Between Ṣanʿāʾ and Baġdād, Jews in Arab-Muslim Cities: Integration and Separation in Urban Life
During his EUME fellowship Anzi will undertake a comparative study of the Jews in Ṣanʿāʾ and Baġdād and their roles and places within these cities. Anzi will examine questions of relations between Jews, Muslims and Christians from the perspective of the Jewish minorities and with respect to spatial structures, urban divisions and solidarities and, in this way, contributing to the understanding of the “Islamic city”. His study will be divided into several sub-topics: spatial separation between different religious groups, demographic shifts and immigration to the urban spaces, the relations to the hinterland and the networks across the Indian Ocean. It will be a follow-up of his doctoral thesis in which he argued that segregated neighborhoods provided the Jews of Ṣanʿāʾ with both separate spaces of existence and a basis for their involvement in urban life of the city as a whole. Jews and Muslims in Ṣanʿāʾ felt in many respects that they were sharing a common urban space, a space that distinguished them from Jewish and Muslim village and tribes people, from whom they felt different. This shared sense of urban belonging contributed to forms of solidarity among the Jews and Muslims.