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Muslim Twins Convert to Judaism, Join IDF


Fatima and Zukra Islambakov are twins born to a Muslim mother nineteen years ago in Uzbekistan.

After several years in a Muslim school and years of considering themselves Muslims, the twins discovered that they had Jewish roots and that their father was Jewish, after Jewish Agency representatives showed up at their home and suggested the twins make aliyah.

The twins abandoned the local tradition and decided to arrive in and move to Israel with their families. However, they were still considered Muslims by Israeli law. Today, however, they serve in the Israeli Defense Forces after converting to Judaism and undergoing a name-change process. One of the twins even took part in one of Operation Protective Edge’s important missions.

The twins are no longer called Fatima and Zukra, but instead Yael and Noga. The twins also changed their last name from Islambakov to Steinman. Fatima, or Yael as she is known now, has already completed a military conversion to Judaism course, and her sister Zukra, who is soon to be known as Noga, is expected to complete the conversion


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