Three Worlds: A Memoir of An Arab Jew

Three Worlds: A Memoir of An Arab Jew

JNP and Convivencia Alliance invite you toa  book launch by Prof. Avi Shlaim

Three Worlds: A Memoir of An Arab Jew On Tuesday, September 19, 18:00 London Time To register, use this link:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Coming-of-age story from the lost world of Arab-Jews

In July 1950, Avi Shlaim, aged five, and his family were forced into exile, fleeing their beloved Iraq for the new state of Israel. Now Iraqi Jews, a once flourishing community of over 130,000, tracing their history back 2,600 years, are all but extinct. For many, this tells of a timeless clash between Arab and Jewish civilisations, the heroic mission of Zionism to rescue Eastern Jews from backward and inhospitable nations and unceasing persecution as the fate of the Jewish people.

Avi Shlaim tears up this script. In Iraq, there had been a long tradition of religious tolerance. The Jews were just one minority among many. Unlike Europe, Iraq did not have a “Jewish problem”. The Jews were well integrated into Iraqi society. His parents had many Muslim friends in Baghdad and no interest in Zionism. As anti-Semitism grew in Iraq, especially after the birth of Israel, the Zionist underground fanned the flames to accelerate an exodus.

Upon arrival in Israel, Iraqi Jews, once celebrated for their ancient heritage and rich culture, were treated as inferior and their native Arabic language viewed with contempt. Their history was rewritten to serve the Zionist master narrative. This memoir reanimates the vanishing world of Iraqi Jews. Weaving together the personal, familial and political, it offers a fresh perspective on the history of the Jews of the Arab lands.


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