2019-10-30 | International News

Sudan’s lost Jewish community – in pictures

BBC. October 21, 2019

A recent call by a minister in Sudan’s new government for Jewish people to return to the country and reclaim citizenship has shone a light on a small but once-thriving community. Oral historian Daisy Abboudi, herself descended from Sudanese Jews, has been talking to members of the community and collecting their photographs.

David Gabra can still remember the exact date he left Sudan. “Twenty fifth of May 1965,” he said with certainty when talking about his departure.

At that time, things were getting increasingly difficult for Jewish people because of growing anti-Semitism.

“There was chaos… I remember one time we closed ourselves up in our home, and they were throwing stones at us, at our home.”

David decided he could no longer stay in the country.

Rapid rise, rapid decline

“I closed my [textile] store at nine o’clock at night as usual, I told my friends, my neighbours: ‘See you in the morning.’ And then I went straight to the airport and went to Greece.”

From there he went to Israel.

David’s departure was part of a movement of Jewish people that saw a community thought to have numbered 1,000 just a few years earlier reduced to just a handful by 1973.

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