Andrew Hougie

‘I’ve lived in Hertfordshire since 2000 and work as a solicitor. My mother, Aida, came to England from Iraq in the 1950s when life became difficult for Jews there. While my grandmother was travelling to England, there was an army coup in Baghdad. My grandfather, Abraham Elkabir, who had been the first Director General of the Treasury in Iraq, came to England shortly afterwards. They never returned to Iraq.’

This miniature Torah scroll belonged to my grandparents. The Torah contains the first five books of the Bible. It is a decorative object only but shows the Sephardi influence – originating from the Jewish communities of Spain and Portugal – with its metal casing. Scrolls from Eastern Europe have a soft velvet cover.’