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







Broadcast, 11 July
on 600 radio stations in America

By Stephen Beard

Every week, a group of Iraqi Jewish musicians gathers in London to rehears and perform. they're celebrating an ancient culture. Jews have lived in what is now called Iraq for more then two and a half millennium. Many of the 7000 Iraqi Jews who now live in exile in London many of them hounded out of their country by Saddam Husein, are determined that their heritage should not be forgotten. "I will not allow our contribution to be expunged from the history of the Middle East. We were there, our ancestors were there, we should be recognized as such." Edwin Shuker was sixteen when he and his family fled Saddam's persecution in the early 1970s. He now has a message for all Iraqi Arabs . " I want them to know that we were their partners, that we built their country. I want them to know that are share holders in Iraq, as much as every other Muslim and Christian who lives abroad who long to be back, who long to keep the connection".
For many Iraqi Jews in Europe and in the US, the demand for recognition is rapidly crystallizing to a demand for compensation. Most of the exiles like George High, fled Iraq empty-handed. " I left everything behind, my business, our farms, our house". George, now a diamond merchen in London, wants reparation from Iraq. "They are not a poor country, Iraq is a very rich country, they must give to the citizens who have struggled all their lives. The Jews built Iraq, all our life, they took it away". Naim Dangoor lost two factories, several houses and a block of flats when he was forced out of Iraq almost 40 years ago. He has since made a huge fortune in the British property market. He says Iraq should make amends and it could be done painlessly. " We would be happy to receive bonds, we don’t need to have cash all of us. So the compensation would be spread over a period of time. Naim Dangoor has a bold of visions, he would like to see Iraqi Jews return to their homeland and rebuild the country alongside their Arab fellow countrymen. "I don’t dread the thought of going back, on the contrary, we will bond there and we feel we are a product of that country". Now, 89 years old, Naim Dangoor dreams about returning to his native Baghdad and reclaiming his father's old house on the once fashionable "Abu Nawas" street. It could be some time before that dream is realized.

This is Illana Ozernoy in Baghdad, standing on the street where Naim Dangoor is hoping to reclaim his confiscated home. Abu Nawas Street, which runs along the West Bank of the Tigris River, was once filled with fashionable cafes and restaurants. It's changed a lot since Dangoor lived here. Today, this street is dirty from years of neglect, and overrun with weeds. Saddam forbade pedestrians to come here in the early 90s, because he didn’t want people looking at his palaces, which stretch for miles on the other side of the river. So most of the cafes closed, the music stopped. Mundar Hafid is 75. He has spent his whole life in a two-story house in Abu Nawas. He believes that the street will see its heyday again. "The property goes up. I wouldn’t sell my house, I am proud to have it here." Do you think your house is going to rise in value? "Yes, certainly." That’s why families who were kicked out of their homes in "Abu Nawas" are trying to come back. But not all those returning will be welcomed. This is one of the few cafes left in Abu Nawas. It is a shack with peeling floor and cracked tile floor. Four men sit around a plastic table, playing backgammon and drinking beer. Naim Dangoor and other Iraqi Jews will not get a warm welcome here. "We hate any Jew families, we refuse that they come back. We accept any religion, for example Christians are ok, Jews not, we would never accept that. " But the value of Real- Estate will rise here is a given. River front property in such a central location is a developer's dream. But it is less clear that Naim Dangoor and other Iraqis will benefit from the eventual boom.
In Baghdad, this is Illana Ozernoy, for marketplace.

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