A young poet’s journey on the island of Djerba
El Ghriba Synagogue, Djerba
Off the Tunisian coast, the small island of Djerba is home to a tight-knit community of Kohanic Jews. Only about 1,000 remain, living among a Muslim population of about 100,000. For centuries, the two communities coexisted peacefully, but relations began to become strained in the mid-twentieth century. They reached a low in 2002, when terrorists linked to Al-Qaeda blew up a gas truck near the community’s synagogue, known as the Ghriba, or the Stranger.
A year later, Nomi Stone, just out of college, went to Djerba in the hope of getting to know the people who call the island home.
She kept copious notes on the friends she made there, on their unique religious customs, and on their changing attitudes toward each other and her. She later turned those thoughts into poetry. Nomi Stone spoke with Nextbook about The Stranger’s Notebook, her new collection of poetry chronicling her stay on Djerba.
Photo: El Ghriba Synagogue, Djerba, Tunisia
by andycarvin / Andy Carvin; some rights reserved.
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180
WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.
I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at email@example.com. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.
We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.