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







The 'By the Rivers of Babylon' Exhibition
20 November 2002 - 6 April 2003

On 19 November Alan Yentob, Director of Drama and Entertainment at the BBC, opened "By the Rivers of Babylon", an exhibition exploring the roots and heritage of Iraqi Jews at The Jewish Museum in Camden Town. The long awaited exhibition drew much attention as almost all those invited to the opening attended, exceeding the organisers' expectations.

The excited Mr Yentob, one of the leading individuals in British media today, told of his experience growing up in a Jewish-Babylonian family in Britain - an aspect that is represented in this remarkable exhibition, spanning decades and centuries. Resplendent costumes and a vivid reconstruction of a Baghdad street are only two of the attractions of this fascinating exhibition. It explores the long and distinguished history of the Iraqi Jewish community, from its ancient roots following the exile to Babylon under Nebuchadnezzar 2,500 years ago, through to the present.

The exhibition evokes the daily life and vibrant traditions of the community, their distinctive music and cuisine and significant contribution to the development of modem Iraq. It also records the "golden age" of Iraqi Jews in the early 20th century and the tragic final chapter that brought to an end one of the oldest Jewish communities in the world.

The exhibition also presents the testimony of those who escaped from Iraq to make new lives in Britain and elsewhere. It charts the development of the community in Britain, where families such as the Sassoons and Saatchis have become household names.

Other highlights include photographs, objects and memories recorded in oral history interviews with members of the Iraqi Jewish community in London, which provide an engaging and lively account of daily life in Baghdad.

Mr Naim Dangoor contributed several artefacts for the exhibition. One of them is a finely woven carpet, made in none other than Pakistan, portraying his grandfather, Rabbi Ezra Dangoor, as Chief Rabbi of Baghdad. Mr Dangoor contributed some pictures as well. Among them: a picture of his wife Renée as Miss Baghdad, in 1947, the first and only Miss Baghdad and a picture of the two of them with the Ambassador of Iran in 1971 at the celebration of King Cyrus the great at the Iranian Embassy.

His sisters, Doreen Dangoor, lent an Isagh (old-fashioned wrap) and other things, and Eileen Khalastchy lent sundry items connected with various family events and some photographs.

The Dangoor family lent an antique traditional costume.

Jennifer Marin writes:
As Curator of the exhibition I am delighted that I have received so much help from members of your family.



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