This year’s Baghdad International Book Fair 2018 has witnessed an unprecedented cultural openness, writes David (Khedher) Selim Basson, Chairman of the Association of Jewish Academics from Iraq in Israel. The man who did more to pave the way to this openness was the late Professor Shmuel Moreh, Basson’s predecessor.
Some of the titles by Jewish authors on display at the Baghdad Book Fair
“Books by writers from the first generation of Iraqi Jewish immigrants and their descendants (second generation) were exhibited. Most of these writers lived or are living in Israel. In addition, many books related to the Jews of Iraq, their history, heritage and personalities, published by the publishing houses in Iraq such by the leading house Mesopotamia, were exhibited at the fair.
This openness needs to be commended. It contributes to building bridges of knowledge, culture and rapprochement between Iraqi and Israeli intellectuals, especially those from Iraqi roots. Real peace is built from the roots.
The Association of Jewish Academics from Iraq, in Israel and its founder, Prof. Shmuel Moreh, have played a great role in building this bridge. We welcome the exhibition of these books in Baghdad fair and we pledge to all intellectuals that we will continue this role, and stretch out our hands to all Iraqi and Arab intellectuals.
This is a list of books exhibited this year at the Baghdad International Book Fair
• Selim Al-Basson – Al-Jawahiri ,“His voice My pen” 2013. It was the first book by an Iraqi Jew to be published in Iraq, sponsored the Ministry of Culture, on the occasion of Baghdad the capital of Arab culture. The introduction to the book was written by the late Professor Shmuel Moreh
• Tsionit Fattal – Pictures on the wall. The first novel by a second generation Israeli from Iraqi roots, to be translated from Hebrew and published in Iraq. The novelist Tsionit Fattal is the Vice-Chairman of the Association of Jewish Academics from Iraq and member of the board of Babylonian Jewry Heritage Center
• Esther Meir Glitzenstein – “The departure of Iraqi Jews” 2016. First book by a second generation Israeli from Iraqi roots to be translated from Hebrew and published in Iraq
• Amatzia Baram, Achim Rohde, and Ronen Zeidel, Editors – Conflict of Identities in Iraq 2017 translated from Hebrew. The writers are experts on Iraqi affairs but not from Iraqi roots
• Shlomo Saleh Al-Kuwaiti – Saleh Al-Kuwaiti: melody of the beautiful time 2014 (second generation)
• Hesqel Qojaman – Contemporary Art Music in Iraq 2015 ((first generation)
• Nissim Rejwan – Summary of the history of the Jews of Iraq from the Babylonian captivity to 1951, (first generation)
• Nissim Rejwan – The Last of Baghdad’s Jews, Memories of lost homeland
• Almog Behar – Chahala and Hesqel, 2016 , first novel by an Israeli second generation of Iraqi roots to be translated from Hebrew and published in Cairo
• Daoud Samra – Memoirs 2012, Reprint of memoirs published in Bagdad in the sixties.