Dina Ovadia, today a soldier in the IDF Spokesperson Unit, was born in Egypt not knowing she was Jewish until the age of 15. In an emotional interview published on the IDF website, Ovadia spoke about her childhood in Alexandria, the earthshaking event that changed her life, the discovery of her Jewish identity, and her immigration to Israel and integration into local society.
Going by the name Roulin Abdullah throughout her childhood, Dina always felt that she belonged somewhere and to something else, but wasn't quite sure what that was. "I attended a Muslim school, and we were made to study the Koran, but I was constantly asking myself, 'Why am I learning this?'"
The discovery of her true identity will forever be with Dina as the most traumatic event of her childhood. On what was turning out to be a normal day at home studying while her brother and cousin played on the computer, suddenly the silence was shattered by the sound of gunfire and breaking glass. "I became frantic, fearing that someone was coming for us because we were somehow different from everyone else," said Dina. "I went outside and saw five masked men, Islamic activists." Armed with clubs and rifles, the men demanded to see the master of the house, whom they labeled "a Jew," an assertion that, at the time, was incomprehensible to Dina. More