Djerba, Tunisia trip – 1. Plans

10 years ago I finished doing an IT work in the Portsmouth and Southampton areas of UK where I am from, to go and volunteer in Jerusalem Israel helping a Christian charity helping Jewish people.

Since then, I like to go on small trips to different places, but particularly with places of religious significance, as well as lots of parts of Israel where I lived between 2009-2013, I’ve seen amazing Christian places in Turkey, and Jewish places in the diaspora in Europe, and more exotic places like Fez Morocco.

So I am excited to be going to Tunisia in November 2019.

Djerba is where I am going to.   Its an island connected to the west coast of this North African nation.

I really want to find out about:-

  • The small remaining active Jewish community which was this island is most famous for.   Possibly the very last thriving Jewish community in a Islamic country.
  • Star Wars filming locations, Luke’s village in the original 1977 New Hope is not far from here in a village called Matmata
  • How the tourism industry operates since threats of terrorism and recent collapse of British tour operator Thomas Cook
  • Food
  • Is their Christians there in the past or today
  • Landscapes especially The Sahara Desert
  • What do Muslim and Jewish people think of Star Wars

I thought this place would be extremely close culturally to Morocco, but from the research I’m doing, they are quite different, although both are French and Arabic speak Muslim nations.

IMG_20190928_104741694They are not many recent travel books.   This Rough Guides I found on ebay is from 2001, doesn’t appear to be a more recent one, and seems to have come from a library.

1. Plans – 2. French Connection – 3. My hotel in Djerba – 4. El Griba synagogue outside – 5. El Griba synagogue inside – 6. Markets – 7. Christianity in Tunisia – 8. Ferry to mainland Tunisia – 9. Getting to Matmata, Tunisia – 10. Sidi Idris Hotel New Hope Star Wars filmset – 11. Secrets I learnt about the famous Matmata Star Wars set – 12. Cave homes for would-be Jedis – 13. More what you don’t see in Star Wars at Hotel Sidi Idris – 14. How hospitable is Sidi Idris? – 15. ATM machines and drought – 16. Matmata Nouvelle (New Matmata) – 17. Tunisian butchers and fisherman – 18. Libyan and Algerian neighbours – 19. Jewellery businesses in Djerba – 20. Tunisia and Israel relations – 21. Hara Kebira, Jewish school, soap and TV repair shops – 22. Jewish community of Hara Kebira – 23. Going home