My mother and older sister Miryam

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  • Photo taken in:
    Tel Aviv-Yaffo
    Country name at time of photo:
    Israel
    Country name today:
    Israel

Mother and daughter, it is a photograph that my older sister Miryam Zade and my mother had taken together.

My mother Varda Babakardash was a beautiful woman with a light complexion, medium height and brown eyes, she did not wear make-up but would dye her hair with henna.

My mother never went out with her head uncovered. In Adana, they would not look kindly on women with uncovered heads. She wore scarves. She was a very good housewife. Her first husband had died in war too but she did not have children. She was very fastidious about her clothing. They had 25 years of age diffence with my father. She was quiet and calm. I would get the impression of a woman who had accepted her fate in my mother.

My mother had lost her first husband in war. My uncle Nesim Ipekel takes her under his wing. When my uncle meets my father and becomes friends with him, he finds him appropriate for his niece. He says "Look, he has two children but he is wealthy, and a very good person. Get married, you will be comfortable". She agreed to marry my father because of poverty, the stress of being a widow, and most importantly, not being able to contradict the words of your family elder. My father was a friend of my uncle's family. My mother and father married in Iran. They had a civil marrieage but I don't think they were married in a synagoue. They were married at home. This situation reflected on my mother's relationship with my father in reality. My father was both wealthy and handsome. He had two children, but he was older in years nevetheless, and "knew the value of a woman" according to the mentality of those times.

My mother was a very clean woman, she cooked very well. Her time was spent that way anyways. She had jewelry. When I had measles, she would put that jewelry on me so I would not get up from bed and catch cold. She was obliged to sell all of the jewelry in time. In reality, even though my mother married because of pressure from her family, she demonstrated a very decisive and tough personality in her later years. After my father died, she took my older sister and me and came to Istanbul to prevent the family from dispersing.

Miryam was born in Damascus in 1920. Miryam was a tailor. She sewed for the most famous people in Adana. She married my cousin Mois Daniyelzade. The family objected to this marriage. Because they were cousins with Mois, and in addition they dated. Dating was frowned upon in those days. When they went out, Miryam would take me with them. She would meet Mois with the pretext of taking her sister out. She would ask me not to mention this to my mother. In time my mother accepted this union. They left for Israel too, after they were married. Miryam continued working in Israel. Mois who was a sophisticated man on the other hand, could not find work and started working in construction. First he settled in Hertzelia. He started living in a small house with the opportunities that the Israeli government provided him. Later he moved to Holon with the money he earned. But Hertzelia became a city that bloomed. And my older sister lost this opportunity that was given to her. They had children named Suzan, Yosi (my father's name), Yayir (her father-in-law's name) and Hertzel. Suzan and Yosi were born in Istanbul, Yayir and Hertzel in Israel.

Interview details

Interviewee: Rebi Evgin
Interviewer:
Feride Petilon
Month of interview:
May
Year of interview:
2006
Istanbul, Turkey

KEY PERSON

Miryam Zade
Year of birth:
1920
City of birth:
Damascus
Country name at time of birth:
The Ottoman Empire
Occupation
before WW II:
Housewife
Family names
  • Previous family name: 
    Babakardash
    Reason for changing: 
    Marriage
    Decade of changing: 
    1940

Other Person

Varda Babakardash
Year of birth:
1891
City of birth:
Urmi
Country name at time of birth:
Russia
City of death:
Tel Aviv
Country of death:
Israel
Occupation
before WW II:
Housewife
after WW II:
Accountant/Bookkeeper
  • Previous family name: 
    Nuriyeller
    Reason for changing: 
    Marriage
    Decade of changing: 
    1910

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