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Chen Zrihan, a Moroccan Jewish 19-year-old girl who was smuggled to Israel to be part of the Israeli Defense Forces

Chen Zrihan is a Moroccan Jewish 19-year-old girl who was smuggled to Israel to be part of the Israeli Defense Forces. Chen who used to live in Casablanca with her mother and sister has recently finished her training, realizing a dream that she spoke to Yediot newspaper about in details.

Chen Zrihan, a Moroccan Jewish 19-year-old girl who was smuggled to Israel to be part of the Israeli Defense Forces./Ph. Yediot
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A story of a Jewish 19-year-old teenager who was brought from Morocco only to be part of the Israeli Defence Forces has recently emerged. As surprising and unusual as this might sound, the girl named Chen Zrihan was smuggled into Israel from Casablanca where she used to live with her mother and a Muslim step-father.

Chen’s uncommon journey was revealed by Yediot, a national daily newspaper based in Tel Aviv, Israel, through an article issued on the 25th of October. The young girl made it to Israel through a television show entitled «Lost» hosted by an Israeli actress.

For many years, Chen’s family in Israel was looking for her and managed to find her three years ago with her sister Yasmin in Casablanca. According to the same source, «Chen, who was only 16 years old back then, surprised many Israelis when she said that she heard Israeli songs in secret and that her biggest dream was to be part of the Israeli army».

Being part of the IDF

The 19-year-old Morocco native was dreaming of becoming a soldier in Israel. Her dream came true once in Tel Aviv. In fact, Chen is now waiting to be appointed as she finished her training at a base in Alon farm.

«There is nothing I wanted in life more than to enlist in the IDF (the Israeli Defense Forces), Chen told the same source. «My induction day was the happiest day of my life. It’s a dream come true for me. In Morocco everyone knows the Israeli army and I always knew that I wanted to be part of it. My mother is also proud of me», she stated.

The young girl, recalled her first days in Israel where she felt like a fish out of water at the beginning. «It was a culture that was strange to me, and the fact that I did not know the language only made it harder for me,» said Chen adding that :

«I did not go to school for nearly a year, and even after I started studying, no one wanted to befriend me, I was alone all the time and the students did not really wanted to approach me».

However, Chen was determined to fit in; she learned the language by meeting Israeli friends at work and managed to get integrated once in the army. This was confirmed through her statement, saying in fluent Hebrew according to Yediot, «today I feel Israeli». «Every day I learn about the Israeli culture and how to integrate here in society and the army gives us a lot of tools to help us fit in Israel», she concluded.