Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The end of a Jewish business in Iraq

With thanks : Mark  
I have hidden
Better than anywhere else
In the garden of my heart
A little flower
This flower
Prettier than a bouquet
It secretly keeps
All my childish dreams

The mellow saxophone tones of Petite Fleur are the musical backdrop to this interesting 33-minute clip. The clip, consisting of amateur home movies without commentary, tells the story of Technical Bricks Co, a Jewish-owned brick-making company in Diwaniya, Iraq.

Jews are shown in the forefront of the modernisation and industrialisation of  Iraq. You will see the Muallim brothers and their families involved in the day-to-day running of the business. The bricks are quarried and fashioned in two kilns, then shipped away by railway. The company provided employment to the locals.

Fast forward 24 minutes into the clip  - and all is revealed. The company operated from 1948 - 1968, the year the 'evil' Baath regime seized the company and gave the Jewish residents of Diwaniya 10 days to leave.

Nothing remains but childhood nostalgia for a vanished way of life.

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