Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Harif launches autumn programme

Harif, a UK association of Jews from the Middle East and North Africa, is launching its autumn programme with a showing of two films by the Israeli director of Iraqi-Jewish origin, Duki Dror.

The films, which will be screened on 25 October, deal respectively with Dror's own search for roots (My Fantasia) and the ambivalence of being a Vietnamese living in Israel (The journey of Vaan Nguyen). A discussion with the director himself will follow.

This year happens to be the 65th anniversary of the Farhoud, the pogrom which killed around 180 Iraqi Jews in 1941. It is also 2,600 years since Jews first settled in Babylon. Planned for November will be two evenings with the Iraqi-born broadcaster, Salim Fattal, who will be screening and discussing a documentary he made for Israeli TV on Iraqi Jewry.

Professor Ephraim Karsh of King's College and author of a new book on the subject, will talk about the impact of Islamic imperialism on the Jews.

The programme, which is being run jointly with Spiro Ark, concludes with a Forum on Iraq's minorities. Sunnis, Kurds, Turkomans, Assyrian Christians, Jews and Mandaeans will discuss whether the new Iraq will be safe for them.

The Harif programme coincides with an international campaign for rights and redress of Jews from Arab countries led by JJAC. Each family is urged to register online and record its story and any lost assets.

Last November, Harif - which was started in May 2005 - held a successful Jews from Arab Countries Week. Among the highlights was a lecture by Bat Ye'or, a Moroccan Henna and the premiere of the David Project's film, The forgotten refugees.

Photo: scene from
'My Fantasia'

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