Born in Baghdad

Born in Baghdad

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In Baghdad, Iraq, in 1939, nine-year-old Heskel Haddad, then the most fervent of Iraqi nationalists, first heard a fellow Iraqi call him qlousy Jew.q Iraq, which for centuries was called Babylon, housed the world's oldest continuing Jewish community, largely concentrated in the capital city of Baghdad. By the late 1930's spurred by pro-Nazi elements, the Arab community had become increasingly anti-Semitic. On the eve of the holy day of Shuvuot, small roving bands of M'silmin killed 900 Jews in Baghdad, among them Heskel Haddad's cousin, his closest friend, who had been stabbed in the back and left to die in slow agony. Heskel Haddad swore the solemn oath to avenge his cousin, and began to organize an underground movement to protect his fellow Jews from further slaughter. As conditions worsened in Iraq, more and more Jews dreamed of escaping to Israel, but attempts to flee through Syria and Trans-Jordan meant death in the desert or at the hands of the Bedouin. The only way out was into neighboring Persia, now called Iran. Between 1948 and 1950, the Underground led 20, 000 Jews to safety. An anonymous informer put Haddad on the qwanted list, q and eventually Haddad was forced to leave Iraq forever. After a grueling journey through the desert into Iran, Haddad was forced to leave Iraq forever. After a grueling journey through the desert into Iran, Haddad arrived in Israel, where he was reunited with his family, which had left Iraq penniless as a result of the mass expulsion of Jews. Born in Baghdad is a gripping, richly atmospheric book about exotic lands poised between ancient tradition and modern change-and about the human values that must ultimately transcend both.Wheeler-dealer Sa#39;haka€”what had he been doing all these weeks, I wondered. Impatient to be off, I asked, a€œIsna#39;t Sa#39;hak ever getting back? ... Something might be salvaged after all. But Sa#39;hak wasna#39;t at the house. When Baba had to tell me what anbsp;...

Title:Born in Baghdad
Author:Heskel M. Haddad
Publisher:iUniverse - 2004-09


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