The Mizrahi Project – The Heartbreaking Stories Of The Forgotten Jewish Refugees

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Here is a compilation of all 18 of our original film interviews.

Shuli Wilder was born in Rishon L’Tzion, Israel and is of Moroccan descent. Shuli’s mother, Perla Abergel, was born in Casablanca, Morocco. Jewish people have an extensive history in the land of Morocco, reaching as far back as 587 BCE. At one point, Morocco boasted a Jewish population of nearly 300,000…

Odin Ozdil is part of a family who has a history in Turkey which reaches back hundreds of years. Unfortunately, relations in Turkey have been deteriorating with its Jewish population for some time now. As a result, many people in the region are becoming less open about sharing the fact that they’re Jewish…

David Suissa was born in Berrechid, a small town just outside of Casablanca, Morocco. Although Jews of Morocco have an extensive history, they were forced to live as second class citizens, or “Dhimmi”, which means they are not granted the same basic human rights as Muslim citizens. In spite of being an ill-treated minority, David’s family remained deeply connected to the Moroccan culture…

Mary Livi and her family serve as an example of the diversity found in Israel. Mary’s father was born in Israel, but is of Libyan heritage, and her mother was born in Morocco. Mary’s husband was born in Israel, and is the descendent of a Yemeni mother, and a Moroccan father…

Elie Nounou was born in Cairo, Egypt in 1930. However, in the 1930’s and 40’s, with anti-Jewish sentiment growing, life for Jews living in Egypt was becoming progressively more difficult. With the reestablishment of Israel in 1948, relations between Arabs and Jews deteriorated even more…

Joseph Shamash was born in 1948, in Baghdad, Iraq. His family ancestry in Iraq goes back numerous generations. Although Jews in Iraq had a rich history they were forced to live as second class citizens. There were also acts of great violence perpetrated against the Jewish people. Joseph’s parents lived through the Farhud of Baghdad, which took place in June, of 1941…

Rachel Wahba was born in 1946. Her heritage is Egyptian-Iraqi, yet she was born in India, and grew up stateless in Japan. Rachel’s parents were both faced with challenges growing up in their home countries. Although Jews in Egypt and Iraq have a rich history, they were forced to live as second class citizens. Rachel’s father fled Egypt after Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” became a bestseller…

Julie Ozon was born and raised in Egypt. In 1949, the region became too unsafe, leaving Julie and her family with no choice but to flee their home. They were forced to abandon their possessions in Egypt — fleeing with not much more than the clothes they were wearing…

Karmel Melamed was born in 1978, in Tehran, Iran. However, due to growing violence and uncertainty under the rule of Ayatollah Khomeini, Karmel and his family fled Iran in 1980. Now a journalist, Karmel remains committed to making known the Iranian regime’s human rights abuses…

Joe and Remy Pessah met in Cairo, Egypt in 1960. A few years later, they were engaged and planning their wedding. However, everything changed in 1967, when Egypt, along with other Arab Nations declared war on Israel. Although it was unexpected, Israel emerged from the war victorious. Following Egypt’s defeat, the government sought to take revenge — turning their anger on Jewish citizens within their own country…

Gina Waldman was born and raised in Tripoli, Libya and lived as second class citizen, or “Dhimmi”. She faced great challenges growing up in Libya. In 1967, Gina and her family were forced to flee escalating violence. Gina’s family fled Libya and relocated to Italy. She eventually immigrated to the United States, and is the President and Co-founder of Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa (JIMENA) Gina remains committed to speaking out on behalf of the “forgotten refugees”.

Hila Oved-Brog is an Israeli, with Libyan and German heritage. When Hila’s father was just a boy he was forced to flee Libya, due to violence after the Second World War. Hila’s maternal grandfather survived the Holocaust and made his way toward safety in Israel. Despite what her family has been through, Hila was taught the value of triumphing over hate with love and forgiveness.

Widad was born in Iraq in 1940, and witnessed the persecution and killing of Jews. She escaped in 1965 and is very grateful that the Jews now have Israel as their home.

Frank Nikbakht was born in Tehran in 1953, and witnessed the Revolution and the war with Iraq – as a Jew.

After being taken hostage right across from the American Embassy in Tehran, Simon Sion Ebrahimi needed to find a way to escape Iran.

As a Jew born in Tripoli, Libya, neither religious persecution, nor life in a refugee camp could break Penina Meghnagi Solomon‘s spirit.

Growing up as a Jew during the Farhud in Baghdad, Joseph Samuels‘ story is a peek into a forgotten history.

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