One of these is a synagogue and one is a mosque a short walk away, actually, apart from the tower, they aren’t that different from the outside. Many of the old buildings in Tunisia are white and blue and little domed roofs including once not used for religious practice.
For me as a Christian, I’ve worked quite closely with Jewish people. After living in Israel, one of the reasons I wanted to visit this Tunisia, is I believe it is one of the last few mostly Muslims nations which still has a Jewish community left.
When I visited Morocco in 2015, I visited there to see a now deserted Jewish community, synagogues, cemeteries, and implements used with Jewish holidays in second-hand stores – but no Jews left. Tunisia had 100,000 Jews and Morocco had 260,000 in the 1950s, today there are around 1,000 Jews in Djerba and 500 in Tunis the capital.
With the synagogue behind me, these plant pots are there to prevent car-ramming attacks, something Israel has implemented quite a lot, and European cities have experienced car ramming by Islamic terrorists in recent years have had to plan also.
Visiting the synagogue requires going through a checkpoint due to a couple of tragic terror incidents in the past. This isn’t that much of an inconvenience, just putting bags through an x-ray machine and walking through a door frame metal detector.
Inside this place looks amazing and very different…
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