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(264 words)

Author(s): Mohamed Elmedlaoui
The term aḥwāsh signifies several local varieties of a Berber village group dance found particularly in the Atlas Mountains and elsewhere in southwestern Morocco in which participants sing while dancing. Although historical evidence on the everyday life of the Jewish communities that lived for centuries in Berber areas is lacking (see Berber Jews), Jewish participation in the aḥwāsh as dancers, singers, and even as improvisers of lyrics has been witnessed in Tifnout, Tidili, Aït Bou Oulli, Ighil n'Ogho, and other Berber regions of southern Morocco.       The tradition of the aḥwāsh w…

Zafrani, Haïm

(572 words)

Author(s): Mohamed Elmedlaoui
Born in Essaouira (Mogador) in 1922, where he received his basic Jewish education, Haïm Zafrani became a member of the Royal Commission for Educational Reform in the early years of independent Morocco (1956–1961). Employed also by the Alliance Israélite Universelle (the Moroccan branch of which was renamed Ittihad-Maroc a few years after independence), he was instrumental in integrating an Arabic curriculum into the Jewish day schools in independent Morocco. He then pursed an academic career in France, first appointed in 1962 to the position of chair in Hebrew at the…

Maghīli, Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd al-Karīm al-

(520 words)

Author(s): Mohamed Elmedlaoui
Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd al-Karīm al-Maghīlī (ca. 1440–ca. 1503) was a Muslim preacher, activist, and jurist born and educated in Tlemcen. Moving to the fortified oasis town of Tamantit in the Touat region of west-central Algeria some 764 kilometers (475 miles) south of Tlemcen, he also journeyed throughout the Sahara and to West Africa as an adviser to local rulers. He wrote twenty-six works, most of them concerning Islamic theology and law. His Aḥkām Ahl al-Dhimma (Laws Relating to the People of the Dhimma) treats the subject of Jewish-Muslim relations; it may or may not have been ide…

Musée du Judaïsme Marocain de Casablanca

(194 words)

Author(s): Mohamed Elmedlaoui
Founded in 1997 by the Jewish community of Casablanca, Le Musée du Judaïsme Marocain is a private museum located in a Casablanca suburb with a collection of religious, ethnographic, and artistic objects and artifacts related to the history and culture of Moroccan Jews and their daily life. It also houses a collection of documents, photographs, and videos on Moroccan Jewry. It is the first and very likely the only museum in the Arab world devoted to Jewish history, religion, and culture (in the broader Is…