Aaron Zangi was raised the oldest of three brothers in the Iraqi city of Basra. Many of his ancestors originally hailed from Iran; “Zangi” translates to ‘ringing’ in Farsi. Aaron’s father was a well-respected textile businessman who built their home in 1936 in a Muslim Arab neighborhood. Following the Farhud, an anti-Jewish Iraqi pogrom in 1941, the flourishing Jewish community of Basra transferred to Ashar, Iraq. Aaron’s family, however, refused to leave Basra.
Aaron says that spending his childhood in a predominantly Muslim neighborhood was a benefit. He remembers celebrating joyous Arab weddings and holidays, playing games and attending school together with other Muslim children. He now believes that his close relationships with Muslims have given him an understanding of how to coexist with Arab culture
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