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The Council feels that it has said enough to induce all who take an interest in the welfare of their brethren in the East, and desire to improve their moral, material and intellectual condition, to come forward and contribute their quota to this, one of the most important works upon which the Association is engaged.
IV. The Jews of Persia.
Another important matter which has recently occupied the attention of the Association, has been the state of our brethren in Persia. Words are wanting to describe their wretched condition and the hardships of their lives, but some idea may be formed of the persecutions they have to undergo, from the following translation of a letter addressed to the Alliance by the President of its Branch at Bagdad, and sent to the Association some three or four months ago by the parent Society.
Bagdad, 31st July, 1872.
To the President of the Alliance, &c., &c.,
I am perfectly acquainted with the position of our unfortunate co-religionists in Persia, and have for a long time past interested myself in their unhappy condition, and collected every necessary information to enable myself to be of use to them. However, to comply with the wish expressed by the Alliance that an inquiry should be instituted, and in order to more carefully weigh and consider the questions propounded, I hastened to call a meeting of the Committee, and to summon! several merchants of position who had a special knowledge of Persia, some from the fact of their having been born and having lived there for some time; others from that of their having had commercial relations with that country. The meeting was held on Sunday, 21st July, and lasted three hours.
" What is the present state of our co-religionists in Persia, and do they still require assistance ?"
I am happy to be able to inform the Alliance that in the northern as well as in the southern provinces of Persia, famine has everywhere given way to plenty. Undoubtedly numerous traces of the sufferings of the past year still exist, and the famine has unquestionably left many ruins behind. It seems to me that relief for these cases would be very opportune, but there is no small difficulty in insuring its reaching its true destination; and in securing its fair distribution.
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