Edna Mashaal

Interview date: 6/18/2019

Location: Montreal, Canada

Interviewer: Henry Green

Total time: 1:30:24

Edna Mashaal: Born in Haifa, Israel on November 26th, 1943. Arrived in Montreal in 1959.

[07:57:01] Interviewer: Okay, this is an interview for Sephardi Voices. We are in Montreal, Canada. The date is June 18th, 2018. The interviewee is Edna Mashaal. The interviewer is Henry Green and the cameraman is Hugo Dufort-Proulx. That just makes it authentic.

[07:57:41] [camera adjustment]

[07:57:43] Interviewer: It's very strange when you do this because although I'm asking all the important questions this person who I can't see is my boss.

[07:57:52] Edna Mashaal: Bravo.

[07:57:54] Interviewer: He says, "Begin, stop."

[07:57:58] Edna Mashaal: He's the one who is doing the work now.

[07:57:59] Interviewer: Right. We're actually doing the work.

[07:58:02] Edna Mashaal: Yeah, I know but...you want a good result.

[07:58:06] Interviewer: Exactly.

[07:58:11] Interviewer: What is your full name?

[07:58:13] Edna Mashaal: My full name is Edna Garah [ph] Mashaal.

[07:58:18] Interviewer: Was this your name at your birth?

[07:58:20] Edna Mashaal: Yes.

[07:58:22] Interviewer: And where and when were you born?

[07:58:25] Edna Mashaal: I was born in Haifa, Israel, November 26, 1943.

[07:58:34] Interviewer: So first, I just want to tell you how grateful I am that you're participating for the Sephardi Voices Project.

[07:58:42] Edna Mashaal: Thank you. It's my pleasure.

[07:58:44] Interviewer: So let's begin by just a very broad question. Tell me something about your family's background. Your parents, your grandparents...

[07:58:51] Edna Mashaal: My parents came from Iraq very early. Not like the movie that I saw yesterday. My grandparents from my mother's side came in 1926 and '27. They started to come the '26. The way we took notes, there we’re all settled by the 1927 in Tel Aviv, in the old area where now, it's not such a nice area. [07:59:24] But it was where the school that my mother went and her sibling and they came as a family. Only one child was born in Israel and she had a sister and uh, there were three brothers.

[07:59:44] Interviewer: Where was that? Near Neve Tzedek or...

[07:59:47] Edna Mashaal: That's exactly, very close to Neve Tzedek. Tel Aviv Aktenai [ph]. At that time they called it Tel Aviv Aktenai where Alliance was.

[07:59:57] Interviewer: So your grandparents, so let's talk about your maternal grandparents.

[08:00:00] Edna Mashaal: Yeah.

[08:00:01] Interviewer: So what was your grandmother's name then? What was her name?

[08:00:05] Edna Mashaal: You know what? She never uh, uh made a Hebrew name. Like my other grandmother wanted to be called in Hebrew but that grandma was Aziza [ph] and Aziza as a young uh, or just grandma and that's it. In Hebrew, safta. And she was really the very, very, very well-loved by all of us. [08:00:32] We were from Haifa and it was a big trip at that time to come for Pessah and Rosh Hashana but there are the two trips I remember so well. [overlap] Coming to...

[08:00:42] Interviewer: Tell me about these trips. Tell me, give me a story about that.

[08:00:44] Edna Mashaal: First of all, at that time, like today it takes less than an hour to go to Haifa. At that time it was minimum two hours. And you have to stop and we were all in - squeezed in one car. My sibling, my parents. And it was also baggage, like, you know, luggage, food, that's what I remember. [08:01:08] And we had to stop to eat and take some fresh air on the way and it used to take more or less two to three hours, not like today. But it was so exciting and I remember, I'll never forget one thing that we always did as a family, sing Hebrew songs. And it made the trip much easier. And it was like a race, who knows all the words? [08:01:33] So this was a real pleasure.

[08:01:35] Interviewer: Do you remember any of these songs?

[08:01:37] Edna Mashaal: Yes, [overlap] I remember and I have, I have the words. I don't remember all the words but very beautiful from the army, Like Babelwad [ph] is on of them that we sing it until today. Or some of Shoshana Damari, Yaffao Koni [ph]. Beautiful songs. Nowadays I don't remember all but I listen and I have all these songs in my home.

[08:02:04] Interviewer: And when you got to your grandmother's home what, would you help prepare in the Pessah or...

[08:02:11] Edna Mashaal: Yes. Yes.

[08:02:12] Interviewer: What would you do?

[08:02:13] Edna Mashaal: [overlap] For example, I just want to tell you, till today I don't understand how you make it but she used to make wine from uh, raisons. And I remember helping squeezing the raisins. And I remember boiling, because at that time it's not like now. The putting in the dishwasher. We actually boiled all the dishes, all the pots. We didn't have two sets. [08:02:39] It was really like, a big to-do. Rosh Hashanah and the cleaning for Rosh Hashanah was a big job. And for Pessah the boiling and the preparing.

[08:02:50] Interviewer: And do you, did you go with your grandmother to the souk or did you...

[08:02:54] Edna Mashaal: No. This we never did. We always had my late grandfather, believe it or not, once he came to Israel he didn't really work. He, his pastime was to sit in a café and dealing-wheeling with money changing or things like that. But not really hard work. And it was his job to go to the souk...to bring all the shopping.

[08:03:21] Interviewer: And what was his name?

[08:03:22] Edna Mashaal: His name uh...you know what? I'm trying to think.. Aziza and...we called him Saba but I don't, I just, right now, I don't, I'm sure I have it somewhere but I don't remember.

[08:03:39] Interviewer: So it's saba and safta.

[08:03:40] Edna Mashaal: Yeah. That's it. They were saba and safta because thy didn't want to be called with the, their Arabic name.

[08:03:48] Interviewer: And so this would be, they came in the 20's and you were born, so you remember going, it would what? In the 1950's then?

[08:03:56] Edna Mashaal: You know what? I was born in '43, I left in '59 and let's say since, for example, I want to tell you, I was very, very sick at the age of three. It happened in Pessah. So we, we started to go let's say '43 and three years by '46 I remember going to my grandmother for the two holidays.

[08:04:21] Interviewer: And what kind of food would your grandmother make for say, Pessah?

[08:04:25] Edna Mashaal: It was, it was uh, almost everything that we prepare now. It's so funny but it was like, kind of not as much work as we do now. Try, like, try to make it easier because it's so many people and she was the one that cooked for everybody and she had a girl to clean up. That's about it. Not, so we all helped. It's almost the same thing like, we're not allowed to eat certain food for Pessah. [08:04:55] So we adopt to make some of the, we are allowed rice but we are not allowed wheat. And we adopted everything at that time and now the same. Really, the same. The memories of the food it's the same.

[08:05:10] Interviewer: And what kind of dishes? What kind of [overlap]

[08:05:13] Edna Mashaal: ...of dishes? It was the, the stuffed chicken, the different dumplings. We had dumplings with the beets, dumplings with okra, dumpling with the uh, squash. Like, all these were really the food that we do for holidays, not everyday food.

[08:05:35] Interviewer: And did your grandparents invite other people to come to the Seder [overlap]?

[08:05:39] Edna Mashaal: You see it was all depending. If my other uncle is coming also from Haifa, the brother of my father, depending how many are we to be able to sit and celebrate. Because Pessah is big holiday, you have to sit around the table.

[08:05:57] Interviewer: And do you remember, when you were uh, in Tel Aviv and it's Neve Tzedek, did you go to the beach at all? Did you go to...

[08:06:05] Edna Mashaal: Isn't it funny? The only place I remember so well, my younger uncles will take me is to Jaffa. To, it's so...because you know, it was something that is not so close but yet it's almost like a different city. Not like today it was, it's continuation of Tel Aviv.

[08:06:26] Interviewer: And what was Jaffa like in those days?

[08:06:28] Edna Mashaal: Very, very Arab. I remember very Arabic.

[08:06:33] Interviewer: And did you speak Arabic?

[08:06:35] Edna Mashaal: You know, the only Arabic I learned is when my late grandmother lived with me, the one from my father's side because his brothers could not have her. We had a bigger house, we were able to afford having her with us so when she came to our home she did not know a word of Hebrew. [08:06:58] And she kept tell me like my other grandmother, "I want to learn Hebrew. You talk to me Hebrew. I'll talk to you Arabic." And that's how I learned my Arabic. But also in Israel, to be able to go to the army, which was, at that time, my idea, I had to learn Arabic to be more successful in the army. So I took it in school. I had the choice between French and Arabic and I took Arabic.

[08:07:24] Interviewer: So let's go back to your maternal grandparents. So why did they come in 1926, '27?

[08:07:30] Edna Mashaal: Because he believed for Jewish people there is no place Iraq. He really believed. He came on his own, my grandfather, and he saw that it's a country that will not have all the luxuries that he had in Iraq. And they were not very well off, they were okay and he said, no way. I'm not letting my sons and my daughters grow up and marrying in Baghdad.

[08:07:57] Interviewer: Was he...did he ever talk about anti-Semitism in Iraq?

[08:08:02] Edna Mashaal: No, no, he didn't.

[08:08:03] Interviewer: Was he a Zionist?

[08:08:04] Edna Mashaal: [overlap] He was very, very, more I could say more Jewish than Zionist and he believed that we are going to have a country. Although he came to Palestine.

[08:08:18] Interviewer: And was he Dati? Was he religious?

[08:08:20] Edna Mashaal: No.

[08:08:20] Interviewer: He wasn't.

[08:08:21] Edna Mashaal: He did the holiday, he did Shabbat, he walked to synagogue because there was, at that time nobody took a car to synagogue like the way we do now.

[08:08:32] Interviewer: Your father's parents, paternal parents, your grandfather, what was [his name]?

[08:08:39] Edna Mashaal: Okay, my father lost his father very young. We don't know him, we didn't see pictures. It's really too bad. And he was left with the one to help his two brothers, a sister, he had a sister too, and his mother. So the most he was concerned with the one that wanted to come to Israel and the one that wanted to come to Israel is his mother and the two brothers. [08:09:07] The sister married in, in Baghdad so it was like, she has already a husband and it's more - but at the end he ended up bringing them too.

[08:09:19] Interviewer: This is your grandfather.

[08:09:20] Edna Mashaal: That's - no, my father. My father...is the one [overlap]

[08:09:24] Interviewer: ...your father's father.

[08:09:26] Edna Mashaal: My father's father passed away very young.

[08:09:29] Interviewer: Right, okay. So it's your father who did all this.

[08:09:31] Edna Mashaal: Yes.

[08:09:32] Interviewer: Okay, your father's mother.

[08:09:34] Edna Mashaal: Yes.

[08:09:35] Interviewer: What was her name?

[08:09:36] Edna Mashaal: Her name was Esther. I never knew her Arabic because she came to Israel to be Esther and we called her Safta Esther.

[08:09:45] Interviewer: And when did she come? What year did she come?

[08:09:46] Edna Mashaal: She came a year before my father. My father couldn't uh, he started to work in the desert and he couldn't come with her so he brought her with his brother, which is younger than him. And then he came and then he brought the other brother, Naim.

[08:10:06] Interviewer: So what year did he, what year did -

[08:10:08] Edna Mashaal: My father, 1931 and he brought his mother and the brother in 1930. And they lived in one room in Tel Aviv together, the mother and the brother.

[08:10:19] Interviewer: So your mother's parents came in '26, '27....

[08:10:24] Edna Mashaal: [overlap] They were able to buy a home.

[08:10:27] Interviewer: And your father came in 1930.

[08:10:29] Edna Mashaal: '31.

[08:10:30] Interviewer: '31. Now why did he come? Why did he want to come?

[08:10:33] Edna Mashaal: Okay. Can I just tell you something?

[08:10:35] Interviewer: Please.

[08:10:35] Edna Mashaal: He had a tough life in, in, in Iraq. And he knew that he doesn't have any future. The future that he saw of studying in a country was Israel. Really, my father was very, very, very much pro-Israel, Zionist, everything that you want. He, he amazed me by how much he did for his family. Because he didn't have the means. But he did. He brought everybody, helped everybody get a job.

[08:11:14] Interviewer: And when he came in 1931, how old was your father?

[08:11:18] Edna Mashaal: He was like, young. We don't know it was between 18 and 20.

[08:11:25] Interviewer: 18 and 20. So he was born around 1910 or something.

[08:11:28] Edna Mashaal: Yes. He, we just figured out because he died in '58 - 9. He was 58 when he passed away and it was uh, how many years ago? We...yeah.

[08:11:45] Interviewer: '58. So [inaudible] 1972 so he was born in about 19...

[08:11:49] Edna Mashaal: '14...'17 something...

[08:11:50] Interviewer: Something like that.

[08:11:51] Edna Mashaal: Yeah.

[08:11:52] Interviewer: So born...so did he have, did he talk about experiences about uh, Iraq and...

[08:12:00] Edna Mashaal: He didn't want. Isn't it funny? Not him and not my mother. What I know about Iraq is from the Iraqi people here. They never wanted to think about that country.

[08:12:15] Interviewer: So your father comes and he comes to Tel Aviv also and which area does he live in Tel Aviv?

[08:12:22] Edna Mashaal: You know what? I don't remember but he, he met my mother very quickly after and they married and they moved to Haifa because he was part if Iraq Petroleum Company.

[08:12:35] Interviewer: So your, let's go back to your mother for a second. Your mother, when was she born?

[08:12:40] Edna Mashaal: She, she was born we said...

[08:12:43] Man: 1914 [inaudible].

[08:12:46] Edna Mashaal: 1914.

[08:12:47] Interviewer: And he was born in 1917.

[08:12:49] Edna Mashaal: Yeah.

[08:12:49] Man: [Inaudible]

[08:12:52] Interviewer: Okay so he was born in 1917, so in 1914...

[08:12:58] Edna Mashaal: '14 and mom in '17.

[08:12:59] Interviewer: [overlap]

[08:12:59] Edna Mashaal: Albert.

[08:13:00] Interviewer: Albert. Did he have a Hebrew name?

[08:13:02] Edna Mashaal: No.

[08:13:03] Interviewer: And your mother was born in 1917 and her name is?

[08:13:06] Edna Mashaal: Marcelle and she didn't have a Hebrew name. She stayed with that name.

[08:13:11] Interviewer: And do you know how they met?

[08:13:14] Edna Mashaal: I know, like I heard now because I'm interested about all the matchmaking so I heard family of my late grandmother, my, my maternal grand - knew and my uncle, the younger brother of my father knew that people. And that's how they were introduced. They were married in Israel.

[08:13:41] Interviewer: They were married in Israel. And what year were they married?

[08:13:43] Edna Mashaal: They were married very quickly after, my mother came to Israel like 16 and I think by 18, 19 she got married. That's what I know, also.

[08:13:55] Interviewer: So, so if she came at 16, 18 she came in 1926, '27...[overlap]

[08:14:01] Edna Mashaal: That's right.

[08:14:02] Interviewer: He came in '31.

[08:14:03] Edna Mashaal: That's right.

[08:14:04] Interviewer: So they got married...[overlap]

[08:14:05] Edna Mashaal: Very quickly after. And then he moved [overlap] he moved his mother, he moved his mother to us, his brother got him a job in a bank and got him a little place in Haifa and the other brother, he got him, he was always a storekeeper so he got him in the downtown Haifa, the store to look after.

[08:14:32] Interviewer: So your father is looking after a store in downtown Haifa and uh, and...

[08:14:40] Man: [inaudible]

[08:14:42] Edna Mashaal: His brother, yeah, my uncle.

[08:14:43] Interviewer: And your father, what kind of job does he have then?

[08:14:46] Edna Mashaal: You know, you know he studied engineering only through walking the desert and at night. He didn't go [overlap] to university.

[08:14:57] Interviewer: The Israeli desert?

[08:14:57] Edna Mashaal: Walking from Baghdad to Israel.

[08:15:00] Interviewer: Oh, he walked from Baghdad to Israel? Can you tell me about this story?

[08:15:03] Edna Mashaal: Can I just tell you, I heard very, very briefly about that. That he worked very hard to get a diploma by the time he came to Israel he wanted to be an engineer and later on, all I know that he never worked as an engineer, he worked at Iraq Petroleum. That's when I grew up in Haifa, my father is working in Haifa for Iraq Petroleum Company.

[08:15:30] Interviewer: So your father, did he study in engineering?

[08:15:34] Edna Mashaal: It was through, through the writing. The way he studied, he studied like when, how do you, the oral uh, university?

[08:15:44] Man: Correspondence.

[08:15:45] Edna Mashaal: Correspondence. That's it.

[08:15:47] Interviewer: And he did this in Arabic or in English? Do you know?

[08:15:50] Edna Mashaal: I have no idea.

[08:15:52] Interviewer: So he does -

[08:15:52] Edna Mashaal: But he knew English perfectly.

[08:15:55] Interviewer: So he does correspondence and the story you know is that he walked from Baghdad to...

[08:16:00] Edna Mashaal: To Israel.

[08:16:01] Interviewer: To Israel. And then ends up, he comes in '31 and helps bring his family, some before, some after.

[08:16:08] Edna Mashaal: And helped them out.

[08:16:10] Interviewer: So he, and he arrives, he goes to Tel Aviv, he marries uh...your mother. And then they move to -

[08:16:20] Edna Mashaal: They move to Haifa.

[08:16:21] Interviewer: And he's working for the Iraq Imperial...

[08:16:24] Edna Mashaal: Iraq Petroleum Company. IPC. It was called IPC and they had their office in Haifa.

[08:16:33] Interviewer: And what did he do in that position? Do you know at all?

[08:16:35] Edna Mashaal: Can I just, I know that he was, he will always entertain English people because at that time when Israel became Israel the English owned that company. And it was a very big office. They helped us set up a beautiful home in the Carmel [ph] because originally I was living in the city. [08:16:56] In two apartments, two different apartments but not big. Sufficient for three children. But later on, when we moved to the Carmel it was a bigger home, a bigger apartment and we, we were always entertaining the English people too.

[08:17:13] Interviewer: So you moved from the bottom to the top of the mountain.

[08:17:15] Edna Mashaal: Yes, exactly.

[08:17:17] Interviewer: So you said you had, you have some siblings?

[08:17:23] Edna Mashaal: Yes. An older sister and a younger brother.

[08:17:27] Interviewer: And your older sister is named...?

[08:17:28] Edna Mashaal: Yardena [ph].

[08:17:30] Interviewer: Yardena and she was born in Israel?

[08:17:32] Edna Mashaal: In Israel. We were all born in Haifa.

[08:17:35] Interviewer: And the year she was born?

[08:17:36] Edna Mashaal: She was born 1938.

[08:17:39] Interviewer: And then you have...

[08:17:41] Edna Mashaal: A brother, younger than me, two years so 1941.

[08:17:46] Interviewer: And his name is?

[08:17:46] Edna Mashaal: Amnon [ph].

[08:17:47] Interviewer: Amnon. And the year you were born again?

[08:17:51] Edna Mashaal: '43.

[08:17:52] Interviewer: So you're the youngest.

[08:17:53] Edna Mashaal: No. My brother, sorry. He's born '45 then. If he's younger than me...I said '41. It's '45. Sorry. Yeah.

[08:18:04] Interviewer: And Yardena and your brother live in Israel?

[08:18:09] Edna Mashaal: In Israel, yeah.

[08:18:10] Interviewer: So they never...

[08:18:10] Edna Mashaal: He moved, yeah, he moved with us. Yardena was married in 1959 to Naman [ph], to somebody she met in Haifa through the piano and they got married in '59, April and we moved here September '59. Me, my brother and my parents. My father was sent by the Israeli government and some private people that wanted to open an investment. [08:18:37] It was called Beaverhall Investment, he opened here. And he never wanted us to have like an immigration like we, we had a special passport but not as an immigrant. And later on, when I was married for one year to a Canadian I became Canadian. But my brother went back to the army. He was never able to stay in Canada and continue to study. My father wanted us to do the proper thing.

[08:19:09] Interviewer: Sure. So um, lets talk about then growing up in Haifa. What are your earliest memories? What do you remember?

[08:19:18] Edna Mashaal: The nicest, the nicest. First of all, my school Gimnase [ph] Bialik was downtown. [overlap sound]....

[08:19:28] Interviewer: Let's just stop for a second. Sorry.

[08:20:03] [overlap discussion]

[08:20:19] Edna Mashaal: It was an amazing position and it did well but it closed down and that's when we had to come to Canada.

[08:20:27] Interviewer: Sorry about that. We had a little rabbinical moment there.

[08:20:35] Edna Mashaal: So it was beautiful...

[08:20:36] Interviewer: Whoa, whoa, whoa...until he, remember, he's the boss.

[08:20:41] Hugo: Rolling.

[08:20:43] Edna Mashaal: The life in Haifa was beautiful. I never felt, first of all, it wasn't an Iraqi city. I had one student that was Iraqi and we were very friendly and my neighbour next door, may, neighbours that became like family to us by the name of Shami [ph]. We never felt anything different than anybody else. We, my father was able to send me to school by chauffeur never will accept such a thing. [08:21:14] Went up and down or by bus or by walking from Mount Carmel at that time or in the beginning Hadar walking. The Technion was a school that was very close to where I lived in Hadar, it was amazing when my uncles came to study. They always stayed in my house. [08:21:33] I had really beautiful memories from Haifa, having a sister and a brother. Very nice social life. My parents, very happy. Never shortage of anything. We used to go to Haïl [ph], to the downtown Haifa to buy all our fruits and vegetables because it was the Arab and we were very close and I remember all of a sudden I came and I knew what is Christmas before because my father worked with some Arabs. [08:22:05] And it was beautiful to be invited to see a Christmas tree. So life was very nice.

[08:22:13] Interviewer: So I'm trying to understand Israel during this time. You were born in 143 you said?

[08:22:20] Edna Mashaal: That's right.

[08:22:20] Interviewer: Okay so by the time your memory is beginning to flourish you're five years old let's say. The state of Israel is created. What do you remember or this?

[08:22:31] Edna Mashaal: The worst. Going to the different uh, shelters, getting up and helping my grandmother. Where's my slippers? Things like, crying, shouting, how fast do we have to go? Things like that. My sister, really, that is five years older than me, she has better memories. Like how terrible was the shelter. I don't remember that it was terrible. [08:22:58] I just wanted to reach there to be safe and to be with my family. Now my father, because of his job in Iraq Petroleum, he did something like, with the underground and he knew people. But we never knew about it until later, later, later.

[08:23:18] Interviewer: So the, on, you know...Yom Ha'atzmaut, the very first Yom Ha'atzmaut, when Israel is created, do you remember that day?

[08:23:28] Edna Mashaal: Very much. Very much, going in the streets was the best things that ever happened. We're dancing, bringing up all our flag, the little flag that we collected through the years. And I'm being honest with you, it was a really simcha that I can't, I can't describe the dancing and not only in my area, if I lived like in, in downtown. [08:23:56] Going up the mountain, going through a forest that, today unheard of to send the children alone. We were very, very safe in every area we, we grew up in Haifa. And it was beautiful.

[08:24:13] Interviewer: So Yom Ha'atzmaut then we have the Israeli war.

[08:24:18] Edna Mashaal: The thing I remember that is like war and difficult, you remember in '56 there was Ibrahim El-Awald [ph] so this was like terrible for us being in Haifa. We saw the boat from our balcony. At that time I was already on Mount Carmel and it is what's going to happen. [08:24:42] Thank god it wasn't a terrible war but it was a war.

[08:24:47] Interviewer: And so when - again, did you have to - you now are 13 years old so you...

[08:24:52] Edna Mashaal: Terrible. We are very, very worried about the war because it's like almost just now we became Israel. How big is the army? And my brother-in-law at that time was in the army and, of course, that worries. My sister was in the army but she was a girl so we didn't worry. It's not like now, even the girls go to the front here.

[08:25:15] Interviewer: And your father, again, was he involved in something, or no?

[08:25:20] Edna Mashaal: No, all we knew later that my father was very, very much, as matter [?] we know the Israeli consul that was here in the '60's, he revealed with my father what they did through the years in Israel with the underground.

[08:25:40] Interviewer: So when you grew up in the 1950's there were many, many ma'abarot and all these immigrants coming in.

[08:25:49] Edna Mashaal: I remember going there.

[08:25:51] Interviewer: Okay so tell me about this.

[08:25:52] Edna Mashaal: Okay. First of all, one memory that we have now that you are talking about shortage because, you see, we never felt, okay so we don't have meat everyday or eggs everyday but we never - remember that is a terrible thing. I remember when my late father used to travel to Cyprus or to England and bring, let's say, apples. [08:26:15] We are not allowed to take it to school because my friends don't have it. We'll eat it only. This I remember but it didn't affect me in such a terrible wa - way. What really affected me is the ma'abarot. But now I'll tell you what I know. The people that I saw with my father, my father wanted me to see and my brother and my sister the ma'abarot because he wanted to visit the Iraqis and see what they need. [08:26:43] But the problem is that the people that I knew that came later to my house from Iraq...they had family that were able to help them with money, or to buy an apartment, or to live with them. So they never went through the ma'abarot. If they stayed in the ma'abarot it was only few days and they already were relocated. [08:27:08] But, for example, my husband has an uncle that is now 90. He was professor of physics and he said he was so lucky because he came educated. His mother stayed in the ma'abarot. That's what he told me. His, his uh...brothers stayed in the ma'abarot and he left because he was educated. They came with the [inaudible] they took him straight to Jerusalem to find him a place to study. [08:27:39] So this is my memories, the ma'abarot was not a fun place to see but my father will always help and try to get other people to help the people that didn't have food, the people that needed clothing because they ran away with - many of them run away with nothing.

[08:27:59] Interviewer: So the, one of the things that happened, that, Israel in that period, the '50's was very Ashkenazi, very Ashkenaz and people were coming from Iraq and...

[08:28:11] Edna Mashaal: That's right.

[08:28:11] Interviewer: And you know, Arabic was considered, if you spoke Arabic it was like a no-no.

[08:28:16] Edna Mashaal: Exactly.

[08:28:17] Interviewer: Can you speak about this?

[08:28:19] Edna Mashaal: No, isn't it funny that I don't remember. Only when I married my husband and I went to visit his family in Ramat Gan and I'll say, I'm bring - I'm being honest, I see carpets, Persian carpet lying on the sofa and I said, how come? They said, we have too many but it's not a way that the Israelis look as a nice thing. When, when the Persian carpet is, is a throw on the sofa. [08:28:49] I never had it. I never had Persian carpet in Haifa. We were...well off like for that time but not to remember Persian carpets on the floor and things like that. So what I remember really, the difference between Ashkenazi and the Iraqis is because in Haifa there wasn't. It's only when I married my husband and I went to places like Ramat Gan, it was so Iraqi. [08:29:17] And at that time Victor already had two uncles that - an aunt and an uncle that lived there and his late grandmother that later they brought her to...uh, to Canada. So then I remember that I saw the Iraqi difference with the Ashkenazi. But I don't - I didn't see them suffering. They were all okay to live in Ramat Gan with the other Iraqis and they’re comfortable.

[08:29:47] Interviewer: Did you have, in Haifa, Haifa was a community that had many, many...

[08:29:52] Edna Mashaal: Different people.

[08:29:54] Interviewer: Many uh, Arabs who were both Muslim and Christian.

[08:29:59] Edna Mashaal: Yes.

[08:30:00] Interviewer: Did you have any friends who were Muslim?

[08:30:02] Edna Mashaal: Lebanese.

[08:30:02] Interviewer: Lebanese.

[08:30:03] Edna Mashaal: Through the business of my father and neighbours, not in Mount Carmel but in Haifa, in Hadar, the two places I lived we had Lebanese, we used to love to learn to eat their food and my mother learned their recipes. And you didn't know the difference in religion because we were just loving neighbours.

[08:30:29] Interviewer: And what language did you speak with them?

[08:30:31] Edna Mashaal: I spoke Hebrew because my Arabic at that point was not strong like now. But they talked to my mother Lebanese and my mother will understand them although she spoke the Iraqi Arabic.

[08:30:44] Interviewer: Right, the Iraqi Arabic.

[08:30:46] Edna Mashaal: Yes. The Iraqi Arabic apparently, that all the people here, is the Jewish Arabic.

[08:30:53] Interviewer: Judeo-Arabic. Interesting. And did, and you said you went to Bialik and that's...

[08:31:00] Edna Mashaal: Bialik and then I came here to school.

[08:31:05] Interviewer: So can you tell me some stories maybe, you said your grandmother lived with you.

[08:31:10] Edna Mashaal: Yes.

[08:31:11] Interviewer: Can you tell some anecdotes, some stories that you remember with her?

[08:31:14] Edna Mashaal: Yes, I have to tell you, I know a lot of stories from other people that they were shy to be introduced or to bring friends to see somebody that doesn't speak Hebrew. But we were never part of it. Especially me and my brother. My older sister had a little bit of funny feeling with her, when she was all the time in the kitchen or in the living room with us. [08:31:41] Because the homes were not big. But were always welcomed her because we knew that she is suffering. The older generation that came to Israel, now I know much more, they suffered coming to Israel. What they had and what they have now. And also the language. Till they learned that they are able to go out alone, the grandmother that lived with us never went one step out of the house alone. [08:32:11] It was always with us, with the maid, we had an Arab maid that she will take her a little bit out to, you know, to be able to see where we shop and how we do things. And the saddest thing is that we always wanted her to smile. She, I could really say that this grandmother, comparison to the one in Tel Aviv, couldn't smile. It was hard for her to see my father working hard. [08:32:41] To help his brother, and his brother ended up marrying my mother's sister. There were two brothers marrying...and it was so nice and so loving and then when her other son, that is a store-keeper married a Lebanese Jew. Not, god forbid, non-Jewish or - it was such a pin for her. How he didn't marry one of us. [08:33:08] Like it was mentality difference huge. But she had to cope with it because she lived in Haifa. In Haifa there weren't too many Iraqis, she connected very well with the neighbours that were Iraqis but, again, they hard-working people. The children go to school, they go to work.

[08:33:29] Interviewer: So for her it was like an intermarriage practically.

[08:33:31] Edna Mashaal: Very difficult.

[08:33:33] Interviewer: Did your uh, when your grandmother, was she literate? Could she read?

[08:33:39] Edna Mashaal: No. The two of them...

[08:33:42] Interviewer: Were illiterate.

[08:33:43] Edna Mashaal: No.

[08:33:43] Interviewer: And your grandfather though, in uh, in Neve Tzedek, he could read.

[08:33:49] Edna Mashaal: Yeah. He could, he could read Hebrew because he was very studious in Jewish study, Talmud, although he was not very religious he was very studious.

[08:34:01] Interviewer: So your grandmother, when you would be with her, did you, would you play games with her? Would you...what would you do with her?

[08:34:10] Edna Mashaal: Not really, really the two grandmothers, the memories that we have from them is being in the kitchen, preparing for us, helping my mother or the one in the holiday and she always was welcoming her family. When my later grandmother on my maternal side came to Israel she didn't have her family. [08:34:33] Slowly, they moved so she wanted to help them, to help them in her home so it's always, it was always around food or going to synagogue of visiting friends that came from Iraq, opened their, like she had cousins, nonstop cousins that I don't even remember their name but they always, my, that house was full of Iraqi people. [08:34:59] So that's why when we went for the holiday and we will take the other grandma, when she will accept not to stay with the other sons and come with us, she had the best time because it's full of Iraqis.

[08:35:12] Interviewer: And did -

[08:35:13] Edna Mashaal: She wanted people that will understand her.

[08:35:14] Interviewer: Did she ever smile then?

[08:35:17] Edna Mashaal: Maybe a little bit more but we don't remember really. We remember that she is as suffering grandma. Really.

[08:35:26] Interviewer: Did, when you went to Bialik school, did you have extracurricular activities? Social clubs [overlap]...

[08:35:34] Edna Mashaal: Basketball, basketball, I played basketball. I went outside the school to learn swimming. There were so many things. There was extra curriculum activities, Israeli dancing after school. Many, many things. And I remember participating.

[08:35:52] Interviewer: And did your friends, your social friends, were they part of these groups too?

[08:35:58] Edna Mashaal: Can I just tell you something? The social friends usually were the friends that lived near me. So in every school, like I was only in one school but when I lived in downtown Hadar I had friends that lived - because until four o’clock, at that time in Israel, at four o'clock you are not allowed to make noise. [08:36:20] So we don't go out and the minute four o'clock comes everybody is in the street. So your friends are from the neighbourhood. Some of them were my friends, some of them my sister's, some of them my brother from the school that lived near us.

[08:36:34] Interviewer: I see. So, and did your parents belong to any kind of club or anything?

[08:36:39] Edna Mashaal: No, not that I know of. Nothing. Except synagogue, I don't remember. My parents were involved more of the entertainment for the IPC. My father always wanted to have people in the home and my mother always like, was helping with the food and to receive. For example, my sister's wedding, in 1959, April, it was in an officer club in Haifa because my brother-in-law at that time was an officer. [08:37:12] We had only the ceremony and a little bit of hors-d'oeuvres at the officer club. My father wanted made sure to have the party in our home, the wedding. So...

[08:37:26] Interviewer: So you went to synagogue every week? Or shoah?

[08:37:28] Edna Mashaal: No. No, only the holiday. I remember...

[08:37:31] Interviewer: [inaudible]

[08:37:32] Edna Mashaal: Chagim. Bravo. Shavuot, Pessah, Rosh Hashanah. Now if we will be in Tel Aviv I hardly remember a synagogue. Haifa, I remember the Hadar and the Carmel.

[08:37:47] Interviewer: And it would be in the, so the synagogue would be a very quick service, men and women separate.

[08:37:56] Edna Mashaal: Exactly.

[08:37:57] Interviewer: And finished [overlap]

[08:38:00] Edna Mashaal: [overlap] And there was not, it wasn't like Iraqi, Egyptian, we were all together.

[08:38:05] Interviewer: So the minhag was all Ashkenazi or...

[08:38:08] Edna Mashaal: Yeah. No I, to me all, all the synagogues that I participated in Israel were Ashkenazi.

[08:38:16] Interviewer: Ashkenazi. So your...

[08:38:18] Edna Mashaal: I don't remember even going to, the only once we took a trip to Jerusalem and we went to a Sephardi synagogue.

[08:38:28] Interviewer: When you went to Jerusalem, since you mentioned it, did you go often to Jerusalem?

[08:38:32] Edna Mashaal: No, again, a big trip. Really, we went the, the places that were near Haifa, Tevon [ph] for example, I remember going to Tevon often. I remember going to the beach every Shabbat often, to different beaches, you know, one down the street from us, from Haifa, and a little bit a T'lit [ph] and Turah but that's, that's the outing that we remember for Shabbat.

[08:39:02] Interviewer: And when you go, you're, '59 you were born in '43 so you're 15 years old. Were the girls that would be on the beach, like you and your friends, no bikinis yet right?

[08:39:16] Edna Mashaal: Not at all.

[08:39:17] Interviewer: Everyone was very...

[08:39:19] Edna Mashaal: One-piece bathing suits and usually, when we go, we tell all our neighbours we are going and we are staying for a picnic. So they will come with the family, or will tell friends. Friends, like, my parents had very good friends that lived on Mount Carmel, they had only one son. So they made sure to tell them to come. So it was always a bunch. [08:39:42] And we'll spend the day on the beach.

[08:39:45] Interviewer: So it was like a pack of people.

[08:39:47] Edna Mashaal: Exactly.

[08:39:48] Interviewer: And then [inaudible]

[08:39:49] Edna Mashaal: Yes, yes, always. It was always a beautiful day Shabbat.

[08:39:56] Interviewer: Fantastic. So talk about uh, uh you're in Israel it was a, the '50's, very strong uh, patriotism. Were you a member of a Zionist club?

[08:40:12] Edna Mashaal: No, only Tzofim. Me, my brother and my sister all belonged to the scouts although me at the end I didn't like it so much because the overnight trips but we knew that it was a preparation for the gadna [ph]. So I had gadna already when I, before I came here and I went and they showed me what is gun and to hold the gun and all that. [08:40:39] And this was, what? Before grade ten, grade nine.

[08:40:44] Interviewer: And your, when you would go uh, on sofim and you had to go on a sleepover or whatever, where would they take you?

[08:40:54] Edna Mashaal: Usually it's in the mountains of Haifa.

[08:40:57] Interviewer: In the mountains of Haifa...

[08:40:59] Edna Mashaal: Not too far.

[08:40:59] Interviewer: So did you ever go visit Tiberias or...

[08:41:03] Edna Mashaal: At that, do you know what? I tell you, Tiberias we would visit because the parents of my brother-in-law and my sister went out with him for a long, for a while. They met by the piano, both of them were plying piano and the families were in Haifa- some family were in Haifa and there were friends of my parents. [08:41:23] So we knew the family and they will invite us to Tiberias and that's how we used to go to Tiberias quite a bit and to swim in the Kinneret. But, again, it's a big trip. You have to have holiday like shavuot, to have two, three days, not only Shabbat. Like now we'll go only for Shabbat to the Kinneret but not at that time.

[08:41:43] Interviewer: And did you, when you were in Tiberias [?] did you go drive south to Ohalo or Kibbutz Degania?

[08:41:51] Edna Mashaal: No we, we the only place I remember very well, and we just went to visit it, Kfar Tabor and Mount Tabor. Because there was a very nice place to stay overnight so like, a little pension or something and, again, we were a group. We never went by ourselves just me, my parents and my brother and sister. So we were a group. We'll decide that this time we go to Tevere only for the day, for a few hours to visit and then we'll go to Kfar Tabor and stay there.

[08:42:24] Interviewer: And in this group that went to Kfar Tabor, were they Iraqis? Was that...no?

[08:42:29] Edna Mashaal: No, that's it. The only Iraqi was a neighbour, really and they, they were not able all the time to pick up and go. So we were more, more we'll see them in Haifa then go to the beach with them, but not on the trips. On the trips I remember it's people from my father work or really, Ashkenazi friends that they had.

[08:42:51] Interviewer: And when it was from your father's work, was the, these people were Hebrew speakers? It wasn't...

[08:42:57] Edna Mashaal: You see, mostly everybody was Hebrew speaker. Whether they were Arabs working with my father or the English, because the English they lived in Israel.

[08:43:08] Interviewer: [overlap] So they...they - did your father travel outside the country at all?

[08:43:11] Edna Mashaal: Yeah, a lot, a lot to England a lot to Cyprus.

[08:43:16] Interviewer: And a lot to Cyprus.

[08:43:16] Edna Mashaal: But I think he went to some of the Arab countries too. Because, listen, before Isel [ph] was born he used to take us. I remember only one trip but my sister said there was more than one trip to Beirut. So this was something to do with his business, in Iraq Petroleum Company.

[08:43:36] Interviewer: And your trip that you remember to Beirut, do you remember going uh, over land or did you go by plane?

[08:43:45] Edna Mashaal: No, overland.

[08:43:46] Interviewer: Overland.

[08:43:47] Edna Mashaal: By car.

[08:43:47] Interviewer: By car.

[08:43:48] Edna Mashaal: Yes, and it was a long trip.

[08:43:50] Interviewer: And it was after '48? Or before '48?

[08:43:53] Edna Mashaal: I think before '48.

[08:43:54] Interviewer: Before '48.

[08:43:56] Edna Mashaal: Before '48.

[08:43:56] Interviewer: Right. And was there family, I'm gonna throw out some names which might ring bells to you or not. Did your father every uh, have business with the Zilcha?

[08:44:10] Edna Mashaal: My father worked with the Zilchas later, after he Israel. Because when he went to work with Swiss Israel Trade Bank it was partly in Geneva, partly in - so that's where he met the Zilchas.

[08:44:25] Interviewer: That's where he met the Zilchas.

[08:44:25] Edna Mashaal: And that's how I, I met them.

[08:44:28] Interviewer: So do you know Ezra Zilcha?

[08:44:29] Edna Mashaal: I, not Ezra. The one in Europe that had [overlap].

[08:44:34] Interviewer: In Paris or in Geneva?

[08:44:36] Edna Mashaal: Tell me. If he had mother care [ph], who is he? Which one is it? Robbie, do you remember?

[08:44:45] Robbie: No.

[08:44:45] Edna Mashaal: Not, it's not Ezra.

[08:44:47] Interviewer: It's not Ezra.

[08:44:48] Edna Mashaal: No, an older brother, older than Ezra, that's for sure and maybe he's more in Geneva, Zurich.

[08:44:56] Interviewer: It could have been more Geneva.

[08:44:57] Edna Mashaal: Yeah.

[08:44:59] Interviewer: Ezra is now about 93, 94.

[08:45:00] Edna Mashaal: You see? The others passed away.

[08:45:03] Interviewer: He's the last one.

[08:45:06] Robbie: [inaudible]

[08:45:07] Edna Mashaal: Selim.

[08:45:08] Interviewer: Selim.

[08:45:08] Edna Mashaal: Exactly.

[08:45:09] Interviewer: Okay.

[08:45:09] Edna Mashaal: And also the connection in Geneva was he was working for Yehuda [inaudible] which is an, an Iraqi, very Iraqi. He just passed away and we use dot continue to see him, in Israel. Yehuda. Very [inaudible] was special. So through Yehuda we knew other Iraqis and one family was a relative to my late father. [08:45:39] The Levy, Lawi, Naim Levy, Julie [ph] may they rest in peace. And Selim. The three of them passed away now. We knew them very well because they were relatives.

[08:45:54] Edna Mashaal: What about, okay, so we talked about Tzofim and scouts. Were you involved in any other organizations that were not -

[08:46:03] Edna Mashaal: In Israel? Really nothing. By the time I left at 15 and a half I really, very plain life. School. After school activities and going on the trip only because we wanted to be more with family.

[08:46:22] Interviewer: So you leave in '59 and tell me the story, why did you leave?

[08:46:26] Edna Mashaal: Very difficult. To leave at such an age. My father and my mother didn't realize they had to leave. There was no work, there was no money. They had to leave.

[08:46:37] Interviewer: [overlap] So what happened? His job was...

[08:46:39] Edna Mashaal: [overlap] He knew, he knew a little Yehuda Aszia [ph] through the relative in Geneva and they wanted, Yehuda Aszia was part of private people with the Israeli government to open the Swiss-Israel Trade Bank and Beaverhall Investment. So he knew that this is one way to take us to be able - and he didn't think of putting me in a Hebrew school. I just want to bring you an example. [08:47:08] I didn't speak English to go to school. I had to have private lessons for one year daily, me and my brother, to be able to finish the year. But he said, "Listen, they will learn. Young people learn very quickly" and he put us in the regular - we lived in a hotel apartment. He put us in the school that was the closest, which was awful because it boys -

[08:47:34] Interviewer: [overlap] ...in school?

[08:47:34] Edna Mashaal: Mount Royal town - no Montreal High and it was boys in one side, girls on the other side, the worst thing they could have done to me and my brother. They, they had the strap at that time and my brother saw the teacher doing the strap and he came home crying every day, he doesn't want to go to school. And the next day, the next day they moved us because we moved. We left the hotel apartment, we left the, the English teacher at that time we were able to get along. [08:48:09] I did the class, the grade ten, I finished in Israel, I did it again in, in Canada and then I went to grade eleven to graduate in Northmount High.

[08:48:20] Interviewer: And where did you move to live then?

[08:48:22] Edna Mashaal: To live, you know where Université de Montréal in midtown here? In Montreal? My parents rented a duplex. And at that time my late father wanted to buy a house and it will be with the office and in [town of Montreal?] they didn't let my father, they didn't accept a Jew buying a home. I'll never forget that. It was a big tragedy for my father. [08:48:50] So he started to hate Montreal. He didn't like the weather, now he started to hate Montreal even more. And w stayed in a duplex. We moved to another lovely - in a Jewish area and that's where I got engaged already.

[08:49:07] Interviewer: Was that Outremont? Where did you...?

[08:49:08] Edna Mashaal: No, it's also Jean [inaudible] near St-Mary's Hospital, also midtown but close to Outremont.

[08:49:15] Interviewer: [inaudible]

[08:49:15] Edna Mashaal: That's when I met already my sister-in-law, Victor's sister, that later I became a member of the Iraqi Club. My father opened the telephone book when he came to Canada and wanted to see if there is another [inaudible] like the way he was and he found but they were not living here. [08:49:37] It was an Iraqi family of his that through pen pals met a Jewish woman from somewhere in Canada and married her. And now he passed away at that point when my father was looking for other Iraqis and we met the son. And we started to meet other Iraqis through other people and that's when we, we joined the Iraqi Club that my late father-in-law opened with another man. Another family.

[08:50:11] Interviewer: Let's talk about the Iraqi Club. Your father-in-law came here when?

[08:50:16] Edna Mashaal: My father...

[08:50:17] Interviewer: In-law...You said your father-in-law opened the club.

[08:50:20] Edna Mashaal: No, my father, my, oh, it's my father-in-law that opened the pla - he, they moved here, look, Victor was 11 when he came to Canada. He left Iraq at four but then they couldn't leave, they were in Iran, in England and then they came here.

[08:50:39] Interviewer: So he came at 11, what year was that?

[08:50:41] Edna Mashaal: Uh, I think in the '50's. If I'm correct, maybe '56. And when my father-in-law come here there were already few Iraqi like, a handful, but they didn't participate in anything. They will just visit everybody and I think after a few years, because I remember they Iraqi Club was opened not in '59, so maybe in 1960.

[08:51:08] Interviewer: So it was after you came.

[08:51:09] Edna Mashaal: Yeah. After we came. The two families, it was my father-in-law and another family by the name of Katan [ph] that was interested to have a club and they both uh, really, a nice country in Ile-Bizard. And that's where the Iraqi Club.

[08:51:28] Interviewer: And your father-in-law's name was?

[08:51:30] Edna Mashaal: Menashe Mashaal.

[08:51:32] Interviewer: Menashe Mashaal. So let me, we'll go, we'll jump back for one second. Your father loses his job, why? Because...

[08:51:43] Edna Mashaal: Iraq Petroleum Company closed. There was no more business for them to do in Israel.

[08:51:49] Interviewer: So the pipeline.

[08:51:50] Edna Mashaal: Closed.

[08:51:51] Interviewer: Was closed between Mosul [?] and Haifa.

[08:51:54] Edna Mashaal: Haifa, that's it. Exactly.

[08:51:57] Interviewer: [overlap] And so everyone lost their jobs.

[08:51:58] Edna Mashaal: That's right. Everybody lost their -

[08:52:00] Interviewer: And your father had to find a job.

[08:52:01] Edna Mashaal: Exactly.

[08:52:03] Interviewer: When this was happening, do you remember your father being depressed, your family being more worried?

[08:52:09] Edna Mashaal: They had a very, very hard time to make a decision what to do.

[08:52:14] Interviewer: Okay so he has to make a decision. And he makes the decision, you're going to leave Israel. Was this a family discussion? Did he ask you for - how did it happen?

[08:52:22] Edna Mashaal: There was - you know, there was no other way. He had to think where is the money going to come from? He cannot leave us in Israel and go look so he went a few trips. He went to London, Geneva and then he decided if this is what he has to do, he will do it, the hard way.

[08:52:43] Interviewer: So how did he tell you and your brother? At the dinner table?

[08:52:45] Edna Mashaal: Okay, it was around, around April when my sister got married, which the decision even became harder. He's leaving her, she doesn't want to come because, what? Newlywed, so he managed to buy them an apartment, my father helped buying them an apartment in Tel Aviv but my sister was very lucky because she was still very close to all the uncles from my mother's side. [08:53:13] My, at that point I lost my grandmother, when we were still in Haifa, from my father's side. The one that lived but so when we left at least my sister had family in Tel Aviv that were all very known to her, not strangers. [08:53:30] So that's what happened. My sister got married, it's difficult, he's leaving her, he has to provide her with an apartment so he helped to buy an apartment. My sister at that time worked in a hovuot [ph] in a lab. She studied chemistry and my, my brother-in-law was finishing to study to be an accountant so a lot of hardship to leave but we decided to leave. [08:54:01] And after the first year in Canada he offered them again. He brought them to visit us and he offered them again and nobody wanted to move.

[08:54:10] Interviewer: So when your father said to you, "We're leaving."

[08:54:12] Edna Mashaal: Yeah.

[08:54:13] Interviewer: Did this make you depressed? This this makes you...

[08:54:16] Edna Mashaal: No, not at all. Because I didn't know anything. I knew I'm going with a mother and father that are very loving. I didn't think it will be such a disaster to learn English and I was a very friendly person. I didn't think it will be such a terrible trauma. [08:54:33] The way they dressed here, girls 15 and a half, they wore nylons. I didn't know what is to wear nylons. To put makeup, all these were strange. It was a horrible year. I remember, all I remember being in the hotel apartment, sitting and waiting for the letters, from Israel. [08:54:53] Writing letters and at that time a telephone was an expensive deal so, again, we were not allowed - by the way, the telephone that we got in Israel prior to me leaving, it was locked, god forbid I let my friends use the telephone when I have friends because I'm very social. So that's the experience that I had. [08:55:17] A telephone in Israel that was locked and I'll get only sometimes to use and when we came to Canada it's so expensive. [laughs]

[08:55:26] Interviewer: How did you deal with winter here?

[08:55:28] Edna Mashaal: Terrible. Terrible, terrible, really. To learn how to dress layers and to learns which hotels, uh, which coats are good. It's really, really hard time. Hard time. Hard time to dress and then I took the burden off my brother because I was older than him in two years and I see a brother that is shaking to go to school and crying to come back. [08:55:56] So it was awful and that's why they ended up sending him to a boarding school in Connecticut. That he won't go through suffering. It was the mixed school, he was accepted, he graduated so he can go to the army.

[08:56:10] Interviewer: And here your parents put you in an English school.

[08:56:13] Edna Mashaal: Yeah.

[08:56:14] Interviewer: I assume you spoke Hebrew to your parents at home?

[08:56:16] Edna Mashaal: Only Hebrew.

[08:56:18] Interviewer: Only Hebrew. Arabic disappears?

[08:56:20] Edna Mashaal: Arabic disappeared only when I met Iraqis here.

[08:56:23] Interviewer: Only when you met Iraqis and what happened to French? Where is French in all this?

[08:56:27] Edna Mashaal: French was miserable because in the beginning [overlap laughter] they did not tell me that I'll be able to do a Hebrew exam in the Israeli consulate and graduate matrics, so I tried. They knew in the first school, they knew that it's impossible, I'm learning English every day. I tried, nothing helped. [08:56:52] In the second school, in Northmount High I took a French teacher to help me a little bit but there was no way graduating in French but I tried again. And at the end when I graduated with eight subjects instead of ten they let me have Hebrew in my, as an extra [?] and I couldn't get accepted to McGill, only to Sir George William at that time, which is Concordia today. [08:57:19] But we accepted everything because everything was hard. But it was a very big step forward to move to an area where it's more Jewish. Downtown in the hotel apartment, nobody and, of course, I wasn't going to make friends with the Montreal High and when did I have time? [08:57:41] I took, come back to school, right away go to the English tutor, come back and do homework.

[08:57:49] Interviewer: And did you have any extracurricular activities?

[08:57:52] Edna Mashaal: The only thing my parents were very good for , they knew I am very social, me and my brother so on Friday night there was something that was called Young Judea, that was near Décarie and my parents made a point to take me so I can speak Hebrew, that I can sing songs, so we can dance and that's when I made- I started to make Jewish Ashkenazi friends. [08:58:18] And later on Northmount was completely Jewish, Ashkenazi. There were many not Jewish but the majority was Jewish so it was wonderful.

[08:58:30] Interviewer: So you come form Israel, you have this Young Judea group, which was also, must have been some Israelis.

[08:58:39] Edna Mashaal: That' right, and it was after three months. The first three months nothing. After three months my parents said, we have to find out what to - how to help her.

[08:58:48] Interviewer: So these were Israelis like you that [overlap]

[08:58:51] Edna Mashaal: Some of them hat came as an immigrant.

[08:58:53] Interviewer: As immigrants. Yurdim [?].

[08:58:56] Edna Mashaal: Yes.

[08:58:58] Interviewer: And...you also were speaking English but French was not part of anything.

[08:59:03] Edna Mashaal: Nothing. Nothing.

[08:59:05] Interviewer: And then in about 1960 you become a member of this Iraqi Club.

[08:59:11] Edna Mashaal: Yes, that's right.

[08:59:12] Interviewer: And in the Iraqi club did people - what did you do there?

[08:59:14] Edna Mashaal: Okay, I tell you the truth, originally now, there wasn't money for me to drive a car or to learn because everybody already learning to drive and - so I always had to ask for a lift. Who is going to take me to the club? Now, my parents were not very Iraqi. [08:59:34] They were Israeli-Iraqi definitely but they were not - so they did not - my mother played bridge, not my father, but she had a group in Israel and she ha the group here. So she wasn't going to the club all this drive for 45 minutes just to play cards. So they didn't go as often. With me, it was going to swim, maybe somebody will take me on their boat. They had motorboats of whatever. [09:00:02] It was fun because that's, that's the way I was brought up. Now, who was very, very nice to me? My sis - my sister-in-law Sue, she's my age exactly. So she told me if I wanted to go to Outremont because that's where they went to school but it was too far. And I ended up doing what I did with the school, moving from Montreal High to Northmount. [09:00:26] But she helped me like, when there was Iraqi party in Montreal, nothing to do with the club, "Edna, would you like to come?" or for example, there was a sweet 16 in her house. They lived in Outremont and there was a 16, sweet 16 of a cousin. So I met her, I met the cousin, I met the group and later on, when I went to parties I knew more and more people. [09:00:52] There were some Israeli-Iraqis that was so easy. They talked Hebrew, we talked English it, it grew by 1960 I could say - at that time, also I met my husband, which made it easier. So I met a whole group of people that made life much better. It's not only going to school, coming home, doing homework…and trying to make, you know, life nicer.

[09:01:23] Interviewer: How did you meet your husband?

[09:01:24] Edna Mashaal: In the club.

[09:01:26] Interviewer: In the Iraqi club.

[09:01:26] Edna Mashaal: At the Iraqi club because there was parties, and I went and there was a big family, Sue had brothers, all the brothers that are married, younger brothers that are not married so we all used to meet and sometimes they will give me a lift. She, she went back to Montreal earlier she will tell me, my brother will take you. My cousin will take you and it was me and my brother don't forget. It was two together, it was inseparate. [09:01:53] Because of the hard time he had in school and in Montreal. He doesn't - he didn't have good memories of Montreal when he went to the army. After the army he came back to school here and he started to make a better life.

[09:02:10] Interviewer: So your, Victor you meet...at the club.

[09:02:16] Edna Mashaal: Yeah.

[09:02:16] Interviewer: And what year was that? Do you remember?

[09:02:19] Edna Mashaal: I met him when he came back from N - MIT. It was 1959. But we were no boyfriend-girlfriend, we just met.

[09:02:30] Interviewer: And when did you become boyfriend-girlfriend?

[09:02:31] Edna Mashaal: Boyfriend-girlfriend it was very bad in the Iraqi community, you’re not allowed to talk about it. So my parents knew that I am seeing him more now but his parents were not allowed to know. So it was kind of a secret. It was really in 1960.

[09:02:52] Interviewer: And when did you get married?

[09:02:52] Edna Mashaal: '59...'60, yeah. '61 we got engaged. In '62 we got married and we met more to go out and see each other in '60.

[09:03:05] Interviewer: And when you - were your parents happy that you were with Victor? Was this a..

[09:03:10] Edna Mashaal: Yeah, no problem. It was like something normal.

[09:03:14] Interviewer: were they happy that he also was Iraqi?

[09:03:17] Edna Mashaal: I don't know. That's a - I'm, I'm wondering now because they met the community, they knew my father-in-law. Maybe they were.

[09:03:26] Interviewer: You don't know.

[09:03:28] Edna Mashaal: I don't know. I'm just, I'm just saying they were not the typical Iraqi when they came here and it was very hard for them to penetrate and to make these parties in our homes. Like I remember, my mother, my mother doing a party for Iraqis in the duplex, not in the hotel apartment, in the duplex and then in the nicer duplex, yes, more. [09:03:54] She was more proud to have people, and happier.

[09:03:58] Interviewer: She was Israeli, I mean she ..

[09:04:01] Edna Mashaal: You see she enjoyed playing the, the bridge let’s say, with the Iraqis. they made a group of mommy [?] you know, that they will play kitchen bridge, okay? Very happy. But to tell you that she had her best friend Iraqi and she went shopping with her? No. Not that I remember.

[09:04:21] Interviewer: Did your uh, did you father play backgammon of sesh besh?

[09:04:26] Edna Mashaal: Yeah. Sesh besh yes but not like, normal, like the way Iraqis play. Much more - now let's say Victor plays now much less because he has less friends that are playing it but they used to play so much that we'll go on vacation to Acapulco or Miami and we'll always have sesh besh. [09:04:46] At home we have it in the living room.

[09:04:49] Interviewer: And did your father play at home at Haifa? Sesh bash? Di you remember?

[09:04:52] Edna Mashaal: You know what? The only thing I remember of my father about Iraqi is Shabbat, at noon my father, although we will go to the beach or in the morning, the breakfast was Iraqi breakfast and the Arabic music that he will open from the radio. Not from record or CDs. He loved to hear Arabic music. This I remember. [09:05:19] But I don't ever remember my father playing sesh besh. I remember my uncles, the other two uncles but not my father.

[09:05:28] Interviewer: When you came to Montreal, did your father still listen to Arabic music?

[09:05:33] Edna Mashaal: Not as much but don't forget, here we were already part of Iraq [inaudible] Arabic music parties. They will make Arabic music party and they bring a singer and a dancer, Arabic dancer. They had these things here a lot.

[09:05:51] Interviewer: At the Iraqi club?

[09:05:52] Edna Mashaal: At the Iraqi club or in a restaurant.

[09:05:54] Interviewer: In a restaurant.

[09:05:54] Edna Mashaal: Arabic restaurant.

[09:05:56] Interviewer: And so one would speak Arabic.

[09:05:58] Edna Mashaal: Yeah.

[09:05:59] Interviewer: And was that considered normal, when other people - in a restaurant when other people would be there?

[09:06:04] Edna Mashaal: Yes, yes. They like, let's say in the restaurant they were not all Jews but they'll speak between them very friendly. Like, today I think, I feel more uh, uh, more strange to go to these clubs than at that time. At that time it was like normal to go to Arabic clubs.

[09:06:26] Interviewer: And when, so in the 1960's, when you would be doing this, you’re a woman in your 20's uh, you had lots of people coming from North Africa because Morocco and Tunisia whatever, and so were you in contact, did you have friends that were Tunisians or Moroccans?

[09:06:48] Edna Mashaal: You know, [overlap] in Israel, during my life here, my brother ended up marrying a Tunisian. So I had the connection. And here not only this synagogue, in Beth-El too, people lived in [inaudible] that were Moroccan, Algerian so it was a way - I did charity because I, the, the rabbi of Bet-El married us and he did the favour to sign all the papers for the consulate, I did charity for them, to decorate for Simchat Torah the Sukkot and things like that. [09:07:23] So I met all these people, although I didn't have time because I went to school. I went to school right after I finished high school. I continued studying so I didn't have that much time but the little bit I had I gave my time to Beth-El before we joined that synagogue.

[09:07:42] Interviewer: So Beth-El was the synagogue you were married in.

[09:07:44] Edna Mashaal: Yeah.

[09:07:45] Interviewer: And is that synagogue your parents were...

[09:07:46] Edna Mashaal: No. No, we, we didn't ever marry. We married in a hotel, in Queen Elizabeth but the rabbi and the chazan of that synagogue married us in the hotel. Later on the chazan was my neighbour in, where I lived. So we got friendly with them.

[09:08:05] Interviewer: And from - Beth-El was an Ashkenazi synagogue?

[09:08:08] Edna Mashaal: Yes, totally Ashkenazi, a few Moroccans...

[09:08:12] Interviewer: And then when did you become a member of this synagogue then?

[09:08:14] Edna Mashaal: When my father passed away. They were, my family-in-law were part of Young Israel, which was in Van Horn-Wilderton area and it just dwindled. Now I think maybe they closed it and they decided now that they are in, in Outremont, my family-in-law, and they were planning to build the house they said this will be a good idea to move here. And as a matter of fact my father-in-law, instead of paper man [?] my father-in-law and my mother-in-law, instead of going to the funeral [inaudible] they made a service here.

[09:08:52] Interviewer: What year was that?

[09:08:53] Edna Mashaal: You know, he passed away in '65, so maybe they became members in '64?

[09:09:00] Interviewer: Around that time.

[09:09:00] Edna Mashaal: Yeah.

[09:09:01] Interviewer: And your father, when did he pass away?

[09:09:04] Edna Mashaal: My father passed away in New York, he was 58 years old and it was when...what, what year was it? If, I think he was...

[09:09:18] Interviewer: '72.

[09:09:20] Man: '72.

[09:09:20] Interviewer: And he was on, he was living in New York?

[09:09:24] Edna Mashaal: Yeah, you see when he gave up work here for Yehuda [inaudible] he worked in finance in New York.

[09:09:32] Interviewer: And your mother moved with [overlap]

[09:09:34] Edna Mashaal: And they moved. I got married at that time. My parents, when I got married started to give up life because my brother was going to the army so there was nothing. I'm married. And they are going back to Israel. This was the plan. But when he went back to Israel he got the job in New York.

[09:09:55] Interviewer: So basically he moved from Montreal to New York, more or less. And then he lived there for ten years.

[09:09:59] Edna Mashaal: Exactly.

[09:10:01] Interviewer: And your brother...

[09:10:02] Edna Mashaal: My brother...

[09:10:02] Interviewer: Goes to the army.

[09:10:04] Edna Mashaal: My brother went to the army, came here to study in Concordia and my father wanted him very badly to go work with him. But uh, it wasn't very easy and at that time my, my brother met an American-Jewish girl, lovely, but it didn't work so they married in New York, my parents and all of us were there at the wedding but it didn't last because my brother couldn't see eye-to-eye with American life. [09:10:36] And he wanted to move back to Israel and they separated and divorced. He was hardly married two years.

[09:10:45] Interviewer: And he moved back to Israel.

[09:10:46] Edna Mashaal: To Israel. He lived in Israel since then.

[09:10:49] Interviewer: So you're here. You're married in '62 and uh, you have children?

[09:10:56] Edna Mashaal: Yes, right away I had Robbie in '63, '65 I had Richie and my father-in-law passed away.

[09:11:03] Interviewer: And your father passes away. And you’re a member of the synagogue?

[09:11:06] Edna Mashaal: Yes.

[09:11:06] Interviewer: And your father passes away in '72. And when about your mother?

[09:11:10] Edna Mashaal: My mother came to me to give up everything in New York so she knew my brother is not moving, he's staying in Israel, and he's separated and getting a divorce. She moved to me for one year, to settle everything and to go, go through the mourning period. And after one year she said, "I cannot see myself living here. I still have brothers in Israel. I have a daughter in Israel that never wanted to move and now my son looks like he's going to stay in Israel." [09:11:45] So she moved after one year.

[09:11:47] Interviewer: Back to Israel.

[09:11:48] Edna Mashaal: Yeah. We did my fa - my father was buried in Israel, we did the anniversary year and that's when my brother and his wife, American wife just gave up. She came to do the anniversary year and she left with us. We brought her back to her parents.

[09:12:08] Interviewer: So you have a child in '63, a child in '65...you live in Montreal for the next -

[09:12:13] Man: '72.

[09:12:15] Interviewer: Excuse me?

[09:12:15] Man: One more child.

[09:12:17] Interviewer: One more child.

[09:12:18] Edna Mashaal: One more child. My daughter was born in '71.

[09:12:21] Interviewer: And what is her name?

[09:12:22] Edna Mashaal: Joy.

[09:12:23] Interviewer: Joy. So the three children and they're here in Montreal. Okay now, what area did you live in Montreal then? With the kids growing up.

[09:12:31] Edna Mashaal: In Montreal I lived in TMR because my parents-in-law built their home in TMR, my brother-in-laws all started to buy homes there so I lived in an apartment until I moved to Westmount. It was from 19 - I married in '62, I lived in one apartment, '65, second apartment and '70 a third apartment that my husband had something to do with the building and he made me a duplex apartment. [09:13:02] And in '78 we bought the home...

[09:13:05] Interviewer: In Westmount.

[09:13:05] Edna Mashaal: In Westmount and it was Richie's bar mitzvah. We were doing it in Israel so I was packed to go to Israel but after one year of looking we found a home. My husband bought the house and came to Israel to do a bar mitzvah for Richie and then we did the renovation and moved to Westmount[overlap] in '79.

[09:13:25] Interviewer: And what did your husband do for his business?

[09:13:28] Edna Mashaal: In the beginning he graduated MIT to be an engineer so he joined the business because in the beginning when my father-in-law had an office here the kids were not finishing school yet to open an office. And my father-in-law wanted them to be together and that's what they did so in the beginning they all did carpet business that they thought Persian carpet, whatever. [09:13:53] And later on when they all studied, they opened that real-estate company. So two brothers finished MIT and they were the engineers and the rest whatever, they all worked together in office with the father-in-law.

[09:14:09] Interviewer: And the real estate was commercial or...

[09:14:12] Edna Mashaal: Commercial.

[09:14:12] Interviewer: Commercial.

[09:14:12] Edna Mashaal: Shopping centre and apart- uh, uh office buildings.

[09:14:17] Interviewer: And they develop it and build or...?

[09:14:19] Edna Mashaal: Yes, that's right, that’s what they did.

[09:14:22] Interviewer: Now in these years growing up, okay, so we're not, your children growing up, from, from '63 uh, and your youngest in born '71 so we're talking through the '60's, '70's and into the '80's, did, were you still members of the Iraqi club?

[09:14:41] Edna Mashaal: No. The Iraqi club died at a certain time. Why? It was very nice in the beginning with the, community was small. All of a sudden the community got bigger and like any club of synagogue, there is friction and they decided to sell it. It was too much, too much to hold it and to pay for it and not too many people wanted to go and become a member and it was really pennies at that time. [09:15:11] And also they were renting room there for the weekend for people, the Iraqis that came from [New York?]. It was beautiful [touches mic]. Beautiful from the kids being there with me. But it didn't work as [overlap]

[09:15:23] Interviewer: When did it end? When did the club end?

[09:15:25] Edna Mashaal: I think it ended around the time my father-in-law passed away. It didn't stay too long.

[09:15:32] Interviewer: Now you were -

[09:15:33] Edna Mashaal: I don't know maybe it lasted longer. Maybe.

[09:15:36] Interviewer: So you were members of the synagogue.

[09:15:38] Edna Mashaal: Yes, yeah.

[09:15:38] Interviewer: The Spanish-Portuguese, were you involved in it in any - how were you involved in the synagogue?

[09:15:43] Edna Mashaal: All of us had to do something because the synagogue was not uh, they didn't know how to deal with the Ashkenazi members - the older Ashkenazi members that stayed here and all the newcomers so we were all, some people started to be involved. Like I was involved with the holidays. [09:16:04] That I knew so well. Like, helping with Purim, helping with Simchat Torah and things like this. Other people wanted to help in the office. Like my, my husband at one point became the president of the synagogue because he saw that a lot of the business was not working out well. So different people did but many people of the family worked in the synagogue. [09:16:28] My sister-in-law was very active, I was very - Yvette was very active, I know you, you interviewed her. Yeah.

[09:16:36] Interviewer: And the community here at the Spanish-Portuguese, would you say that 50% of the members were Iraqi? Or were there...

[09:16:44] Edna Mashaal: No.

[09:16:44] Interviewer: Less?

[09:16:46] Edna Mashaal: There was less. Like, you know, Iraqis brought Iraqis. So in the beginning it wasn't so much. I think maybe now, we're quite a lot. I think we're 400 maybe Iraqis.

[09:16:59] Interviewer: So who were the members? Ashkenazi basically?

[09:17:01] Edna Mashaal: Ashkenazi, Moroccan, Egyptian and Lebanese. And that's why now, in the high holiday the Iraqi are alone. The Ashkenazi with all the small communities and Lebanese are alone. Even Shabbat Lebanese have their own service.

[09:17:18] Interviewer: Everyone has their own service with their own minhag and...

[09:17:22] Edna Mashaal: Exactly.

[09:17:23] Interviewer: But different rabbis?

[09:17:24] Edna Mashaal: The one, the one that always in the main sanctuary it's the same rabbi, the same chazan. For the Iraqi they bring somebody, it's a visit - only Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. That's all. They want him to sing the prayer like Iraqi...

[09:17:42] Interviewer: The nigim [ph] the uh...

[09:17:44] Edna Mashaal: Exactly. The Moroccans, it's only Rosh Hashanah and, and Yom Kippur. And Lebanese, always. All year round they are alone.

[09:17:54] Interviewer: Is there a big Lebanese Jewish community here?

[09:17:56] Edna Mashaal: Not too big.

[09:17:57] Interviewer: Not too big. Iraqi is bigger is it not?

[09:17:59] Edna Mashaal: Yes. They Iraqis are bigger.

[09:18:00] Interviewer: And the Iraqi is bigger than the Egyptian is it not too?

[09:18:03] Edna Mashaal: Yes. Exactly. Exactly.

[09:18:05] Interviewer: So...

[09:18:06] Edna Mashaal: The Egyptian, you know what happened? They go where they live. And now the synagogue is not in a very good position and many of them want to walk.

[09:18:15] Interviewer: Right for Shomer Shabbas.

[09:18:17] Edna Mashaal: Yeah.

[09:18:18] Interviewer: The uh, but, so but there's more what, Moroccans now here and...

[09:18:25] Edna Mashaal: In Montreal the Moroccan community is very big and strong. They have many Moroccan synagogues. And they even opened a shtiebel, you know like...

[09:18:37] Interviewer: Yeah a shtiebel, yeah.

[09:18:38] Edna Mashaal: Because they say, listen, we don't like this rabbi, we want to do it our way. I have somebody that I know that is a rabbi and a scribe. He writes my mezuzot okay? They opened just now on uh, Côte-St-Luc road, he showed me and he, he did a torah, he wrote it with his son and they just inaugurated the Torah.

[09:19:01] Interviewer: So when your kids are growing up do you speak Arabic in the house, you and your husband at all?

[09:19:05] Edna Mashaal: Me and my husband a lot so they don't understand but at the end, thank god they are learning [overlap]

[09:19:10] Interviewer: So you would speak Arabic so they children wouldn't understand.

[09:19:13] Edna Mashaal: Yes, exactly. Because I learned much better Arabic here, talking to Victor and talking in the community. The two years of Arabic that I had literary Arabic I really knows only the letters. I can hardly read now Arabic. But it helped me a little bit. And then when I came here it was completely the oral Arabic.

[09:19:36] Interviewer: So you and Victor speak Arabic, the kids don't understand, like the way parents would sepak Yiddish?

[09:19:40] Edna Mashaal: Exactly.

[09:19:41] Interviewer: But over time they begin to understand.

[09:19:43] Edna Mashaal: Yes.

[09:19:44] Interviewer: And do the children speak Arabic?

[09:19:46] Edna Mashaal: Richie learned in Penn [ph]. He decided to take Arabic, maybe but I think Robbie understands a lot. Robbie and Joy.

[09:19:54] Interviewer: Joy also...

[09:19:54] Edna Mashaal: I'm surprised but maybe also because they are, they love the family. The brothers, they, when they are together like yesterday I noticed, one brother came to see, to see the movie, he sat near Victor and talked Arabic between them. So maybe that's why they heard so much Arabic.

[09:20:12] Interviewer: And at home, would you cook Arabic, I mean Iraqi food?[09:20:16] Edna Mashaal: A lot. [overlap]

[09:20:17] Interviewer: So Shabbat you would...

[09:20:18] Edna Mashaal: Iraqi food. Yeah. The children and the grandchildren just adapted to love it.

[09:20:24] Interviewer: And uh, did, when you would go back to Israel to visit, and you would, would you go visit your Iraqi families and...?

[09:20:34] Edna Mashaal: You know what? I have a sister and a brother that is not Iraqi at all but they love so much Iraqis that they go to all the areas in Israel that all they sell the Iraqi products or sell Iraqi foods. It's amazing. Really, both my sister and my brother. [09:20:55] My brother-in-law is Israeli third generation, my sister-in-law is from Tunisia like...but yet they all tend to like the Iraqi...food.

[09:21:06] Interviewer: In the areas, Iraqis live in places like what Giv'atayem?

[09:21:10] Edna Mashaal: Can I tell just tell you something? They are everywhere.

[09:21:13] Interviewer: They are everywhere.

[09:21:13] Edna Mashaal: The people that are not well off, so you'll see them in the [inaudible] or outside Savyon, there is the [overlap] I forgot the name of the place outside Savyon, it will go to eat there, Iraqis, okay? And they have in the Iraqi supermarket there okay? This is the poor. But the people that I visit they are in Tel Aviv, Ramat Gan, Giv'atayim, Holon...they are all Iraqis.

[09:21:41] Interviewer: All Iraqis. Huh. So let me ask you some last questions. Some relfections.

[09:21:48] Edna Mashaal: I have to excuse myself, can I? To run?


[09:28:29] Edna Mashaal: It's like thatnks to your hands in Arabic and I have it.

[09:28:36] Interviewer: We ready? Okay. So let me...talking about looking back and reflecting. How do you preserve your Sephardi heritage? Or your Iraqi heritage?

[09:28:52] Edna Mashaal: Can I just tell you really, I'm so proud now. When I came to Canada I was more Israeli and I never really was shy to say wherever I went that I am Jewish and I am an Israeli. I was very, very proud, very strong about it, being an Israeli. Now, I started to say that I'm Iraqi origin because I've been around very nice group of people, educated, fun and I fell much more Iraqi because I did participate in so many activities that I never did in my life as a young girl in Israel. [09:29:35] There was no way. Where can I listen to Arabic music in a club? First of all, I was young. Second of - people were struggling in Israel. They weren't going...and now when we go to Israel you know how many times we are invited? As a matter of fact somebody, yeah, Yehuda Asia [ph] passed away. The memorial they did for Yehuda was with Arabic music. With the best Arabic music. He appears in plays. [09:30:05] So now I'm participating Yehuda Asia has a collection of art, unbelievable in the museum of Tel Aviv. So we're doing so many things around Iraqi people that I really am very proud of it. And I see my children also.

[09:30:25] Interviewer: Were there other Israeli leaders like Weitzman or other that you were friends with?

[09:30:28] Edna Mashaal: I tell you exactly, all through my life in Israel, the minute I had both boys, my late father wanted me to go back to Israel to visit. So from 1965 really, when Richie was born, every summer I will pack the kids, there was no camp really. It was, Edna is taking the kids to Israel, maybe for six weeks, Victor comes for two weeks and so on and so forth. [09:30:58] And that's how we developed so many relationships. We have very nice Israeli group of friends in Israel. And when we met Ezra Weitzman [ph] it was really him and his wife and his daughter and his son, not just him. And he invited us to the kneset, he invited us to his apartment, which was the Holiday Inn in Jerusalem. [09:31:24] And so, and then the closeness became so...so like family that he asked us if we will take his son that was very sick form the war of attrition, he got sick in his head and he needed to have out, out of doctors and going to New York to see doctors. And we adopted him for a month. It was really like, very sad. He became friends with the children, he was part of the family. [09:31:56] And then he went to Israel and the parents did not let him just stay, do nothing. They made him do to the point, they were, he wanted to get married and he met a girl from Or Akiva and married her. And then they had the accident...because he shouldn't have had a car to drive when they take drinks on Friday night. [09:32:22] So very sad and like Ezra Weitzman [ph] we had many, many other people. We know somebody that works very close with the government but originally he was sent to New York to buy arms for Israel. He was with a group of, a big office that's what they did and now he's helping a lot the government, his name [inaudible]. His brother is the, the fellow that won the...I don't know how they call it.

[09:32:53] Man: Nobel Prize.

[09:32:53] Edna Mashaal: Nobel prize. Yeah.

[09:32:57] Interviewer: Did you know the family Shalit [ph] at all?

[09:32:59] Edna Mashaal: No, we didn't know that, no. At all.

[09:33:07] Interviewer: Let me ask you one last question, which is, many people will listen to this interview. What message do you want to leave with them?

[09:33:17] Edna Mashaal: That I am proud who I am. I know I would have liked to do something more creative in my life or more...towards the community but I did whatever I did and I'm very happy. Thank god.

[09:33:34] Interviewer: Thank you so much for giving of your time.

[09:33:37] Edna Mashaal: It was a pleasure to be with you. All of a sudden I'm...