REMINISCENCE
ELIAHOU ROUBEN.
ABOVE LEFT IS A PHOTOGRAPH TAKEN IN THE YEAR 1919, THE FAMILY OF ELIAHOU
ROUBEN.
BACK  ROW LEFT TO RIGHT :- EZRA, MEIR, HAYAWEE AND NAIM SAWDAYEE.
MIDDLE ROW:- AZIZA SAWDAYEE, ELIAHU ROUBEN AND HIS SECOND WIFE AMAM.
SITTING :- NADJI SAWDAYEE, NAZIMA LEVY AND EDWARD SAWDAYEE.

MY COUSIN MAX SAWDAYEE, BEFORE ESCAPING FROM BAGHDAD IN JUNE 1970  TOGETHER WITH HIS FAMILY,  
VISITED THE HOUSE OF ELIAHOU ROUBEN.

THIS IS A PARAGRAPH  FROM  HIS BOOK, " ALL WAITING TO BE HANGED " , REGARDING HIS IMPRESSIONS :-

MY SOUL-SEARCHING STROLL DIRECTS ME TO MY OLD  HOUSE IN THE NARROW, TORTUOUS TORAT
STREET 20/
140 ( TORAH ) STREET, WHERE I PASSED MY FIRST FOURTEEN YEARS, THE HAPPIEST OF MY LIFE.
IT MAKES ME SMILE WHEN I REMEMBER HOW NOT FEWER THAN SIX FAMILIES LIVED THERE, ALL FORMING
ONE BIG TRIBE. THIRTY TO THIRTY-FIVE SOULS PEOPLED THIS LARGE HOUSE IN THOSE TIMES, THEIR
AGES RANGING FROM NINETY-FIVE YEARS DOWN TO A FEW DAYS OR WEEKS - I MEAN FROM OLD, SWEET
GREAT GRAND MOTHER TO NEWLY BORN, ALWAYS COMING, BABIES ! WHY, WE THE CHILDREN MADE A
FULL SCHOOL CLASS OF OUR OWN IN THAT BLESSED HOUSE OF OURS ! IT IS STRANGE HOW THE
BUILDING IS NOW UTTERLY DESOLATE, DEMOLISHED IN PART, AND ABSOLUTELY UNINHABITED. I LOOK
AT IT AND SMILE WITH REGRET WHEN  A FLASH CALLS BACK TO MY MIND HOW WE USED TO PLAY ALL
SORTS OF GAMES IN THE LARGE COURT OF THE HOUSE: FOOTBALL, BASKETBALL, TENNIS,
HIDE-AND-SEEK, RENDEZ-VOUS, AND SEVERAL OTHERS.

" THE HISTTORY OF THE JEWISH COMMUNITY OF IRAQ DATES BACK TO  THE FIRST BABYLONIAN
CAPTIVITY, THAT IS , TO THE YEAR 597 B.C., WHEN THE JEWS WERE DEPORTED TO BABYLON BY
NEBUCHADNEZZAR FROM THEIR CONQUERED HOMELAND, WHICH IN THE CENTURIES BECAME KNOWN AS
PALESTINE. "

BETWEEN THE YEAR 1950-1952, 105 THOUSAND JEWS LEFT IRAQ WITH A KNAPSACK, LEAVING BEHIND ALL
THEIR POSSESSIONS, JUST TO SAVE THEMSELVES  FROM THE PERSECUTION OF THE IRAQI GOVERNMENT
OF THE TIME. TEN THOUSAND MORE LEFT IN THE YEAR 1970.
NOW " 2003" THERE ARE LESS THAN  FORTY JEWS LEFT IN ALL IRAQ.
PHOTOGRAPH TAKEN IN THE YEAR
1919
WATERCOLOR PAINTING 75 X 50 cm.
BASED ON THE LEFT REFERANCE PHOTO.