Genetic disorders among jews from Arab countries

Efrat Dagan, Ruth Gershoni-Baruch

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The Jewish Diaspora dates back to the Assyrian and Babylonian conquests in the Levant and is portrayed by complex migratory trajectories over the ensuing millennia. Considerable conversion of autochthonic populations to Judaism, which took place during ancient times, has been offset by numerous expulsions and forced conversion of Jews to Christianity and Islam, resulting in a drastic reduction of large Jewish populations and even extermination of Jewish-ethnic communities (Khaibar (Hedjaz) in the seventh century C.E.). Some Jewish societies in Arab countries remained virtually isolated for over 1,000 years (e.g., in Yemen) whereas others were enriched by the influx of Jews from outside the Arab world. A major change includes the settling of a large number of exiled Spanish and Portuguese Jews in the Mediterranean countries at the end of the fifteenth century. Later, up into the twentieth century, cross-migration of Jews expanded some pre-existing Jewish communities in Arab countries, for example, Turkish, Kurdish, and Iranian Jews who joined the ancient Babylonian community and European Jews (Ashkenazi Jews) who settled in Libya and in Egypt. In the last 100 years, Jews originating from Arab countries, namely, the Arabian peninsula, Mesopotamia, the Levant or North Africa have emigrated to Europe, USA, and Israel (Goodman et al. 1989; Behar et al. 2008). The greater part settled in Israel and constitutes the non-Ashkenazi Jewish population, of about three million, comprising among other North African, Iraqi, Iranian, Yemenite, and Iberian Exile Jewish communities.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGenetic Disorders Among Arab Populations
PublisherSpringer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9783642050800
ISBN (Print)9783642050794
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010. All rights are reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Genetic disorders among jews from Arab countries'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this