The Berbera synagogue and the Jewish presence in Somalia

Discussion in 'History' started by Weydamal, Feb 11, 2018.

  1. Weydamal

    Weydamal

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    Jewish presence in Somalia is very old. Jewish traders from Yemen have been visiting and trading with Somali ports for centuries. Remember that Yemen, just across the sea, has had a strong Jewish community for centuries and they ,like their fellow Arabs ,traded and migrated to Somalia.

    The antipathy towards Jews is a modern trait, fuelled by radical Islam and Arabism and did not exist in the Somali past.There has been a Jewish synagogue in Berbera for centuries and the building still stands, though in ruins, in the heart of Berbera town. I would not be surprised if Jewish dna is present among the Somalis.

    Just to illustrate, in 1144, it is reported in the Cairo Geniza(medieval Jewish manuscripts) that Abu Said Ibn Jamahir ,a famous medieval Jewish trader, who plied the Berbera/Aden/India route, was accused by a prominent member of his community of abandoning his concubine in Berbera after she bore him a son. Ibn Jamahir took his accuser before the governor of Aydhab , an important medieval port in Northern Sudan, accusing him of slander.

    Undoubtedly, there were many more unrecorded liaisons, whose memory is buried in the sands of Somalia, but whose traces survive in the Somali blood.
     
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  2. Weydamal

    Weydamal

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    It is said the last Jewish family left Berbera in 1951 and headed for Djibouti. The Jews in Djibouti were a hundred in number and composed mainly of traders. Many people don't know that Yitzchak Rabin, who later became an Israili prime minister , was arrested by the British in 1944 and shipped to Eritrea, from where he escaped and found his way to Djibouti, where he lived for several years during the war period. Below is a picture of a Jewish man in his workshop in Djibouti during that period.


    [​IMG]
     
  3. Slickback

    Slickback

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    They were irrelevant so nobody knew them or gave a fuck
     
  4. Weydamal

    Weydamal

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    The Djiboutian Jewish community eventually left for Israel after the state of Israel was established.

    There are also reports of Jewish communities in the south, especially the coastal towns like Mogadishu. Unconfirmed reports indicate that they did have a Jewish cemetery, which was destroyed during the Somali civil war and houses were built on top of it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2018
  5. Yonis

    Yonis Puntland Youth Organiser

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    habar awal were jews surprise surprise
     
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  6. Shushue

    Shushue

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    Hey how do you open a thread? Can i do it if the maintenance is still going?
     
  7. government

    government زومالي و افتخر

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    It's a new thing among Arabs too they didn't hate Jews until the Arab Palestinians crisis
     
  8. James Dahl

    James Dahl

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    There used to be lots of Yemeni Jews in all the big merchant towns but they've all immigrated to Israel. I remember reading how Zeila had a small Yemeni Jew community.
     
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