Echoes of Jewish Morocco by Joshua Shamsi
Jewish life has been part of the Moroccan landscape for over two millennia. The sites that once comprised Jewish communities are found everywhere from metropolitan city centers to Atlas mountain towns and adobe villages at the edge of the Sahara.
These disparate locations speak to the diversity of the Moroccan Jewish experience. While communities have disbanded, many of the landmarks remain and memories of their inhabitants linger. As time passes, however, the physical remnants of Jewish history are at risk of disappearing.
The Diarna Geo-Museum endeavors to virtually preserve and make accessible Jewish sites like these throughout North Africa and the Middle East. In addition to documenting physical traces, Diarna’s mission is to preserve the bearers of memories connected to these places. To that end, included here are portraits of Jews still living in Morocco and the Muslim friends, former neighbors and current caretakers who enlighten our understanding of the people who once resided in these communities. Diarna has documented over 100 sites as part of its digital exhibit, D’Fina: Jewish Treasures of Morocco. The photographs in this exhibit are a small selection of the wide array of locales visited for Diarna.