Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World

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(1,288 words)

The Mzab is a vast region of some 8,000 square kilometers (3,089 square miles) in the northern Sahara desert, located in the Ghardaia province of Algeria, approximately 500 kilometers (311 miles) south of Algiers. It is a stony plain cut by deep winding valleys. There are five major cities situated along a 72-kilometer (45-mile) stretch in the Mzab Valley: El Atteuf, Bou Noura, Beni Isguen, Melika, and the largest settlement, Ghardaia. For centuries, the Mzab Valley was one of the most important oases along the trans-Saharan trade route. The region was historically populated by…

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Adam Guerin, “Mzab”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 28 October 2021
First published online: 2010

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