Page 9

Letter from S H Sassooon

Allow me first to express my appreciation of your tremendous contribution to our community in publishing 'The Scribe', a wonderful chronicle of history and a social medium through which this scattered community can interact.

In reviewing my booklet " In the Hell of Saddam Hussein", and in articles which appeared in previous issues, I noticed a few inaccuracies and omissions relating to events with which I am personally familiar. I would like to regale your readers with the following observations:

In an earlier Scribe (Issue 18), Mr Meir Basri mentioned that Hakham Sassoon was dismissed. As a matter of fact, King Faisal I requested his resignation and send Prime Minister Nouri Al Said to the Hakham's house to convey his wishes. I detail the Prime Minister's visit on pages 108 and 109 of my book "A Leader and his People".

Regarding my own arrest, I again beg to differ about the reason behind my year long ordeal at the hands of the Baathist gang. I reject the suggestion that it was a way of putting pressure on my father, the Hakham, in an attempt to buy his silence and compliance. These bloodthirsty thugs did not need indirect methods to silence anyone, nor did they care much about the Hakham's position or influence. I was arrested, accused of spying because of passing on a letter concerning spying to Israel addressed to Mr Abdul Al Hamid Al Damirchi from Mr Mustafa Cheta Babkukel, and endured a year of unspeakable torture and abuse until my so-called trial which miraculously freed me.

The late Gourgi Bekhor mentioned in his book "Fascinating Life and Sensational Death" that the late Albert Nounou and Shaul H Sassoon were similarly accused, but Albert Nounou was sentenced to death and Shaul H Sassoon was released without bail. However, the specific charges against Albert relate to his friendship with the late Haim Nathaniel, who was described by the court as the most dangerous Israeli spy in the world. Shaul H Sassoon received the charges against him because of passing on a letter concerning spying to Israel addressed to Mr Abdul H Damirji.

As for Meir Basri's arrest, it had to do with a visit by an American journalist who wanted to get some historical information about Iraq. The late poet, Anwar Shaul, recounts in detail the interesting events leading to his release in his book "Kissat Hayati Fi Wadi Al Rafidain" p229-232. He relates how four lines of soul-touching poetry, which he composed, saved the situation and resulted in Mr Shaul personally putting up the bail for Mr Basri.


S H Sassoon


If you would like to make any comments or contribute to the scribe please contact us.