In Books: Jewish Exodus from Iraq Revisited

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Arabic Literature (in English)

A number of recent novels have addressed the relationship between Muslim, Christian, and Jewish populations of Baghdad. Iraqi writer Ali Shakir tells his story:

By Ali Shakir

Who would have thought?

booksAt the age of ten, I took to the stage in my primary school in Baghdad to recite verses that called for an immediate liberation of Palestine’s land from the vicious Jewish occupation. My short poem was met with a roar of applause, I felt ecstatic. … Thirty-six years after what I’ve considered a glorious moment in my life; my comprehension of the notion of animosity has noticeably changed, and here I am, writing about Jewish writers and the injustice done to their people. But wait! Passports aside; the Jews I’m talking about are no less Iraqi than I am. They were born, grew up and studied in Baghdad just as I did, and we both migrated from Iraq—albeit in…

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