Researcher of the Week

Amir Mazor, PhD

The Department of Israel Studies

The University of Haifa


“I am a historian of the medieval Middle East and the Jewish people under Islam. My postdoctoral project deals with how medieval Muslims perceived the image and the writings of Maimonides (Moses ben Maimon, 1138-1204). There are numerous studies on Maimonides’ attitude to Islam and the influence of Muslim philosophers and theological movements on his thought. However, there is no comprehensive study that discusses Muslim views of and attitudes towards Maimonides.

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A ‘Geniza Street View’: On Jewish Neighborhoods and Inter-Religious Neighborliness

by Moshe Yagur

My current project examines spatial realities of Jewish life in the medieval Islamic cities of the eastern Mediterranean, mostly Egypt and greater-Syria, from the late 10th to the late 15th centuries. It is well known that Jews, Muslims, and Christians lived side by side in these cities, without a clear separation along religious lines. There was also no clear zoning of the medieval Mediterranean Islamic city to residential, commercial, industrial, and public zones. And so, Jews, Muslims and Christians lived, worked, and traded with each other in the same neighborhoods, alleys, and small courtyards, between mosques, synagogues, and churches. The aim of my current project is first to document this reality, which until today was seen as self-evident and has not received proper scholarly attention, and then to analyze these daily, individual interactions around residential areas as an arena for inter-religious encounters.

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