With his passing, the circle of those who had first hand experience of Jewish life in Yemen grows ever smaller.
Members of Amram believe that the Israeli government kidnapped and sold the children of Jewish immigrants from Yemen, the Balkans, Iraq, and more.
Yahya Yousuf al-Marhabi idly breaks off leaves from a branch of qat and adds them to the walnut-sized ball of pulp puffing up his cheek. As he sits on the carpeted floor of his living room, the television facing him shows Yemeni soldiers loading an artillery shell into a cannon and firing it toward rebel positions in the hills that surround his former home, Sa’ada. When an on-air reporter mentions the name of the rebel leader — the recently killed Abdul Malik al-Houthi — al-Marhabi spits.
Josh Berer made a decision when he arrived in Yemen: He would tell people he was Christian. He had taken this precaution before — when he lived briefly in Jordan — but now, in the heart of the Arab world, where antisemitic rants blared at him constantly from loudspeakers and “Jew” was synonymous with evil, it was a necessity.
In this audio slideshow, photojournalist Rachael Strecher recently spoke by phone with the Forward about her experience photographing the 67 Jews who remain in Yemen’s capital city of Sana’a.