Sudan’s last remaining Jew is moved by the agreement with Israel
Charles Shaul, 70 years old, from Khartoum, is one of the few Jews still living in Sudan who has never visited Israel, he explains this choice: “Sudan is one of the most welcoming and best countries in Africa”.
There has never been a large Jewish community in Sudan, but during the 60 years under the British Empire, Jewish merchants and officials settled in its capital Khartoum and founded a community that reached a thousand members at its peak.
Today there are single Jews living in Khartoum, and one of them, Charles Shaul, 70 years old, said: “I have prayed for this moment of normalization of relations with Israel”.
“We were born here. Our parents were born here. Everybody knows that we are Jewish. We did not suffer discrimination and persecution like other Jewish communities in Arab countries. There was a large community here,” he said.
Saul said that since the announcement, he has received constant calls from the local population congratulating him: “I have prayed for this moment of normalization of relations with Israel all my life. I don’t want to start crying, but I hoped it would happen in my lifetime. In those moments I remember my parents, my father Elijah “Saul. Unfortunately, they couldn’t see him.”
The vast majority of his family immigrated to Israel in the 1970s and 1980s.
Some of the family members are buried in the neglected cemetery in Khartoum, which has recently begun to be maintained. According to him, there used to be a synagogue there, but today there is no one to go there. He calls on Israelis to come to Khartoum in droves.