“In 1967, at age 13, I barely escaped with my life from the turn of events culminating in a bloody pogrom. My family, formerly prosperous and respected, was forced to leave everything behind. We have left behind also eight bodies: my Uncle’s, his Wife and six children killed by an Libyan army officer. We were allowed only a suitcase and 20 Libyan pounds.
We fled to a refugee camp in the countryside, and finally found asylum in Italy.
My father had been a wealthy businessman, known and respected by Jews and Muslims alike. We had to begin afresh in a welcoming but alien culture, and despite the difficulties and obstacles we rebuilt our lives by always looking forward with optimism and never backward with bitterness or animosity. Others in my extended family were not that fortunate, as you heard. And while our rightful inheritance has been taken from me and my family we still carry sweet memories of our birthplace. We are Libyans, and we are Jews.
We were thrown out from Libya but no one can take Libya out from our hearts.”BACK to Diaspora Recollections