Saturday July 21, 2018

Torn between Dignity and Despair: The Last Jews of Tunisia

Hundreds of Jews who moved away over the past five decades have taken their relatives' remains with them, leaving only these slabs of Hebrew-inscribed marble behind

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Jewish exodus from Arab and Muslim countries. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
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Djerba, Tunisia, August 22, 2016: Behind the Great Synagogue that anchors this tiny Tunisian Jewish community, cracked tombstones litter the perimeter of the cemetery but it was not vandals who broke them.

Hundreds of Jews who moved away over the past five decades have taken their relatives’ remains with them, leaving only these slabs of Hebrew-inscribed marble behind.

“There are bones that are 80, 90 years old. When you lift them up, they can break,” said Yossif Sabbagh. The 42-year-old local help exhume about a dozen bodies each year for transport to Israel, where the majority of Tunisian-born Jews have moved, and where they want their ancestors to move, too.

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The flight of the dead seems to portend a bleak future for the Jews of Djerba, who trace arrival on this island to more than two millennia ago, after the sacking of the First Temple in Jerusalem in 586 B.C. More Jews arrived after the Spanish Inquisition and from Morocco, Algeria, and Libya.

They were once the traditional, observant branch of a vibrant Jewish community that numbered 100,000 across Tunisia. But the 1,100 Jews in Djerba are nearly all that are left after most others fled persecution between the 1940s and ’60s.

Jewish Money changer in Tunisia. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Jewish Money changer in Tunisia. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Those who remained have been rewarded with new growth thanks in part to an emphasis on large families and patriarchal values. But the community now faces another challenge: Jewish women chafe at their restrictions and men suffer from the battered Tunisian economy. Moving to Israel, whereas Jews they are entitled to automatic citizenship, could resolve both issues but could also bring an end to one of the last Jewish societies in the Arab world.

Point Of Pride

In late May, crowds filled the ornate white-and-blue tiled Ghriba synagogue in Hara Sghira, the smaller of two Jewish enclaves in Djerba, as part of the annual pilgrimage that has long attracted outsiders to the island.

Pilgrims lit candles in the sanctuary and placed eggs covered with handwritten wishes in a cave dug into the synagogue’s floor. Across a cobbled street, revellers sang songs, ate couscous with fish, and drank fig brandy and beer in a sunny courtyard strung with red Tunisian flags.

The event marking the Lag BaOmer feast, which honours the second-century Jewish mystic Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, was clearly a point of Tunisian pride.

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The event had been cancelled in 2011 amid the tumult of the Tunisian revolution that ousted dictator Zine el Abidine Ben Ali, a protector of the country’s Jewish population.

It was restored under the country’s current government, which prizes the community as a symbol of stability. But three major terrorist attacks since the beginning of 2015, along with an infiltration by the extremist group Islamic State just an hour’s drive south of Djerba, raised security concerns and harmed tourism.

Participants and observers at this year’s event appeared unfazed, however.

On the first day of the pilgrimage, Abdelfattah Mourou, deputy speaker of parliament and vice president of the moderate Islamic Ennahda party, embraced Tunisia’s chief rabbi and Djerba resident, Haim Bittan, outside the Ghriba synagogue.

“Tunisia protects its Jews,” Mourou said. “What leads to radicalism is having only one culture. Having many cultures allows us to accept one another.” (BBG DIRECT)

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Conquer The Problems Of Infertility By Visiting Reputed Fertility Clinic

Diagnostic tests are conducted with lot of precision and care

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Conquer The Problems Of Infertility By Visiting Reputed Fertility Clinic
Conquer The Problems Of Infertility By Visiting Reputed Fertility Clinic, Flickr

In these modern times women are now opting for higher education and are in constant pursuit of career objectives. As a result their decision to raise a family takes a backseat and there are chances that later on in life, fertility issues arise. However, at times even some medically fit couples can have issues regarding fertility. Their desire to get an offspring drives them to visit fertility clinics in metropolitan towns. But it is best visit reputed clinic which have a team of highly educated and tech savvy medical professionals. Fertility clinic in Chennai and Fertility clinic in Bangalore enjoy a very trustworthy reputation where child- less couples can get good guidance and latest treatments.

Fertility clinic in Chennai has gained significant recognition for its robust infrastructure and a team of skilled doctors. This clinic is equipped with innovative fertility technologies and is committed to deliver positive outcomes and.  In fact Fertility clinic in Bangalore also boast of an eminent group of fertility specialists, IVF doctors and experienced embryologists. They are known to provide a highly personalised and accurate fertility solutions to the couples Latest techniques and cutting edge technologies are employed by expert   medical professionals for treatments in these clinics.

Few diagnostic tests are conducted with lot of precision and care in order to establish the most appropriate and suitable treatment required by the patients

Pregnancy
Pregnancy, Pixabay

Generally the reasons for infertility can be categorised as;

  • Problems related to Hormone imbalance: these include  inability to produce eggs  as well as irregular menstruation cycle
  • Problems due to blocked fallopian tubes: This may be due to a history of tuberculosis
  • Problem due to Endometriosis: In this case the menstruation happens in the ovaries inside the body causing cysts and thus infertility.
  • Problems related to Males: These include low sperm counts, or reduced sperm motility or complete absence of sperm counts.
  • Inexplicable infertility: When no evident cause for the infertility can be diagnosed.

A multitude of treatments are offered in Fertility clinic in Chennai and Bangalore such as

  • Tubal evaluation,
  • Surgical sperm retrieval (SSR)
  • Embryo cryopreservation
  • In vitro fertilisation (IVF)
  • Intrauterine insemination (IUI) which is a simple technique  but beneficial for  many young couples with minor problems.
  • Pre-implantation  genetic diagnosis (PGD)
  • Intra cytoplasmic Sperm Injectivity ( ICSI)

Also read: Expert: Red Meat, Pork Improve Fertility

The treatments conducted in Fertility clinic in Chennai and fertility clinic in Bangalore enhance the success rates especially in women who have crossed the age of 35 or in women    who have previous history of miscarriages. These clinics has indeed helped multitude of couples to conceive and enjoy a family.  Various procedures are performed in a comfortable, congenial and hygienic atmosphere. The treatments being implemented in these clinics employ the most advanced and ground breaking technologies and best of laboratory facilities. The clinic’s innovative research and personalized care has set the benchmark for providing best fertility treatment in India.