Moroccan Judaism: A Lecture & Documentary Screening by Yona Abeddour

Moroccan Judaism: A Lecture & Documentary Screening by Yona Abeddour 

Wednesday, November 1 @ 6:30 in ROOM 30 of the ALC/ALIF

Youness (Yona) Abeddour, born in Fez, has been working to promote a better understanding of the pluralistic identity of Morocco. He holds a master’s degree in Cultural Studies, completing a thesis on “The Representation of Moroccan Jews in Moroccan Cinema.” He researches the history of Moroccan Judaism and makes documentary films. Today he lives between Israel and France, where he’s doing a Ph.D. in anthropology at Ben Gurion University and the University of Lyon on the topic of Moroccan Jewish Identities in contemporary France and Israel.

“A Culture in Danger” (2011)

What was once a key part of Moroccan culture and society is now on the way to being forgotten. There is much confusion and even resentment caused by the massive Jewish immigration to Israel and many people now confuse terms such as Judaism and Zionism. This confusion and lack of information has caused many people to forget or to even look negatively on a people who were once their neighbors and a culture that is even now intricately a part of their own. This film seeks to resolve the confusion and to educate people about this history of a culture which cannot be separated from Moroccan culture as a whole.

“My Neighbor…the Jew”

“My Neighbor…the Jew” highlights Muslim-Jewish relations in Morocco. Muslims in Morocco talk about their Jewish neighbors in a very nostalgic manner, and Jews remember Muslims as good neighbors and friends. The Jewish interviewees are strongly attached to their roots and history in Morocco, which they are not willing to give up. The title accentuates the concept of “neighbor,” which echoes the message of the documentary. The neighbor in both Islam and Judaism, as well as in the Moroccan culture, is almost hallowed. The Hebrew Bible says “Love thy neighbor as thyself” (Leviticus 19:18). There is a Hadith narrated by the Prophet of Islam that states “The best neighbor in Allah’s estimation is the one who is best to his neighbor” (Al-Tirmidhi, Number 1287), and the famous Moroccan proverb “Choose your neighbor before your house.”

This lecture, organized by the ALC-ALIF Cultural Heritage Club, is free and open to the general public.

ALC-ALIF Book Club: “The Handmaid’s Tale”

ALC-ALIF Book Club: “The Handmaid’s Tale”
Friday, Oct. 27 at 2 PM in Room 1

Are you a fan of the TV series, “The Handmaid’s Tale”? Whether you’ve seen it or not, join this week’s ALC-ALIF Book Club, as we read the book that the series is based on, written by Margaret Atwood. Through the discussion, we will explore themes of women in subjugation to misogyny in a patriarchal society and the various means by which women can gain individualism and independence. It will be an exciting conversation and everyone is welcome to join us.

ALC Drama Club: Tales from Muslim Heritage

ALC Drama Club: “Tales from Muslim Heritage”
Featuring Eleanor Martin and the Khayaal Theatre Company 
Tuesday, October 24 at 6:30 PM
ALIF Riad, 6 Derb Drissi, Batha, Fes Medina 

Our rich collection of tales from the length and breadth of the Muslim world will make you laugh, cry and soar on the wings of your imagination. Come join us for an inspiring shared experience of eloquence, creativity and beauty in performance by an acclaimed international artist.

Eleanor Martin, a professional actress and stage director with mainstream TV and film credits, has performed as a storyteller for the past 15 years. She employs a dramatic and physical multi-character role-playing performance style that has been described by audiences as mesmerising and imaginatively and spiritually nourishing and inspiring. She specialises in telling stories from Muslim heritage with a contemporary twist.

Khayaal Theatre Company, founded 1997, is an award-winning theatre company dedicated to the dramatic exploration of Muslim literature and the experience of Muslims in the modern world for the stage, film, radio and education. Over the past 20 years, we have reached audiences of all ages, cultures, ethnicities and faiths numbering in the tens of thousands, both nationally and internationally.

This performance is free and open to the general public.

ALC-ALIF Book Club: Honour

ALC-ALIF Book Club: Honour by Elif Shafak
Friday, October 20 at 4 PM in Room 1


This week’s Book Club discussion will be about the book, “Honour,” by Elif Shafak. The novel addresses the issue of honor killings of women in Turkish culture. According to the Guardian, “The author is an extremely popular novelist in Turkey, particularly loved by young, educated and newly independent women who appreciate her fusion of feminism and Sufism, her disarmingly quirky characters and the artful twists and turns of her epic romances.”