A Boy from Baghdad
by Miriam Halahmy
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Pub Date 01 Oct 2023 | Archive Date 13 Oct 2023
Pen & Sword, Green Bean Books
“Jews are no longer safe in Iraq. When are you going to get it through your thick head?”
It’s 1951, and twelve-year-old Salman Shasha is happy with his life in Baghdad. But trouble is brewing. Salman and his family are Iraqi Jews and their government has been turning against their community for years. Things become so dangerous that the whole family are forced to leave Iraq for Israel, the “Promised Land”.
Once they arrive, however, they realise that things are not what they dreamed they would be. Taken to a refugee camp, the Shasha family try to make the best of their situation. But the dominant group in the country – the Ashkenazi Jews – look down on families like Salman’s and treat them horribly. Salman decides to focus on his greatest passion, swimming, and beating his rivals in a race. Facing taunts from his bullying peers, Salman feels defeated, but he soon realises that with hard work and determination anything is possible.
An inspiring, atmospheric tale about the power of perseverance, friendship and family in the face of hardship, hatred and change, A Boy From Baghdad is an important story of diversity in the modern world. Essential reading for any child 8 years and over.