Archive Links Search Contact Us


The articles in this issue have been divided upinto the following categories







The Times


Meir Basri, president of the Iraqi Jewish community, was born on September 11, 1911. He died on January 3, 2006, aged 94.

Meir Basri had the distinction of being the last president of the 2,600-year-old Iraqi Jewish community, at a time when it has dwindled to a mere handful of 400 mostly elderly people. The Jewish community of Iraq, the oldest in the world had once numbered a quarter of a million.
A prolific writer, historian, biographer and poet, Basri was educated at the alliance Israelite School in Baghdad, which he left in 1928 to join the inchoate Foreign Ministry of Iraq following the establishment of the new state under Hashemite rule; at the age of 17 he had already been fluent in Arabic, French, English and Hebrew.
With a notable Iraqi politician, Sayyid Ja'afar Abdul Timman, he was co-founder in the early Thirties of the Baghdad Chamber of Commerce, which he continued to serve as secretary general for many years.
Despite the high positions he held and the great respect he earned among Iraqi Muslims, he suffered great hardship under the Ba'athist regime; and on January 27, 1969, when nine members of the Jewish community were hanged in public, he was detained at the public security compound, where he was to spend three months.
It was not until 1974 that he was allowed to leave Iraq. He was given refuge in the Netherlands, which he left after six months to settle in London.

A letter from TheTimes to Mr. N. Dawood:

Dear Mr. Dawood

Just a note of thanks for the obituary of Meir Basri, which we were very pleased to be able to publish today. It will have interested a great many readers, I know, and I hope it may also have pleased his family and friends. It was good of you to such trouble on our behalf.
Ours sincerely,
Catharine Morris

Obituaries desk, The Times





If you would like to make any comments or contribute to The Scribe please contact us.