Africa

New Gaza boat struggles to sail from Libya

By Jennifer Lipman, November 11, 2010

Pro-Palestinian activists hoping to breach the naval blockade of Gaza have run into trouble off the coast of Libya.

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Honeymooners join Kenyan charity cycle

November 4, 2010

Norwood's money-spinning Kenyan bike ride was very much a family affair.

Some £400,000 was raised by the 120 cyclists, who included four husbands and wives, four fathers and sons, supporters from Brazil and America and users of Norwood services.

Ariella and Jeremie Dreyfuss, who married last year, used the 400 kilometre ride as a delayed honeymoon.

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Why the star of David is rising across Africa

By Simon Rocker, October 28, 2010

Timbuktu: the name is so steeped in mystique that many people think it is an imaginary rather than a real place. Historically, the city in the republic of Mali has been a centre of Islamic civilisation in Africa. It is also home to an emerging Jewish community.

According to local lore, some of the Jewish traders who crossed the Sahara centuries ago settled there but their descendants were forcibly converted to Islam. Now a new generation wants to return to their roots and openly identify as Jews. They have taken the Hebrew name Zakhor, "remember".

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Dinner with Gaddafi: a refugee goes home

By Jennifer Lipman, September 6, 2010

A man whose family fled Libya in 1967 amid anti-Jewish violence has returned to his home city and had dinner with Colonel Gaddafi.

Raphael Luzon was 13 when, in the aftermath of Israel’s Six day War, the then 4,000-strong Libyan Jewish population was forced out of the north African country.

Several members of his family, including six cousins, were killed before they could escape.

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Homecoming for Libyan Jews after 33 years

By Jennifer Lipman, September 2, 2010

Two Italian Jews are to return to their homes in Libya for the first time in more than 30 years.

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Eggsellent news in Uganda

By Simon Rocker, September 2, 2010

You may recall our recent report on the Putti Jews of Uganda and Ros Eisen, the London woman aiding them. Happily, the egg-farming venture she set up has taken off. "We started with 50 chickens, three weeks later we are up to 500," Ros said. "They've had to convert an empty building planned as a library into an additional henhouse."

After seven months their laying days will be over and a date with the soup pot beckoning.

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Euro hopes for Israel ahead of Malta clash

By Simon Griver, August 26, 2010

Manager Luis Fernandez has reiterated his belief that Israel can reach the Euro 2012 finals, ahead of their Group F qualifying opener against Malta next week.

Thursday's match at Ramat Gan will be followed by a tricky fixture in Georgia on September 7. Croatia, Greece and Latvia complete the group.

Fernandez said: "There is no reason why this team should not reach the finals in Poland and Ukraine. We have a strong squad that would have been good enough to go beyond the group stage had they reached the World Cup finals in South Africa."

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Menorahs in the mist: Uganda's lost Jews

By Simon Rocker, August 19, 2010

When Ros Eisen planned a trip to see the rare mountain gorillas of Uganda, little did she know that it would turn into a one-woman aid mission to one of the world's most remote Jewish communities.

The Jews of Putti village set up on their own a few years ago because the Abayudaya community of eastern Uganda was not Orthodox enough.

Ms Eisen, a retired businesswoman from Belsize Park, north-west London, wanted to spend a few extra days in Uganda at the end of her safari. "I starting fiddling on Google and found the Putti Jews - I knew absolutely nothing about them," she said.

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Jeneration mercy mission

August 19, 2010

Volunteers from Jeneration, the pluralist initiative for students and young adults, spent a fortnight in Kenya helping out at a primary school for disadvantaged children and an orphanage.

The group - from London, Essex, Manchester, Nottingham and Sheffield - decorated two derelict classrooms at the school and taught a variety of subjects. At the orphange, they cooked, cleaned and taught English, science and maths.

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Arab who sang at synagogue has gig cancelled

By Jennifer Lipman, August 10, 2010

A Tunisian pop star has pulled out of a concert after a video emerged of him performing at a synagogue.

Saleem Bakkoush was set to sing at the annual Carthage festival but had his appearance cancelled after the footage surfaced.

Mr Bakkoush said the show at Tunisia’s oldest synagogue in Djerba was several years ago and accused “rivals” of trying to damage his reputation.

Judaism is believed to be Tunisia’s third largest religion, with a population of 1,500 Jews living mainly in Tunis and Djerba.

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