Wednesday, March 17, 2021

  • Wednesday, March 17, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon


Dr. Zafer Fouad Eliyahu, a beloved doctor who was one of the very last Jews in Iraq, has died of an apparent stroke. He was 61.

An orthopedic surgeon, he was one of the last three Jews in Baghdad, along with his sister and her husband. The couple is childless so these are the last Jews of Baghdad, and possibly in all of Iraq

Dr. Eliyahu himself never married, perhaps because there are no Jewish single women in Iraq.

Colleagues praised him, saying he was kind and always smiling as well as an excellent doctor. Patients on social media say how he saved their lives.

Most people did not know he was Jewish, and he was even nicknamed "Sayyid" which indicates a direct descendant of Mohammed for Shiites.

One colleague said that Eliyahu "was an example of humanity and humility. He treats patients with a smile, even those who do not accept treatment from him after knowing his religion." But that was rare, he added.

Asharq al-Awsat adds that the remaining Jews in Iraq generally keep their religion secret "especially in Baghdad, as a result of the dangers that they may be exposed to if their identities are revealed." 

There were over 150,000 Jews in Iraq in 1947. They have been about as thoroughly ethnically cleansed as possible from that country. 





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