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By Tamar Morad, Dennis Shasha, Robert Shasha

Iraq’s final Jews is a suite of first-person bills of Iraqi Jews approximately their lives in Iraq’s once-vibrant, 2,500 year-old Jewish neighborhood. it's also concerning the break out and rebirth of that neighborhood in the course of the 20 th century within the face of oppression and violence ensuing initially from Nazi affects in Iraq, growing to be Arab nationalism, and at last Arab anger on the construction of the country of Israel.

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Additional resources for Iraq's Last Jews: Stories of Daily Life, Upheaval, and Escape from Modern Babylon (Palgrave Studies in Oral History)

Example text

They told him, “It’s Yom Kippur. ” he exclaimed. “Jews don’t work so there is no radio today?! ” He was infuriated and kicked out the orchestras my father had created. Then el-Said created a new orchestra headed by a Christian named Jamil Bashir, and Chalghy Baghdad continued to operate privately. Then my father and his brother opened a nightclub called Malhat abu Nawas [Nightclub of the Abu Nawas (neighborhood)]. They essentially relocated the orchestra there, and Salah and Daoud continued to compose and sing.

I didn’t have many years with him. But my great advantage was that because I was his youngest boy and therefore had plenty of time on my hands as compared to my siblings, I accompanied him to all his performances and spent a lot of time with him. He told me all sorts of stories about his compositions. He never discussed his former fame. In Israel he had to write lyrics as well, because he couldn’t find good poets like the ones in Iraq who would write for him. But he had to send the lyrics for approval to the Israeli Broadcasting Authority if he planned to play the song on air because he was from Iraq and therefore he wasn’t understood.

Don’t go. You want to leave Iraq, fine. So come to Kuwait. In Kuwait, they’ll make a statue of you. ” The man begged him with tears in his eyes, but my father wasn’t moved. 1057/9780230616233 - Iraq's Last Jews, Tamar Morad, Dennis Shasha and Robert Shasha 22 / Iraq’s Last Jews aliyah, and it was clear to him that with the establishment of a Jewish state, things wouldn’t be so good in Iraq anymore. So he felt he had no choice but to leave. The authorities didn’t let Salah and Daoud take their musical scores with them—the guards took all the scores out of their suitcases.

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