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The Dr. Hagar Hillel Jewish Press in Arab Lands

The Dr. Hagar Hillel Jewish Press in Arab Lands


This section includes written media published in Jewish communities in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq. The original language of these communities was Jewish Arabic, and the Muslim majorities in these countries, and at times a minority of the Jews, identified themselves during the 20th century with the Arab nationalist movement. But the history of these Jewish communities evinces a strong tendency toward the colonialist-Western cultures and later toward modern Hebrew culture as well. This cultural and political history is reflected in the development of the press.

The Jewish press in these countries (whose political identity underwent many upheavals during the 19th and 20th centuries) was born in the last quarter of the 19th century. Most of the newspapers were published in European languages -- primarily French, due to its status as the longstanding lingua franca of the region and because of France's control over the majority of North Africa. The cultural and political influence of Jewish nationalism contributed another alphabet, and some bulletins and periodicals were published in Hebrew. Only a few newspapers were published in Modern Arabic.

This section is dedicated to the memory of the late Dr. Hagar Hillel, a pioneer in the research of Jewish journalism in the Arab world.