Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World

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(406 words)

Béja (Ar. Bāja) is a town in the north of Tunisia about 97 kilometers (60 miles) west of Tunis in the fertile Medjerda Valley.  In ancient times, it was the site of a Roman colony called Vaga, and was the central wheat-growing region and breadbasket of Tunisia; hence its appellation throughout the medieval period was Bājat al-Qamḥ (Ar. Béja of Grain).  In the modern period, the French built a new residential quarter for French settlers who worked on large farms in the area.

            Jews likely first came to the town in the seventeenth century, mostly from Algeria. One of the newcomers w…

Cite this page
Haim Saadoun, “Béja”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 29 January 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1878-9781_ejiw_SIM_0003430>
First published online: 2010

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