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(586 words)

Author(s): Todd Shepard
Known as Algeria’s gateway to the Sahara, Laghouat (Ar. al-Aghwāṭ), located 400 kilometers (249 miles) south of Algiers on the southern edge of the Atlas Mountains, had a Jewish presence from at least its late sixteenth-century founding into the 1960s. With both Sephardi and indigenous (possibly Berber) roots, its Jews, like other Laghouatis, spoke dialectical Arabic in addition to Judeo-Arabic and, later, French.The city’s modern history began in blood, with the December 4, 1852, French conquest, which annexed it to the département of Algiers. Jews participated actively in …