The Last Jew in Afghanistan

Zabulan Simanto 41, is one of only two remaining Jews in Afghanistan and is seen here in his run down living quarters in Kabul, November 29, 2001   (KRT Photos)
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(Newser) – Kabul resident Zabolon Simantov is quite literally the last Afghan Jew. He is the sole remaining member of a community that once numbered 4000.  He stays, he says, to keep the country's Jewish history alive. In this all-Muslim country, he has been pressured to convert and is cautious in displaying any signs of his faith in public.

His wife, whom he had to go to Turkmenistan to find, and children live in Israel. Simantov talks with them frequently and, despite his desire to continue being the last outpost of Judaism in Afghanistan, frequently considers joining them. He told NPR that he "feels like the lion of Afghanistan."  His neighbors call him "Zabolon the Jew."