Freitag, August 12, 2005


I like Tunisia and the Maghreb as if I had lived there once in another life.

Perhaps it is the genetic result of my family history for the Jewish part of my family came from Spain ... The family Moreno was of Sephardic origin ...

There was always a good connection between the Jews and the Arabs in North Africa. So the bad situation for the Spanish Jews also improved in 711 when Spain fell under the rule of the Muslim Moors. Both Muslims and Jews built a civilization, based in Cordoba, known as Al-Andalus, which was more advanced than any civilization in Europe at that time. Jews were able to coexist peacefully with their neighbors; however, they were still treated as dhimmis, "People of the Book" (Jews and Christians) who are protected under Islamic law.

The era of Muslim rule in Spain (8th-11th century) was considered the "Golden Age" for Spanish Jewry. Jewish intellectual and spiritual life flourished and many Jews served in Spanish courts. Jewish economic expansion was unparalleled. In Toledo, Jews were involved in translating Arabic texts to the romance languages, as well as translating Greek and Hebrew texts into Arabic. Jews also contributed to botany, geography, medicine, mathematics, poetry and philosophy.

In 1492 under the rule of the Catholic Queen Isabella (The Avaricious) Jews and Muslims were not allowed to remain on Spanish territories. There was a great Exodus of Jews and Arabs. Some of them sought refuge in North Africa the other part setteld in France, in the Netherlands and in Italy ( for example) as some of my ancestors did.

Above there is an actual photograph of Tunesian Jews in the Synagogue of Djerba, the famous El Ghriba.


Blogger Angel said...

Wow you sure do travel!

Sorry I couldnt read your blogs sooner... been extremely busy with school...

Love n Peace,

3:27 vorm.  
Blogger castor said...

Angel, I really missed you, but I thought that you have to be busy with school! And school has priority now!!!

Yes, I always liked to travel! This time I go to Tunisia only for relaxing because I am on the verge of a burn-out-syndrome ... it's a shame!

Love and peace,

9:23 vorm.  

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