Aaron Matityahu was born in Baghdad, Iraq in 1931. He lived there with his parents, four brothers and four sisters. When Aaron was a young child, life was made difficult for Jews living in Iraq. Anti-Semitism was so rife in the country that one day while in math class his teacher was taken by the police and publicly hung in the middle of the street a week later. Often, when Aaron and his cousin were walking together they were attacked by Muslim boys around their age. In June 1941, during the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, Jews in Iraq were raped and killed in a devastating, two day anti-Jewish riot known as the Farhud. Luckily for Aaron and his family they were sheltered by a righteous Muslim neighbor who hid 50 to 60 members of Aaron’s family in his basement until things settled down.

Soon after the Farhoud, Aaron’s parents decided to leave Baghdad for the southern town of Basra. At the time, all of Aaron’s family worked to support themselves and at the age of 10 Aaron was working, selling all kinds of goods. Aaron and his family lived in Basra for two years until they went back to Baghdad.  In 1950 his family left Iraq with the assistance of the American government.

Settling in Israel, Aaron served in the army and studied at the Vinget Institute for Physical Education in Israel. Shortly after he met his wife Nadine who was from Egypt and they had three sons together. Aaron was a physical education teacher in Israel for many years as well as an owner of a very successful summer camp. He and his wife eventually moved to the U.S. where their children and grandchildren had already migrated to. In the United States, Aaron had an equally successful career in Real Estate. He now lives in Los Altos, California.

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