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Rethinking Baghdad — in a better place

Me: “I wish we lived in Baghdad’s Jewish Quarter.” Mom: “What? The Jewish Quarter?” Raising her left eyebrow, “Are you crazy?” I was longing for her nightmare. Romanticizing the Jewish Quarter of Baghdad was the height of stupidity. “Booma” (unwise owl), she chided lovingly. Here we were, in California, in her San Francisco kitchen, with a view of the Golden Gate Bridge and I was talking about wanting to live where? Abu Sifain, the Jewish Quarter, was the last resort, should her father’s business fail. “I remember going there to visit relatives… at the entrance you had to pass a line of blind beggars sitting in their kaka.” “What? Jewish beggars?” “Of course, lots of poor Jews in Iraq,” she

Rachel Wahba is a writer, psychotherapist, and co-founder of Olivia Travel/Companies. An Iraqi -Egyptian Jew, born in India, she grew up in Japan. 

The many dimensions of 

displacement and exile are a constant theme in her work as a writer, therapist, and in her activism as a Mizrahi Jew who grew up stateless. 

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© Copyright 2015 Rachel Wahba Writer, Speaker, Psychotherapist