But do they have matzah in Jeddah?

Scroll down for update.

This engraved tray was photographed at a shop in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, by a bemused friend (and fellow blogger) who happens to live there. For those who don’t read Hebrew, the word spells “matzah.”

So far there is no word on whether or not the actual bread of affliction is available in the kingdom.* Last year, however, Haaretz’s Yoav Stern reported that the Arab public of Israel are avid consumers of matzah during Passover.

Quote from the article:

A journalist associated with the Islamic Movement in Israel told Haaretz that he also bought matza. ‘The kids can’t get enough of it,’ he gleefully reported. ‘They eat it like crackers. But it also represents a sense of folklore for us. Maybe we like it more than Jews do because no one’s forcing us to eat nothing but matza all day long,’ he said in explanation.”

And so, with that little bit of reportage that, I hope, will make you go “hmmmm…..,” I wish you all a very joyful Passover – a.k.a. Holiday of Freedom, a.k.a., Holiday of Spring, a.k.a…..You get the idea.

(And yes, I really am going to post about my trip to Istanbul. I’m just a bit slow these days.)

*UPDATE: My Jeddah-based Zionist spy correspondent writes that matzah is, indeed, available at the local supermarkets. It is certified kosher by a beit din (rabbinical court) in London. I am at a loss for cynical words at the moment. Please help me out with your comments.

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6 responses to “But do they have matzah in Jeddah?

  1. Or could it be a secret Jewish community in Saudi? ;]

  2. Read this yesterday:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2008/apr/19/supermarkets.religion

    “The aggressive pricing has not fazed small shopkeepers. At Kosher Kingdom in north London, which stocks organic, wholemeal, spelt, Brooklyn, diet, miniature, Israeli and round varieties of matzo”

    And there I was, thinking that all Matza was the same, i.e inedible!

    Chag Sameach!

  3. While studying Arabic in college in the US, I once had an Saudi Arabian “speaking buddy” who was arranged for me through the foreign students’ office. He told me that the Saud family which rules Saudi Arabia are actually Jews, which sounded very Bin Ladenesque. Could the Saudis be drawn to matzah because they accept the libel that you have to spill Christian blood to make them?

  4. Ali, my friend Latifa’s son, goes to a special education school in Tel Aviv. There are NO Arab special education schools in Jaffa.
    So the kid, who has a hard time learning how to read and write in the first place, doesn’t know how to read nor write Arabic.
    In addition, he’s taught all about Jewish festivals but nothing about his own culture.
    In any case, i have been appointed as the family’s assistant for Jewish holidays homework, which he has to do.
    As a result, together with him, i learn more and more 🙂

  5. I stumbled upon Israeli chocolate in Dubai last Christmas, which I ate while listening to Zehava Ben at a Virgin music store.

    But Saudi? Wallah…

  6. my mother is renovating her apartment and all the labourers are israeli arabs.. none of them agreed to work during passover..

    she asked them if they were coming today and they said “isru hag!”

    :s

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