A Community That Is Both a Center and a Diaspora: Jews in Late Twentieth Century Morocco

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Abstract

During my first visit to the Asile de Vieillards (literally, "asylum for elderly people"), known to Moroccan Jews as "the Home," Miriam Tamsout, an el-derly woman resident, noticing that I was a stranger to the local Jewish community, asked me in darija (Maghrebi Arabic): "Fein tat'shkon fel fransa?" ("Where do you live in France?"). I, taken aback by her intriguing assumption, responded that I live in Israel. She asked again, to make sure that I understood her query. I replied that I did understand. Then she asked if, at least, I had the sense "to make the papers" (i.e., to get a Moroccan identity card and a passport), which would ease my way to the desirable French passport. Again I had to disappoint her, and responded negatively. Astonished, she asked if I intended to return to Israel after completing my business in Morocco.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHomelands and Diasporas
Subtitle of host publicationHoly Lands and Other Places
EditorsAndré Levy, Alex Weingrod
PublisherStanford University Press
Pages68-96
ISBN (Electronic)9781503624108, 9780804750790
ISBN (Print)9780804747714
DOIs
StatePublished - 2005

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