Chapter 5 Learning the Language of the Other? Hebrew and Arabic in Two Parisian Associations

In: Jews and Muslims in Europe
Author: Samia Hathroubi

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This paper analyses interactions between Jews and Muslims in Paris through a case-study of two Parisian not for profit organizations: Centre Culturel Dalâla and Parler en Paix. The aim of both organizations is to teach Hebrew and Arabic language to students of all levels. Based on fieldwork carried out within these organizations and through participant observation of their classes and cultural activities, I investigate the interpersonal relationships they create between Jews and Muslims on the one hand, and within each group on the other. Using a comparative approach, the paper discusses Jewish-Muslim relations, an often overlooked field within interreligious studies. It proposes an investigation through three perspectives: the generational, the memorial and post-colonial, and finally the transnational into which the Muslim-Jewish relationship in France is embedded allowing us to go beyond both irenic or binary visions of the relationship between Jews and Muslims in France, leaving behind a vision marked by an often tragic present.