I am writing to inquire if the Exilarch's Foundation would
be interested in helping finance the editing and publication
of my memoirs about my life in Iraq, Israel and the US titled
'ACROSS THREE WORLDS: In Search of a Homeland - Iraq, Israel,
For background, I am attaching a brief overview I wrote
about my memoirs along with a one-page prologue.
I have been working on my memoirs for the last two years.
So far I have written a little over eight hundred pages
(including pictures) and have about three or four more months
worth of work to do before finishing the first round of
writing. When the writing is completed, I will send the
manuscript to a professional writer/editor to go over the
manuscript before submitting it for publication.
If you feel my memoirs fall within the scope of the Exilarch's
Foundation's support, please let me know. I could then proceed
to gather estimates of the cost of editing and publishing
the book, and would appreciate any support to help defray
those costs. Esme Berg of the Sephardi Federation told me
that the cost of publishing the memoirs is around $8000.
I am still trying to get an estimate of the publicity and
J. Daniel Khazzoom
Professor of Quantitative Studies
San Jose State University
4 Carlos Place wrote:
Thank you for your a-mail of 20 October, We are interested
in learning that you are writing your memoirs.
Whilst we are not in a position to Sponsor the publication
of your memoirs, we would be quite happy to buy 20 copies
of the published book whenever it will be ready.
I hope this will help you find a publisher.
N E Dangoor
Thank you for your offer to purchase copies of my memoirs.
I will let you know when they are published.
Thank you for all you've done, and are still doing, to preserve
the heritage of the Babylonian Jewry.
Have a Shebbashalom.
J. Daniel Khazzoom
Baghdad is very much in the news recently.
Despite this, very few Americans know the real Baghdad.
The city is still shrouded in mystery, its attitude and
outlook so different from western worldliness. I grew up
steeped in Baghdad's history and saw life through Eastern
My dad was a member of the governing council in Baghdad,
affording me an insider's view of governing practices and
Additionally I belong to the ancient Babylonian Jewish community,
the oldest Jewish community, expelled from Jude after the
destruction of the First Jewish Commonwealth in 586 BCE.
My memoirs give a bird's eye view of life in that community
since decimated, which gave the Jewish world the Talmud,
as well as many of its current practices and traditions.
My memoirs also provide an insider's view of Israeli society
from the view point of a Jew from an Arab land, a view that
casts the Israeli society in a different light from the
one generally known in the western world.
I am now an American. My debt to America extends back to
my teen years when, at the risk of my life, I visited the
US Information Center in Baghdad, our only source of reliable
information, to get a glimpse of what was taking place in
the world outside. Having grown up under a dictatorship,
I have a deep appreciation for the open and free society
in the US. Iraq was a land of plenty, but not of free expression.
I never felt at home in Iraq. After I fled that country
my search for a homeland took over my life. I was a Jew.
Israel should have been my home. But Jews from Arab lands
were less than welcome in Israel at the time.
Eventually my search took me to America, to Harvard's hallowed
halls. How I got to Harvard is a story full of intricacies
and actions sometimes bordering on the unethical. But attending
graduate school was not only something I needed for my education;
it was my vehicle out of Israel.
My story is that of a poor immigrant who made it in the
hand of the Free and who discovered his true home in the
USA. It is also the story of my personal struggle to reconcile
new ways of looking at the world with antiquated customs
and ideas. The pull of the old was strong but in the end,
the new triumphed, though not without cost.
Now that I have lived in the west for more than four decades,
I have the distinct advantage of understanding both the
East and the West and can present a picture of Iraq and
of the US captured through both Western and Eastern lenses.
you would like to make any comments or contribute to The
Scribe please contact