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The “Land of the Kurds” is not a separate country, but is divided among Turkey, Iraq, and Iran. Kurdistan stretches along the south shore of the Caspian Sea. The land is mountainous, with few roads. The Kurds are Moslems ruled by semi-independent tribal chiefs. Many Christian Armenians and Assyrians lived there at one time, but their numbers were greatly reduced by Kurdish massacres. According to an old legend, Kurdish Jews came to Kurdistan from Palestine in the time of Ezra, several centuries before the common era. They still speak Aramaic a dialect closely related to the language of the Gemara (See Talmud). Once they were nomads like the local Moslems, but later they settled down like the Kurdish Christians. Kurdistan has always remained uninfluenced by Western civilization. Jewish occupations included farming and fruit growing, shopkeeping, peddling, and handicrafts. Thousands of Kurdish Jews have gone to Israel, where their tall, stalwart figures, beards, and turbans became a familiar sight.

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