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mardi 12 décembre 2017

HAPPY HANUKKAH FROM A MUSLIM COUNTRY, MALAYSIA KUALA LUMPUR NIGHT 1

The Muslim and Arab countries of this world turned 900 000 Jews who had lived there long before Islam became the adopted religion of those countries, into refugees. 
Many of us have personal accounts of this, in my case, my brother Eliyahu and Rachel,  having been born in Bombay (after being evicted from Baghdad and Cairo), led  childhood as stateless refugees in Japan. 
Malaysia does not welcome Israelis nor paint a favourable picture of the Jewish people, so I always feel I must do my best to paint a good picture of my people, whether as an example or extolling the virtues of the State of Israel and its limitless innovativeness.
Or take revenge, by living well in these Muslim countries where I find my self: Malaysia, Morocco, Qatar.
I am writing this from the Double Tree Hotel by Hilton, a very nice hotel to stay in KL (I recommend it) and the Malay Muslim staff are overwhelmingly friendly.
(American Hotels take note) Their breakfast spread is something to look forward to, with three distinct stations of food: Chinese, Malay and Indian with multitudes of staff milling around serving food, coffee, tea and specialties. You see a number of nationalities, Iranians and Gulf Arabs, Saudia airline crew.
Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah. Nice to remember this historic occasion and the miracle of light. 
To me it also serves to remember those who are close to my heart, my jewish family and friends and others occupying space in my heart at the moment.






Earlier during the soon after waking up, I had gone for a long walk, sauntering amidst office workers rushing to their cubicles. On the way, I ran into a Buddhist temple. Being open minded about symbolism and religion, I snuck in and prayed for my friends in Cuba.


 I tasted a smattering of the South Indian food on offer  while reading Inner Engineering by Sadhguru, a recent gift by my friend, Doctoral Student at Monash Malaysia, Mun Ching.

 It was a nice day to relax. Found A-Saloon in the shopping mega mall which is within walking distance to Double Tree Hotel. 
 Andy was my coiffeur, who was very proud of the fact that he was of Chinese descent but had a beard!
The next stop was Guinot Boutique, which was introduced to me by my friend MunChing and I enjoy the facial by Anna.
It was a relaxing one hour facial and later on Anna wanted to talk about certain health issues. It makes me sad that a middle income country and one of the richer ones in Asia, punishes its population by making disease care private and expensive. There is no universal coverage and private medicine can ruin your finances. Sad indeed. I told her of the wonderful free medical care in France and also the free medical care offered to people over the age of 65 in the USA.

 The morning repas had been so abundant that Lunch time had come and gone. So why not taste a Dosai, that perennial crepe of South India. Saravanna Bhavan is the name of the outlet at the Food Court and this one did not disappoint me.
On the way back I walked past the Chinese temple and fondly remembered those I had prayed for that morning, in Cuba: an affectionate young Endocrinologist, two budding medical students.
Thus begins the Hanukkah celebrations for 5778