The Jews of the Middle East and North Africa in Modern Times

By Reeva Spector Simon; Michael Menachem Laskier et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER
19
Iraq

REEVA SPEC TOR SIMON

The country known today as Iraq was created after the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, as a result of World War I, from three former Ottoman provinces: Baghdad, Basra, and Mosul. Through most of its history it has been a battleground between empires. Iraq is bordered on the west by the Syrian Desert, which stretches east almost to the city of Baghdad; in the north it is bordered by the Kurdish mountains of southeastern Turkey, and by Iran, whose mountains are in the north. In the east the Shatt-al-Arab extension of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers borders Iran and leads to the Persian Gulf; in the southwest the marsh areas and extensive date plantations near the city of Basra and the Arabian Desert are located near Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.


POPULATION AND DEMOGRAPHIC CHANGE

For the most part rural, the population of Iraq consists of a Shiite Muslim majority in the south but a Sunni Arab minority living in Baghdad that has dominated modern political life. Iraq has small communities of Eastern Rites Christians, heterodox Yazidis, and in the north the Kurds, a tribal people who are Sunni Muslims but not Arab and who consider their homeland to be in the region around Mosul. They dream of an independent Kurdistan.

Although some Jewish farmers in northern Iraq lived in villages—some entirely Jewish—that had patron-client relationships with the Kurdish tribes of the area, most Iraqi Jews were urban. The majority lived in Baghdad, while smaller communities were located in the major cities of Mosul and Basra. They lived in Kirkuk, Irbil, and Sulaimaniya in the north and to the south of

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The Jews of the Middle East and North Africa in Modern Times
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction vii
  • Contributors xiii
  • Part 1 - Themes 1
  • Chapter 1 3
  • Chapter 2 - Europe in the Middle East 19
  • Chapter 3 - Economic Lire 29
  • Chapter 4 - Community Leadership and Structure 49
  • Chapter 5 - Religfion: Rabbinic Tradition and the Response to Modernity 65
  • Chapter 6 - Intellectual Lire 85
  • Chapter 7 - Jewish Languages Enter the Modern Era 113
  • Chapter 8 - Education 142
  • Chapter 9 - Zionism 165
  • Chapter 10 - Beliefs And, Customs 180
  • Chapter 11 - Material Culture 205
  • Chapter 12 - Music 224
  • Chapter 13 - The World, or Women 235
  • Part 2 - Country-By-Country Survey 275
  • Chapter 14 - Ottoman Turkey 277
  • Chapter 15 - The Ottoman Balkans 292
  • Chapter 16 - Turkey 303
  • Chapter 17 - Syria and Lebanon 316
  • Chapter 18 - Erets Israel/Palestine, 1800–1948 335
  • Chapter 19 - Iraq 347
  • Chapter 20 - Iran and Afghanistan 367
  • Chapter 21 - Yemen 389
  • Chapter 22 - Egypt and the Sudan 409
  • Chapter 23 - Libya 431
  • Chapter 24 - Tunisia 444
  • Chapter 25 - Algeria 458
  • Chapter 26 - Morocco 471
  • Appendix - Middle East and North African Jewry Cd 505
  • Index 529
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