Luluna and Yihya Dahari

Name of testifier: Dahri Luluna. Along with her are a few of her daughters: Naomi, Leah and Tova. The testimony, from a video taken in 1994, is a family testimony, where the mother Luluna speaks, and her daughters translate and add their side.

The testimony:

I gave birth on a Thursday in a tent in Moshav Zuriel. This is how we were used to do it in Yemen, to give birth at home.

We don't know who told the moshav's nurse, Gabi, but she came and forced me to take the baby to the hospital in Nahariya. I did not want to. They wrapped the child in a sheet, and we went in an ambulance. My husband was at work.

Sister Tova: We saw him, to this day I can't get his picture out of my head. So did my sisters and Father.

Mother Dahari Luluna: They put me in a room. At five in the morning on Friday I breastfed him; at eight, they told me he was dead. I asked them to bring me the child, bring me the child, they said he was dead. He was fine. I cried, I asked for the child, (but) they said there was no child. The nurse's name at the Hospital was Bat Sheva, and the name of the male nurse was Baruch. They worked in the hospital. They told me he was dead.

I sat and cried from Friday to Saturday. On Sunday, my husband came, and asked how the child is. They told him he was dead. On Monday (he) took me home. That's it, and from then until today...

He had six fingers on his right hand and six fingers on his left hand. In the right hand, it was near the thumb, and in the left hand near the little finger. Today he should be 43 years old.

My husband asked me: what about the child? I told him I was told he was dead. They didn't want to show us him, neither alive nor dead, so we don't know what happened to him to this day.

The late sister Leah: To this day, we do not know if he is alive or dead. She wrote several letters to Ben-Gurion, and he replied that he would take care of it and find out, and to this day, we do not know.

Sister Tova: Moshe Nahum visited her a few years ago, and we gave him details about the story. He wrote everything.

The mother Luluna: (returning again to the story about the father) After he realized that the answer was that the child died, he gave up.

Sister Tova: We were little children, and it disappointed us very much. We were happy that our mother gave birth, so we were disappointed. She gave birth at home, and we saw the baby.

Sister Tova: she gave birth at home. That's how they were used to do it in Yemen, to give birth at home, and because I had a sister that was taken.

Sister Leah: We arrived in Israel to Ein Shemer. They checked us and said that the girl (little sister Ziona) was sick. They took the girl and we didn't know where to. They said to a nursery, we didn't know what a nursery was. After that she was transferred to another hospital outside Ein Shemer. We asked: where is my sister Ziona? They said we took her to a hospital in Haifa, in Jerusalem, in Nahariya, and we were running after her. In the end, they brought us a letter to go get the girl, they wrote that she was in Jerusalem. We were happy that they brought a letter. The next day they suddenly brought another letter which said she was in Ein Shemer. I went with my dad, I can recognize her. We asked where Ziona Dahari was. They asked who I am. I said: her sister, and this is her father. They showed me the children and said: look, who is your sister? I saw my sister was first in bed. The nurse told me: correct, this is your sister. We took her.

Sister Tova: a family that had many children - they would come looking for children. They would say they were sick and take them. My mother had already learned the trick and would hide us, put us in a clothes box, and cover us with blankets. It wasn't enough, so she would take the barrels we used to fill with water for the whole month and put us inside. It happened many times, it used to happen once a week. They would come to look, see that there are no children, and leave. Or she would send us: "Run to the dining room, run there"... They knew every family how many children they had. Whoever had 10, 9, 13, they would kidnap on of their children, or two. When they came to take my mother to a maternity hospital in Nahariya, Nurse Gabi and Abraham Efrati took her by force, we were small children, and my father was at work. We were so scared. We were three children at home, Rachel Shalom, and me. My sister Ziona was still little, at home. We didn't know what to do. They took her. We chased the ambulance and cried. We came home, we were hungry, we didn't know what to do, there was no one to cook for us, we didn't know where to turn, without eating, without drinking, a whole day alone. When my father returned from work he wondered why they took my mother, because she already gave birth at home, and he took care of her. He was angry that she was taken.

Luluna: After they took the child, I didn't feel well. I dream of him every night.

If he had died in my hands, I would have known, but all these years, I don't know. They said he died but I didn't see, it's hard. He has signs on his hand. They gave me nothing, no death certificate, no papers, nothing.

Sister Tova: We saw him, to this day I can't get his picture out of my head. So did my sisters and Father.

After they took the child, I didn't feel well. I dream of him every night.