Pearl Sofaer was born and grew up in Bombay, India until she was 17 years old. She lived there with her parents, two younger brothers, and younger sister. Her family originated from Baghdad and Kirkuk, Iraq, before migrating to Burma and eventually to India. Growing up Pearl and her siblings spoke Hindustani and English; they were barely taught any Arabic as that was the language her parents chose to keep their own. The Jewish community in India was nearly one million people strong during the time Pearl lived there and most of them had originated from Baghdad.

Pearl was educated in India and England (where she attended a boarding school) and earned her master’s degree in mediation in the United States. Pearl is an accomplished writer, visual artist and singer. Her book From Baghdad to Bombay weaves the threads of a vital family into a rich tapestry of good food and tradition. She has shown her paintings and sculptures in art exhibitions throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and has performed at the Northwest Folklife Festival in Seattle, Southern Oregon University, and elsewhere. In addition, she served as a cantor for the Barah Congregation for more than 10 years. She currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area near her children and grandchildren.

You can visit Pearls personal website and buy a copy of her book, Baghdad to Bombay, here.

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