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Maurice Shasha (1914-2000) Papers

Identifier: ASF AR 77

Scope and Content Note

The Maurice Shasha papers consist of photographs, primary and secondary documents, as well as one reel and one VHS tape. The photographs chronicle Maurice Shasha's life from boyhood to his marriage to Violet Shasha (née Shouker), through the birth and childhood of their children Emil, Vivienne, and Virginia. Also included are photographs of Violet Shouker's family and photographs of Maurice's family and his business partner, Skandar Khouri. Primary documents include Iraqi passports for Maurice and his wife Violet as well as their marriage certificate.


  • 1900-2016
  • Majority of material found within 1930-1940


Language of Materials

The collection is in English

Access Restrictions

The majority of this collection is open to researchers. Folders 6 and 9, which contain personal information of Emil Shasha, are restricted from research use.

Use Restrictions

There may be some restrictions on the use of the collection. For more information, contact: American Sephardi Federation, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY 10011 email:

Biographical Note

Maurice Shasha was born in Baghdad, Iraq in 1914 to Yamen and Massouda Shasha. Maurice had three sisters: Lucy, Violet, and Rashel, and four brothers: Albert, Aboud (Alfred), Frank, and Jamil (Jim). In 1936, Maurice Shasha stepped in as head of the family and the family business when his father Yamen died at age 65.1 He married Violet Shouker in 1943 and the couple later had three children: Emil, Vivienne, and Virginia. Maurice Shasha died in 2000.

Maurice Shasha Family Tree

Maurice's parents: Yamen Shasha & Massouda Shasha [née Aboudi-Heskel-Haim]

Maurice's siblings: Lucy, Violet, Rashel, Albert, Aboud (Alfred), Frank, and Jamil (Jim)

Violet Shasha Family Tree

Violet's parents: Moshi Shouker & Gourgia Shouker [née Dallal]

Violet's siblings: Naim, David, and About (Arthur)2


  1. 1 Paid Notice: Deaths SHASHA, MAURICE Y. (2000, January 12). Retrieved
  2. 2 For a full family tree of both sides of the family, please see Series II; Box 1, Folder 12.


2 Linear Feet (1 manuscript box and 1 OS box)


This collection contains family and business photographs, passports, various certificates, genealogical research, and moving image media representing the life of Maurice Yamen Shasha. Also included are photographs and primary source documents of his wife, Violet Shasha, and photographs of Maurice's parents and children.


Photographs, documents, and media are organized into both legal and oversized folders. Folders are arranged by type.

For optimal storage, larger photographs have been rehoused into oversized boxes. Donor description and general intellectual organization remains the same.

  1. Series I: Photographs, 1908-1953
  2. Subseries 1: Family photographs, 1908-1952
  3. Subseries 2: Business photographs, 1950-1953
  4. Series II: Documents, 1900-2016
  5. Subseries 1: Primary documents, 1900-1961
  6. Subseries 2: Secondary documents, 2016
  7. Series III: Media, 1946

Acquisition Information

Collection was donated by Maurice Shasha's son Emil Shasha in 2016. Acquisition information is on file.

Related Material

Documents of the Iraqi Jewish community dating from the 16th to the 20th century, known as the "Iraqi Jewish Archive," which were discovered in the Iraqi intelligence headquarters by the United States Army in 2003, and were subsequently treated and digitized at the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, can be accessed online at

The American Sephardi Federation also holds the Robert Shasha Collection of Iraqi Jewish Oral Histories, a collection of recordings, transcripts, research, and photographs compiled and donated by Dennis and Robert Shasha (the sons of Maurice Shasha's brother Alfred). This oral history collection was a research base for a book the Shashas co-wrote titled Iraq's Last Jews: Stories of Daily Life, Upheaval, and Escape from Modern Babylon (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008).

Processing Information

Photographs are housed in individual mylar sleeves. To maintain original donor arrangement, photographs that were grouped together are now housed together in archival envelopes. Larger photographs are housed in OS folders and an OS box.

The reel and VHS tape are in good condition and are described and housed together with the rest of the collection.

Any notes attached to photographs have been digitized and the information has been transferred to folder scope notes.

Guide to the Maurice Shasha (1914-2000) Papers, 1900-2016 (bulk 1930-1940) ASF AR 77
Processed by Janine Veazue
© 2016
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
as part of the Leon Levy Archival Processing Initiative, made possible by the Leon Levy Foundation.

Repository Details

Part of the American Sephardi Federation Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States