Exact search

Home > All our thematic selections > Middle Eastern Jews

Our thematic selections : Middle Eastern Jews

Jewish populations have been living since earliest antiquity in the Middle East, an immense territory that now includes multiple countries from Iran to Egypt, Turkey to Saudi Arabia and Yemen, along with Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Israel.

The Quran mentions the resistance of the Jewish tribes of Medina to Muhammed’s teachings.

With the establishment of the Caliphate, Jews, as well as the other monotheistic communities, became subject to the rules of the dhimmi, enforced with varying degrees of rigor depending on the region and the era.

Under Ottoman rule, Jews, including many Sephardic communities that had been expelled from Spain in the late 15th century during the Catholic Reconquista, played a major economic and intellectual role.

In the space of just a few decades in the 20th century, the Ottoman Empire collapsed, Zionism gained ground, and in 1948, the state of Israel was created.

These events, and the ensuing intensification of Arab nationalism, spelled the end of the Jewish presence in Muslim countries.

Here is a selection of documents shedding light on this age-old Jewish presence and the massive exodus that ended the recent era.

We highly recommend the article from the magazine Qantara, no. 95, “Juifs du Proche-Orient, XIXe-XXe siècle,” providing a wealth of nuanced information on the subject.

This selection is just a taste of the AWI's rich heritage. You can find out more about these subjects by exploring this portal or by visiting the Institute.

Beït Boz ("Bayt Baws"), Yémen
  • PAM Max (Melbourne, 1949) : photographe
  • PAM Max
  • Bayt Baws, Yémen
  • 1993
  • Artworks and objects
<Etoile de David et heurtoir de porte en bois à Bab Arakizi, dans le vieux Ibb.>
  • DANOVA Nora
  • YEMEN , Ibb
  • 1998
  • Photography
Bayt Boz, ancien village juif abandonné près de Sanaa sur son piton rocheux.
  • AL SALAMI Khadija
  • YEMEN , Bayt Boz
  • 1998
  • Photography
Petits garçons juifs de Rayda au nord de Sanaa.
  • AL SALAMI Khadija
  • YEMEN , Rayda
  • 1998
  • Photography
Jeune garçon juif et sa soeur à Rayda au nord de Sanaa.
  • AL SALAMI Khadija
  • YEMEN , Rayda
  • 1998
  • Photography
L' Egypte et ses juifs ; le temps révolu : XIXe et XXe siècles / ; Maurice Mizrahi
  • Mizrahi, Maurice
  • 1977
  • Impr. Avenir) ,
  • Printed books
The Jews in modern Egypt ; 1914- 1952 / ; Gudrun Kramer
  • Kramer, Gudrun
  • 1989
  • Tauris ,
  • Printed books
Histoire des juifs du Nil ; textes réunis et prés. par Jacques Hassoun
  • Hassoun, Jacques
  • 1990
  • Minerve ,
  • Printed books
Jewish self- government in Medieval Egypt ; the origins of the Office of Head of the Jews : ca. 1065- 1126 / ; Mark R. Cohen
  • Cohen, Mark R.
  • 1980
  • Princeton university press ,
  • Printed books
  • Page 1 of 4