My Roots

The funny thing about your husband having the same name as the new President of the US?- The attention you get when you are on any line, waiting to be called.

When he first arrived in the US in 2004, he was detained by airport security. Apparently, he looked “suspicious”- aka he had brown skin.

My husbans is of middle-eastern descent, like me. My parents, as well as his, were born and raised in Israel. His grandparents (and my maternal grandparents) were born in Yemen.

Yemen also happens to be the homeland of Osama Bin Laden. The main difference is, we are of Jewish faith and not terrorists

Yemenite people tend to be dark skinned; brown.

The Yemenite people also have a very rich culture.

My mom’s parents and ancestry is from Yemen. Funny enough, my mom is pretty light skinned.

Every summer we would travel to Israel and stay for two months in my grandparent’s home. I loved being around my grandmother in particular because although she arrived in Israel in her teens, she kept the Yemenite traditions very much alive.

My grandmother wore dresses with long pants underneath and she adored necklaces and jewelry. She wore her hair covered with a hanker-chief.

Barak's Grandmother

Barak's Grandmother

My great grandparents

My great grandparents

I even had a traditional Yemenite wedding before my actual wedding:


I can still taste my grandmother’s Yemenite Soup and Jachnoon (rolled up buttery dough that is baked overnight).

Jachnoon- yum!

Yemenite Soup

 I can still see her standing by the stove at 3am on a Friday morning, baking the traditional Yemenite bread  (called Lachooch) so that my grandfather would have it first thing when he woke up.


I feel honored and privileged that I was raised within that culture. Unfortunalty, the older generation- the  people I grew up with and learnt from- are slowly fading away. I am sad that my children will not have the honor of truly knowing their cultural roots, by being around amazing people with such a rich cultural history.

4 thoughts on “My Roots

  1. eden

    Wow, Maya I love hearing about your cultural history, just love it. I seriously need some of that yemenite soup STAT. Yummo! And the buttery dough, omg.

    So great you had a nice time in L.A., and WOW for the move. You should totally do it. When I come for a visit, you me and Stacie can hang out 🙂

    BTW, down here, “roots” is a term for, ummmm, s*xual relations HAHAHAHA. So, if I ever titled a blog post called “My Roots” …… it would just be a long list of guys names.


  2. Staciet

    OMG. Eden, comment makes me laugh because we so do a project called my roots! Might have to rethink that title! 🙂

    Maya, I hear you about losing your roots. I feel that way now that my dad is gone. I’ve never been especially close to his side of the family (they live in the southern states), so with his death, I lost a lot of the connection with them. Sure I could track everyone down and try to reconnect, but it misses something without my dad. Does that make sense? Anyway, I am sure you’ll do your best to pass down the culture and traditions you love from your childhood. It might not be exactly the same, but it is better than nothing. That just means you’ve got to start practicing cooking all that yummy food! (and yes I want to try it, too) 🙂


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