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Borders, Mobilities and Migrations

Perspectives from the Mediterranean, 19–21st Century

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Edited By Lisa Anteby-Yemini, Virginie Baby-Collin and Sylvie Mazzella

This book explores changes in the social, economic and political processes underpinning the mechanisms for the management of human mobility and cohabitation in the Mediterranean region, while suggesting comparisons with the situation in the Americas.
It considers the public policies that introduce such mechanisms at state, region or city level, and also explores the way that populations adapt to, breach or find ways of working around these systems.
The volume also attempts to evaluate the extent to which the reactions of the populations concerned can influence such systems. Relying on a historical perspective and covering a broad period of time from the nineteenth to the twenty-first century, this book questions the increasing influence of processes born out of globalization upon present readjustments of mobility and territorial configurations.
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Algerian Jews. How to Make the Return Journey? (Karima Dirèche)

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← 250 | 251 → Algerian Jews

How to Make the Return Journey?

Karima DIRÈCHE

If we want to talk of, in today’s Algeria, the methods, stakes and impact of a ‘return home’ by Algerian Jews who left the country after Independence in 1962 or during the 1960s, requires us to question what we should call this population. Categorizing them is a problem because it is linked to different types of belongingness that are used by those involved in returns and to the construction of multi-faceted identities. Since the early 2000s, these ‘returns’ usually take the form of short-term visits and organized journeys (usually arranged by French or French-Algerian associations, though sometimes by tour operators) and, as such, are linked to the difficult colonial and post-colonial history before and after the War of Independence which left several groups caught in social categories as a result of unspoken assumptions, historical confusions and rejection, on both sides.

The vast majority of Algerian Jews left when Algeria became independent, at the same time as the Pieds noirs.1 Images of the exodus during the summer of 1962 remain ever-present in the public memory: crowded docks in the large port cities or packed departure lounges at Algiers Airport. This context of hurried departures, filled with fear, panic, a feeling of being uprooted, carried with it a series of multiple confusions, misunderstandings, ambiguities and emotions which gave rise, in the years that followed, to a problematic relationship (a combination of...

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