Middle East Research and Information Project: Critical Coverage of the Middle East Since 1971

Jews

Memoir of a Jewish Arab

Dana El Kurd 10.4.2019

Hayoun identifies himself as a Jewish Arab and traces his family history to show how Jewish Arabs were maliciously separated from their societies and how their identities were used in a game of colonial domination.

Lodge 5 at Swarthmore College is a dignified building in gray stone, the aesthetic match of much of the rest of the bucolic campus located 20 miles outside Philadelphia. The structure houses three floors supporting Jewish student life: a kosher kitchen, a lounge and a library whose walls are heavy with such texts as the Talmud and Midrash. It is the natural place for Kehilah, Swarthmore’s Jewish student group, to meet in order to plan events and attend to other business.

Gudrun Kramer, Minderheit, Millet, Nation? Die Juden in Agypten, 1914-1952 (Minority, Millet, Nation? The Jews in Egypt, 1914-1952) (Wiesbaden, 1982).

Up to now, the history of the Jewish community in Egypt has been known only to a few specialists. Some periods have been analyzed quite well — for instance, the tenth to thirteenth century (S. Goitein) and the nineteenth century (R. Fargeon, J. Landau). Gudrun Kramer has now provided a marvelous study covering the 1914-1952 period. She made extensive use of archival material and numerous interviews from the oral history section of the Institute of Contemporary Jewry at Hebrew University, and ones she herself conducted. The selection of secondary sources is quite representative.

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