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February 27, 2013 2:17 pm

New Egyptian Film Explores Fate of the Country’s Jews (VIDEO)

avatar by Zach Pontz

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Screen shot from "The Jews of Egypt." Photo: Youtube/al-Ahram

An exclusive preview for a new film titled “The Jews of Egypt,” about the fate of Egyptian Jews in the 20th century, was recently posted to the website of the Egyptian daily al-Ahram.

The film, which is scheduled to be released next month, features interviews with several Egyptian Jews now living in exile who recount how they were stripped of their nationality and expelled from the country.

The fate of Egyptian Jews, who were persecuted in Egypt, has been challenged for many years by Egyptians and Palestinian Arabs who have claimed that Jews left the country without coercion.

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Only recently was the matter broached when in January Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas claimed Jews left Egypt “willingly” and “as a result of Zionist conspiracies.” The film points out that many of the Jews who were expelled from the country fanned out across Europe rather than going to Israel.

Watch the preview of the video below:

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  • M.Otero

    The above film might remind Egyptian and UN that those Jews who were expelled 1948-67are still owed a heavy debt in expropriated assets. Enlarging Gaza to create a rich Palestinian state might prove a better option than Judea and Samaria for all concerned. Israel could help with desalinization and other technological innovations that it has developed to make best use of areas such as this.

  • I can well understand the feelings expressed by the people interviewed. I visited Egypt twice past the heyday of Jewish life there—once when I had studied modern Egyptian nationalism in its fight for independence against the British, and when I had an Egyptian professor who still had family there, and once when as a student, I met several Egyptian students who invited me and other Jewish students to visit them at their homes—this was long before the rise of Hamas and the increase in fundamentalist feeling, though my friends never took me inside the Muslim university, Al=Azhar, it now occurs to me because perhaps they may have been afraid, even though one of them philosophically liked the apparent integrity they thought was associated with the Muslim Brotherhood. The country was so delightful, with perfect weather, delicious food, intriguing and inexpensive shopping and a warm, friendly, yet industrious quality to life, as well as wonderful folklore, obvious tourist attractions and a movie industry which included music and moral messages—I also did not want to leave, so I can understand Jews not wanting to leave Egypt, and it is obvious that they were forced to go, by an angry regime which had taken it over, at that point making it inhospitable, which it had not been before. I even went to Jewish religious services there, though the Jewish community had by then dwindled to very few. Fondly, I actually thought it would be nice to own an apartment there. In light of current circumstances, and even the treatment of the ancient Coptic community, with whom I spent many happy hours, this now seems like a pipe dream, but I still hold to the hope that Egypt will one day reclaim its equanimity, and once again be welcoming to all.

  • rm

    they are part of the 800,000 forgotten Jewish refugees from arab countries. It’s time for their stories to be told. Read this document provides an overview of the history, plight and flight of Jews in 10 Arab countries
    in North Africa, the Middle East and the Gulf region: http://www.justiceforjews.com/resource_and_reference.pdf or watch the doc “the Forgotten Refugees: http://www.theforgottenrefugees.com

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