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• Rachel Wahba  // Rachel Wahba is an Egyptian Iraqi Jew born in India who grew up stateless in Japan. She is a psychotherapist in the Bay Area and co-founder of Olivia Travel.

26 May Posted by in • Rachel Wahba | 1 comment

Granny’s Abortion

Granny’s Abortion

“They saved my life, they were Muslim, a young doctor and his wife, when I gave myself an abortion and almost died,” Granny remembers. “Efraim (her husband) was so angry I think he would have let me die!” Granny’s story was different from most of the Jews of Baghdad. She wasn’t born there. She grew […]

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18 Nov Posted by in • Rachel Wahba | 1 comment

Yoga and Anti-Semitism

Yoga and Anti-Semitism

“Ah, I used to think about anti-Semitism!” Dr. Ross exclaimed with a burst of energy as he read my response in his new patient questionnaire. “What do you think about?” was the big question. I was there to see him for my migraine headaches. My response, “Anti-Semitism,” resonated. “Thinking about Anti-Semitism used to give me […]

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12 Sep Posted by in • Rachel Wahba | 1 comment

Under the Chuppa – the Persian ‘Revolt’ in LA

Under the Chuppa – the Persian ‘Revolt’ in LA

The day after DOMA was overturned, Los Angeles Rabbi David Wolpe, announced that he will be performing same-sex marriages in his synagogue, Temple Sinai. The Rabbi upset enough of the thousand strong Persian congregants of his high-profile Conservative Synagogue, to warrant a front-page article in the New York Times citing a “revolt” in the congregation. […]

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10 Jul Posted by in • Rachel Wahba | 6 comments

The First Lesbian Divorce Case

The First Lesbian Divorce Case

DOMA, the “Defense of Marriage Act,” should have been a bad joke instead of a law the Supreme Court finally declared unconstitutional this week (June 26,2013). But it wasn’t a joke, and neither was my marriage of 31 years to a woman whom I legally married one week before Prop. 8 got viciously overturned four […]

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25 Jun Posted by in • Rachel Wahba | 1 comment

The Rock Star Room? No thanks…

The Rock Star Room? No thanks…

As  a proud owner of Olivia, I enjoy “VIP” status when I travel to places Olivia charters. Once a year I indulge a lovely habit of going with a friend for a restful time—off season in a half empty hotel on some magnificent tropical beach without Olivia. I am always ambivalent to go without the […]

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14 May Posted by in • Rachel Wahba | 10 comments

Finger Exercises?

Finger Exercises?

There was nothing I couldn’t talk about with Granny, who died two years ago at 103.  I asked her when she was in her early nineties. If she could have chosen a different life, if she could have been with women, would she have? “Yes, I think so” she said.  “So did you ever think of […]

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12 Mar Posted by in • Rachel Wahba | 5 comments

Exquisitely Sweet Iraqi Haroset for Passover

Exquisitely Sweet Iraqi Haroset for Passover

Look in any good Middle Eastern or Arabic grocery store and they will have a jar of what we Iraqis call silan (“see-lan”), a syrup, made from dates. Iraqi dates deliver the thickest syrup.  When you mix finely ground walnuts with the silan (usually at around a 4:1 ratio of silan to dates) to thicken […]

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19 Jul Posted by in • Rachel Wahba | 12 comments

From Betty to Olivia

From Betty to Olivia

When “The Feminine Mystique,” Betty Freidan’s seminal book arrived in the mail, it turned me inside out. I expected a how-to book on glamour – a  feminine “mystique” – refining  the ancient art of Allure/Glamour/Gorgeousness – how to put on make-up and look sexy. Right? What else would an unsophisticated 22 year old new immigrant […]

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13 Mar Posted by in • Rachel Wahba | 3 comments

Love You?

Love You?

Whether it comes out of my mouth or anyone else’s “love you” has always bothered me. Something (or someone) is missing. Its as if the heart is engaged. Where’s the “I”?  What’s the problem? When it comes to words and how we use them, the Buddhist teacher Yvonne Rand comes to mind. I remember her […]

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07 Jan Posted by in • Rachel Wahba | 4 comments

Be Here Now (or Later)

Be Here Now (or Later)

Becca her bright eyes lit up by a precocious mind, had finally figured it out! For sure she would get me to see the way—The way out of quicksand-longing. I was going mad wanting to go back to a home so damaged I was still removing the splinters from my body. “Nana, if there were […]

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