Israel-Indian ties Goa-ing forward

Published in Jerusalem Post Magazine, February 27, 2015

It’s hard to tell if Amir Pagi, a partner at a popular Israeli café in Palolem, is from India or Israel.

First there’s the name, Amir, which in addition to its popular Hebrew incarnation means “prince” in Hindi.

He has that swagger that most Israeli tourists seem to possess along the tropical beaches of Goa, India, a confidence that comes from having served in the army but now living it up in a country known to be kind to Israelis – and their wallets.

With dark “Sephardic” skin and a scraggly beard, Pagi’s English accent is not immediately identifiable.

Pagi, it turns out, is an Indian native, having grown up in a family of fishermen in a Goan beach town. But he seems to have taken on Israeli characteristics by osmosis.

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