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MS137_AJ95_150_8
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persia.
31
As a further proof of the prosperity of the Jews in Persia, I would point out the marked improvement in their condition of life; most of them are well-to-do, and now freely and largely engage themselves in commerce, transact business with the Persians, and many employing the leading Ma-homedan merchants as their agents. The poorer classes, however, are by no means industrious, arid many of them are found in the lowest of occupations, while they could easily follow agricultural pursuits, and with much advantage. The Jews, as a body, are sadly wanting in education, and this is most deplorable, as they rank amongst the most illiterate in the country; and no doubt this is the principal reason why they do not attain the desirable social equality and eminence, while, on the other hand, an educated native Christian is generally respected. It lies in your power to materially improve their condition by establishing schools; and, to begin
with, [ would
suggest
your having one at Bushire to teach
English, French, Hebrew, Arabic, and Persian. The maintenance of teachers for the last three languages, and the local expenses, would cost a mere trifle. Admittance into such schools would, I am sure, be eagerly sought for Mahomedan children, and this in itself would wash out many of the existing prejudices against the Jews. You already know the inestimable advantages derived from your schools in Bagdad.
With reference to the Prince's letter, perhaps I may as well point out that the spot where the Prince has affixed his seal (at the back-end of the letter), according to Persian etiquette, places the writer and recipient on terms of equality; and this must be construed as a great compliment and politeness on the part of the Prince.
Yours very truly,
(Signed) T. J. Malcolm.
Mr. Malcolm haying spent some time in London, the Secretary of the Association had several interviews with him, and had an opportunity of making preliminary arrangements for the eventual opening of Schools in some Persian cities. Other correspondents of the Association have likewise drawn attention both to the difficulties which beset the foundation of
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