Saturday, May 01, 2010

'Sorry', say viewers of TV show on Iraqi Jews in UK

With thanks: Iraqijews

'Sorry', 'compensation' and 'injustice' are words that come up repeatedly in the comments thread following a recent Arabic TV programme featuring Iraqi Jews in Britain. The comments come from viewers not just in Iraq, but other Arab countries. Let's hope that TV can be a force for good in combating the denial of history, and bringing about reconciliation between Jews and Arabs.

This is the clip from Al-Arabiya TV. The report is reasonably balanced but has been criticised for degenerating towards the end into tear-jerking nostalgia.

Niran Timan, who was interviewed for the programme, adds:

"The purpose (of the programme) was to introduce the case history of the Jews of Iraq, which was the same for all other Arab countries. The result is that it has created a wave of Iraqis (non-Jews and mainly Muslims) acknowledging that we suffered and we were treated unfairly. Sixteen comments were posted on the Al-Arabiya website (in Arabic) from people who were touched by our stories. Other comments and feedback are being received daily by Emile, Elias and myself (programme participants). The latest one this morning came from Sweden: it's by an Iraqi lady whose brother in Syria put most of (the Jewish musician) Saleh Al-Kuwaity's songs on Youtube. Some of this feedback, whether by phone, email or messages through third parties whom we don’t even know, is positive towards the Jews of Iraq. Many are from Arab countries and even Iraq. 'Injustice', 'compensation' and 'sorry' are the main repeated words."

To see the comments (Arabic), scroll down the page.

Update: After seeing the Al-Arabiya programme, the philosemitic Dr Jabber Jamaluddin has penned this poem dedicated to the Jewish participants. Dr Jamaluddin also wrote a poem in honour of Linda Menuhin, described in the Jerusalem Post as the 'Anne Frank of Baghdad'.

3 comments:

Juniper in the Desert said...

This is very interesting. Thank you.

jack said...

As another jewish iraqi who is in constant touch with the interviewees,you can be assured that the program was never meant to crave sympathy or even apportion blame.It chronicled the reality of what happened over half a century ago yet vividly remembred: the good,the bad and the ......

Hagit said...

WEll done, thank you for sharing with us your story as part of our History. Beautifully done, YESHAR COACH :)
Hagit Tal