Trailer ✓ Memories of Absence: How Muslims Remember Jews in Morocco PDF by ✓ Aomar Boum

Trailer ✓ Memories of Absence: How Muslims Remember Jews in Morocco PDF by ✓ Aomar Boum Published in 2013, Aomar Boum s book Memories of Absence How Muslims Remember Jews in Morocco, chronicles the generational differences of how Jews are viewed in Morocco By presenting his work in a chronological fashion, starting with the opinions of the oldest generation and ending with the opinions of the youngest generation, Boum attempts to explore the changing opinions and explain how these different views developed Published by Stanford University Press, Boum compiled ten years of ethnographic and archival research about southern Moroccan families into this succinct work, highlighting some aspects of Moroccan history in order to better understand the results of his interviews While Boum sets out many goals for his work, and achieves many of them, his writing often proved difficult for me, a junior English major, to understand In his introduction, Boum nicely and considerately explains how his book will be laid out He explains that he will recount interviews he conducted with southern Moroccans about their views and opinions of Jews in Morocco Not only does it appear that he will try to explain why Jews are not always viewed as indigenous to Morocco, but also he will show the relationship between Jews and Morocco, Jews and other indigenous Moroccans, Jews and Israel, and how Moroccans view the relationship between Jews and Israel By moving in chronological order, from oldest generation to youngest, Boum will take the reader through the changing opinions and explain how the modern day opinions of Moroccans about Jews developed because of the historical context He brings about many interesting historical facts and data that give a good background to his work, trying to give every kind of reader an equal opportunity at understanding such a complicated issue However, while his background did help give some sort of context for his work, Boum did not provide enough information for the average college student without any knowledge of the issue to truly benefit from his historical summaries For example, Boum begins talking about the Zionist movement without first explaining it only after my teacher explained that term to me did I understand what point Boum was trying to make Boum also goes through and explains his own background This was crucial for me to understand how his studies were set up As he set up his studies, he blatantly explains that he will choose not to interview women While this shocked me at first, because I believe that women can have different and valuable opinions from their husbands, I understood that Boum was making that decision based on his own cultural heritage However, this does make me think that the title is misleading He should have titled it Memories of Absence How Male Muslims Remember Jews in Morocco, so readers knew what to truly expect from the work Boum s explanation of his own heritage also helped rationalize some of his statements later in the work Moving past the crucial introduction, Boum s first chapter, Writing the Periphery Colonial Narratives of Moroccan Jewish Hinterlands, presents some questions at the opening of his first chapter to indicate what he will try to answer with that chapter Personally, that aspect helped me as a reader expect what was to come and realize what aspects in the chapter were important However, Boum then discusses Pierre van Paassen as a kind of introduction for the chapter Perhaps this section did not make sense to me because I have no history with anthropology or Morocco, but these few paragraphs seemed to have little to do with anything else in the chapter or book Boum then continues on with a history of Morocco, which may have been interesting for other readers, but went entirely over my head However, other anthropologists probably would have benefited from such an explanation Likewise, I somewhat enjoyed his history of the city of Akka, but was overwhelmed with the amount of details While the historical details were too intense for me to understand, Boum also includes a basic Moroccan proverb A market without Jews is like bread without salt , which helped me as an average reader understand his main point Likewise, he told a story about Aby Serour which was also helpful to prove his ideas for a general audience His second chapter, Outside the Mellah Market, Law, and Muslim Jewish Encounters, presents case studies This chapter gives anthropological data and statistics, but also uses quotes and reflection to help prove Boum s points and opinions This chapter seems to be written specifically for his peers, other anthropologists and scholars, rather than students learning generally about Morocco However, the last paragraph of the chapter gave a brief and much needed synopsis of the major points Only after reading that paragraph and getting extensive explanation from my professor was I able to scrape the surface of what Boum was trying to explain and get a hint of understanding In the next chapter, Inside the Mellah Education and the Creation of a Saharan Jewish Center, Boum looked toward the difference between Jew and Muslim education, Boum regained my interest at first However, Boum once again presented the material in a confusing manner for a general audience to read I gathered that the schools were different for each religion, as Boum talks about the AIU without giving much background explanation on what that university actually was This chapter, like the previous one, was confusing and I only understood Boum s points after extensive explanation from my teacher I think that Boum should have talked about the history of the AIU and how long those schools were present in Morocco Likewise, it would have been helpful if he had elaborated on the impact of those schools Chapter four, Little Jerusalems Without Jews Muslim Memories of Jewish Anxieties and Emigration, begins with the narrative of a former soldier of the French Foreign Legion, Abbas Afterwards, Boum presents his goals for the chapter As someone with no background in Moroccan or Jewish history, I wish Boum had presented these two ideas in the opposite order, so I knew what I should be getting about of Abbas story Boum does an excellent job of splitting up this complicated and details chapter into subheadings for each of his main points His structure made it slightly easier for me as a total outsider to this topic to understand Likewise, he generally provides a summary sentence at the end of each section This chapter required extensive knowledge of the history of the Middle East and knowledge of this time period in general, which I did not have, but his subheadings and conclusions sentences helped me as a reader to understand Continuing on to chapter five, Shadow Citizens Jews in Independent Morocco, Boum brings up the notion of ayn mika, or the plastic eye He does an amazing job of explaining what exactly this term means before he uses it in context Boum then chronicles some problems with independence, which was both informational and interesting However, again in this chapter Boum assumes that readers know about the Cold War history than a general college student might know His discussion of the newspapers was interesting, as he chronicled the change to anti Jewish opinions Likewise, I truly enjoyed Boum s comparison of two different Jewish museums, which highlights the two differing opinions of Jews in Morocco Boum s final chapter, Between Hearsay, Jokes, and the Internet Youth Debate Jewish Morocco, explores the feelings of modern day Muslins in Morocco about Jews This final paragraph was by far the most interesting and straightforward for me However, it was also the most disturbing because of the views that Boum reports Muslims feel toward Jews Finally in this chapter I understood the whole point of the book, and the reason for all Boum s emphasis on the historical background of Morocco However, while I finally realized why he was including so much historical detail, I think that many college students would benefit from having their teachers explain the history of Morocco and then simply reading this chapter Overall, Boum s book provided a great insight into the history of Morocco and gave a detailed analysis of the changing opinions of Muslims toward Jews Boum accomplished his goal of chronicling the changing opinions of Muslims toward Jews generationally and also gives historical context for the opinions After careful analysis, this book seems to be aimed at other anthropologists, or at least people with an in depth understanding of the history of Morocco, Jewish history, and the history of the Cold War Era However, the last chapter was the most important, in my opinion, and could be read without first reading any of the other chapters I think that other college professors and students would benefit from this book, but only if the teacher summarized the chapter for the students before the students read that chapter Boum s presentation of his data and chronological order of the book make it suitable for many different audiences, as long as each audience is provided some substantial background into the history of Morocco.
There are few books an undergraduate student may actually read, enjoy, and apply into their life simultaneously Aomar Boum through his work Memories of Absence How Muslims Remember Jews in Morocco was able to incorporate all of these elements As a nursing major, I find it difficult to find relevance in other courses that doesn t apply to my major Boum shows the importance of generational differences, anti Semitism as a result of the Palestine Israel conflict, and even the power of social media that one can not only apply in their other courses but also into their life Overall, Aomar Boum was successful in achieving his objective, making his subject relevant to outside his purpose, and making this applicable to his audience Aomar Boum clearly outlines the goal of his work to answer the questions about the perceptions and both negative and positive attitudes of Muslim generations of the Jewish community Boum, 9 Boum divided each of his 80 Muslim respondents into generational sects great grandparents, grandparents, parents, and young adults His thought process was thorough and outlined specific political events throughout the Moroccan s history that would influence the opinions of Jews Throughout his work he included the direct quotes from his subjects regardless of their negative or positive connotation In the beginning chapters, Boum shows the older generations co existing and actually missing the presence of the Jewish community In Chapter 1, Ali his tour guide expressed his sadness that the Jews left because the economic stability left with them Because the Jews could not own land, they were forced to become merchants When the Jews emigrated from Morocco, the market of merchants emigrated also As described in Chapter 2, When Jews left Akka, it was like a company of one thousand workers that went bankrupt Boum, 28 Unfortunately, the older generation s nostalgic memories of the Jewish community were not similar to the younger generations In one specific case in Chapter 4, his subjects fought over the perception of Jews The grandfather, because he was exposed to his Jewish neighbors, believed there is nothing wrong with Jews because he spent than half of my life around them Boum, 99 The young adult on the other hand believed that Jews are untrustworthy as a result of his devotion to his Palestine allies Boum, 98 Boum also touches upon the uneasy subjects such as the Muslim perception on the Holocaust In Chapter 6, when Boum asks a young adult about his opinion of the Holocaust, the young man denied the number of Jews affected He also believed that Jews over exaggerated their suffering for the attention and monetary reward Aomar Boum perfectly achieved his goal by honestly exposing the uplifting and the disturbing perceptions of Jews through each generational cohort Although Aomar Boum represents the different generations and their perceptions on Jews, one important population seems to be left out women Boum explains in the introduction that he excluded interviewing women because their opinions would be altered based on the opinion of the male who is in charge the household Decided, this is a legitimate reason for excluding women from being interviewed, but I believe that the women s opinion of the Jewish population would have been a substantial finding Because the book repeatedly references to the Jews compared to women as a result of their inferiority, the women s opinion of Jews would have been important to analyze In Chapter 6, Boum stated a popular saying that read The Jew and the woman are alike they are cowards and they do not show respect Boum, 136 One could question if Jews are compared to women, would women view them as their equal Noting back to the women s suffrage in America, the protesting women were especially racists towards African Americans because women wanted their rights to be addressed first This would have been interesting to see if the racism in Moroccan women is also heightened Regardless, Boum should have include the How Muslims Men remember Jews in Morocco in his title rather than How Muslims remember Jews in Morocco This title change would have been upfront about the Boum s subject matter Aomar Boum s objective, regardless of the inclusion of the opinion of women, was clearly elaborated throughout the book Despite being a book geared towards an anthropology class of Morocco, I found this matter very relevant to outside of this course This book addresses the issue of generational differences As a nursing major, I encounter generational differences throughout my other nursing courses Different generations have different learning styles, different opinions on medicine, and even different political views Boum makes the generational difference very apparent throughout his book with the divide between Muslim Moroccans who previously lived amongst Jews verse those who did not Boum notes Younger generations are reproducing new Moroccan ideas about Jews by importing external religious and political thought and adapting it to the social, cultural, and historical realities of Morocco society This was very relevant for any reader to see how specifically a population is so heavily influenced by political and religious events Specifically in Chapter 6, it was also interesting to see the power of social media Boum credits social media to help both rural and urban Moroccan youth go beyond the limited media traditionally regulated by the state and political parties to express themselves freely about the Israeli policies toward Palestinians Boum, 134 The youth are now able to express their opinions and gather information about the Jewish community without even encountering a Jew Hatred was established by a simple click on the internet As an undergraduate, I believe it is important to address this situation because of how many college students are on social media With this point, Boum shows his well rounded thoughts and ideas on why Muslim Moroccans have their perceptions of Jews Boum also addresses the effect of the Palestine Israel conflict This event precipitated most of the negative feelings towards Jews Blindly coming into a North African classroom, my knowledge of this conflict was embarrassingly small This book is relevant to show the readers how much this conflict affects other countries besides the United States perception on the conflict Overall, Boum has great relevance to almost every college student s life regardless of their major Despite Aomar Boum having great relevance to outside the classroom, I found some of his material difficult to follow as a student with no prior knowledge to Moroccan history Before reading the first five chapters of the book, I suggest a history lesson of the political and religious events in Morocco Although this book is very relevant to undergraduate students, a lot of the material can be over the readers head if he or she has no prior information on the subject I knew very little about the independence of Morocco and how this specifically affected the Moroccan citizens I knew little about the Zionist movement let alone what a Zionist was It was hard to get through the first five chapters without a google page up Boum would have been effective with undergraduate college students if he included a political background before it was addressed I found a lot of Boum s material irrelevant in the first few chapters simply because I could not understand the material Reading a book for a class should be than understanding the minimum information for an assignment a book should be applicable for the course as well as outside the classroom Boum was successful in achieving his goal by showing his audience the Muslim perceptions of the Jews based on their generational sect Boum was also able to achieve relevance outside the specific aim Boum addressed the issues generational differences, social media, and the Palestine Israel conflict These outside issues made this book applicable to readers outside of a Moroccan anthropology class Overall, Aomar Boum receives the highest praise from his book Memories of Absence How Muslims Remember Jews in Morocco.
Excellent There Is A Moroccan Saying A Market Without Jews Is Like Bread Without Salt Once A Thriving Community, By The Late S Jews Had Emigrated From Morocco Today, Fewer Than , Jews Remain Despite A Centuries Long Presence, The Jewish Narrative In Moroccan History Has Largely Been Suppressed Through National Historical Amnesia, Jewish Absence, And A Growing Dismay Over The Palestinian Conflict Memories Of Absence Investigates How Four Successive Generations Remember The Lost Jewish Community Moroccan Attitudes Toward The Jewish Population Have Changed Over The Decades, And A New Debate Has Emerged At The Center Of The Moroccan Nation Where Does The Jew Fit In The Context Of An Arab And Islamic Monarchy Can Jews Simultaneously Be Moroccans And Zionists Drawing On Oral Testimony And Stories, On Rumor And Humor, Aomar Boum Examines The Strong Shift In Opinion And Attitude Over The Generations And Increasingly Anti Semitic Beliefs In Younger People, Whose Only Exposure To Jews Has Been Through International Media And National Memory