The Last Jews in Baghdad: Remembering a Lost Homeland

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9780292726888: The Last Jews in Baghdad: Remembering a Lost Homeland
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Once upon a time, Baghdad was home to a flourishing Jewish community. More than a third of the city's people were Jews, and Jewish customs and holidays helped set the pattern of Baghdad's cultural and commercial life. On the city's streets and in the bazaars, Jews, Muslims, and Christians—all native-born Iraqis—intermingled, speaking virtually the same colloquial Arabic and sharing a common sense of national identity. And then, almost overnight it seemed, the state of Israel was born, and lines were drawn between Jews and Arabs. Over the next couple of years, nearly the entire Jewish population of Baghdad fled their Iraqi homeland, never to return.

In this beautifully written memoir, Nissim Rejwan recalls the lost Jewish community of Baghdad, in which he was a child and young man from the 1920s through 1951. He paints a minutely detailed picture of growing up in a barely middle-class family, dealing with a motley assortment of neighbors and landlords, struggling through the local schools, and finally discovering the pleasures of self-education and sexual awakening. Rejwan intertwines his personal story with the story of the cultural renaissance that was flowering in Baghdad during the years of his young manhood, describing how his work as a bookshop manager and a staff writer for the Iraq Times brought him friendships with many of the country's leading intellectual and literary figures. He rounds off his story by remembering how the political and cultural upheavals that accompanied the founding of Israel, as well as broad hints sent back by the first arrivals in the new state, left him with a deep ambivalence as he bid a last farewell to a homeland that had become hostile to its native Jews.

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About the Author:

Nissim Rejwan is currently a Research Fellow at the Harry S Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Over a distinguished, six-decade career as a historian and journalist, he has published a dozen books, including The Jews of Iraq: 3000 Years of History and Culture and Israel's Place in the Middle East: A Pluralist Perspective, for which he won the 1998 National Jewish Book Award for Israel Studies.

Review:

"This book offers a rare look--detailed and vivid--into a culture that is no longer extant. An autobiography of place, it is a portrait of the making of a young intellectual and of Iraqi society in the thirties and forties. It tells the story of the end of the once rooted and vibrant Jewish community and serves as a wonderful resource for both the scholarly historian and the casual reader." (Nancy E. Berg, Washington University, author of Exile from Exile: Israeli Writers from Iraq)

"The Last Jews in Baghdad is the real deal--it is a breath of pure spirit, oxygen, and reality in a realm of depictions and representations that rely on half-truths, false expertise, ideological axe-grinding, and a whole plethora of other ills. The book is crucial; there is nothing at all out there nearly like it." (Ammiel Alcalay, Queens College, CUNY Graduate Center, author of After Jews and Arabs: Remaking Levantine Culture)

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9780292702936: The Last Jews in Baghdad: Remembering a Lost Homeland

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Book Description University of Texas Press, United States, 2011. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Once upon a time, Baghdad was home to a flourishing Jewish community. More than a third of the city s people were Jews, and Jewish customs and holidays helped set the pattern of Baghdad s cultural and commercial life. On the city s streets and in the bazaars, Jews, Muslims, and Christians-all native-born Iraqis-intermingled, speaking virtually the same colloquial Arabic and sharing a common sense of national identity. And then, almost overnight it seemed, the state of Israel was born, and lines were drawn between Jews and Arabs. Over the next couple of years, nearly the entire Jewish population of Baghdad fled their Iraqi homeland, never to return. In this beautifully written memoir, Nissim Rejwan recalls the lost Jewish community of Baghdad, in which he was a child and young man from the 1920s through 1951. He paints a minutely detailed picture of growing up in a barely middle-class family, dealing with a motley assortment of neighbors and landlords, struggling through the local schools, and finally discovering the pleasures of self-education and sexual awakening. Rejwan intertwines his personal story with the story of the cultural renaissance that was flowering in Baghdad during the years of his young manhood, describing how his work as a bookshop manager and a staff writer for the Iraq Times brought him friendships with many of the country s leading intellectual and literary figures. He rounds off his story by remembering how the political and cultural upheavals that accompanied the founding of Israel, as well as broad hints sent back by the first arrivals in the new state, left him with a deep ambivalence as he bid a last farewell to a homeland that had become hostile to its native Jews. Seller Inventory # AAJ9780292726888

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Book Description University of Texas Press, United States, 2011. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Once upon a time, Baghdad was home to a flourishing Jewish community. More than a third of the city s people were Jews, and Jewish customs and holidays helped set the pattern of Baghdad s cultural and commercial life. On the city s streets and in the bazaars, Jews, Muslims, and Christians-all native-born Iraqis-intermingled, speaking virtually the same colloquial Arabic and sharing a common sense of national identity. And then, almost overnight it seemed, the state of Israel was born, and lines were drawn between Jews and Arabs. Over the next couple of years, nearly the entire Jewish population of Baghdad fled their Iraqi homeland, never to return. In this beautifully written memoir, Nissim Rejwan recalls the lost Jewish community of Baghdad, in which he was a child and young man from the 1920s through 1951. He paints a minutely detailed picture of growing up in a barely middle-class family, dealing with a motley assortment of neighbors and landlords, struggling through the local schools, and finally discovering the pleasures of self-education and sexual awakening. Rejwan intertwines his personal story with the story of the cultural renaissance that was flowering in Baghdad during the years of his young manhood, describing how his work as a bookshop manager and a staff writer for the Iraq Times brought him friendships with many of the country s leading intellectual and literary figures. He rounds off his story by remembering how the political and cultural upheavals that accompanied the founding of Israel, as well as broad hints sent back by the first arrivals in the new state, left him with a deep ambivalence as he bid a last farewell to a homeland that had become hostile to its native Jews. Seller Inventory # AAJ9780292726888

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Book Description University of Texas Press. Paperback. Condition: New. 268 pages. Dimensions: 8.9in. x 5.9in. x 0.7in.Once upon a time, Baghdad was home to a flourishing Jewish community. More than a third of the citys people were Jews, and Jewish customs and holidays helped set the pattern of Baghdads cultural and commercial life. On the citys streets and in the bazaars, Jews, Muslims, and Christiansall native-born Iraqisintermingled, speaking virtually the same colloquial Arabic and sharing a common sense of national identity. And then, almost overnight it seemed, the state of Israel was born, and lines were drawn between Jews and Arabs. Over the next couple of years, nearly the entire Jewish population of Baghdad fled their Iraqi homeland, never to return. In this beautifully written memoir, Nissim Rejwan recalls the lost Jewish community of Baghdad, in which he was a child and young man from the 1920s through 1951. He paints a minutely detailed picture of growing up in a barely middle-class family, dealing with a motley assortment of neighbors and landlords, struggling through the local schools, and finally discovering the pleasures of self-education and sexual awakening. Rejwan intertwines his personal story with the story of the cultural renaissance that was flowering in Baghdad during the years of his young manhood, describing how his work as a bookshop manager and a staff writer for the Iraq Times brought him friendships with many of the countrys leading intellectual and literary figures. He rounds off his story by remembering how the political and cultural upheavals that accompanied the founding of Israel, as well as broad hints sent back by the first arrivals in the new state, left him with a deep ambivalence as he bid a last farewell to a homeland that had become hostile to its native Jews. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Seller Inventory # 9780292726888

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