On Saturday April 19th the BBC World Service programme ‘The Documentary’ will broadcast an edition titled “Africans in the Holy Land” at 18:06 GMT. The programme’s synopsis reads as follows:
“Paul Bakibinga travels to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv to explore the lives and experiences of people from three different African communities.
Mahmoud Salamat takes Paul around the narrow alleyways of the old city of Jerusalem to the hidden African quarter and introduces a small but close-knit community, who are descendants of Muslim pilgrims or soldiers who came to the Holy Land during the time of the British Mandate.
Paul also explores the experiences of different Ethiopian Jews who have returned to their ancient homeland, including rising star musician Ester Rada.
And he spends time in South Tel Aviv, where the bulk of African asylum-seekers live – stuck in a legal limbo amid growing hostility from politicians and local residents. The state cannot deport them – but neither will it grant them refugee status.”
The ‘Magazine’ section of the BBC News website currently features a filmed report about Israeli singer Ester Rada which also appears on the website’s Middle East page.
With Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt of course being part of Africa, it will be interesting to see whether Paul Bakibinga also addresses the subject of the hundreds of thousands of Israelis who originate from those African countries and the reasons for their mass exodus from the countries of their birth.
The BBC World Service might care to correct the caption to the photograph illustrating this programme’s webpage which currently reads:
“Picture: A ‘Kessim’, a leader of the Ethiopian Jewish community”
The ending ‘im’ in Hebrew indicates the plural form of a masculine word: thus the two words “A Kessim” are incompatible. One religious leader of the Ethiopian Jewish community is a Kess – spelled קס or קייס in Hebrew and originating from Amharic – and the plural form of the word is Kessim קסים or קייסים.