Meir Bar-Asher was born in Morocco in 1955, but his family made Aliya before he was one year old and settled in Jerusalem, in the Musrara neighborhood (Morasha), which was on the City Line that separated the two parts of the city. In the pre-war period, there was constant fear in the neighborhood. At night the residents were afraid that the Jordanians would attack, and in the days there were places in the neighborhood where they would walk bent over in fear of being shot.
The buildings in the neighborhood were old and small, and every few apartments had shared bathrooms in the yard. When modern, four- and seven-story buildings were built in the neighborhood, those who were fortunate enough to move in were happy and proud. The apartments were not very large, but they were new, and each had its own toilet. The Binyamini family, whose daughter Yaffa studied with Meir Bar-Asher at school, was one of the families who moved to these new apartments. Yaffa, who was a few years older than Bar-Asher, went out to the balcony of her family’s new apartment, to celebrate the passage and enjoy the new landscape, and was shot where she stood. The apartment was less than four hundred meters from the Jordanian post, which overlooked it directly.
After the war, Bar-Asher became friendly with the city’s Arab residents. Nader Sa’id Muna was an Arab boy who lived in the part of the Musrara neighborhood that was left by the Jordanians after the War of Independence and was one of Bar-Asher’s best friends after the war. Meir helped Nader improve his poor Hebrew, and Nader taught Meir a Palestinian Arab in addition to the Moroccan he spoke at home. Nader told Bar-Asher that his dream was to study aeronautics, but Bar-Asher replied that it was a profession of Jews, not Arabs from East Jerusalem. When Nader went to Jordan to study, they intended to keep in touch, but that did not happen. A few years later, Nader joined the PLO and was killed while he was dealing with explosives, and Meir enlisted in the army and developed a military career based on his knowledge of Arabic, and then continued on to an academic career. And so separated the ways of the two boys from a divided neighborhood that united after the war.