"They have so many countries in this world and we only have one!"

Zahava Hen

Location: Frederika Shoes, Sokolov Street, Herzliya

Residence: Herzliya

The encounter: I was interviewing Beni, the owner of the shoe store, when Zahava came in to look for sandals. She joined the conversation and wanted to be interviewed as well.

What are you doing here right now?
I start working in three hours– I have the afternoon shift– so I'm running some errands and doing some shopping this morning.

What kind of work do you do?
I work in a childcare center. It's amazing, very modern: when you come in, you'd say you're in America! We have ninety children, divided in five different departments by age. We have little 5-months-olds to toddlers.

How do you describe your religious or national identity?
I am traditional Jewish, and I am Yemenite.

Can you tell me a bit about your family?
I have three children and five grandchildren.

Where is your family from?
I was born here. My mother came from Yemen to this country in 1928, when she was eight years old. Now she's ninety-four. She already has a great-grandchild who is married! My father also came from Yemen as a child. They were among the first immigrants from Yemen. The Jews are being persecuted everywhere in the world, even in London and France! Such anti-Semitism! That's why everyone wants to come here!

What are your hopes and expectations for the future of this land?
I hope we will have good lives and that we will have tranquility and that there will be no more wars; I hope all the children of Israel will come home safely. And I really hope we will have peace between the two nations; that they will go live in their country and we will have ours. They have so many countries in this world and we only have one! Why can't they leave us alone?