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The Jewish community in Baghdad used to speak its own dialect of Arabic, which was distinct from the one spoken by its Muslim and Christian neighbors. This dialect served as their mother tongue for centuries, up until the massive immigration of Iraqi Jews to Israel following its establishment. Today, a few thousand native speakers of the dialect are still alive, but, unfortunately, in the next few decades this ancient dialect will evidently become extinct.
To commemorate this historical community, this volume glances into its language and culture. It provides the reader with a firsthand opportunity to read transcriptions and translations of original oral texts by native speakers. The texts cover different aspects of the community’s lives, including its history, traditions, cuisine, folk stories, personal stories of immigration, absorption difficulties in Israel, and even a collection of small talks.
The volume opens with a grammatical sketch of the phonological and morphological system of the dialect. It focuses on the most important features to enable readers a fluent reading.