Ahead of Passover, the Hebrew weekly newspaper Makor Rishon interviewed Hussein Jaber — a 53-year-old married father of four from the Arab town of Abu Ghosh — who is known for “buying” all of Israel’s chametz every year.
A translated portion of the interview is below:
Makor Rishon: A childhood cultural memory?
Jaber: As a kid, I loved to watch again and again “The Godfather,” with Al Pacino and Marlon Brando. Brando is the best actor of all time. He played the role of the godfather perfectly. I really wanted to be like him, someone who influences others.
Makor Rishon: An artist you like?
Jaber: Umm Kulthum, the Egyptian singer. She was followed by many fans in all of the Arab countries, with songs full of content. Not like today’s singers.
Makor Rishon: A figure who inspires you?
Jaber: Menachem Begin. He was an honest man and faithful to his principles and the country.
Makor Rishon: With whom would you like to sit for a beer or coffee?
Jaber: I don’t drink alcohol, but I would happily sit for a coffee with Donald Trump, the man who made it big even though no one believed in him. I would thank him for his courage to move the embassy to Jerusalem. Some were afraid of this, but he did it very easily. Afterward, I would ask him about his plans for the Middle East.
Makor Rishon: A song that moves you?
Jaber: “Hatikvah.” At events and ceremonies, when “Hatikvah” is sung and everyone stands, I am excited anew every time.
Makor Rishon: With what do you fall asleep?
Jaber: A newspaper. I’m very connected to politics in Israel and the world.
Makor Rishon: Recreation activity with the family?
Jaber: Trips in nature — it doesn’t matter where. In the Galilee, in the south, and also in Sinai and Sharm El Sheikh.
Makor Rishon: A dish you can’t resist?
Jaber: Mansaf — rice with mutton. My mother, of blessed memory, cooked the best mansaf. To my delight, my wife learned the recipe from her, and makes it just as well.
by Algemeiner Staff