Expanding the dimensions of Moroccan (Jewish) migration: postcolonial perspectives from Venezuela

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Analyses of the migrations from Morocco in the second half of the twentieth century tend to view them as part of a larger pattern of South-to-North postcolonial circular migration, while Jewish Moroccan migration is deemed an exceptional national phenomenon, unrelated to the study of these global developments. Yet, Jewish migration from northern Morocco to Venezuela was characterised and influenced by a number of sub-regional, ethno-religious, linguistic, and even racial peculiarities, whose analyses may broaden our perspective on the global dynamics of Moroccan postcolonial migration: for example, the status of northern Morocco and Venezuela as a hub for Spanish settlers, Venezuela’s post-1945 open-door policy toward European immigration, and the Judeo-Spanish backgrounds of immigrants from Morocco. In the absence of bilateral migration agreements between Morocco and Venezuela, examining Moroccan Jewish migration to the latter can also shed light on the prominent role of informal networks in shaping global migration from North Africa, and explain why Muslim Moroccans did not immigrate to Venezuela even as many were migrating elsewhere. A focus on grassroots histories of this sort may help advance the scholarship beyond the narratives of mass minority departure, labour migration, and integration that usually treat Morocco and other countries of emigration as homogeneous national units.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of North African Studies
StateAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2022


  • Jewish historiography
  • Migration networks
  • North Africa
  • Sephardi diaspora
  • South America
  • migration bridgeheads

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Political Science and International Relations


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