Born in Baghdad, Prof. Sasson Somekh was a prominent expert on Arabic literature, and a notable author and activist. He passed away this week. By Raanan Shemesh Forshner Prof. Sasson Somekh, one of Israel’s most prominent experts on Arabic literature and a lifelong proponent of peace, passed away this week in Tel Aviv. A winner of the Israel Prize, Somekh was a notable poet, author, translator, and activist. [tmwinpost] Born in Baghdad in 1933 to an educated, secular family, Somekh developed an interest in Arabic culture at an early age, publishing Arabic poetry as a pupil. At age 17, he was…Read More...
Months after a Shiite cleric who won the parliamentary elections in Iraq said Jews "are welcome," an online poll on the matter suggests that Iraqis are ready to discuss the right of return – more than Israelis are. By Meron Rapoport “Iraq’s Jews: 70 years after their expulsion, they seek to return to Iraq and become citizens again. Are you in favor or against their return, and granting them citizenship? This was the question posed last Friday by Al-Khuwwa al-Nathifa (“The Clean Brotherhood”), one of the most popular Facebook pages in Iraq, which has more than 1.7 million followers. More than 62,000…Read More... | 54 Comments
Ellis Kadoorie hoped that by establishing an agricultural school in Tulkarm, he would be helping to educate and improve the conditions of Palestinians and Jews alike. Little did he know it would become a microcosm of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. By Tamar Novick and Arie M. Dubnov The Kadoorie Agricultural School holds a special place in Israeli national memory; a second home for figures like the poet of the 1948 war, Haim Gouri, the future generals Yigal Allon and Yitzhak Rabin, and many of the Palmach generation, the school is seen as the spiritual soil from which sprouted the mythological Sabra. “Kadoorie…Read More...
Like Palestinians today, Jewish hunger strikers used the method to demand fair trial and better jail conditions in 1950s Iraq. Orit Bashkin Some have compared the act of hunger striking to terrorism, claiming that there is no difference between a suicide bomber who targets civilians on a bus and a political prisoner who puts himself on the verge of death. These types of comparisons are baseless, of course. And it is also important to remember that hunger strikes have played an important role in the struggle of political prisoners, from suffragists in America to Mahatma Gandhi in India, as a…Read More... | 2 Comments
On the holiday of Shavuot in 1941, Iraq's Jews experienced a pogrom that claimed over 180 lives and ended in mass looting. But there’s another story from the Farhud that often goes undiscussed: the bravery of Muslims during the crisis. "The Farhud" / Foreword By Orit Bashkin (translated by Asaf Shalev) Silently but not without some noise, a blessed thing is happening in Israel right now. The general category of “Mizrahiness” is falling apart into the stories of specific communities, cities, places, languages and memories: Iraq and Morocco, Aleppo and Oran, Ladino and Aramaic. All of them are asking to tell…Read More... | 17 Comments
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