The Iraqi Mukharabat
Archive of Jewish Materials
Chronicling Iraqi Jewish Heritage
Preserving the Iraqi Jewish Archive
Startling evidence of the once vibrant Jewish life in Iraq came to light in May 2003 — over 2,700 books and tens of thousands of documents were discovered in the flooded basement of the Iraqi intelligence headquarters by a US Army team.
The remarkable survival of this written record of Iraqi Jewish life provides an unexpected opportunity to better understand this 2,500-year-old Jewish community. For centuries, it had flourished in what had generally been a tolerant, multicultural society. But circumstances changed dramatically for Jews in the mid-twentieth century, when most Iraqi Jews fled and were stripped of their citizenship and assets.
To provide accessibility throughout the world to the damaged materials found in 2003, the US National Archives and Records Administration and its partners have preserved, cataloged, and digitized the books and documents.
Jewish Life in Iraq
Jews have lived in Iraq for thousands of years, but when coalition forces entered Baghdad in May 2003 only very few remained. A U.S. Army team searching for weapons of mass destruction in the flooded basement of the Mukhabarat, the headquarters of Saddam Hussein’s intelligence services, discovered over 2,700 Jewish books and tens of thousands of documents. The remarkable survival of this written record of Iraqi Jewish life provides an unexpected opportunity to better understand this community. The National Archives is preserving these books and documents and making them accessible worldwide.