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The Question of Identity: Ethnicity, Language, Religion, and Gender

Islamic Period:  The Concept of Ethnicity

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Jewish Woman in Tunis

Jewish Woman in Tunis

Early in the twentieth century, there was a sizeable Jewish community in Tunis. Many were descended from refugees from Spain and Portugal after the expulsion of Muslims and Jews in the seventeenth century: today's Morocco and Algeria absorbed the larger proportion of these refugees. Toward the end of the 19th century, when this picture was probably taken, the Jewish community of Tunis enjoyed considerable prosperity as a result of French colonial patronage, and it grew. Following independence and the establishment of the state of Israel, and then the Arab-Israeli war of 1967, most left, however, leaving a community of 700. Most of this number are now concentrated on the island of Djerba.

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