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Baghdadi Trade Diaspora: Jews in Rangoon (Yangon), Burma (Myanmar)

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This project seeks to collect all of the Iraqi (and similar) Jewish families from Rangoon (Yangon) and surrounding areas in Burma (Myanmar).

Who are the Baghdadi Jews?

In the late 18th century, Jews from Arab countries and Iran arrived in India. Collectively they are called ‘Baghdadi Jews’. Most of the ‘Baghdadi’ Jews did arrive from Baghdad but there were among them Jews who arrived from Syria, Iran, Yemen and other places in Iraq. Sometimes these Jews are collectively called ‘Iraqi Jews’. The Bene Israel Jews were called ‘Israel’ and the ‘Baghdadi’s as ’Yehudi’.

The ‘Baghdadi’ came to India because of religious persecutions in their countries and also because of commercial reasons.

Most of the ‘Baghdadis’ were big merchants and businessmen before they arrived in India and settled in the main commercial cities of the country, first in the city of Surat (in present day Gujarat) and later on as the commercial importance moved to Bombay and Calcutta. The ‘Baghdadis’ moved to these two cities and also to Rangoon, now capital of Myanmar (formerly Burma and part of British India).