The black-and-white photograph is part of a treasure trove of ancient pieces of Judaica retrieved from the headquarters of Saddam Hussein's General Intelligence Service during the United States' 2003 invasion of Iraq.The article has its own slant, as article on the subject usually do, but it also provides a useful update on where negotiations on the fate of the archive stand at present. I have presented some of my own thoughts on the subject at the links here.
The heirlooms include documents dating from the mid-16th century to the 1970s and more than 2,700 books in Hebrew, Arabic and Judeo-Arabic, a version of Arabic written in Hebrew letters and spoken by Iraqi Jews.
They cast invaluable insight on Iraq's ancient Jewish community, which dwindled from an estimated 130,000 people to fewer than five today.
But the rich collection is not without its share of controversy as Iraqis have criticised the delay in repatriating the archives to Baghdad and accused the US of benefitting from the spoils of the occupation of their country.
Background here and many, many links.
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