The Jews of Kurdistan
A Study in Survival (2nd & Revised Edition)
The book tells the story of the Jews in Kurdistan, the Jewish subjects that had lived and survived under the patronage of their tribal chieftains (or “aghas,” i.e., masters). The book tells the story of their relationships with their Kurdish “aghas” and with their tribal neighbors within the tribal Kurdish society, during the 19th and 20th centuries, in towns as well as in distant villages.
The study is based on hundreds of first-hand oral history accounts, conducted by the author between 1985 and 2002, with more than 60 elderly Jews, originally from Kurdistan, who shared their rich and fascinating oral memoirs on the tribal Kurdish society with the author, who was then able to reconstruct the history of the Jews and the tribal Kurdish society.
The book of Dr. Mordechai Zaken is the most important book written on the Jews of Kurdistan.
– Lora Galichco
Descendent of Kurdish Jews
A major contribution to the study of the minorities in the Middle East, as well as to the social history of the Jews in modern times.
– Professor Moshe Sharon
Chair in Baha’i Studies
Director of the Corpus Inscriptionum Arabicarum Palaestinae
Mr. Zaken’s thesis is highly original in both subject and method. The project he undertook is a significant one, in an academic area where there is still a dearth of knowledge, and his work complements the previous research which does exist.
– Professor Joyce Blau
Best Selling Author
Mordechai Zaken, Ph.D. (2004) in Near Eastern Studies, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, specializes in the history of the Kurds, the Oriental Jewry, and the non-Muslim minorities in the region. He served as the Adviser on Arab Affairs to the Prime Minister of Israel (1997-99).