Photograph by Liam Sharp

Edwin Shuker


Living under the stress of persecution from an early age, Edwin Shuker and his family remained in Baghdad after the majority of the Iraqi Jews were de-nationalized in 1951. Today he is a businessman in London England.

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Timeline of the Jews in Libya

323 BCE
The first Jews in Libya under Hellenistic rule.
73 CE
The Romans suppress a Jewish rebellion killing most of the community.
115 CE
Another revolt is swiftly crushed. The Jewish community disappears from the historical record.
1911 CE
Libya is colonized by Italy.
1931 CE
21,000 Jews live in Libya, roughly 4% of the population. They live a generally good life.
1939 CE
Italian Fascists pass anti-Semitic laws. Jews removed from government jobs, and citizenship papers labeled “Jewish race”.
1942 CE
German forces occupy Benghazi battling the Allies in North Africa. Jewish quarter looted and thousands of Jews deported to labor camps.
1945 CE
A pogrom in Tripolitania kills 140 Jews. Synagogues are looted, homes and businesses destroyed.
1948 CE
Anti-Jewish rioters attack Jewish communities killing 12 and burning hundreds of homes. Jewish self-defense units stop. Jewish mass emigration begins.
1951 CE
30,972 Jews have for Israel, most of the Jewish population.
1958 CE
The Jewish Community Council is abolished by law.
1961 CE
A special permit is required to prove Libyan citizenship. All Jews are denied this permit. Seizure of property and assets of Jews who have emigrated to Israel.
1967 CE
After the Six Day War, anti-Jewish pogroms kill 18 people and injure many more. King Idris I, allows all remaining Jews to “temporarily” emigrate.
2004 CE
The last known Jew in Libya leaves for Rome, marking the official end of the Jews in Libya.