“Every year at Passover, I remember my escape from Iraq.
It was 1970 and Iraq had placed many sanctions on Jews following the 6 day war. We couldn’t work, attend university, or have any communications. My brother had been taken for a spy and tortured.
I was a newlywed and my husband and I knew we had no choice but to run away and leave the country in which we and our ancestors were born. The Babylonion Jewish history goes back 2,500 years – and we had to leave everything behind.
We found someone who would help us to escape. He told us not to say a word to anybody. It hurt me very much not to say goodbye to my family, but for their safety, I couldn’t. Early in the morning in January 1971, we closed our house. In the dark of night and freezing cold, wearing a black veil to disguise myself, 8 of us young adults took to the backs of mules through the mountains on a hidden trail to Iran. There was no guarantee of safety and the 3-day trek was very difficult. When we arrived, we were put in an Iranian prison for crossing the border illegally.
Shortly after, we made aliyah to Israel. We couldn’t wait to get there and I loved every minute. 8 years later, we moved to Montreal. Both Israel and Canada gave me my freedom. And freedom has no price.”