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Return to Casablanca : Jews, Muslims, and an Israeli Anthropologist (Paperback) (Andru00e9 Levy)
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Moroccan born Israeli anthropologist André Levy here presents a deeply nuanced and highly readable study of the relations between Moroccan Jews and Muslims past and present. Levy’s return to his birthplace in Casablanca proceeds through several interrelated settings. There is the first encounter of return, fraught with fear and uncertainty when, as an Israeli arriving with papers granted by a third nation to come back to a country that has both repelled him and encouraged his permanent return, he finds his worries multiplied by the events of the Gulf War. As if he were behind enemy lines he approaches everything with understandable trepidation only to discover directly what he had long known intellectually, that Morocco continues to relate to its Jewish population with all the features of its historic ambivalence and ambiguity on full display. As he moves through the different contexts and domains of his return he addresses these factors in ways both personal and analytic. As the book progresses the reader is introduced to a variety of other contexts of the Moroccan Jewish experience. From the card players and beach etiquette, to the shared use of public baths and the visits by Muslims to Jewish ritual events the reader catches the sense of old patterns now approached with great wariness by a population that is much diminished both in size and in the daily experience of the dominant Muslim population. Moroccan Voyage is an exceptional read and should be ideal for use in a variety of courses in anthropology, Jewish studies, and Middle East studies.