Monday, May 08, 2006

A Circle

I was talking to Liza, the visitor coordinator here. I went in to ask about some museums that aren't in the guidebook. I began to tell her about some of my past travels, and she began to tell me about her family.

Liza is originally from Algeria. Her family left in 1961, Algerian independence. Someone in her family became interested in geneology and discovered that in the middle ages, their ancestors lived in the Jewish community in the town of Lunel in the south of France, near Montpellier. This was a famous community known as "The Sages of Lunel."

When the Jews were expelled from French territory in the 13th-14th century, the family moved to Cadiz (now in Spain). Liza's maiden name meant "from Cadiz." Jews were expelled from Spain in the 15th century, so the family moved to Morocco. Later they moved to Algiers.

In 1961, the Jews were driven out of Algeria. The family moved to France. Once again they lived in Lunel -- a circle.

Liza herself has lived in Algiers, Paris, Lunel/Monpellier, New Jersey, and Israel.

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