(Baghdad 1938 – Petah Tiqva 2004)

was born into a Jewish family and raised in Baghdad, Iraq, one of many families forced to leave in the 1950s when he was a young teenager. He chose to swim against the current, never feeling himself at home in Israel. He considered the great wave of emigration to Israel a forced expulsion from the paradise of his childhood in Baghdad. He never forgave the Iraqi and the Israeli governments for what he considered a cruel uprooting of the oldest Jewish diaspora, it was “selling the Jews of Iraq”. He tried several times to leave Israel, going to Iran, India, Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt and finally to England, but he was always disappointed and returned to Israel. In his novels Naqqash represented the collective conscience of the Jews of Iraq through the expression of his anger at the terrible Farhud pogrom of 1941, and for their sudden uprooting from their natural milieu to a different home, not yet prepared to receive them in a respectable way. In fact he was the historical memory of the Jews of Iraq since the time of the Arab conquest in Iraq, if not from Babylonian time. He considered himself an Iraqi exiled writer whether he lived in Israel or abroad.


Contributor's Issues

Banipal 24 - Autumn 2005

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