FOREWORD Jews as Native Iraqis: An Introduction JOEL BEININ Nissim Rejwan
tells us, quoting W. H. Auden, that he always ... By 1908 Jews constituted 53,000
of Baghdad's 150,000 inhabitants.1 The last Ottoman yearbook for Baghdad ...
Once upon a time, Baghdad was home to a flourishing Jewish community. More than a third of the city's people were Jews, and Jewish customs and holidays helped set the pattern of Baghdad's cultural and commercial life. On the city's streets and in the bazaars, Jews, Muslims, and Christians—all native-born Iraqis—intermingled, speaking virtually the same colloquial Arabic and sharing a common sense of national identity. And then, almost overnight it seemed, the state of Israel was born, and lines were drawn between Jews and Arabs. Over the next couple of years, nearly the entire Jewish population of Baghdad fled their Iraqi homeland, never to return. In this beautifully written memoir, Nissim Rejwan recalls the lost Jewish community of Baghdad, in which he was a child and young man from the 1920s through 1951. He paints a minutely detailed picture of growing up in a barely middle-class family, dealing with a motley assortment of neighbors and landlords, struggling through the local schools, and finally discovering the pleasures of self-education and sexual awakening. Rejwan intertwines his personal story with the story of the cultural renaissance that was flowering in Baghdad during the years of his young manhood, describing how his work as a bookshop manager and a staff writer for the Iraq Times brought him friendships with many of the country's leading intellectual and literary figures. He rounds off his story by remembering how the political and cultural upheavals that accompanied the founding of Israel, as well as broad hints sent back by the first arrivals in the new state, left him with a deep ambivalence as he bid a last farewell to a homeland that had become hostile to its native Jews.
Type: BOOK - Published: 2010-01-01 - Publisher: University of Texas Press
Once upon a time, Baghdad was home to a flourishing Jewish community. More than a third of the city's people were Jews, and Jewish customs and holidays helped set the pattern of Baghdad's cultural and commercial life. On the city's streets and in the bazaars, Jews, Muslims, and Christians—all native-born
Type: BOOK - Published: 2019-03-04 - Publisher: Indiana University Press
In this new history, French author Georges Bensoussan retells the story of what life was like for Jews in the Arab world since 1850. During the early years of this time, it was widely believed that Jewish life in Arab lands was peaceful. Jews were protected by law and suffered
Type: BOOK - Published: 2015-12-15 - Publisher: Purdue University Press
Sephardi and Mizrahi Jews in America includes academics, artists, writers, and civic and religious leaders who contributed chapters focusing on the Sephardi and Mizrahi experience in America. Topics will address language, literature, art, diaspora identity, and civic and political engagement. When discussing identity in America, one contributor will review and
Type: BOOK - Published: 2008-10-27 - Publisher: Springer
Iraq's Last Jews is a collection of first-person accounts by Jews about their lives in Iraq's once-vibrant, 2500 year-old Jewish community and about the disappearance of that community in the middle of the 20th century. This book tells the story of this last generation of Iraqi Jews, who both reminisce
Type: BOOK - Published: 2006-10-31 - Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Marina Benjamin grew up in London feeling estranged from her family's exotic Middle Eastern ways. She refused to speak the Arabic her mother and grandmother spoke at home. She rejected the peculiar food they ate in favor of hamburgers and beer. But when Benjamin had her own child a few