Diarna (“Our Homes” in Judeo Arabic)

Beirut natives Batia and Moise Shems describe their experiences at the girlsand boys sections of the Alliance Israelite Universelle school, in Beirut, which was leveled by a 1950 terror bomb that killed the school’s principal and janitor. Happier memories are of school life in a bygone era in the tense but bustling Jewish quarter of Wadi Abu Jamil. Their video is part of a trove of multimedia that combine to lend a virtual presence and access to Jewish historical sites, lest they be forgotten or erased. Fran Malino, author of Teaching Freedom: Jewish Sisters in Muslim Lands 1889-1939, is a founder of Diarna, The Geo-Museum of North African and Middle Eastern Jewish Life. diarna.org

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