What is some information about Omani Jews?

2 Answers

  • connie
    Lv 7
    3 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    There was a Jewish presence in Oman for many centuries, however, the Jewish community of the country is no longer existent.

    Some of the earliest Jewish history in what is now Oman is associated with the Biblical/Quranic figure Job/Ayyoub. The Tomb of Job is located in Jabal Dohfar 45 miles from the port city of Salalah. The subsequent, more documented Omani Jewish community was made famous by Ishaq bin Yahuda, a merchant who lived in the 9th century. Bin Yahuda lived in Sohar, and sailed for China between the years of 882 and 912 after an argument with a Jewish colleague, where he made a great fortune. He returned to Sohar and sailed for China again, but his ship was seized and bin Yahuda was murdered at the port of Sumatra.

    In the mid-19th century, the British Lieutenant James Raymond Wellsted documented the Jews of Muscat in his memoirs Travels in Arabia, vol. 1. He mentions that there are "a few Jews in Muskat (sic), who mostly arrived there in 1828, being driven from Baghdad . . .by the cruelties and extortions of the Pacha Daud." He also notes that Jews were not discriminated against at all in Oman, which was not the case in other Arab countries (they did not have to live in Ghettos, nor identify themselves as Jews, not walk in the road if a Muslim was walking on the same street, as was the case in Yemen). The Jews of Muscat were employed mostly in the making of silver ornaments, banking, and liquor sale. Despite the lack of persecution in Oman, the community is believed to have disappeared before 1900. During World War II, a Jewish American Army enlisted man, Emanuel Glick, encountered a small community of Omani Jews in Muscat, but this community consisted mostly of recent migrants from Yemen.In the year 1948 there was a recorded Jewish Population of 5,000 People.The Jewish people living in Oman Mostly lived in Muscat and a few hundred in Ibri.The Jewish Population decreased during the Early 1950s when mass Emigration of Jews leaving the Arabian Peninsula occurred. Today the community no longer exists and most of the Jews that lived in Oman now live in Israel.


    The early Jewish community of Sohar became famous through Ishaq bin Yahuda, a Sohari merchant mentioned by Buzurq ibn Shahriyar in his "Kitab 'Aja'ib al-Hind" ("Book of the Wonders of India," c. 950). He writes that the Jewish merchant seaman, Ishaq bin Yahuda, visited China from Sohar between the years 882 and 912 after a quarrel with a Jewish colleague. Ishaq left Sohar in poverty to seek his fortune in China and returned to Oman thirty years later with great wealth. After a disagreement with the local ruler he sailed for China again, but at the port of Sumatra his ship and its contents were seized and Ishaq was murdered.

    British Lieutenant J.R. Wellsted mentions in his memoirs, Travels in Arabia, vol. 1, about the Jews of Muskat. He writes, "there are a few Jews in Muskat, who mostly arrived there in 1828, being driven from Baghdad . . .by the cruelties and extortions of the Pacha Daud." Lieutenant Wellsted states that Jews are not discriminated against in Oman as they are in other Arab countries such as Yemen and Syria, and do not have to wear any markings to identify themselves as Jews. He writes also that Jews are not restricted to living in one concentrated area, nor are they required to walk in the road if a Muslim is walking on the same street, as they were in Yemen. The Jews in Muskat were employed in many professions, but many were involved in the fabrication of silver ornaments, banking, and liquor sale. Despite the toleration of Jews, in his book Sohar: Culture and Society in an Omani Town, author Frederik Barth, suggests that the Jewish community had disappeared by 1900.


    One of the few Jewish sites remaining in Oman today is the Jewish Cemetery of Sohar, called the 'Qumbaz Al-Yahud' Cemetery by locals (1). Though many of the other structures used by the Jewish community of Sohar—such as their homes and synagogues—no longer exist, this cemetery still stands (2). Like the Jewish cemetery in Lashkhara, the tombs of the cemetery of Sohar are built of brick and mortar (3). The graves at Sohar; however, are engraved with Hebrew characters and the five to seven rows of brick and mortar form the shape of an ellipse. At the entrance to the cemetery, a memorial wall is also decorated in Hebrew characters—spelling out many Hebrew names.


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  • 3 years ago

    That they are from Oman. If you want other information, you'll have to be more specific.

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