Life of Iranian Jews exhibited from June 19th to September 15 at Jeruzalémská 7, 110 00 Praha, Česká Republika
One thousand Iranian Jews left the country just three days after the 1979 revolution the exact day in which Yaser Arafat, the previous Palestinian leader arrived in Tehran to meet Ayatollah Khomeini. Since then Jewish population has been reduced to less than a quarter of 100,000 which was before 1979.
The harsh rhetoric between Israel, the Jewish homeland, and Iran—especially since 1979—has masked the fact the largest Jewish community in the Middle East outside Israel is the Iranian Jewish community. The Jews who didn’t want to leave the country forced to compromise with the government. The Jewish association in Tehran changed its policy. Khomeini’s picture placed next to the prophet Moses picture. The association plastered posters with anti-Israeli slogan all over the building.” the Jewish Iranian people are different from the Zionists and denounced Israel action against Palestinians “ In the sake of their safety, their peace and their family Jews in Iran try to be far from the politics and just their representative in parliament, and the head of the community talk about politics. But politics in this languages is to support the government, to Corroborate their policy about Israel and not participate in any political campaign or party. Muslims ordinarily do not hear anything about Jews and Judaism, nor are they familiar with Jewish customs, ceremonies, and traditions.Everything in Jewish life happens behind the walls and closed doors.
You may live in a Jewish neighbor and do not know the synagogue. Synagogues are hidden. There is no clear sign of a synagogue in Iran. Everything in Jewish life happens behind the doors. We traveled to every town and city where few as a single-family, and at times just one Jewish individual lived. The book containing 100 photos and 40 pages story was banned by Iranian intelligence service before publishing. After a decade, fortunately, we will publish it at Pennsylvania State University (USA).
On May 2009, Iranian intelligence ministry banned Hassan from working as a press photographer in Iran because of this project. Ten years later we are glad it was possible to finish the other part of Iranian Jewish stories who emigrated to Israel which is complete the first part in Iran. In this section, we asked the meaning of hometown from Iranian Jewish who escaped Iran many years ago.
Press coverage of the exhibition: