Country's "Last Jew" Shares Synagogue with Muslim Friend

January 29, 2005

Source: Yahoo! News

Wire Service: AFP

On January 29, 2005 Agence France-Presse reported, "Zebulon Simentov, 45, says he is the only Jew left in Afghanistan (news - web sites) since the death of his neighbour Ishaq Levin and now feels so lonely that he shares the small synagogue where he lives in Kabul with a Muslim friend...It is difficult to check his claim, but nobody in Kabul was able to name any other living descendants of Abraham... Now 'I am the only Jew in Afghanistan, we all know each other, so we would know if there were others,' said Simentov, wearing a long Afghan tunic and a kippa, the traditional Jewish skullcap...Feeling lonely, Simentov found a new fellow tenant in Mohammed Amir, 25, a Muslim guard of one of the two Jewish cemeteries in Kabul. 'Because he was alone, he asked me to live with him,' said Amir, wearing a black tunic, Muslim skullcap and sporting a trimmed beard, adding it was a provisional arrangement. 'I have known them for 20 years ... it has nothing to do with Islam. I am a Muslim in my heart. He has his religion and I have mine.'"