Carnet de recherche: Ahlem Hajaji

January 14, 2024: My chapter on the governance and election system within Tunisian Jewish Communities was published Amer (Abdel Qader) El Kayyali (Abdul Hameed) Lafi (Nora) (eds.)تأملات حول المشاركة السياسية في المنطقة العربية مطلع القرن العشرين [Reflections on Political Participation in the Arab World at the Beginning of the 20th c.], Amman, Alaan Publishers, 2024, 224p.

On September 15, 2023, publication of Hajaji (Ahlem) and El Ouerghemmi (Nadia), “Zwischen Geschichte und Erinnerung: Jüdinnen und Juden in der Tunesischen Linken”, in Altieri (R.), Hüttner (B.) and Weis (F.) (eds.), Die Arbeiter*innen-Bewegung als Emanzipationsraum Jüdinnen und Juden in der internationalen Linken (vol.3), Berlin, Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, 2023, p.41-47.

On December 14, 15 and 16, 2022: I participated in a book presentation in a doctoral symposium entitled “Sources and approaches to History and Heritage organized by : The Heritage Laboratory (University of Manouba) and The LERIC Laboratory (University of Sfax) in partnership with The Academic Cooperation Office of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation.

December 11, 2022: I was invited by the German Embassy in Tunisia to participate in a joint ceremony with a number of people of the civil society and with academic institutions, to commemorate the German occupation of the French colonial Tunisia and the mass arrestations of Tunisian Jews on December 9, 1942.

The discussion took place in the presence of both former Minister of Tourism Rene Trabelsi (his appointment in 2018 as a Jewish minister was a first time since 1957) and the Rabbi of La Goulette and Daniel Cohen. Among the guests: a large number of Tunisian Jews and many ambassadors of friendly countries.

December 08, 2022: I participated in a Study day on the “Plural memory of the city of Ariana”. It was organized by the Heritage Laboratory (Manouba University).

4 – 5 August 2023: My participation in the historical intellectual symposium, which was organized in the city of Ain Draham in the state of Jendouba, on the multiple memories of the Jendouba region and the northwest, under the supervision of my professor and the former dean of the Faculty of Arts, Arts and Humanities, Manouba, Dr. Habib Al-kazdaghli.

On September 26-28 2022: Thanks to the HISDEMAB programme of research based at the Leibniz Zentrum Moderner Orient Berlin, I had the opportunity to organize an international workshop in Tunisia entitled: “Historical Approaches to the Democratic Experience in Tunisia” in partnership with the Heritage Laboratory (Manouba University).

The workshop gathered several researchers from Germany and from several countries of Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. We discussed issues on the local democratic practices in the region and we also explored their historical roots from various perspectives. The presented papers ranged from ibadi deliberative councils, internal democratic dynamics within the Tunisian Jewish and Berber communities, the Ottoman diwan in Algiers, the municipalities of Sfax and Souk el-Arbaa, elective practices under colonialism and post-independence, consensus mechanisms, constitutional reform projects, the public sphere and Jordanian places of deliberation like coffe houses and salon-culture, among many more. We all visited later on the Tunisian National Library Manuscript Collection and the Tunisian National Archive through which we received a rare glimpse not only into the inner working places of these institutions but also their splendid source collections.

From May to September 2022: I spent 3 months in Berlin. It was a very rich experience. It was an enjoyable period. I learned a lot thanks to the HISDEMAB programme of research. I visited many archive centers and this helped to understand more the question of archive. I learned a lot too on how the ZMO works and exchange with students and reasearchers. I finally returned to my beloved homeland, Tunisia.

September 20-24, 2022: I organised with my active colleague Robin Schmahl, a panel discussion at the Insaniyyat  2022 Conference intitled: “Institutions in Crises: Reflections on Possible Democratic Practices and Organizations” where I also gave a talk based on my PhD thesis.

I also attended several other panels. I also gave a talk on my research in the panel discussion organized by Dr. Nora Lafi, here a picture of her presenting her own research in our arabic panel:

September 12-17, 2022: I participated at the DOT 2022 Deutsche Orientalisten Tage held in Berlin. Our Hisdemab team was present with two amazing panels, and I was lucky enough to be able to give a talk in one of them. My presentation was titled “Elections of the Jewish community in Tunisia in 1921“. Beside the panels the DOT offered ample opportunities to exchange ideas, research topics, and discuss issues pertaining the sources and theory.

June 17 – 20, 2022: I participated in another of HISDEMAB’s international workshop dedicated to “Approaches to Political Participation in the 20th century” at IFPO in Amman, Jordan. The title of my talk was “Elections in the deliberative bodies of the Jewish community in Tunisia during the colonial period

And I was lucky because I participated also at the collective discussion with a presentation on “The notions of historicity and historicisme in the Maghreb”. Beside the academic programme of the workshop, our group also had the opportunity to explore Amman and the surrounding area enjoying beautiful cities, great food, and historical places. A big shukran to all involved of HISDEMAB and IFPO for organizing this amazing workshop.

The Hisdemab team visiting Irbid.

April 2022: I organized a visit for a team consistuated by Dr. Nora Lafi and a number of people from the Rosa organization to Beit Mordekhai Synagogue of La Goulette. The synagogue Beit Mordekhai de La Goulette is also named ‘Synagogue Bessis’ ou ‘Synagogue de l’Hôpital’. It is in Tunis La Goulette in the street named Rue Khaznadar in the Banlieue de Tunis. Probably offered by Isaac Bessis to the local jewish community in the 1910s, it was designed by the Italian architect Benoît Barsotti, which combines sculpted motifs with classic or orientalist elements. Modern in style, the synagogue looks like the other houses of the same street. Access to the synagogue is made through a passage, open in the centre of a symmetrical façade but now separated from the street, and then through a door surmounted by the Tablets of the Law. Inside, the square-shaped worship hall is centred around four pillars that supported an ancient upper part with a women’s tribune. Before the renovation-work in the 1980s it was removed and a portico in front of the Holy Ark (Hekhal)was added.
It was rebuilt in 1995 after its roof collapsed a year earlier. Many thanks to M. Daniel Cohen (תודה רבה מר דניאל כהן)!

January 25, 2022: – I participated in an international workshop entitled “Reflections on the History of Democracy: Libya in the Long Durée” with a paper entitled: “Local Representation of the Libyan Jewish Community in Tunisia.”

مذكرة مرسلة من عرش الفزازنة الى الباي لطلب تعيين شيخ عليهم

المصدر:الأرشيف الوطني التونسي

March 6, 2022: During my stay in France, I participated in the organisation of a symposium of the Association du Patrimoine Culturel Juif Tunisien on “The Musical Heritage of Tunisian Jews” at Maison de Tunisie in Paris where I also took a picture with the historian Prof. Lucette Valensi.

From January 15 to March 15, 2022:  I have been doing several weeks of archival research in France in the Diplomatic Archive at La Courneuve – Paris, and at the Bibliothèque de l’Alliance -Paris.

I also conducted a number of interviews with Jews of tunisian origins. It was a fantastic opportunity to discover their memory of Tunisia their country and their experiences of a living homelands, their new life and their relationships with memories.

On July 5, 2022, we visited, together with members of the HISDEMAB research team, following our workshop on Archives and in the framework of our scholarly discussions on archives, democracy and memory, the Stasi Records Archives in Berlin.

May 23-24, 2022: I participated in the international workshop The Historicity of Democracy in the Arab and Muslim worlds at Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient Berlin, where I presented my draft-chapter on “Elections within the deliberative bodies of the Jewish community in Tunis during the colonial period“.

May 23-24, 2022: I participated in the international workshop The Historicity of Democracy in the Arab and Muslim worlds at Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient Berlin, where I presented my draft-chapter on “Political and Administrative Decision-Making Processes Under Colonization: The National Governance Experiment During the British Mandate Over Iraq 1920-1932“.

May 19, 2021: I will participate in the conference ‘Minorities in the Maghreb’ with a paper on ‘Minority Rights in the Tunisian Constitution after the 2011 Revolution’ ( حقوق الأقليات في دستور تونس بعد ثورات الربيع العربي)

تتطرق هذه الورقة  الى موضوع الاعتراف الدستوري بحقوق الأقليات في الدولة التونسية التي باشرت عمليات الانتقال الديمقراطي، وذلك من خلال دراسة مقارنة  بين النصوص الدستورية  الجديدة في بعض بلدان الربيع العربي،و كيفية ادارة المسألة الدستورية فيها، وأيضا موضوع الحماية القانونية والدستورية المخصصة للأقليات، خاصة أن أغلب دول الربيع العربي تصر على إنكار التنوع العرقي والديني واللغوي .كما ستحاول الدراسة الإجابة عن تساؤل يتعلق بمدى نجاح الدساتير الجديدة في تعزيز الحقوق الفردية والجماعية لهذه الأقليات وحمايتها ،و قدرتها على تأسيس مشاركة سياسية حقيقية لإنجاح عملية الانتقال الديمقراطي

December 29, 2021: First preparatory meeting of the September 2021 HISDEMAB workshop in Tunis and Hammamet

Faten Bouchrara and Ahlem Hajaji (HISDEMAB Tunis). صور من أول جلسة اجتماع workshop.

November 2021: I have been doing resarch in the National Archives of Tunisia for various weeks, concentrating on the issue of elections and voting processes withing confessional communities during the colonial era.

October 7-9, 2021:  I participated, together with Pr. Habib Kazdaghli and other members of the research team, in the city of Gabes in the seminar “Steps in the history and memory of the left in Gabes and Sfax”. It is a joint initiative of the Department of History at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities in Sfax and of Civil and cultural Associations, as well as of trade unions, in cooperation with my research laboratory on Heritage at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of Manouba University with the support of the Office of Academic Cooperation of the Rosa Luxembourg Foundation, as part of the celebrations of the centenary of the communist activity in Tunisia.

محطات في تاريخ وذاكرة اليسار بكل من قابس وصفاقس محور ندوة فكرية التأمت أيام 7 و 8 و 09 اكتوبر 2021

مثل موضوع “محطات في تاريخ وذاكرة اليسار ،محور ندوة فكرية انتظمت أيام 7 و 8 و9 أكتوبر ، في كل من مدينة قابس و صفاقس، ببادرة من قسم التاريخ بكلية الآداب والعلوم الإنسانية بصفاقس وجمعيات مدنية ونقابية وثقافية بالتعاون مع مخبر التراث بكلية الآداب والفنون والإنسانية بمنوبة ودعم من مكتب التعاون الأكاديمي لمؤسسة روزا لوكسمبورغ، في إطار إحياء مئوية انطلاق النشاط الشيوعي بالبلاد التونسية ( 1921 – 2021)

و اجمع المشاركون في هذه الندوة على انه بعد مائة سنة من انطلاق النشاط الشيوعي بالبلاد التونسية، بات من الضروري تجميع المخزون والتاريخ الشفوي للفكر الشيوعي في تونس وتأسيس منصة ونواة للذاكرة الجماعية توثق لهذا الفكر في تونس باعتباره رؤية خاصة للعالم تنتصر للموضوعية وفق منظريه منذ تأسيسها ومنظومة فلسفية تتفرع إلى عديد المستويات التحليلية، وذلك من اجل تجميع شتات الفكر الشيوعي في تونس وتقريب وجهات النظر وربط الصلة بين الأجيال

وأوضح مدير مخبر التراث بكلية الآداب والفنون والإنسانيات بجامعة منوبة، الدكتور الحبيب القزدغلي، في تصريح لوكالة تونس أفريقيا للانباء “ان النشاط الشيوعي في تونس منذ نشأته كان دائما منفتحا وقد أثرى تجارب رواده في الحراك الاجتماعي النضالي في تونس ، وخاصة منه تأثير الفكر الشيوعي على الاتحاد العام التونسي للشغل” مشيرا إلى أن الرهان من وراء الاحتفاء بمئوية النشاط الشيوعي بالبلاد التونسية الذي انطلق منذ شهر مارس الماضي بمختلف جهات الجمهورية هو جمع الشتات من خلال الاستماع إلى شهادات رواده ومناضليه في مختلف الجهات والوقوف عند الماضي واستخلاص العبر وتوحيد خطط النضال في المستقبل

من ناحيتها أكدت مسؤولة مكتب التعاون الأكاديمي لمؤسسة روزا لوكسمبورغ بتونس، نادية ورغمي، انه فضلا عن بعث منصة لتوثيق الفكر اليساري التونسي التي من المنتظر أن تنطلق سنة 2022، من الضروري انفتاح جميع مكونات الفكر اليساري بتونس على بعضها البعض من أجل الاستفادة والتخلي عن الفكر النخبوي لرواده والاشتغال على التعبئة الجماهيرية واستقطاب الشباب

وشكّلت الندوة الفكرية مناسبة تم خلالها تقديم عديد الكتب مثل كتاب “تراجم نشطاء الحركة الشيوعية في تونس زمن الاستعمار الفرنسي وبدايات عهد الاستقلال ” للكاتب، حبيب رمضان، والاستماع إلى شهادات لعدد من مناضلي جهة قابس و صفاقس من ذوي الخط


June 19-20, 2021: I participated in this conference, organized by the Laboratoire du Patrimoine at Université de la Manouba, on culinary heritage with a paper on “the similarities and differences between Muslim and Jewish culinary arts in Tunisia”

شاركت اليوم في مائدة مستديرة بمناسبة مهرجان ميو في دورته ، تحت عنوان :” التراث الغذائي ” ،نظمه مخبر التراث بكلية الاداب والفنون والانسانيات بمنوبة

كانت مداخلتي بعنوان : التشابه والتمايز بين المسلمين واليهود في بعض  الأكلات التونسية

June 17-18, 2021: I interviewed, as part of my research for HISDEMAB, teachers in religious education at the Jewish School in Tunis on the themes of elections within the Jewish community and the role of women in such processes.

February 8, 2021: I presented today my research on “The local deliberative bodies of the  Jewish community in Tunis from the colonial period to the ‘Arab Spring’” within the Hisdemab internal seminar.

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