Karaims take up efforts to avoid slow extinction

  • 2003-08-28
  • By Charles Carlson
RFE/RL PRAGUE - Optimism, a new CD-ROM and a summer program are just three of the toolsbeing used to sustain Karaim, an endangered Turkic language spoken only byan estimated 50 people living mostly in Lithuania.Karaims are the descendants of Kypchak tribes who lived in the tribal unionof the Khazar empire in the Crimea between the 8th and 10th centuries. Inthe 8th century, the Karaims converted to a form of Judaism known asKaraism, which may be described as a return to the roots or "solascriptura."The Karaims later split into three main groups. One group remained in theCrimea; another moved...
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