues, uh, we had one on our street who called Benaroche street, when we (? Word) moved on (? Name of street), and then we went again time to time to go celebrate the bar mitzvah etc and all the Algerian synagogue called (name). This is the 3 synagogues we attended.

00: 22: 02: 05

BA: My grandfather was a rabbi, remember!

Interviewer: Yeah. Did you go to the souk, make emplette?

BA: Yeah, with my mother, we went to the market all the time. And my mother she was the market, she took her children to support bags in the beginning. After that she took a carrier, but at first it was us who carried the bags.

00: 22: 27: 14

Interviewer: Uh, okay then, uh, can we describe a bit where you grew up, uh, walks from your parents, which makes ...

BA: Well, my mother, like most Jews in Casablanca, lived in mellah for years for years. After the marriage of my mother, she was one of the first families out, to settle in the European quarters, we'll say. Because the French when they arrived, it created a rift between Jews and Arabs, voluntarily or not.

00: 23: 10: 19

BA: It was a way to divide and conquer. And I tell you why: the Jews spoke French, so it is with the Alliance Israelite Universelle, so they were able to contact had the Arab he could not do it with, but they could do with the Jews who could speak french. So banks craft and the administration which could not enter the French because do not forget that in Morocco there is a sub-maroccains protectorate, as in Algeria as a colony, but a protectorate with the French police on the streets, the French administration, and the entire government in fact was led by the French, with a, uh, puppet king, who has a general residence as a Governor General here, who was tied up (? ) and or anything else, and so they intentionally or not, created this division, and therefore, the Jews are gradually enbourgeoisés are parties in the European quarters and my mother landed Street Italians, who is an exceptional street because the whole street is practically become Jewish, when the street (name of street), Place de Verdun, and small streets that were next and the whole area has become ... .juif. The Jewish quarter outside the mellah was not the Jewish quarter! And that, my mother was one of the first to do so in 37-38 years. Before the war.

00: 24: 38: 08

Interviewer: So your friends, friends of your parents, it was Jews, non-Jews?

BA: For a long time it was thought that month I thought that there were no Arabs in Morocco. Aside from my maid, who came, and we saw some Arabs who sold, uh, vegetables, fish, passing. We felt like we lived in a neighborhood where there n 'was that of the Jews! Further there were Spaniards. A little further there were Italians. It was an extremely cosmopolitan city.

00: 25: 09: 00

BA: And eclectic. So we lived in ... a school of small Jewish, 100 percent! At school (names of schools), all schools there were of Israelite alliance. It was 100 percent Jewish, which is not the case today, but that was the case before. Our neighborhood and it was mostly little Europeans, and very few Arabs.

00: 25: 30: 22

BA: But our good Arab was, and months I spoke a little Arabic, because I was curious and I took Arabic lessons, etc.

Interviewer: Do you have Muslim friends, Christian?

BA: We had some Muslim friends who lived not far from us. (Arabic name here). Our neighbor who owned (Arabic name here). reports had been very, very good, very, very good with them.

Interviewer: You were attending ...

BA: It is frequented not really, but

Interviewer: You do not go in each other?

Well no. My mother was friends with (Arabic name) and was friends with ... er, all children. We were not ... a little bit, I do not want to say no, but I can not say yes.

Interviewer: But is that she received these people?

BA: Is she received ... yes. She received and was received by them.

Interviewer: And Christians? Is she received the Christians?

BA: (nodding no) No, hardly. Arabs yes ... finally Muslims.

00: 26: 20: 23

Interviewer: You were talking about what, what language at home?

BA: I was mostly French. My mother sometimes she spoke Arabic with my father that not understand, but we finally realized ... because children always understand.

Interviewer: Were there expressions that you use in family?

BA: How?

Interviewer: Your expressions.

BA: Yeah, my mother (arabic or jewish words here?). She prayed, she also insulted the two! Insults and blessings in Arabic!

00: 26: 48: 13

Interviewer: Ok So with non-Jews, what you were talking most of the time.?

BA: In French practically all the time.

Interviewer: What was the name of the school you attended?

BA: Well, as I said, months I was in school (name), who was a school of the alliance later I was small high school, then I was in high school (name of school). My first school ... (set gets noisy)

00: 27: 46: 05

Other speaker: I did not realize that (inaudible)

BA: But then he (inaudible words). She knows me, she knows me, she used to buy from me ... of course ... .Yeah

00: 28: 00: 19

BA: (while there's background noise / talking) I'm the fashion king.

00: 28: 05: 14

Interviewer: OK, so, uh, you have memories to share with us about your schooling?

BA: Well ... a memory in particular. Of course, I have many. But one in particular, I had a teacher in class end of primary school, which was called Miss (Siddi? Sp?). A woman who came from Turkey. Very dignified. Very beautiful. With a look ... very stern, blue. Which was an extraordinary woman.

00: 28: 43: 12

BA: It took these children that we were, and she transformed them. As if she had any drink and it blew dessu and it was a beautiful vase. So she was able to change the mindset of its young they were, who were between 10 and 14 years! As was my case, I was 10, the class was the certificate of study, end of primary education. And she took these people, and it gave them a sense of life.

00: 29: 15: 14

BA: A lot of people came out of his class, and have become luminaries. Some have become doctors, other architects, others entrepreneurs. But she had the power to transform these young people and give them a sense of life. Purpose in Their Lives. And these children were different; I know I was different after his class. I know all the kids that were there, it was different after his class. It transformed lives. After that, I'm the high school I had other more or less good teachers, but it was the most amazing teacher I have known in my life, and all who were known they will say the same as me.

00: 30: 02: 07

Interviewer: A French original?

BA: It was Turkish origin. There were lots of Turkish teachers in Morocco, who came to teach, (lists names), the school principal, Mr. (name). Finally, y'avait lot of Turkish who had, as they were Sephardic origin. They came to Morocco and taught they were excellent teachers in general, I mean that I knew that I loved, that I respect and that I still love.

00: 30: 34: 10

Interviewer: OK, so, you were part of sports groups which spoke of one of ...

BA: Being a scout, yes. Of course. 

Interviewer: Other social groups?

BA: Well, it was youth sports, as a little basketball. At school course we did gymnastics, uh, that's because it was part of the curriculum, in any case, in high school, where we were doing exercises regularly.

00: 30: 52: 02:

Interviewer: And that's sport and these groups, it was mostly among Jews?

BA: Well, in the scouts, of course. It was of course among Jews, moreover it was called Israelite Scouts of Morocco. ADRs. EIF First, Jewish Scouts of France, and later, it became Israelite Scouts of Morocco. I was part of the troupe (word unclear), but there was the troupe (name), the company (name), there were more troops and I, we were not the only, uh, the only troupe. But there were several, and it was always us Jews.

00: 31: 30: 06

Interviewer: So, is it that had a connection to Zionism?

BA: In Zionism? Uh, she was ... how should I say in French, she was there. It was the Hebrew songs were sung in Hebrew, Israel was all for us ... it was, it was ... it was like our, our fibers. It's not something we were taught, it was something we had. With us, Jew. The school, Jew. Scouts, Jews. So there was Judaism as a drinking water.

00: 32: 06: 16

BA: It was not something that we needed. It was something natural. We naturally lived.

00: 32: 14: 13

Interviewer: OK. So, uh, then you want to talk about the neighborhood where you grew up?

BA: My area was extraordinary, as I say, because if I'm Miss Siddi (sp?) Which was in any case an exceptional teacher, our street was also an emulation street. Why? I dunno. But the street has become a magical street. All those who lived on this street (names) Lacépède, Place du Verdun, etc. everyone in this neighborhood there you say it was a magical street. Why? Because again, doctors, architects, businessmen, I saw very, very few people who are out of Lacépède street that have failed their lives.

00: 32: 56: 12

BA: Even though they were Director clubs, they were good managers of clubs. There was a competition between all these young people, a desire to succeed, driven by parents. Moroccan and they want to have big families because it will be at least one that will succeed! But in fact, there was a competition among the young, who played a guitar, hop, all of Subsequently, the other he was playing the guitar. The other was first class, the other also wanted to be first class.

00: 33: 25: 16

BA: And to talk about me, I was the public writer from the street! Because I wrote the editorial for one and the other and I'd get paid. Now I was a businessman. But I was, in fact I mean that the street was a street children, girls and boys, who, in general, and I put quotation marks everywhere, successful life and made something of their life, in their family, in their business, in their trade.

00: 33: 54: 17

Interviewer: So your neighborhood it was built? Segregated?

BA: Well, as I say, there were Arabs and Jews who lived there. We had, we had, even though it was a report, uh, ephemeral with them, with the right, with the guy who sold us the vegetables in the street, with the (name) who were playing (instruments). Our street was like a circus. It was on Saturday, people who was playing, singing, dancing, acrobats, it was an extraordinary street honestly! We talk a lot in my books because it was a different street the other streets of Casablanca.

00: 34: 31: 08

BA: There were streets of French "French". The clock, Avenue (?), Etc. But our little street, it was like out of the mellah and inlaid in the European quarter, but still remained with a tribal spirit, is not it? Spirit of being together. An exchange of dishes. My mother send her couscous with his girlfriend when she did. She received a dish the next day. There was this exchange and there was this quality neighborhood, we know not anywhere else, but there is normally lived every day.

Interviewer: So, is that your parents or grandparents they played a special role in the community?

BA: Well, my maternal grandfather was a rabbi, so of course he did this job, so from the start in this kind of thing. My father and his job, but again, it was, it was an automatic ... community. It was not something organized. But it was still organized.

00: 35: 46: 19

BA: viscerally. That's what I would say.

Interviewer: And what was a social protocol in your family?

BA: What?

Interviewer: A social protocol in your family, instead of parents ...

BA: Oh yes. Ah yes of course. But it was still an automatic time. Y'avait no discussions.

00: 36: 05: 16

Interviewer: So y'avait no discussions, parents ...

BA: No, parents were parents. Sacred. The big brother was the big brother. Y'avait respect, but had to fight. I've fought for the eldest of place, even if I was not ... I was not the eldest, but I fought for the future.

Interviewer: How?

BA: Because I forced myself to one point vis-à-vis my big brother who began to go to Israel etc., but as a day he pushed me, instead of leaving me, I have fought, and after that, the roles have changed, and I became ... Because in families, as in dogs, in dogs, there is one of the dogs that differs from the other. dogs seen in the North Pole etc., they stand like that! He has a different attitude, right? I thereof. I was different from my other brothers, different from my sister, different stuff. I became a different dog is not like the mound of other dogs, even in my neighborhood saw me like that. Toby, he played apricot kernel, and ... eh eh, I was next.

00: 37: 21: 15

BA: Perhaps my reading, the act of reading books maybe I had turned my head, and I'm now the intellectual (laughter), but uh I had become, I was different. I stayed and even today, I'm different. And, I love the difference.

00: 37: 38: 08

Interviewer: Uh what are your memories of foods prepared by your parents your grandparents?

BA: Well, it's fantastic, because my mother she could take a tomato and cut it in half, put a drop of oil and some salt, she had an extraordinary taste. But Mom! How you doing? But I have done nothing! I cut tomato, and then I ... No, it tastes, what did you do ??

A potato, ... Mom! But I have done nothing! No, she had her hand she had in hand, when she cooked, she put love. As I said in my news:

That love of grace and tenderness in the simple act of cutting the hot bread she baked and sent out with smoke, she put the Danish butter on it, she put apricot jam made House! Or marmalade, homemade! Hot and tasted like that, it gave us the out of school, and there was so much love, so much grace, so much beauty and so much tenderness in that gesture there. That, of course, it had a different taste. And that the food our mothers, the ball of our mothers, mothers of the dish is not the same. And will never, no never have the same taste, because she had love in everything she did.

00: 38: 57: 07

Interviewer: Did your parents or grandparents dressed in the traditional way? Or European?

BA: No, my grandparents, traditional Jewish way. But my parents not to European way, my mother and my father.

00: 39: 12: 11

Interviewer: And for special occasions?

BA: Oh no, or when there was the (? Unclear), they will put the caftan, but only for special occasions. Otherwise they dressed in European style.

Interviewer: Is it that they had memories you want to share from the social life?

BA: Well, I loved ... my father was a good storyteller. I have to remember a little bit of it, I hope. He had the gift to tell stories, to laugh, etc. And when we met, there were songs of joy y'avait (word?), There were stories. There was a union, a very special atmosphere that I search again today, when I make myself evenings and I want this mixture of people and I want to eat well, to drink, I want there is music, there is the party. The party, in my family, is intrinsic to us. We live in the party, we love the party, we seek the feast we celebrate. The party is us. And the party is my family, this is the party my friends, parties, it is the people that I put around me. I love people, and because I love people, people like me.

00: 40: 24: 19

BA: And because we love, we must create the party and I love the party.

00: 40: 32: 08

Interviewer: Uh, ok. Would you describe the Shabat, preparation, grocery shopping, meal preparation?

BA: There are several things to be said for Shabat. First, my mother was the market, not my father took us to (word?) Who was smart and bright in the month. And went around the side of the mellah market (names places) and was the market. My mother began, she had the right, who was cleaning vegetables, etc., and began to prepare shabat early, about eleven or twelve o'clock it began ...

00: 41: 25: 13

BA: It was extremely fast. She was, it was almost ten, if the account 7 children, my father, the good itself, it was 10-12, more guests who came all the time unexpectedly, it was the Arabs, c ' was normal for 2 or 4 people, or Arab friends come to eat, it was normal, so it was current. So it was on Friday and Saturday to prepare (word?) The next day. So all this was done, my mother was very effective, fast, and very well, and from 4-5 pm, she went to the bathroom, the bath Moorish, to clean, because it was a special evening. So she had to go, and she brought a nanny myself when I went, I saw all the naked women, so I was very happy. J'savais too well what I was watching, but I was there.

00: 42: 06: 17

BA: and so we went to the Turkish bath. She went out, she had rosy cheeks, all clean, all beautiful. And she returned, she began a beautiful caftan, and the table was ready, my father arrived, he too had taken his bath, but her home, and children also (noise of cleaning children) and it scratched my knees. But Mom, it hurts! Shut up! And all children, three or four at a time in the bathtub. Three-four at the time Sami! And we ... Mom! Shut up! It was all beautiful, all clean, small pajamas out that only the party nights, and we did it shabat, it was a beautiful moment of harmony and in the memory, I remember, that's why I really love the holidays, I never refuse an invitation to shabat, and I try to invite me.

00: 42: 59: 03

BA: Because I do not want to do on Friday night and Saturday. I like this.

00: 43: 06: 16

Interviewer: How was your family practitioner?

BA: She was practicing as I say, normally it was no, of effort to do. She was practicing because it was all shabat, she made all the festivals-all-be it Rosh Hashana, the Passover, Yom Kippur. For Passover, the house was cleaned completely, for Rosh Hashana, the traditional couscous is made. For Kippur is fasting, even if it was very young. I fasted the afternoon, not morning. Not a good idea.

00: 43: 37: 09

BA: But we absolutely rigorously followed the celebrations. Oh, careful.

00: 43: 45: 03

Interviewer: Does your family was involved in synagogue life?

BA: My father?

Interviewer: Your father?

BA: Well, no, it was, uh. He was unfaithful.

Interviewer: So you had some memories of the synagogue you want to share

BA: When we were in the synagogue of (name), and a little bird came through the outer door, I think it was Yom Kippur, and there was a great silence in general who became . When the bird came, we were told the Messiah is here! And then he left as he had come, and we continue our prayers. But otherwise, there was a lovely atmosphere and we young people, as there were a lot of scouts in this particular synagogue, I enjoyed going there.

00: 44: 37: 21

Interviewer: Do you celebrate your bar mitzvah?

BA: Tard. Later because I was blackmailing my parents I wanted to be a Cub, otherwise I did not bar mitzvah, so I'm doing this. Unfortunately I am bar mitzvah after my father died, two months after his death. Because my father died, I'm very late, around the age of 15 years because I was the permanent blackmail, but this is my case, we must not speak of others who are doing 13 years like everyone else.

00: 45: 04: 20

BA: But me like I was special as I say, so I made late and uh, and two months after I left, I left Casablanca to Paris and I'm never returned after that otherwise on holiday or tourist.

00: 45: 21: 11

Interviewer: So, can you describe your bar mitzvah?

BA: My bar mitzvah? Mine was sad, but I can mention those of my brothers, who were traditional uh, that was the circle of the alliance rue Lacépède. A nice little room where we made music, sang, danced, all my brothers, not my sister, but my brothers were obviously done their bar mitzvah.

00: 45: 47: 14

Interviewer: So, what were the traditions, religion, who soaked food?

BA: It's Moroccan Jew. My mother, not my mother cooked traditionally Moroccan Jew. It was a sophisticated Moroccan cuisine. But it was Moroccan cuisine, made of pellets made of couscous, made of Moroccan fish, but she cooked very, very well. It was a very, very good cook.

00: 46: 12: 00

Interviewer: Do you have memories of Passover or Seder?

BA: Yes, so, as I say, it was absolutely clean house. The mellah, I remember, when I went to my grandparents, they passed whitewashed facade of their house again, as for refurbishing. And everything was clean, everything was tidy. There was an exceptional case in the effervescence Pesach. Grand cleaning attention. For three four days before, we had no bread and then finally, uh, when the night of Pesach arrived, the soup was expected with impatience, because she had a particular taste. And the taste of the soup Pesach ever I found other than the night of Pesach. For my mother!

00: 47: 04: 03

Interviewer: Is that had special Community customs, travel to sacred sites?

BA: Well, yes, a lot, there are many saints as you know in Morocco. Whether (name of saint), whether (name of saint), or whether (name of saint), there are saints everywhere, even today. Respected by Jews and Muslims. There are people from all over the world today to give hundreds of thousands of dollars to be protected, to be blessed, for it to continue, and there throughout Morocco again, and I remember there was a mausoleum in the middle of the mellah, where Arabs and Jews came to pray even today there are Jews and the Muslims will pray over the graves. Jews they come from everywhere to honor these saints there.

00: 48: 00: 00

Interviewer: Do you have any superstitions?

BA: Personally? Uh, yes, probably so ... proof, that I have an amulet just given me thanks to you Natalie. It must have implicitly because it is true that inside us we're all superstitious, even when they say I'm not superstitious because it will bring me misfortune. But in fact we're all a little can I think.

00: 48: 32: 22

Interviewer: OK. So, uh, religious figures known in your family?

BA: Yeah, well, we always talked about (name), the names of rabbis came regularly in conversations with my mother when she wanted to bless us, when she wanted ... she implored God. My mother had one feature, when she wanted something in particular, she spoke almost every day to God. But no matter how: it opens the window, because if the window is closed, God will not hear. So she opened the window, and she speaks! And asked him things, but it speaks to him as a friend.

00: 49: 14: 20

BA: It not speak of him as a stranger. She tells him: God, I ask you ... (looks up, hands in prayer, speaks). She spoke directly to him! If the phone rang, she said, 'Wait!' And she will talk to his son! She hangs up and returns and continued his conversation. She expected God! To go talk to one of his children. But she was really, excuse me there's my son calling me.

00: 49: 44: 20

Interviewer: So do you have memories of non-religious Jewish organizations, for example, Zionists, who were present?

BA: They were there. And why I know it is because at some point after the death of my father, my mother wanted, uh, she too children, she was 7 and she was all alone to feed all these people and work and do all that. So I remember very strongly to me that a guy came to me one evening with a bottle of (mahia?), The sign of recognition. The bottle of brandy. He came home like that, with a little hat, and the eyes that looked all sides, and he came looking for me to go to Israel.

00: 50: 29: 22

BA: And my mother saw the man who was an obvious religious, and she watched his son all great, just beautiful, young, and she said 'No!'. She let me go. But I had a physical experience of this meeting. My two brothers Charlie and Daniel went to Israel. They were 13 and 14 years. And they did an experiment about a year there. My brother Mark then left for Israel, he has made return ... completely. So we ... my uncle was involved in the Zionist movement very, very strongly, and it was from the boat and took care (unclear here), it was my mother's brother. And involved Zionist completely integrated.

00: 51: 20: 13

BA: After that we saw, of course, there was the (name), y'avait other Jewish movements that were there, but the Zionist movement? My uncle and these experiences I have related.

Interviewer: So your brothers and went a year and returned (unclear)

BA: Yes, my brothers went almost a year in Israel, and returned. My other brother, he made return and after that he came here in Canada, as we all do.

00: 51: 47: 04

Interviewer: So that's your uncle was very involved.

Well yes.

Interviewer: So the family opinion about Zionism? Your mother had a look, uh ...

BA: I'll explain, I'll make a parenthesis here, because we were in Morocco 300-350 000. Roughly. Years, let's say, '65, something like that, before or around the War of the six days, during these years. In forty-eight there was a movement, small movement to the creation of Israel, that Moroccan Jews settled there. After that, there was independence. When there was independence, there was Moroccanization, what does that mean?

00: 52: 30: 13

BA: That means he absolutely had to be associated with a Muslim and a Moroccan Muslim background, I believe, to continue doing business. Is not it? It's very important that I mean there because it is essential to understand our systematic departure, because we were not that bad in Morocco. It was protected by the king. But the word 'protected' by the king is already something not acceptable. I am protected by the Canadian, police Government, this is normal. But the system protects me. I did not need to be protected by an individual, which may fall tomorrow, and me, me zigouiller. This is not a good idea.

00: 53: 11: 10

BA: In '56, another wave, is not it? After that, he had 6 Day War. In the War of the six days, that it becomes serious and another wave that much stronger hand. This is the third wave: '48, '56, '66 and I believe this is the War of 6 days. So there's a number of Jews who hand, so in France, Canada, Israel, the USA, Brazil, there's been an extraordinary diaspora at that time. Is not it? And from the time the movement was installed, it was irreversible. Each goes his own way, children first went to study, but then parents will join them. The fear of fear sets in.

00: 53: 58: 15

BA: I talk about this in one of my stories called "The Falcons (name)" where I explain with a metaphor that systematic departure. And finally, I say that if we had stayed in Morocco, we would have been less than one million today! If we had 350,000 there 3-4 generations in '66, today in 2015, 2016, it would have been perhaps a million, as it is in the world with Israel, and Canada, everywhere the original Moroccans are nearly one million, 1.2, 1.3 million worldwide. So we were a million to Morocco? Unsustainable. Impossible, in a Muslim country with what is happening between Israel and Arab countries. (Unclear). We could not have easily passport, money was restrictive, because we could not trade freely.

00: 54: 41: 11

BA: So people who say, "You should never have to leave Morocco. "Huh huh huh, impossible! We had no choice. As that was not the choice for other Arab countries that they had political problems and refugee problems and difficult problems because that could not really live in an Arab country. We could have been ... but we could not. For reasons that are untenable for a Muslim country. And the king! But Morocco has not robbed us, Morocco does not make us wrong, Morocco let us go with our women and children, and left us surreptitiously from to Israel. The king was important in Israel negotiations and the Arab countries, Hassan II, it was really instrumental. Rabin came to visit, Peres came to see. He had a genuine recognition of Morocco King's efforts in this story, but in the end we had no choice but to leave Morocco, despite their kindness and their hospitality despite and in spite of the regrets they aujourd 'hui. It was irreversible.

(I'm sorry, long story, long answer, I think it's purpose important. You can edit it anyway).

00: 55: 59: 03

Interviewer: Do you have memories of the atmosphere during the War of 1956, at the radio, what people say?

BA: (nodding) Yes, absolutely. When the king of Morocco returned to her doctor, who was exiled to Madagascar, and income, there was a puppet king, called Arafat, who has nothing to do with that of Palestine, Yasser Arafat. So Arafat was placed by the French authorities, it was a bad king. And there was terrorism in Morocco. Our grocer was a terrorist. Y'avait terrorists everywhere, y'avait attacks. I witnessed, I was very young but I saw it.

00: 56: 40: 02

BA: And there was, finally when the king returned, under popular pressure, arcades everywhere, ululating everywhere (imitates thesis), it was screaming everywhere, which means independence, freedom, etc., freedom. And singing and cheering, and King Mohammed 5 happened in the hope of general euphoria, and everyone was really happy he returns to the country. He died in '61 and unfortunately Hassan II was the king after that, but '56 to '61 it was Mohammed 5 and there was a great, great popular joy, preceded by terrorist acts, and finally we ended up in jubilation and happiness of the Moroccan people, who really wanted this independence.

00: 57: 34: 04

Interviewer: So, describe relationships, uh, well, non-Jewish families, we talked a little about that.

Is for example, you invite non-Jewish marriage relationships. Are they involved?

BA: Well, my mother she was, as I say, very, very friendly with a family (name?) Who was at the same time, our owner. Even today, children are our friends. They come from California, I get them and we kept an intimacy, at least a friendship that has lasted until today. And my mother was often invited to weddings of Arab, Muslim. I have a family who is a musician, the (name), so I'm doing a tour with them for Arab musicians weddings, so I had Jewish musicians playing at Arab weddings. (Name) was of Jewish origin, (name) was of Jewish origin. She sang the king, etc.

00: 58: 31: 07

BA: There was a mutual love and there was genuine affection. But a separation anyway. Must not forget that! It is we were together and separated. Not believe it was like that, it was like that, and we lived next door and we lived well. That's very important to say. But he still had, but in some villages they lived in harmony, in the mountains, Berber villages, etc., Jews and Berbers and Arabs, they lived like this (clasps hands).

Interviewer: They got married?

BA: No, not married.

00: 59: 01: 19

BA: But we live together, we eat together, sleep together, we're friends, we raise the kids together. But marriage is something else. It is forbidden for them, and it is forbidden for us.

00: 59: 14: 19

Interviewer: You mentioned earlier scouts. Will was a Zionist organization?

Well no. She may be a Zionist, but it is not known. It was a (word?) Zionist, since singing in Hebrew, it was shabat, lots of things we did like that. But in reality, she was a Zionist, but like that (leans to one side). Covert.

00: 59: 41: 01

Interviewer: Well, before we move to emigration, is that there is another memory from your youth that you would share with us?

BA: Well, I have many, because as I say, I write it, then so yes, I will mention the beach in Morocco, I'll talk pools in Morocco, I will talk about the joy to live in Morocco, Morocco sun, I'll talk to the sea in Morocco, I will speak of the Mediterranean in northern Morocco, from the Atlantic to the other side, the smell of iodine that we had, I mean the happiness we had ... maybe it's time that did this? Maybe our memories as I say, but the beautiful life, retains the happy moments and make miraculously times of sadness, swallowed by time and forgetfulness, misfortune moments, sadness and rain . I turn and what I see, wedding pictures, pictures of bar mitzvah, pictures of beach, pictures of laughing, pictures of happiness, I do not see pictures of misfortune.

01: 00: 38: 22

BA: And the same thing in my memories. It is like a mirror that sees happiness. AND so, I remember moments of joy in Morocco with freedom, my little bike, my friends, the girls were beautiful as any, I liked all, and life, which was beautiful and was a life happiness. It's the memories that I have. This is not a misfortune of living.

01: 01: 08: 05

Interviewer: Ok, we'll talk about emigration. So already, how it (word unclear?) To go to Israel?

BA: Well, not only that I was never attracted attracted attracted. Rather, it is France, because I wanted to do theater, film, etc., so I was in this trip there. And I shot a short film in Morocco, called Children of the Sun, and all that had gone to my head, and as I was doing theater in a French organization called the Mad, the Federation secular works. So I was Frenchified. My schools (word?), And the small high school, and high school (word?), They Frenchified me. My readings Frenchified me. So I was French, in my mind. The card that was in the class, it was not a map of Morocco, it was a map of France. My ancestors that were not Jews and Moroccans, it was the Gauls. So then I had a Francophile experience.

01: 02: 05: 04

BA: And I stayed. So I was eager to go to Paris, and continue ... my wonderful acting career ...

01: 02: 18: 17

Interviewer: Well then already do you have had experiences of persecution?

BA: Very little, but I remember my grandfather for example. My grandfather, my mother tells me ... I have not seen my grandfather passed and an Arab first y'avait restrictions: you could not ride a horse, he always had to be lower the Arabs, they had a hat, they were dressed ... the little black hat, he had no right to wear the red hat Arabs. They had to be different and they may be distinguished. We can notice it and say, here is a Jew. We not put the star ...

Interviewer: All the time?

BA: No, not all the time, but there was a distinct manner. We had to recognize that ... the Arab Jew.

01: 03: 08: 22

Interviewer: So what year, you know?

BA: In the years, uh, thirty, thirty-five. Finally, in the years (word?).

Interviewer: Ok uh when your family is gone, what happened with printing?

BA: So with the death of my father, my mother took her back, and she was able to make it work because she was more businessman than my father, and it thrived. She bought a car, she moved uptown, we lived space, we lived in the beautiful streets, a nice apartment, she bought me a car. She was more dynamic than my father, more ambitious. My father was more timorous, let's say, my mother was more ... ambitious.

01: 03: 47: 16

Interviewer: And when your mother left, what has become of this?

BA: So, therefore, it is still there. We, I go to Paris. Then my brothers go to Israel. There she is left with fewer children. Then, in '64, in '65 I'll uh ... I came to Canada. When I arrived in Canada, she is still in Morocco. Even in Morocco. And then I start, and I was lucky because I got well quickly, I made a case that has very young, I had 22-23 years when I started my business and it was, it worked well.

01: 04: 20: 10

BA: So I started bringing my brothers. I was the first in my family. We must not forget, I'm the pater familias. So I started to bring my brothers, one after the other and when sufficient brother were there, my mother followed us, she sold the thing, she paid her taxes, she wanted everything from ... clean it several times to see us, as a tourist, and then finally she came to settle.

01: 04: 49: 17

Interviewer: So, uh, okay ...

BA: But my experience is different. Because I was in Paris, and my uncle comes to see me, I was working and in good beautiful store. My best friend, French, Morocco, but French, went to do his military service. I found myself alone.

01: 05: 07: 16

BA: What do I do? My uncle, who arrived from Canada, saying "What are you doing here in Paris. But you are crazy ! Come to Canada! It's extraordinary ! You'll see, it's a wonderful life! You have 21 years, 22 years, you'll see, you'll succeed. " This is a good thing. Phew! I go to the Canadian Embassy 15 days I had my papers! Fifteen days I had my immigrant visa! He must go, I have so many months to go, pfft, I have nothing to do, ok, I'll go a few months, free. (Name) he pays me my ticket, I wanted to go by plane, I'll ship the Corinthia (?). I take the boat, and I'm 6-7 days to arrive in Halifax. And I say no, I will not fly, it's too fast, so I'm slowly the journey to get here, and later, with my beautiful little costumes (name) and Pierre Cardin, because I 'was in fashion, and I just, I arrived in Halifax in March. From Halifax to Montreal, white all the time!

01: 06: 03: 00

BA: Snow! White, I saw only white! And I saw black when I saw all white! How I was shaking on the train! The train from Halifax to Montreal, horror! What am I doing in this country? But this is madness! White, in March! White, white, white, white, white, white, white, white. Nothing but white! The train (Train Makes noise) I do not know how many hours, we finally arrived in Montreal.

01: 06: 33: 05

BA: And I say good. So I had only one idea was to start from Paris, fast fast fast fast fast fast. But I had no money. Because everything I had I bought clothes, my bags to come, I was zero. Then my uncle told me, "You're coming to work with me. "David made me come. He had just started his business, a shoe deal. He had just begun. Then he made me wait. And I'm here, I expect ... I expect ... after an hour, I says, "What you do to me? "He told me (imitates His uncle) Moroccan ... it makes me dance. I say "No, no no, no, I'm me come to work. And I came to go ... "because I wanted to quickly gain the life to return to Paris of course. But it's not interested in staying.

01: 07: 15: 07

BA: So he told me good, you're going to sell slippers. Slippers! What is it ? People have slippers in Canada. He not know! So I'm going with my little box, little slippers suitcase. The first store, Mister G Shoe Salon, rue Ste-Catherine and McGill College, a small shop. I go there, and I spoke no English well, I tell Shoes for sleep, uh, good, uh, what the fuck is that? Excusez moi. What is that? Sleeping, uh.

01: 07: 53: 01

BA: So he liked me, he liked. He called my uncle and he said, who is this boy who came to see me. He said, um, my nephew. He said, is what can, uh, he can work for me? Then my uncle said, sure! So I est devenu the salesman, the manager, and the blind cleaner, Because I Was the only person working there! I was the only person working there! I'm now the manager of myself. And I start to work, and by an extraordinary turn of events, twenty or twenty-five years later, the building Where this shoe stores, I bought out, share of the building on Ste-Catherine and McGill University est devenu mine. Twenty-five years later! Twenty-five and later it was the area where I am Sports Experts and there, but ... 25 years later. I started working there, and then I took a small apartment, and I started to bring my brothers.

01: 08: 49: 01

Interviewer: So the idea of ​​returning to Paris flew?

BA: Well, uh ... I started to work ... and to earn a living, to take an apartment, my life was organized. And I will work, Holt Renfrew, partner after the thing, Because why, because one day, my aunt, my aunt had a baby, she just had a little boy and she was the brit milah, then I say to my boss, I call I said, I have to, I have to go to the brit milah ... No, no, no you do not go to-any brit milah or anything, you're there by yourself; you can not. I Said, I have to go! Now I speak English better! So I Said, I have to go; Said he, if you go, you're not gonna come back to work ... I Said, shrug, and I left. And I Went there, and I lost my job. Three days later, I go to the Jewish vocational service remember I came with (name of org), now I go to the Jewish vocational service and there is an opening at Holt Renfrew. There's an opening at Holt Renfrew. So I go, And They Took me right away, aim, the French, they know how to sell. Canadians know they not sell.

01: 10: 01: 21

BA: We know we sell. I know very well sell. And they we saw a phenomenon. They put me at Place Ville-Marie, Holt Renfrew ... They give me a percentage, and or a minimum, and I say, no, no, no, and a percentage a minimum or they give you a fixed salary, I say no, no, no, a percentage and a minimum. I begin to earn more than the manager! A guy comes to a shirt, I sells 6 shirts I sell costumer, I sell (unclear), I was a phenomenon! Two months later they come to me in Sherbrooke, the main street, And Then They Were observing me! Because what is this phenomenon? He can sell anything! And they tell me, if you sell it, you sell it, I sell it! You sell it, I sell it. I do, pop, pop, pop, I was selling. I was a sales phenomenon!

01: 10: 49: 09

BA: So after that, I started my business, I was 23, and my friend, one of my friends coming, and I was very, very young and I Looked very young; I Looked like a baby, 17-18 years-old, so how I'm gonna start a business? So I asked a friend of mine, who was 10 years (?) More than me. He said, Come with me and you are my partner, but just because I need someone older, to uh ...

And we started our company. We had $ 1 500 and a car that I had just bought, of course occasion. And he said, We will work with you, I said, No, no, no, it is not working from home. We had an office on the rue La Montagne, small office like that that just about the size of that room, and we started.

01: 11: 42: 03

BA: And a few months later, I met a guy called (name) who gave me the place on Drummond, with the goods on consignment. And we started our adventure, and here there was no reason to leave because it start walking right away.

01: 11: 58: 09

Interviewer: So, in retrospect, is that you are well prepared for your emigration?

BA: Not at all. Nah.

Interviewer: not Y'avait preparations (unclear)?

BA: No, no, nothing. I was going to leave. I just wanted a vacation.

Sorry (Reaches over off camera)

01: 12: 13: 09

Interviewer: And uh, where you lived during that time, which describe the system in Canada?

BA: What? So I live ... good first early, early, early, I lived with my aunt and uncle. So I arrived at my uncle David, whom I met in Paris, and who said, Well, you come. The third or fourth day, you know, I had just arrived, tired, "You will not do as your brother! You're not going to sleep all day! ". Oh, I give my business, and I'm leaving, I'm leaving. I even know where I go, I have no money, nothing. I have very little money. I go to the Y, on Drummond Street, and I sleep there, and they are looking for me everywhere, and they me looking everywhere. I have gone. Nobody yells at me. Nobody talks to me like that. Person, eh, I'm 20 years 21 years, do not insult me ​​and you do not tell me that. I'm gone. They seek me everywhere. Finally they found me, and ... and I would die of hunger, I passed on Ste-Catherine street, I can not eat, I have no money. I Was starving and you know I Was, Dunn's I Was on St-Catherine Street and I look the smoked meat and everything and my hunger got bigger.

01: 13: 36: 14

BA: So ... what do I do? Finally they found me. I go to another one of my uncles, I not return to David. He insulted me. Nah. I go to my uncle Joseph; I stayed for a month. After I found a small apartment, the arrangement is that I find work; I started working, I began to earn my living, I found a small apartment on the rue Saint-Mathieu, very cute, very cute. So there I settled and uh, I wanted to go back to Paris, I wanted to earn some money and, pfui, goodbye.

01: 14: 12: 05

BA: But one day I pass on Bishop Street, and I see a small cafe. Café Prague. I get it. Cappuccino, first time. The first time I saw cappuccino in Montreal, y was not in Montreal, then yes. Apple streudel, delicious! And he had a coffee and we started going there often. I had a friend who played guitar, and a guy who played Indian flute, and then, uh, I said, ah, I went to see the boss, Zag, called a Czechoslovak and I said, We can say poems? Since I'm a little in Paris. Safe ! I do not pay you, aim if you want, no problem.

01: 14: 57: 10

BA: We put a small box on the guitar, the other guitar, Indian flute and me saying poems every night. Finally, I know now 500-600 poems, and every night, I said poems and passed the hat. And then I started to like a little Montreal.

01: 15: 16: 02

Interviewer: (unclear)

BA: So an atmosphere a little bit European.

01: 15: 22: 04

Interviewer: Okay, so, uh, do you want ... we'll come back a little bit back, to me you describe your departure, the experience of leaving the country.

The experience of leaving the country. 

Interviewer: So do you want to tell us how you went like this with such ease, having been seller at Holt Renfrew, to having your own business?

BA: So, what happened is that there is still something happened between Holt Renfrew and my own business. so I loved traveling, uh, I left for a yes, a no, and then I always traveled a lot. Good, returning from travel, I work in someone else called Russell, a blouse and quickly, because I was a good salesman I said, he asks me to be his partner, and work, and to a company because I said, I I would like to import and things like that. Then we begin and then I see that he does not want to do anything, it does not interest to work. He let me do all the work and him he'll give me the money to do all the business so I refuse.

00: 17: 11: 09

BA: And I leave. And I go, so with Sam (name), who became my partner, it was 10 years older than me, and we set off on our adventure, without money, with $ 1,500 so I borrowed my car, and a small office we rented on the rue La Montagne. And we started with very, very few shirts, and then, I go to a ...

Interviewer: Shirts who came from where?

BA: Uh ... sweaters that came from New Zealand. Some sweaters and anything. But I had a very, very good eye, I look at someone, You're doing 16, 33 (inches).

01: 17: 52: 00

BA: 16 33 ''. I can just see the size of someone, I see his hat head, I see his shoe size, right now I see. My eye is exercised. And a small cafe, a restaurant, a terrace which is on Mountain Street, right on de Maisonneuve, and Mountain Street, called Bourgetel. I go there: you, 15 ½ 32 (inches), wait, pfui, I run at a guy who sold shirts and I take six shirts, I'll sell him two shirts, 3 shirts, a suit, and I pay it gave me and after 2-3 weeks, a month and a half of it, he said, but you sell it better than me!

01: 18: 28: 16

BA: You sell better than me! Why do not you come ... I know anything vêtments, and it is a Lebanese. His name (name). It's a great story, and I tell it in a book of mine, a wonderful man, wonderful, (imitates accent) Why do not you just take my business? I know nothing about clothes! I rented you!

So I said, okay! Combine you rent me your place? He told me, Give me $ 400 but, and clothing? I give them to you on consignment. Consignment! Sweaters, shirts, costumes and I had 60, 90 days to pay.

01: 19: 08: 19

BA: Suddenly, I found myself with a case. I had nothing ... a typist, y'avait IBM machines, pock, pock, like that, not like computers, machinery, there were clothes, there were offices, there were tables there had carpet, there were ... stuff. I said ... I started selling ... the money.

01: 19: 32: 05

BA: We return money! I go to paris ! We begin to buy stuff. And we begin to sell. Now I have 60 to 90 days. First, I must say that it was wonderful that (name) and I thank him again today, because it was he who gave me my first chance. But I have paid 100 percent of everything I got. I saw her daughter a few years later, came to me ... I told him, How is it that your name is? She told me, (name), I said, the daughter of (name)? Anything you want, I say yes, before you say anything, because she's finally his father, who gave me my first chance, and that's how I started my company.

(Long story, sorry)


 01: 20: 14: 23

Interviewer: Is it here in Montreal you started to belong to a synagogue?

BA: Well, yes. Yes, uh, well, me I ... I was very involved in the community here. From the start. Why ? Uncle, (name), was part of the ASF, which was not yet the CSQ, the first name, even before the Rally of Morocco, etc. And there was (name), and there was (name), and there was (name), the (unclear) that was there. My uncle took me there. From the beginning, in the years '66 -67, I am part of the first group, some even before any association ... and I am the flag with my uncle. He created ASF and I was there. And I was with my uncle ... .Its right arm for years, and I was like, you know, perhaps, President of the Jewish call, I was president of the Sephardic fortnight, I was president of ... the ... the cultural Committee of the ASF.

01: 21: 24: 02

BA: And so I was involved in some way in all that is done in the community for years and years. One, I had the price of the literary king David finally, but I was very, very, very, very, very involved in community work community.

01: 21: 38: 02

Interviewer: So you've forged many relationships easily with other immigrants?

BA: With other immigrants, yes of course, of course.

01: 21: 50: 02

Interviewer: In general, is your family have adapted to this new country?

BA: Well, uh, good ... .Pardon?

Interviewer: Y'avait problematic?

BA: Well, the weather, for starters. Because we are not accustomed. And my mother has taken years and years to get used to and even all of us, the cold, as it often traveled in my case I often traveled ... it became untenable. Yeah, it was adapted to the country, I mean.

01: 22: 19: 20

Interviewer: And so in all the supports organizations that was ...

BA: Yes, certainly, it was (name), the Jewish vocational service, etc. I took the opportunity, I also repaid all I have to say proudly, but I was there.

01: 22: 39: 12

Interviewer: So, is this what you told just now a very beautiful impression ... first impression of your new country. The whiteness. And the cold. Is that had anything else?

BA: Well, I quickly realized that it was, uh, great candor and kindness among Quebecers. Some, not to say naive, but I can not say it, but yes, a candor and a natural kindness. And I quickly ... I had girlfriends Quebec early, uh, I stayed with an Indian Quebec for 4 years. Françoise Lemire, and uh, I'm good, I liked to share the cold, it was fine.

And I quickly integrated into Quebec society. The English-speaking society. And Moroccan society. I have not had any problems association with different groups, because my personality would let me. So I had friends in all groups.

01: 23: 44: 23

Interviewer: So then, you have been in fashion, and after you said you were a writer.

BA: No, I've always been a writer.

Interviewer: Always?

BA: Yeah.

Interviewer: So, okay, you want to tell us about that?

Well yes! Well, I talked to my reading when I was a small child, and I was the first in French throughout life since I was 6-7 years. Besides, I have a little story when I started school, my first day of class, and the mistress (name) calls me and asks me, uh, she said, is that there is someone in the class, is there anyone who knows a poem, uh, something I knew a few verses to 3-4. I rode very proud that my heart was pounding, and I tell my little poem, and she gave me candy!

01: 24: 36: 18

BA: The good point was sweet, and I took this candy, I put in my pocket ... nothing! My brother picked me up at school, I kept the candy, and I came home with me, I run I go upstairs, Mom! Mom! I had kept the candy, my eyes were shining. My teeth were gold, as she said my mother! My cheeks were pink and red! I had the sweet, ah, ah, ah, I was like that, and then I could eat the candy, but I kept it for nearly two hours without touching it! Had to be some willingness! I got it.

01: 25: 14: 11

Interviewer: So, um,

BA: How I'm become a writer? Yes.

Interviewer: Yes, that's it.

BA: Yes, so, as I say, I was always first in my French classes all my life. Since my primary classes to end. And then I wanted to do theater. And one day someone asks me to, uh, I was also in the arts, I became impresario and then I brought (names here), I was associated with Guy Latraverse, and j ' I'm doing shows etc. And one day we had lunch with Rene (name), do you? And I speak of being small, I say, I was always marked, it was with Aznavour and we were with (name) and it was with Guy Latraverse. Then he told me, write it! And I write Small world.

01: 26: 01: 09

BA: That he published in the magazine Us. And a woman who calls me, Hey, this is what you wrote, you want to write another novel?

I said yes and I was president of the World Alliance, Friends of the universal alliance, Universal Israelite, I was president here, I write on the back, my first day of school. This sweet story! And someone called me a Jewish forum told me, You allow me I publish? Of course! It publishes the news!

Everyone loved it! You can write others? And I write each month, a new for her. The start of the school year. Beach Day. Etc. Some months later, Pierre Nadeau: I love your stories! He was a journalist on TV, Radio-Canada. "You want me to talk to a friend of mine who is editor? " " Of course! "The Éditons Hurtubise calls me," Mr. Abitbol, ​​I read your news, I'm interested, would you publish it? " " But of course! "

01: 27: 07: 02

BA: Me sign a small contract, pfft, I get a ridiculous percentage that I accept. And he published this book called The taste jams. Which was a huge success! Which is now translated into English. Which is translated into Hebrew. That tells a little kid my first adventure, beach, etc. And when I did that first book that encouraged me to do the other, writing plays, writing books of poems. I'm, I'm on my fifth book, I'm two books of poems and I have seven books, plus the eighth who will, I hope, will be played here soon.

01: 27: 44: 09:

Interviewer: Wonderful. So you keep a Sephardic heritage?

BA: Absolutely!

Interviewer: At what level?

BA: At 100 percent

Interviewer: Traditions? Food?

BA: All. But in spirit I feel Jew and I am a Jew. I study ah, I bought the Talmud for idiots, Talmud for Dummies, and I read that, and I go to the synagogue, I like it. And I'm not very religious, I repeat, I am very, very, very, very, very, Jew. And I was not married to a Jewess. I am not married to a Jewess. She had to convert, and someone said, let's do the job well and finally it has not ever wanted, but I had to convert my children, to do its bar mitzvah, my son and I brought him to Brooklyn, to a second circumcision, who scored elsewhere. Even if it was symbolic. Who do its synagogue, to do its bar mitzvah at the Spanish Portuguese, which is the synagogue where I go, that was the question just now.

01: 28: 48: 03

BA: And, for the communion of my son, I had to do convert to Judaism because his mother was not.

01: 28: 57: 21

Interviewre: So what is the most important element of your Sephardic heritage?

BA: Hmm, I would say the food, but in fact, in reality, it is the spirit that it has left. A spirit of tolerance. A spirit of societal .... On friendship. On opening. Franchise. Kindness perhaps. There's a kind of species in the Sephardic, it may be a generalization but still, I like the people, the Sephardic people are tolerant and friendly, and happy, and the joy of living, the Sephardim.

01: 29: 45: 06

Interviewer: How would you describe your identity: cultural? Jewish? French?

BA: All. Jewish. French. Moroccan. Canadian. American. Mexican. All.

01: 29: 56: 02

Interviewer: Do you consider yourself a refugee?

BA: So it would just a second I say this poem. Where is my book, one l'autre, l'autre one?

I wrote a poem On That, very funny ... that says it all. Because it says it all, it's a very short poem.

01: 31: 08: 11

BA: Well, so I wrote a little poem about it, which tells a little bit these different identities. OK?

01: 31: 15: 17

BA: I wrote a little poem that tells a little bit these different identities, it's called I dedicate admits 

I confess I am a little confused

Is that my identity is a bit complex

Judge yourself if you can

Trying to help me

I'll tell you

In Morocco where I was born

They told me you're Moroccan

No problem, I said well

You will be loyal to your king, your country will honor you

I say, it'll me

The French arrived

They said everything must be changed

Protectori, protectorate

The Arabs I not know

Your ancestors were Gauls

I said wow-hah!

But beware, do not forget!

Where you go wherever you bristles

Jew you are, you will die a Jew

I say hurray

In France, where I passed

They told me you're going to be respected

Renounce quickly give up your identity

Where you will be an emigrant, I say perfect

Came to Canada, I was told you're Canadian

And soon by the grace of God

It has become the country of my ancestors

Beware my friends, attention, not nonsense

You got no choice

In Quebec, you're Quebecers

I figured, why not?

We repeat, with all that remember

It tells me where I am, Israel is all for you

Why tonight between Jew or Marocano or

Ex-French Quebecers in transito or Montrealers exilo,

And Israeli-Californian by my children a little Mexicano

This taste of jam, this new fragrance

I wish you a good (word?)

Because myself, I understood

I am of my country and all countries


01: 32: 49: 08

Interviewer: Wow. Thank you very much.

01: 32: 56: 01

Interviewer: So, uh, what message would you share with people who listen to this interview?

BA: I want them to know that 1) we were pleased to Morocco, despite everything; 2) we left Morocco because had no choice; 3) that Morocco was generous anyway, even if there were things that were not acceptable but then asked or religion, but they were still generous; has not suffered as much as in other Arab countries, but still, that outcome was looted, we left a country that did not want to leave, we left a country where we were happy, we left a country we were there for generations and generation for centuries and centuries, this is not a new migration, we had to change countries, it was necessary to change jobs, we had to change to habits, it took climate change, we had to change everything we had to adapt, and lose our identity, to find a new one.

01: 34: 07: 22

BA: Fortunately, we were young, but our relatives, they found themselves in a no man's sentimental land, they found themselves in a no man's emotional land, sometimes rejected by their children when they arrived in Israel, sometimes when they came from everywhere. He had a cut, cisure, one, one, something broke, like a broken vase. beautiful was replaced, it was beautiful the pick, the cracks are still visible. And that's what happened to us. So yes, Morocco was nice we can say, well, but you can also say that we have been forced to leave and that maybe it was not something that should happen to us because we were Jews, we should have been accepted in all countries of the world, because we first were good citizens, good Moroccans were well paid our taxes, we did not problems, we were not terrorists, we were not not criminals. In general the Jew is not a man who does not adapt to society. Which is generally a good citizen. So my experience is a positive one because I survi. My experience is a happy experience because I have the joy of life, but my experience is still a miserable experience because that's life. else we can do nothing

01: 35: 22: 22

Interviewr: A big thank you

BA: Well, here. Thank you