Saturday, May 10, 2008

Hunting for kosher chicken in Marrakesh

It's been the talk of the town all week. The popular BBC TV show The Apprentice flew two rival teams of aspiring young men and women to Morocco and let them loose on the Marrakesh souk. Their task was to find a number of items in the shortest time and at the cheapest price. On their shopping list was a green mosque alarm clock, a fruit juicer, a branded tagine pot - and a kosher chicken.

Haaretz has the hilarious details, highlighting the embarrassing ignorance of the cream of entrepreneurial British youth. Team member Michael, a self-declared 'Jewish ' boy - did not know the meaning of the word 'kosher' and settled for a halal chicken 'blessed' by the butcher who obligingly intoned, 'Allah, allah!'

Michael's team-mate Claire, had earlier remarked: "am I stupid or what, but is kosher chicken Jewish, and this is a Muslim country?" Like most non-Jewish Britons Claire had assumed that Jews do not live in Muslim countries, or perhaps were as common in Arab countries as aliens from Mars.

But the winning team did find what was left of the Marrakesh Jewish quarter. They found a kosher butcher who sold them a kosher chicken. And seven million BBC viewers learned something new: there is Jewish life in Arab countries.

The not-so forgotten Jews of Marrakesh

Death knell sounding for Jews of Marrakesh

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