Saturday, January 5, 2013

More on the Afghan Geniza

Ancient manuscripts indicate Jewish community once thrived in Afghanistan - CBS News
There is a famous Pakistani Pashtun quote: "I am a Pakistani for 50 years, a Muslim for 1,500 years and a Pashtun for 5,000 years."

There is a fascinating amount of writing out there on the theory that the Pashtuns are descended from a lost tribe of Israel. Kabul is mentioned in the Old Testament.
That rather surprised me, as it is not a claim I had ever heard before, and I thought I'd heard most such claims from the region (eg the "descended from Alexander the Great" claim of the Kalesh Kafirs). This quote is also priceless:
"It was the Yiddish of Persian Jews," said Haggai Ben-Shammai, the library's academic director.
 But the images all look like relatively recent documents.

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