BA Commerce & Economics
feel very blessed and humble to be able to claim two outstanding
individuals among my close relatives. Let me share with
you some insight into their lives. Both combine exemplary
morals, with a high degree of intelligence.
I will first mention my Uncle Meer Basri, the author, editor,
poet and historian. For nigh 75 years now his reputation
as a scholar with a superb mastery of the Arabic language
has brought him esteem in the foremost literary circles
in Iraq. Indeed he has such an astute memory for events,
dates and personalities, well-known authors continue to
defer to him in writing their books. His prolific powers
are legendary as he continues to pen down articles, poems
and books both in English and Arabic he hasnt
stopped since 1933 (he is 90 now). He is regarded by the
Iraqi poets and men of culture as one of them. Here in London
he still attends scholarly circles where he is feted by
his friends the Arabs indeed they refer to him in
a reverential manner (Istath), while his repertoire of books
are still being sold all over the world.
has served the Community with honesty and benefited them
in many aspects without any personal remuneration. He has
made many speeches and written many articles in newspapers
both in Iraq and London, and appeared on radio in both countries.
other worthy relative is my second cousin on my mothers
side. Although a highly successful businessman, Naim Dangoor
has remained very approachable. I can cite many instances
of his kindness, to me and to others. His excellent education
is reflected in his expert writing on many topics: politics
(he has first-class and intimate knowledge of our history
and has often argued them with high and mighty), religious
tractates, philosophy and science. That is not surprising
when you realise the breadth of his travels and experiences,
his great family tree and the extent of his philanthropy,
both here and abroad. He has been one of the unique Iraqi
Jews who have made it his business to meet top everywhere,
as well as the Royal family and, along with his wife, been
photographed with every whos who you can
He was instrumental in founding in 1969 The Iraqi Community
Centre which has proved crucial in bringing together successive
generations of our dispersed community. One of his greatest
contributions to the Iraqi Jews all over the world was to
publish, since 1971, "The Scribe", filling it
with interesting articles and nostalgic pictures, available
to everyone, without charge, never mind the effort and the
expense. His far-sightedness and generosity led him to establish
The Exilarchs Charitable Foundation in order to continue
a paramount Babylonian tradition and dignity.
of him we acquired an organ to testify to our common heritage.
Because of him we resuscitated our Baghdadi and childhood
memories, in the process discovering a distinctive culture.
Thanks to The Scribe various people have begun to contribute
even more. For one man to have achieved all of this, he
must deserve a righteous status evermore.
As it happens, those two affable gentlemen are first cousins
in their own right as well as good friends, and I conclude
my letter by wishing them both continued health and happiness.
Would our community ever produce such geniuses again? I
you would like to make any comments or contribute to The
Scribe please contact