Miriam Halahmy

Jan 16, 2024

A Boy from Baghdad

Green Bean Books 2024

Miriam Halahmy has published 9 novels for children and teens. Her new book A Boy from Baghdad (Green Bean Books, 2024), tells the story for children the first time in English, of the exile of the Iraqi Jewish community 1949-1951 to Israel and their subsequent difficulties in the Promised Land. The book was inspired by Miriam's husband's family who are all Babylonian Jews born in Baghdad. About the book: 

It's 1951, and twelve-year-old Salman Shasha is happy with his life in Baghdad. But trouble is brewing. Salman and his family are Iraqi Jews and their government has been turning against their community for years. Things become so dangerous that the whole family are forced to leave Iraq for Israel, the "Promised Land".

Once they arrive, however, they realize that things are not what they dreamed they would be. Taken to a refugee camp, the Shasha family try to make the best of their situation. But the dominant group in the country - the Ashkenazi Jews - look down on families like Salman's and treat them horribly. Salman decides to focus on his greatest passion, swimming, and beating his rivals in a race. Facing taunts from his bullying peers, Salman feels defeated, but he soon realizes that with hard work and determination anything is possible.

An inspiring, atmospheric tale about the power of perseverance, friendship and family in the face of hardship, hatred and change, A Boy From Baghdad is an important story of diversity in the modern world. Essential reading for any child 8 years and over.

Listen to more episodes on:

Your Host

Mel Rosenberg

Mel Rosenberg is a professor emeritus of microbiology (Tel Aviv University) who fell in love with children's books as a small child and now writes his own. He is co-founder of Ourboox, a web platform with some 260,000 ebooks that allows anyone to create and share flipbooks comprising text, pictures and videos.

Learn More

Also Hosted By Mel Rosenberg