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Tunisia Works to Preserve its Jewish Heritage

Tunisia is struggling to protect North Africa's Jewish heritage, threatened by vandalism, looting, and the smuggling of valuable artifacts bearing witness to the long history of the region's Jews.

While many of Tunisia's own synagogues and Jewish graveyards lie neglected, the country has also become a conduit for antiques pillaged in lawless neighboring Libya.

"A huge number of antiques have been looted in Libya, and people are trying to smuggle them to Europe," said Habib Kazdaghli, a historian at Tunisia's Manouba University.

Kazdaghli is campaigning for the creation of a museum of the country's Jewish heritage -- a sensitive subject given public opposition to Israel.

Jews have lived in North Africa for over 2,000 years, a community strengthened by multiple waves of immigration, notably an influx of refugees expelled from Spain at the end of the 15th century and the arrival of Italian Jews in the 17th. (INN / VFI News)

“God, we ask that you continue to protect and support Jews throughout the world.”