May 27, 2020

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When Miss Khartoum was a Jew – and other tales

A call by the government of Sudan for Jews to return has prompted renewed interest from the Jerusalem Post in this small community, now extinct. As Egypt and Sudan were both under British administration, the Jews in both countries shared a similar fate. Daisy Abboudi has been collecting their stories in her blog, Tales of Jewish Sudan. (With thanks Shulamit, Lily)

  Like the much larger Egyptian Jewish community the Jews of Sudan were connected to, it was composed of Arabic speaking Jews as well as Greek and Italian Jews who felt at home in the variety of cultures that made up society at the time. Ashkenazi Jewish people also joined in to create a lively community.

Miss Khartoum 1956 was stripped of her title

In her blog, Abboudi tells the story of how, during those years, a Jewish woman won the title of Miss Khartoum and was meant to progress to compete in the Miss Egypt contest – until her Jewishness was found out*.

  The result was that her title was taken from her and given to the woman who won second place, who was Christian.

Read article in full

*1956 was the year of Suez, when Jews were being expelled from neighbouring Egypt .

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