Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World

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(1,226 words)

Sfax (Ar. Safāqus) is an important port city on the Gulf of Gabès on the east-central coast of Tunisia. It is situated in the wide Tunisian central plain and is subject to influences both from the modern north and the more traditional south. Sfax was built in 849 on the ruins of the Roman cities of Taparura and Thaenae. Its economic basis lies in olive trees and olive oil, maritime industries (fish, sea sponges, shipbuilding, fishing nets), textiles, and phosphate and sulfur mining in nearby Gafsa.

The origins of the Jewish community of Sfax are unknown. Cairo Geniza documents attest to a J…

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Haim Saadoun, “Sfax”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 27 September 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1878-9781_ejiw_COM_0019730>
First published online: 2010

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