Hamos Guetta

Jewish Libya: Memory and Identity in Text and Image

Jacques Roumani 1

A 50th anniversary can be compared to middle age in the life of an individual. Metaphorically one can also relate it to the proverbial midlife crisis. In this case, I would not describe it as a full blown crisis but a crisis of smaller dimensions. The members of the Libyan Jewish community of Rome, by now well established, as well as Libyan Jewish communities that exist mainly in Israel, and also in other parts of Europe and to a far lesser extent in the USA, can at last allow themselves to reflect on the meaning of their past and to ask themselves how they can continue to nourish and sustain their authentic religious and cultural patrimony, so that it can be part of the identity of the descendants of this community, which is truly unique within the panorama of the Jews of the Middle East and North Africa.

Taking up again the metaphor of mid-life, we know that normally a person who is 50 years old decides either to keep on going full steam ahead, to go to town as one might say, or to slow down and take a siesta.

We are well aware that many Libyan Jews have chosen to go ahead at full speed in various sectors, in Israel (e.g. the minister Moshe Kahlon, the business tycoon Yitzhak Tshuva), and also in Italy and other parts of the world (e.g. Moisés Naím, the former minister of Venezuela and later scholar and editor of an influential journal, Foreign Policy, in Washington, or Walter Arbib of Canada, founder of Skylink helicopter company).

The aim of this book is to capture the essence of the Libyan Jewish cultural heritage in order to reawaken and preserve memory, and to contribute to maintaining this very special identity within the framework of the Italian Jewish community and other Jewish communities.

I would like to emphasize that within this book memory is based on history but it is not history.

Fortunately, the history of the Jews of Libya is well documented. It has been neatly summarized in one of our chapters, the one by Vivienne Roumani-Denn, from which I quote:

Jews have lived in the region of North Africa that now constitutes the modern nation of Libya for more than 2,300 years, initially under Greek and then Roman rule, some 400 years before the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem and a full millennium before the rise of Islam in Arabia. The eastern (Cyrenaica) and western (Tripolitania) regions of Libya found themselves conquered by tribes from the Arabian Peninsula in the mid-7th Century CE during their invasion of North Africa, and mostly ruled under various Muslim caliphates thereafter. Ottoman Turkish rule came to Tripoli in 1551 and somewhat later to Benghazi, sometimes with direct rule from Constantinople, but more commonly through local pashas. Italy invaded and conquered Libya from the Ottomans in 1911, and it remained an Italian colony until the defeat of the World War II Axis powers in North Africa in 1943, when Tripolitania and Cyrenaica fell under British administration. (A third region, Fezzan in the south, was under French administration.) The three administrative regions, with different tribal loyalties, united into an independent kingdom in 1951. King Idris was deposed in 1969 in an army coup led by Muammar Qadhafi. With Libya’s major centers being the ports of Tripoli in the west and Benghazi in the east, at its peak, its Jewish population was about 38,000, with 21,000 in Tripoli, 4,500 in Benghazi, and the remainder in smaller cities and villages. More than 90% of the Jewish community left between 1948 and 1951, leaving 2,500 in Tripoli and 400 in Benghazi, and Jewish life essentially came to an end in 1967, prior to the coup. Most of the community went to Israel, where there are now estimated to be 120,000 Jews from Libya and their descendants, with some 3,000 in Rome and smaller numbers elsewhere.

The texture of Jewish life in Libya, as described by the Libyan Jews themselves, was far from smooth. As the main minority, they were subject to dhimmi status, entailing the constant risk of murder, robbery, and desecration of synagogues.2 It was not surprising that the Jews welcomed European intervention, in the form first of Italian colonization3 and second the British Military Administration right after the Second World War. Their high hopes of Europe were dashed initially by the Italian Fascist government, allied to Hitler, and willing to see Libyan Jews die in Italian or German internment camps,4 and then by the British who stood by as Jews were murdered in 1945 and 1948.

Though Libya’s independence was negotiated by the United Nations, and its constitution officially embodied the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, over the 1950s and 1960s indigenous Jews saw themselves become stateless hostages,5 until in 1967 King Idris himself declared that he could no longer protect them from rioting Muslims, and they were airlifted out to Italy in Libyan and Italian planes under the aegis of the American Joint Distribution Committee.

History is one thing, memory is another. Memory is what we remember and the events of our common cultural and emotional portrait-- with a little taste of Proust’s madeleines6—which serves as a bridge of collective group identity across the generations.

It is a question of our unique piyyutim or hymns for the Brit Milah, for Bar Mitzvah, for Simchat Torah and Yom Kippur, of the memories of the beautiful beaches of Benghazi such as the Giuliana Beach, of the Bar Gambrinus in Tripoli, the great football team Aurora, the Maccabi team, the Ben Yehuda Club, the story of Alfonso Pagani, the ‘man in the box’,7 of Journo’s Il Ribelle, of thousands of photos, and of documentaries such as the Last Jews of Libya, of the stories of David Gerbi, such as his tale of the Qaffa (the basket and the computer), as well as his exciting adventures returning to Libya. Memories that were once published in the magazine Trabulsia Farsi (Rome) and that continue to appear in Ada in Israel and websites such as that of Vivienne Roumani-Denn, www.jewsoflibya.com. It is a question of experiences, emotions and symbols. It is a question of linguistic codes, as David Meghnagi writes, linguistic memories of a cosmopolitan commingling that is still in daily use. I refer for example to the typical dialogue that Meghnagi cites. When two Libyan Jewish women meet in New York “Eze surprise, ‘amlcili, sono veramente frhana to meet you!” one says to the other. Citing David Meghnagi later in this volume:

The apogee of this interlacing of worlds and cultures could be achieved speaking three or four languages at the same time, depending on whom one was talking to, passing from one language to another with the same person . . . according to the subject. . . . It was an oasis in which a Jew could feel Italian or Maltese, or Greek or Arab, while continuing to be Jewish. It was a great treasure that not everyone realized they had.

We need to preserve our memories to avoid distortions and anonymity, and before our people’s discourse or way of speaking, especially among the young, disappears, and they become submerged beneath newer, more universal memories of modern daily life. This reminds me of a true story from the Jewish Federation of New York in which the author asked the audience who remembered the name of the mother of Jesus, and almost everyone knew the answer. Then he asked who remembered the name of the mother of Moses. Only one person stood up and said with pride, ‘Yoshebel’. Then the lecturer responded that he was close, but the correct name was ‘Yocheved’. After the end of the lecture this person said to the speaker that the correct name was indeed Yoshebel, the proof being in the film of Cecil B DeMille, the Ten Commandments. I do not think that any of us want to see our memories corrected like that. We want authentic memories.

My own family left Benghazi, crossed the ocean and has been in America for fifty years already. As memories blend and spill into identity, especially in the 21st century, it is a question unavoidably of multiple identities. We need to clarify first of all the identity of Libyan Jews in general, in Italy, in Israel, in America. The community cannot be restricted to and does not completely fit the definition of ‘Arab Jews’.

With regard to the Arab identity or 'Arabness' of Middle Eastern Jews, we are reminded by the Israeli sociologist, Yehouda Shenhav, with reference to his book, The Arab Jews,8 that this category is "neither natural nor necessarily consistent and coherent . . . given the long history of rupture between them . . . the label was edited out by historical circumstances, particularly the rise of Jewish and Arab nationalism" (p. 9). Arabness may be at best a shared cultural code but it was not an identity, as another Israeli scholar, Amnon Raz-Krakotzkin, pointed out. "It was a cultural-linguistic reality" as quoted from Raz-Krakotzkin in Lital Levy's profound essay, "Historicizing the Concept of Arab Jews in the Mashriq,”9 an important contribution to understanding the subject. Moreover, and most importantly, Jews could not be and were not admitted to Arab identity, whether in the Mashriq or Maghrib, because Arabs are or perceive themselves to be the main pillar of the Islamic 'umma or Community of Believers, from which Jews and other infidels are automatically excluded and relegated to the inferior status of subordinate dhimmi. Ironically, almost parallel to the unprecedented effort of the Jewish intellectuals (covered in the anthology referred to in note 3) to join the Arab revival and nationalist movements, the "champions of Muslim reformism . . . Muhammed Abdu and Rashid Ridah and their later followers engaged in a form of 'dejudaization' of Muslim tradition . . . and offered a modern restatement of Islam's criticism of the Jews and Judaism."10 For a full discussion of this paradigmatic change in Muslim attitudes in the modern period see R. Nettler and S. Taji-Farouki, eds., Muslim-Jewish Encounters, Intellectual Traditions and Modern Politics.11 Not surprisingly, the majority of Jews in the Middle East and North Africa sought the protection of European powers and the freedom of Western culture.

Exacerbated by political enmity between Jewish and Arab nationalism, the definitive Arab rejection of Jews as Arabs is succinctly encapsulated in Albert Memmi's oft-quoted realization that: "because we were born in these so-called Arab countries, we share their languages, their customs, and their cultures to an extent that is not negligible" but "the Arabs did not respect the Jewish Arabs . . . and it is far too late to become Jewish Arabs again."12 The broader contexts of these developments in history, historiography and culture are synthesized in Abitbol et al. (2006)13 and in Harvey E. Goldberg (1996).14 And so there can be no ‘next year in Tripoli’.15

From another point of view, the Jews of Libya now resident in Italy encounter a convergence, an almost total one, with the Italian Jewish community of Rome, but at the same time a historical divergence, because the community’s historical points of reference are not Luzzato, Ginzberg, Modigliani, Cassuto and Benamozegh (all important figures in Italian Jewish culture), but rather the Libyan figures of Mordekhai Hakohen, Shimon Labi, Avraham Khalfon. As time has passed, the convergences have become stronger than the divergences and an amalgamation, a melting pot, has taken place. Returning to the metaphor of mid-life, though, one has to grow and recognize oneself in an independent identity before one can give ones best to the community.

We, the Jews of Libya, as in almost all the Arab countries, closed up shop in Libya and were uprooted fifty years ago, but we left there the proverbial nail on the wall of Djoha, the hero of Middle Eastern jokes, fables, and proverbs. I recall the fable about Djoha when he was forced to rent out his house. He rented it all out except for one nail on the wall that he asked the tenant not to touch, and the new occupant said ‘all right’. (See Dr. Gayed’s Blog “Goha’s nail”).16 Eventually Djoha’s frequent visits to check on his nail annoyed the tenant so much that the latter moved out. Well, we also metaphorically revisit within ourselves this nail that the new occupants in Libya unknowingly guard, but no one can take it down from the wall.

In Libyan taste (where we mix many different spices to create a unique culinary sensation), we have tried to collect in one volume some essential aspects of the memory and identity of the Jewish community. It is both for specialists and for all interested readers.

In June 2017, the Jews of Libya commemorate the jubilee of their complete exodus in 1967 from this North African land, an exodus which had begun with a mass migration to Israel in 1948-49. Jews have resided in Libya since Phoenician times, seventeen centuries before their encounter with the Arab conquest in 644- 646 AD. Their disappearance from Libya, like most other Jewish communities in North Africa and the Middle East, led to their fragmentation across the globe as well as reconstitution in two major centers, Israel and Italy. Distinctive Libyan Jewish traditions and a broad cultural heritage have survived and prospered in different places in Israel and in Rome, Italy, where Libyan Jews are recognized for their vibrant contribution to Italian Jewry. Nevertheless, with the passage of time, the community is increasingly marking a transition, as memories fade among the younger generations and multiple identities begin to overshadow those inherited from past centuries.

The history of Jewish Libya has been well documented by single authors,17 complementing other books on Libyan Jewry written by single authors from the perspectives of anthropology, sociology, religious and personal experiences.18 This book is offered instead as an anthology where different authors highlight key and unique aspects of culture and society in Jewish Libya, including the diversity of cosmopolitan and local Jewish men and women within the community, their spatial and cultural environment under colonial influence, and traditional culinary specialties.

Addressed to the general as well as the scholarly reader, the anthology is intended to commemorate, celebrate, and preserve key elements of the Libyan Jewish heritage of popular interest, and evoke a lively inter-generational exchange among the 200,000 Jews of Libyan origin worldwide, as well as with other Jews from North Africa. Similar books and anthologies have appeared on the Jews of the Maghreb (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia) such as the recent Jewish Culture and Society in North Africa (Indiana University Press, 2011),19 where Libyan Jewry is typically absent. The present anthology, consisting of all original essays except one, the first, will fill a gap in the genre and open comparisons with other vanished Jewish societies of the Maghreb and the Levant.

While the scope of the anthology covers all of Libyan Jewry, the voices of the community in Italy are highlighted since much of its rich internal life after its exodus from Libya in 1967 is yet to be fully documented. As it has become well established in Rome, the Libyan community has turned to reflect on the meaning of its past, and its sustainability in the future, given ongoing trends merging young Libyan Jews into mainstream Italian society.

Through a combination of text and image, this anthology is designed to provide the non-specialist reader with a contextual understanding of Jewish Libya and a timely reference to this vibrant community. It should enrich the Jewish landscape of North Africa.

Our ten contributors present very diverse approaches to various aspects of Libyan Jewish life and culture. It is important to remember that (as documented by archeologists) our collective history reaches far back in time to ancient times. Shimon Applebaum, a British-Israeli archeologist who was stationed in Cyrenaica during the British Military Administration (1943-1951), is almost the sole archeologist to have studied the Jewish Revolt against Rome in Cyrenaica in 115-117 CE. He has studied the revolt, brutally put down, of this large and flourishing ancient Jewish community, a revolt also known as the Revolt of the Diaspora,that involved Egypt, Cyprus and Mesopotamia, as well as Eretz Yisrael. The menorah carved on a rock road is said to be one of the first examples of the use of the menorah as a political symbol. Some survivors of the revolt fled south into the Sahara, helping create a Berber-Jewish syncretism as far west as southern Morocco.20 His chapter, “The Jewish Revolt against the Romans in Cyrenaica, 115-117: Archeological Evidence,” is reproduced from his Jews and Arabs in Ancient Cyrene (1979).21

In her “Life Interrupted: Interviews with Jews of Libyan Origin,” Vivienne Roumani-Denn draws on her archive of recorded interviews. Libyan Jews fill a wide and diverse spectrum of careers and activities along traditional and modern lines. Whether successful entrepreneurs, professionals, leading national and international figures, academics and artists, or rabbis, they are linked by a common Libyan Jewish experience that they may or may not view as part of their new identities.

In “The Vanishing Landscape: A Retrospective Glance at the Topos of Libyan Jews: Habitat and Places of Social Aggregation,” Jack Arbib presents a vanished topography from the archives of Hamos Guetta (Rome) and the Libyan Jewish Heritage Museum in Israel. Hamos Guetta himself in “Mafrum, Ahraymi, Tebicha, Metouma, and Other Culinary Specialities: Tastes, Symbols and Meaning,” evokes the traditions and accompanying foods of Jews of Libya who inhabited that topography.

Rachel Simon, in “Libyan Jewish Women as Marginalized Vanguard in the late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries,” reveals how women in a traditional environment could also be modernizers, or voices for continuity and change. She discusses areas in which women could potentially be active, and pinpoints family life, work, education, and participation in public life.

“Between Tradition and Modernity: From Ottoman times (1835 to 1911) to Italian encounters (1900 to present)”: against the background of Jewish-Muslim relations in Libya, this chapter by Harvey Goldberg focuses on Jewish Libyan traditions and their evolution, beginning in the 19th century. It puts particular emphasis on the effect of Italian influences on the ‘emancipation’ of Libyan Jewry and on the defenders of tradition, up to the integration of Libyan Jews today in Italy and Israel.

A chapter by Harvey Goldberg on “Violence and the liturgical/literary tradition: Joining the Chorus while Retaining your Voice: Jews from Libya within Israeli Narratives”) presents piyyutim composed to commemorate dangerous events from which the Jews of Libya escaped; thus these are hymns thanking God for their deliverance. They entered the liturgical tradition of Libyan Jews and in some cases have remained part of it to this day. In other cases, only a faint memory remains of these rare piyyutim.

“Yossi Sucary’s novel Benghazi—Bergen-Belsen in the Context of North African Jewish Literature of the Holocaust,” by Judith Roumani introduces a new novel, written originally in Hebrew, which brings to life the Holocaust experience of several hundred Libyan Jews with British citizenship who were interned in Bergen-Belsen. Other Jews, particularly from Cyrenaica, with French, Tunisian, or Libyan citizenship suffered deportation and internment, either in Tunisia or in the desert of Tripolitania. These unknown stories of the long reach of the Holocaust also deserve to be told.

“The Arabic Dialect and the Judeo-Arabic of the Jews of Tripoli,” by Sumakazu Yoda, is a study of one form of Libyan Judeo-Arabic, of which there are others, such as that of Cyrenaica. Chapter 10, “Libyan Jewish Women in Italy Today,” by Gheula Canarutto Nemni, is based on interviews with three representative groups of Libyan Jewish women today: conservative/traditional, middle of the road, and modernizing.

“Libyan Jews Between Memory and History,” by David Meghnagi, the third co-editor of this volume, in his chapter based on personal memory, interrogates the relationship between memory and history, aspiring toward preservation of memory and continuity of identity. Identity is not only in the present, but depends for its maintenance on memory, and the memories of Libyan Jews lie in both strong and positive traditions and in trauma suffered in the land of their origins.

Thus, the combination of a proud and intense religious and traditional life, and historical trauma, the editors believe, form the memory and the identity of the Jews of Libya, and launchpad for their entry into the ceaselessly changing modern world as fully modern people.

Jacques Roumani, March 1944-December 2016, did not live to see the final version of this anthology on the Jews of Libya. The other two editors would like to give their profound thanks to the colleagues and friends of Jacques who have participated in its publication:

Walter Arbib for his moral support at an early stage to enable this publication to take off.

Liliana Di Nola-Baron, Mark Lazerson (especially), for invaluable help with translation into English. Annette Fromm, expert bibliographer. Andrew Septimus, right-hand son-in-law. Judith Rumani Saphra, more than a cousin, and Arthur Kiron, for bibliographical help on a rare book from Livorno.

Claudio Procaccia for his invitation to deliver a lecture in 2015 on which this introduction is based. Shimon Doron, Director of the Museum of Libyan Jewry, Or Yehuda, Israel, for his interest, moral support, and contacts provided. Eyal David and Nava Barazani for their interest and support, and the latter for a beautiful afternoon of Libyan Jewish art.

All the authors in this volume, for their contributions and belief in this project, and for their patience; Friends of Jacques Roumani for their generous assistance in his memory to enable this publication: Anonymous (several), Klas and Paula Hersson Ringskog, Mark Lazerson, Debra and Marvin Feuer, Ariel Grun, Arnold and Lisa Rosenthal, Elana and Jesse Mendelson, Sarah, Isaac and Claire Jonas, Joseph and Lexie Tuchman, Dana Septimus and Joe Feldman, Gail and Yash Shirazi, Nahid and Steve Gerstein, Shira Krimsky, Tali and Michael Gevaryahu, Lauren Packer, Hasson Family, Daniel Septimus, Barbara and John Robbins, Elan Aiken and Eva Bein, David and Keren Itzkowitz, David Kramer, Chavie Berman, Yonatan Buckman, Eve Partouche, Jonathan Geller, Andrew Rubin, Deborah Halpern, Natan Fisher, Becky Silberman, Jackie Soleimani, Anat Penini, Lana Greenland, Rosamond Timberg, Joshua London.

We gratefully acknowledge E.J. Brill, publishers, for generously allowing us to republish a chapter from Shimon Applebaum’s book, Jews and Greeks in Ancient Cyrene (Leiden: Brill, 1979).

Notes to the Introduction

1 The Editors:

Chief Editor JACQUES ROUMANI earned his PhD. in Politics and Middle Eastern History from Princeton University and is the author of “From Republic to Jamahiriyah, Libya’s Search for Political Community,” Middle East Journal (Spring 1983) and several other classic articles on Libyan developments.

JUDITH ROUMANI, PhD., is a writer on Sephardic literature, editor (www.sephardichorizons.org), and translator of the first book on Jewish Libya, De Felice’s Ebrei in un Paese Arabo (1978), Jews in an Arab Land (Austin: Texas University Press, 1985), as well as of Albert Memmi’s novel Le Désert (1977), The Desert (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2015).

Professor DAVID MEGHNAGI, Professor of Clinical Psychology and the Psychology of Religion, at La Sapienza, Roma Tre University, Rome Italy, and author of numerous articles and books on the Shoah, Freud, Israel, the Arabs, and Libya.

2 The stories of their dire and dangerous plight and appeals to the Alliance Israélite Universelle from Libya are detailed in David Littman, “Jews under Muslim Rule in the Late Nineteenth Century,Wiener Library Bulletin 28: 35-36 (1975), 69-72.

3 Though the Jews might have expected France to intervene, following their appeals to the AIU, it was Italy that asserted its supposed rights to ‘la quarta sponda’, its fourth shore, as in Roman times. Libyan Jews embraced Italian culture and were until the later Fascist period appreciated in return for their role as intermediaries. See Ministero delle Colonie, Mostra Coloniale di Genova, Le Scuole Italiane in Tripoli (Rome: Tipografia Nazionale G. Bertoro, 1914); Elia Artom “L’Importanza dell’Elemento Ebraico nella Popolazione della Tripolitania,” Atti del Secondo Congresso di Studi Coloniali (Naples: Centro di Studi Coloniali, Oct. 1934),116-127.

4 For Giado, an Italian internment camp, see Maurice Roumani The Jews of Libya: Coexistence, Persecution, Resettlement (Brighton: Sussex University Press, 2008), pp. 34-35) also David Meghnagi, unpublished paper, n.d.,“Il Campo di Giado”; for Germany, see Yossi Sucary, Benghazi—Bergen-Belsen (Amazon ebooks, 2016).

5 See Leone Carpi, “La Condizione giuridica degli ebrei nel Regno Unito di Libia,Rivista di Studi Politici Internazionali 30:1 (Jan.-Mar. 1963), 87-92.

6 For Proust, memory was suddenly reawakened and came flooding back when he tasted the humble coffee cakes, the madeleines of his childhood.

7 Alfonso Pagani escaped from Libya by hiding in a crate and being transported by air to Malta. “L’Uomo della cassa” made international headlines. With thanks to Miriam Pagani for sharing her late husband’s unpublished manuscript.

8 Yehouda Shenhav, The Arab Jews: A Postcolonial Reading of Nationalism, Religion, and Ethnicity (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2006).

9 Lital Levy, "Historicizing the Concept of Arab Jews in the Mashriq," Jewish Quarterly Review 98:4 (Fall 2008), 452-469.

10 Michel Abitbol, in Peter Y. Medding, ed. Sephardic Jewry and Mizrahi Jews (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), p. 47.

11 Ronald Nettler and Suha Taji-Farouki, eds., Muslim-Jewish Encounters, Intellectual Traditions and Modern Politics, (Amsterdam: Overseas Publishers Association and Harwood, 1998), esp. Ronald Nettler, ch. 1, “Early Islam, Modern Islam and Judaism: The Isra’iliyyat in Modern Islamic Thought.”

12 Quoted by Shenhav, p. 9. See Albert Memmi, Juifs et Arabes (Paris: Gallimard, 1974) trans. Eleanor Levieux, Jews and Arabs (Chicago: J. Philip O’Hara, 1975), esp. the chapter “What is an Arab Jew?” pp. 19-29; p. 20 and note on p. 29, quoted here.

13 Esther Benbassa, Jean-Christophe Attias, Michel Abitbol, Juifs et musulmans : une histoire partagée, un dialogue à construire (Paris : Découverte, 2006).

14 Harvey E. Goldberg, ed., Sephardi and Middle Eastern Jewries: history and culture in the modern era (Bloomington : Indiana University Press, 1996). Introduction, pp.1-55.

15 See Jacques Roumani, review “Modern Middle Eastern Jewish Thought: Writings on Identity, Politics, and Culture, 1893-1958 by Moshe Behar and Zvi Ben-Dor Benite,” in Sephardic Horizons 3:2 (Summer 2013).

16 Dr Gayed’s blog, “Goha’s Nail” http://dr-gayed.blogspot.com/2011/10/gohas-nail.html

17 E.g. Renzo De Felice, Ebrei in un paese arabo : Gli ebrei nella Libia contemporanea tra colonialism, nazionalismo arabo e sionismo (Bologna: Il Mulino, 1978) trans. Judith Roumani Jews in an Arab Land: Libya, 1835-1970 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1985); Yaakov Haggiag-Lilluf, The History of the Libyan Jews (in Heb.) (Or Yehuda: World Organization of Libyan Jews, 2000); Maurice M. Roumani, The Jews of Libya: Coexistence, Persecution, Resettlement (Brighton: Sussex Academic Press, 2008).

18 E.g. Rachel Simon, Change within Tradition among Jewish Women in Libya (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1992); Harvey Goldberg, Jewish Life in Muslim Libya: Rivals and Relatives (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1990); A. Khalfon, Ma`aseh Tzaddikim, edited with introduction, notes and index by Asaf Raviv. Ashkelon: Peer HaQodesh, n.d., Haskama, 2009; David Gerbi, Costruttori di Pace: Storia di un ebreo profugo della Libia (Rome: Edizioni Appunti di Viaggio, 2003); Arthur Journo, Il ribelle (Florence: Lettere, 2003).

19 Jewish Culture and Society in North Africa, edited by Emily Benichou Gottreich and Daniel J. Schroeter (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2011).

20 For a historical novel on this subject, see Albert Memmi, trans. Judith Roumani, The Desert: or the Life and Adventures of Jubair Wali al-Mammi (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2015).

21 Shimon Applebaum, Jews and Greeks in Ancient Cyrene (Leiden: Brill, 1979).


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