Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Esther Feldman Icikson - October 23 & 29, November 5 & 12, 2001

Relations with Arabs

And what was the--was there any interaction between Jews and Arabs?

Uh, one morning we woke up and somebody was knocking on the door. And there was a little boy about nine years old, he was selling oranges. And that was the only interaction we had with them. And we bought from him oranges. They were delicious. And all the time that I lived in Lut until he grew up, he sold us oranges. I don't remember his name. Um, years later after he uh, he was a little older, he stopped selling oranges, he moved away. He went to Jordan I think, to be educated. He came back to visit us.

Did he?

Yeah, he ca...I worked, at the time I had, I worked in a store, I was selling newspapers and books. After school I worked there. And he came into the store and I didn't recognize him, he was tall and handsome and dressed up. Because he lo...I looked at him and he, he spoke Hebrew very well. And he said, "Shalom" and uh, he said, "Shalom Esther." And I was kind of taken by, how does this guy know my name. And he joked and he said, "How about an orange?" I knew who he was. Oh. Who knows. He might be a terrorist today.


I hope not, because he was a nice kid and we really had a good friendship going there while he was bringing us oranges. But that the only interaction I had with the Arabs. They lived in their part, we lived in our part. Uh, I took my children to see the home I lived in. I lived for ten years in Israel. Uh, I lived in that place eight. Eight years in that place. Uh, when we went to visit Israel and I took Clay and David, my daughter and son. And uh, they couldn't believe it. When they came out they were crying, "Mommy how could you live?" They were young then. I says, "This was a palace, it was wonderful. We painted, there were fruit trees there and roses and..." Um, um. It was lovely. I, I went to school, you know. Within no time the city was full of newcomers. People from everywhere. From Morocco from Poland from Tunisia from Yemen from Romania, I mean, you name it, Bulgaria. Um, we had all kind of neighbors, um. And uh, pretty soon they, they put in electricity so we had a bulb in our room with light and...The beginning was tough, I remember that summer after you know, we, we moved in, in, moved in, in the winter, there was no water so we had to go to the pump to bring water home. That was very hard. And we had a little garden, 'cause there was nothing. My mom had a little garden. It was very difficult. We would bring the water from the pump to water you know, to water the little garden.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn