23 March 2008

India: Lost tribes of Malihabad

The Times of India has an interesting story on the biblical connection to the Lucknow area.

Malihabad and Qayamganj towns have recently attracted "lost tribe" researchers. In November 2002, Prof Tudor Parfitt of London University visited Malihabad to collect DNA samples of Afridi Pathans to confirm their putative Israeli descent, and from Jerusalem, the Lander Institute's Eyal Beeri visited in October 2007.

LUCKNOW: Known for its delightful mangoes, Malihabad, situated 25 km from the state capital, is all set to become a part of the Jewish tourist circuit in the country.

The tehsil houses 650 Afridi Pathans believed to be decedents of one of the ten lost Biblical Israelite tribes. The fact has prompted two leading Israeli travel companies to market Malihabad as a tourist destination for Jewish community world over with the theme "The Lost Tribe Challenge".

As a first step in this direction, Mosh Savir of Shai Bar Ilan Geographical Tours and Dudu Landau of Eretz Ahavati Nature Tours recently toured Malihabad along with Indian tour operator Col SP Ahuja to conduct a ground survey for facilitating the first "theme tour", expected in November 2008.

History records that 10 tribes were exiled by the Assyrians in 721 BC, and that some of their descendants settled in India.

"Pathan tribes came to India between 1202 AD and 1761 AD along with Muslim and Afghani invaders and settled in different parts of the country. Afridi Pathans of Malihabad came from the North Western Frontier Province, now in Pakistan," claimed Navras Jaat Aafreedi, an Afridi Pathan himself, who has conducted a research which supports the theory of Jewish origin of the Afridis. "Afridi pathans are decedents of Ephraim Tribe, one of the lost tribes," said Navras who was also a part of the ground survey.

Read the rest of the story here

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