In Fun
My Granfathers Mandolin
My Granfathers Mandolin

Born in Egypt (1924), my Grandpa was brought up in a time of fear and stress. He was a passionate boy who loved art, culture and music. One day he saw a man playing the mandolin, an instrument in Egyptian culture and was captivated by it. He was determined to buy his own and use as a means of employment. He got a job as a party promoter, and played the mandolin at every event. The mandolin allowed him to escape the troubles he and friends faced as Jews. In his early 30’s, Egypt launched a series of radical measures against Jews, putting them in detentions, seizing their property, and depriving them of citizenship. My grandpa, forced to leave, moved to Israel with very few items including the mandolin, which represented his youth, reminding him of happiness and hope. Years passed and the mandolin continued to be his token of hope. He experienced multiple wars and decided to move to America for a better life. Years later I was born, and I too was musically inclined. At 16, my grandpa shared his past and gave me his mandolin, stating he waited all his life for the perfect person to share this with. Both my grandpa and I correlate happiness and unity with music. The mandolin keeps me connected to my past and my heritage, reminding me of what my Grandpa endured to l give me a great life. Now, watching his grandchild grow up he is able to pass along the mandolin, along with all the memories it holds on a journey to make new ones, connecting the past and present times of our family.

Place(s): Egypt, Israel
Year: 1956

– Jennifer Maleh

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant