Ile de Jerba Off The Beaten Path

  • The Hospital in Djerba-reception
    The Hospital in Djerba-reception
    by adema29
  • In front of the Hospital in Djerba
    In front of the Hospital in Djerba
    by adema29
  • Me with Ali Berbere and a Tunisian girl we met.
    Me with Ali Berbere and a Tunisian girl...
    by Kid-A

Most Recent Off The Beaten Path in Ile de Jerba

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    Medicine in Djerba

    by adema29 Updated Jan 9, 2012
    The Hospital in Djerba-reception
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    I'he been not so lucky to be sick one day in Djerba.
    It was 100% because of the tap water. I have got a plastic botle from the fridge but I am sure that it was tapwater inside as I haven't checked if the bottle was sealed... more details on "traps".
    I've been then to the hospital where I was, unexpectedly surprised by the nurses and medics. And more than this the hospital was clean and civilised.
    A nice lady-medic gave me the pils and a lot of well intended advices for the future.

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    In Guellala: Ali Berbere

    by Kid-A Written Jan 7, 2008

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    The small compound of Ali Berbere
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    Ali Berbere is an old man who makes pottery and is happy to give you a history (in French) of pottery and the making of olive oil on Djerba. This history he explains of how they made olive oil in former times is especially interesting.

    He lives in Guellala, a village on the southern end of the island. The town is sort of famous for pottery, in that a lot of the pottery found on the island comes from this town. Ali Berbere is entertaining and accomodating. In the end, you're supposed to give him a Dinar or 2 for his time. You can also buy pottery from him, or help him make some pottery. The building he lives and works in was built in Roman times, he says.

    I'm not sure how to describe where he is located. If you want to find him, I imagine asking a local will get you there very quickly. He's well known in the area.

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    West Coast of Jerba

    by barryg23 Written Apr 23, 2006

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    The West coast of Jerba is one of the quietest parts of the island. In contrast to the developments on the East coast, there are no tourist hotels, no great beaches and not too much to see on the West side. If peace and solitude are what you crave, then it could be the ideal place to visit.

    There are 2 sights along the coast road which may be of interest to Star Wars fans. About 3km north from Ajim is an old abandoned mosque which was used as Obi Wan Kenobi's home in the original Star Wars movie. A further 8km up the road is another mosque which was also used in the same movie.

    On our last day in Jerba we planned to drive down the coast road to Ajim before taking the ferry to the mainland. I'm not a huge Star Wars fan anymore though I did like it when I was younger, and I thought it would be quite interesting to see the mosques.

    The coast road, however, is more of a dirt track than a road, and we were reluctant to risk our rental car on such a bad road. So we had to return to Houmt Souk and take the main road to Ajim.

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    Borj Jillig

    by barryg23 Updated Apr 23, 2006

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    Borj Jillig

    Borj Jillig was the first place of interest we saw after renting a car at Jerba airport. We actually took the wrong road from the airport and ended up out on the coast. The road circled around to Houmt Souk along the North of the island so it wasn't too much of a diversion.

    Borj Jillig is a lighthouse out on the West coast, constructed on the site of an earlier fort. There's not much to see out here and it's not really worth visiting unless you're in the area.

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    Benediction for President Habib Bourguiba

    by JLBG Updated Mar 9, 2005

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    In daily life, Djerbian Jews speak Arab and French but the rituals are done both in Hebrew and in Aramean. If you enlarge this picture, you will read a benediction for the former President Habib Bourguiba, now dead. On the left, it is in French and on the right in Arab.

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    Votive plates

    by JLBG Updated Mar 9, 2005

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    Other Jewish tribes arrived later. They converted local Berbers (later some of them converted to Islam) and settled in "Hara Kebira", the Big Jewish District, in the neighborhood of Houmt Souk where more than 800 of them still live. They used to have various jobs but now they are all goldsmith. This photo shows various votive plates.

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    The Synagogue

    by JLBG Updated Mar 9, 2005

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    On the left, the Synagogue itself is standing with its vaulted entrance. In Djerba is living the oldest Jewish community of the Maghreb (Northern Africa). The oral traditions says that when the first temple of Jerusalem was destroyed under king Nabuchodonosor, in 565 BC, the servants of the Temple, the "Cohanim" (plural of Cohen) escaped from the slaughter and sailed to Djerba with a door from the Temple that they buried where they built the first Ghriba. In the following centuries, Jews from other tribes settled in Djerba too.

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    Running water ? No, walking water !

    by JLBG Written Mar 8, 2005

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    This woman carries on her back a terracotta ware jar to fetch water from a village tap or a village well. This picture was taken a few years ago. Now, there are more taps and plastic jars are used instead of terracotta ware jars as they are much lighter to carry !

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    Woman in tradirionnal clothing with a young boy

    by JLBG Written Mar 8, 2005

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    On this picture, the woman with a young boy wears a black Djellabah with a red stripe at the bottom (you must enlarge the photo to view it). It is the same that the woman on the previous picture wears. Though I am not sure, they might belong to the Jewish community.

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    Man and a woman in traditional clothing

    by JLBG Written Mar 8, 2005

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    This picture was taken in the neighborhood of the Ghriba. It shows a man and a woman in traditional clothing. The traditional clothing is almost the same all over the island but the color of the fabric, the number, size and color of the stripes allow to identify to which village or community each individual belongs.

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    A holy place

    by JLBG Written Mar 8, 2005

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    For Sepharadic Jews, the Ghriba is a holy place, the holiest of all the Maghreb. Each year, the pilgrimage gathers thousands of pilgrims coming not only from the whole Tunisia but also from France, Israël and USA, the three countries where Tunisian Jews have mostly emigrated.

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    Blue, white and brown earthenware tiles

    by JLBG Written Mar 8, 2005

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    As you may have already seen on previous photos, the inside of the Ghriba is beautifully decorated with earthenware tiles. The colors are mainly blues but they use also much brown. If you enlarge this picture and the next one, you will see that the design is always geometric but that each area hold a different design of tiles.

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    What does that mean ?

    by JLBG Written Mar 8, 2005

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    On this picture, a text in Hebraic fonts is written on both side of a door. I would like to give the meaning of this text but I am unable to read it ! Is there anybody that might give me this meaning ? Thanks in advance !

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    A side aisle

    by JLBG Written Mar 8, 2005

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    The two Jewish communities do not mix. Jews from Hara Kebira are wealthier than those from Hara Sghira and consider themselves as more religious. They come to the Ghriba only for the pilgrimage and otherwise, attend small synagogues close to their home.

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    Inside the Ghriba Synagogue

    by JLBG Written Mar 8, 2005

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    The offspring of the Cohanim live in "Hara Sghira", the Small Jewish District, which is a part of the village of Er Riadh. There are about fifty families remaining, that have not emigrated to Israël in the 50s. Most of them work in the Ghriba.

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