Damascus Jew: President in the 70's said we will be given equal rights

A special Arabic BBC video report from the Syrian capital presented the Jews who chose to remain in that country despite everything.

August 10, 2019 16:31
Damascus Jew: President in the 70's said we will be given equal rights

A man walks near an advertisement calling on people to join the Syrian military forces, in Damascus, Syria November 12, 2015. The text on the billboard reads in Arabic: "Our army means all of us, join the armed forces.". (photo credit: OMAR SANADIKI/REUTERS)

How many Jews remain in Syria today? According to a video report on Arabic BBC, the answer is roughly 15,000 people from a community that once numbered 30,000 and was one of the oldest in the world. 

The report included interviews with Yosef Hamdani, who decided to remain despite the fact that his family came to Israel in the 1990’s. “My work is here,” he said. “Here I have friends,” Ynet reported.
Albert and Rachel Kamea lived most of their lives in Damascus and said that there was a time when the authorities called the local Jews "a fifth column" and attempted to involve them in the Palestinian issue. 

“The president said [in the 1970’s] that we should be given equal rights to Muslims and Christians,” Albert told the BBC. 

Syrians have been using the houses that the Jews left behind as restaurants and art galleries, according to the report. 


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