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The Last of the Arab Jews: Tunisian Jewish Enclave Weathers Revolt, Terror; Can It Survive Girls’ Education?
Isolated on a small niche of North Africa’s largest island, the Jews of Djerba have been called the last Arab Jews—and it is hardly an exaggeration. Across the rest of the Middle East, Jewish communities have been vanishing over the past half century, since the creation of Israel. Before then, there were more than 850,000 Jews living in the Arab world. Today, there are between 4,000 to 4,500, according to Justice for Jews from Arab Countries, a nonprofit advocacy group. Today, Gerba's Jews number roughly 1,000, local leaders estimate. At the fringes of society and in subtle ways, Djerban women are evolving. Two agents of change are cousins Alite and Hanna Sabban, who have fought to bring greater educational opportunities to the girls of Djerba.
Updated: Mar. 04, 2015