The Ashkenazi Arab: Jewish European integration in the Middle East
Explore the untold story of how European Jews integrated into Arab society in the 19th and 20th centuries.
12 December 2023, 6:00 pm–7:30 pm
The idea of Ashkenazi Jews integrating into Arab societies and culture in the Middle East appears today as far-fetched, even a contradiction in terms. The speaker’s research, focussing on the 19th and early 20th centuries, has unearthed a wide spectrum of practices of integration and acculturation, from the adoption of dress, food, and music; through business integration and local politics; to high-level involvement in Ottoman and regional politics, military service to crime and radical politics. The lecture will discuss this forgotten history and its implications.
About the Speaker
Head of the Centre for Jewish Studies at SOAS, University of London
Yair Wallach is a Reader in Israeli Studies and the head of the Centre for Jewish Studies, at SOAS, University of London. His book A City in Fragments (Stanford, 2020), on Arabic and Hebrew street texts in early 20th Jerusalem, won the 2022 Jordan Schnitzer book prize. He has written for the Guardian, Haaretz and other publications.
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