Jan 2, 2008

Jews, Kurds and tribes

Jewish Subjects and Their Tribal Chieftains in Kurdistan: A Study in Survival (Jewish Identities in a Changing World) by Mordechai Zaken.

A interesting and an essentiel work about relations and common history between Jews in Southern Kurdistan and Kurdish aghas and sheikhs, from the origin until 1950…

# Hardcover: 326 pages
# Publisher: Brill Academic Pub (August 2007)
# Language: English
# ISBN-10: 9004161902
# ISBN-13: 978-9004161900

1 comment:

Dan Lev said...

I would like to use a few quotes by Prof. Joyce Blau, one of the world’s experts on the Kurds. In her review of the PhD thesis by Dr. Mordechai Zaken, a thesis upon which this book was based, she wrote:
"Mr. Zaken has undertaken the study of precisely this recent history of a few Jewish communities which lived in the former, prestigious principality of Bahdinan, in northwestern Iraqi Kurdistan. He did this remarkably well. His documentation is based on firsthand information, and is of the highest value."
"Mr. Zaken collected his data from men and women from various areas of Bahdinan, where they had lived either in cites or villages, and most of whom had immigrated to Israel in the 1950s. He interviewed more than 50 people, many more than once. These discussions, which add up to hundreds of hours of interviews, most of which were taped, were then analyzed and classified. The task of gathering and ordering all this fieldwork was immense, and the candidate is to be congratulated on the methodology that he chose. This part of Mr. Zaken’s thesis, concerning Jewish life in Bahdinan, well complements the Impressive work of the pioneer ethnologist Erich Brauer."
"Mr. Zaken tried to be exhaustive: the result of his quest for oral documentation was considerable. This huge amount of information has not only been well classified, hut the candidate succeeded in making it a smooth and agreeable read. This detailed study has made a major contribution to the study of the recent history of the region of Iraqi Bahdinan."
"In sum, 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. He made excellent methodological choices both in doing an impressive number of first hand interviews, a in the careful and detailed way he treated the material he obtained; his data is highly valuable. His work is an important contribution to the study of the Jewish diaspora, to the study of the specificities of the Kurdish Jews, to the study Jewish relations with Moslems and Christians in Iraqi Kurdistan, and to the study of Iraqi Kurdistan itself."
"I highly commend this thesis, and
congratulate Mr. Zaken on His work
Mr. Moti Zaken shows obvious talent in historical analysis and I hope that he will find a way to continue his very promising research."