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Despite considerable research on the Jewish diaspora in the Middle East and North Africa since 1800, there has until now been no comprehensive synthesis that illuminates both the differences and commonalities in Jewish experience across a range of countries and cultures. This lacuna in both Jewish and Middle Eastern studies is due partly to the fact that...
Despite considerable research on the Jewish diaspora in the Middle East and North Africa since 1800, there has until now been no comprehensive synthesis that illuminates both the differences and commonalities in Jewish experience across a range of countries and cultures. This lacuna in both Jewish and Middle Eastern studies is due partly to the fact that in general histories of the region, Jews have been omitted from the standard narrative. As part of the religious and ethnic mosaic that was traditional Islamic society, Jews were but one among numerous minorities and so have lacked a systematic treatment.Addressing this important oversight, this volume documents the variety and diversity of Jewish life in the region over the last two hundred years. It explains the changes that affected the communities under Islamic rule during its "golden age" and describes the processes of modernization that enabled the Jews to play a pivotal role in their respective countries in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The first half of the book is thematic, covering topics ranging from languages to economic life and from religion and music to the world of women. The second half is a country-by-country survey that covers Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel/Palestine, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Yemen, Egypt, the Sudan, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco.
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