Kirkuk’s Jewish homes still standing

Published October 11th, 2016 - 09:41 GMT
Sherzad Mamsani, the representative of Kurdish Jews in the Kurdistan Regional Government (AFP/File)
Sherzad Mamsani, the representative of Kurdish Jews in the Kurdistan Regional Government (AFP/File)

Iraq once had a thriving Jewish community, but only a handful remain today. Most left after the creation of the State of Israel, having been chased out by angry mobs. But today, the community and its history in northern Iraq and garnering some attention. On Monday, Iraq’s Al Sumaria news published an Arabic-language video showing Jewish homes in Kirkuk.

“This is an old Jewish area,” said Nahad Amr to Al Sumaria on the Al Torat neighborhood. He lives in nearby Briyadi. The footage shows homes known to be previously inhabited by Jewish families, as residents seem to be aware. The area is now populated by Kurds, Arabs and Turkmen.

Al Sumaria’s report is only the most recent on Judaism in Iraq, and Jewish life in the Kurdistan region in particular has been getting significant coverage as of late. In March, Dov Lieber wrote an article in The Times of Israel on efforts by Jews in Erbil to revive their culture and practices in the region. The article featured Jewish community leader Sherzad Mamsani, who has given numerous interviews this year on the Kurdish Jewish community.

Kirkuk is claimed by the central government in Baghdad, but is currently administered by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

You can watch the video here.

AL


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