Board of Deputies’ vice-president Edwin Shuker has been honoured with an award from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for his work protecting religious freedom in Iraq, the country of his birth.
Shuker was given a Certificate of Appreciation from Britain’s foreign policy mandarins on Wednesday in recognition of his behind-the-scenes support for those championing religious freedom in the war-torn country, which was once home to a large Jewish population.
Born in Baghdad in 1955, Shuker and his family fled to the UK in 1971 amid rising religious and ethnic tensions encouraged by Saddam Hussein’s Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party, with dozens of Iraqi Jews executed on spurious charges.
Shuker, whose first language was Arabic when he arrived in the UK as a refugee, regularly travels back to Iraq, forging ties with political and business leaders and working to preserve Jewish shrines and sites to keep the link between Iraq and its displaced Jewish community.
— Board of Deputies of British Jews (@BoardofDeputies) February 12, 2019