Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World

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(303 words)

Zawiya lies on the Mediterranean coast 45 kilometers (28 miles) west of Tripoli, Libya. The town surrounds a Sufi compound (Ar. zāwiya) which became a commercial center for the region’s nomads.

When the ancient Jewish community in nearby Sorman was destroyed in 1150 by the Almohads, the survivors settled in Zawiya, protected by local tribes. The community grew in the seventeenth century, but relations with the Muslims deteriorated in the late eighteenth century. The town’s Jews were prevented from building a new synagogue to replace the one, which had collapsed. A century lat…

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Rachel Simon, “Zawiya”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 08 December 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1878-9781_ejiw_SIM_0022570>
First published online: 2010

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