Last Jews Of Iraq, The

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20111129Jews in Iraq? Alan Yentob investigates a 2600 year old community, now almost disappeared.|Once they thrived as a third of Baghdad's population, now only seven Jewish people remain.|Few people realise there was once a thriving Jewish community in Iraq - in 1917 it was a third of Baghdad's population.|Jewish people had government jobs and dominated the music scene.|They were an integral part of the community, living peacefully with Arab neighbours.|The Jews had been in Iraq for more than two and a half millennia, since it was called Babylon, and remembered in Psalms.|For centuries it was the centre of Jewish learning.|Alan speaks to people who remember a life in Baghdad characterised by integration, religious diversity and colourful traditions.|In the 40s, everything changed.|Nazism, Arab-nationalism and anti-Zionist feeling created a wave of anti-semitism.|Violent pogroms flared up, young Jewish men were publically hanged, Jews were forced from jobs.|By the 1970s nearly all had left, many in 1951 when 110,000 people were flown to safety in Israel.|We hear from those who remember the community's traumatic final days.|Now those few Jews who remain are hidden away.|They will certainly be the last of the ancient Babylonian Jewish line, says Canon Andrew White, the 'Vicar of Baghdad'.|In a very personal programme, BBC Creative Director Alan Yentob, himself the child of Iraqi Jewish immigrants, looks into his heritage and uncovers the hidden history of the Jews of Iraq.|Although the community is now almost vanished in Iraq itself, its traditions survive though around the world.|With interviews, archive recordings and contemporary music, Alan brings its vibrancy to life.|Producer: Hannah Marshall|A Loftus Audio production for BBC Radio 4.
20111204Jews in Iraq? Alan Yentob investigates a 2600 year old community, now almost disappeared.|Once they thrived as a third of Baghdad's population, now only seven Jewish people remain.|Few people realise there was once a thriving Jewish community in Iraq - in 1917 it was a third of Baghdad's population.|Jewish people had government jobs and dominated the music scene.|They were an integral part of the community, living peacefully with Arab neighbours.|The Jews had been in Iraq for more than two and a half millennia, since it was called Babylon, and remembered in Psalms.|For centuries it was the centre of Jewish learning.|Alan speaks to people who remember a life in Baghdad characterised by integration, religious diversity and colourful traditions.|In the 40s, everything changed.|Nazism, Arab-nationalism and anti-Zionist feeling created a wave of anti-semitism.|Violent pogroms flared up, young Jewish men were publically hanged, Jews were forced from jobs.|By the 1970s nearly all had left, many in 1951 when 110,000 people were flown to safety in Israel.|We hear from those who remember the community's traumatic final days.|Now those few Jews who remain are hidden away.|They will certainly be the last of the ancient Babylonian Jewish line, says Canon Andrew White, the 'Vicar of Baghdad'.|In a very personal programme, BBC Creative Director Alan Yentob, himself the child of Iraqi Jewish immigrants, looks into his heritage and uncovers the hidden history of the Jews of Iraq.|Although the community is now almost vanished in Iraq itself, its traditions survive though around the world.|With interviews, archive recordings and contemporary music, Alan brings its vibrancy to life.|Producer: Hannah Marshall|A Loftus Audio production for BBC Radio 4.|Alan Yentob investigates a 2,600-year-old community in Iraq, now almost disappeared.