A Visit to Jordan
by Abraham Yadid
In August 1995,
a year after the accomplishment of the peace-treaty between
Israel and Jordan, I, my wife and my son, along with a group,
mostly ex-Iraqis, hired a minibus for a 5-day visit to Jordan.
The trip was a safe and interesting one. In the mini-bus a
polite and friendly Bedouin policeman and Guide accompanied
us throughout our journey. Indeed we enjoyed the trip. We
visited very interesting old and historical sites, like Petra,
Djerash and Mount Nebo where (so they say) Aharon Hacohen
was buried there.
As it is usual,
visitors to a new country, want mainly to do shopping particularly,
when everything sold out in the magazines, shops, stores and
supermarkets of Amman are cheaper than Israel. To my amazement
however, women amongst our group, who were the majority, insisted
on the driver to take them to a certain shop in the suburbs
of Amman, selling antique jewellery, curiosities and silverware
of all kinds.
Like birds of
prey falling on their booty the women fell on the articles
shown in the shop. They bought out old diamond and gold necklaces,
bracelets, pins, etc., all in US dollars and at relatively
cheap prices. I and a friend stood to look out on the Silverware
corner of the shop wherein, antique silver trays, plates,
cups, spoons, etc., were found in that corner. My friend who
was standing at my side, traced a sweet dish with a nicely
inscribed handle, which was engraved on its bottom two Arabic
words: ie., Haron Einy. My friend immediately new he has seen
this plate, slapped his face, exclaiming "this belongs to
my uncle Haron Einy, how it happened that this is found here?
He added, definitely
this is "ex-Farhud as well as all the contents of this shop.
He remembered that all valuables in his uncle√s house were
looted in the "Farhud." The late Haron Einy was a senior official
at the Ottoman Bank in Basrah and Baghdad. The "Farhud" is
the great looting of Jewish houses and shops which took place
in May 1941 after the collapse of Rashid Ali√s regime in Iraq.
scene, I turned out to a tall person - an Iraqi Shia√s Moslem,
apparently a partner in that shop, who spoke well the Arabic
dialect of the Jews of Iraq, addressing him, you see how the
Arabic Proverb "calamities of a people are benefits to other
people" fits this case. He smiled and nodded his head.
On a visit to Vienna some years ago we found many shops exhibiting
silver Judaica articles, which must have been looted from
Jewish households during the Holocaust. Criminals all.
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