Earlier this week, thousands of Jewish pilgrims, including 300 Israelis, flocked to the island of Djerba for the annual Lag Ba’Omer pilgrimage to the ancient Al-Ghriba synagogue. It is customary for senior ministers to attend the event, but for the first time, Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed paid a visit. The Jewish Chronicle reports:
You might not expect the Prime Minister of an Arab country to attend a Jewish gathering during the fasting month of Ramadan.
Rene Trabelsi, Tunisia’s Jewish minister of Tourism
But then the festival of the Ghibra, celebrated by the historic Jewish community of Djerba off the southern coast of Tunisia over Lag Ba’Omer, is a unique event. Its unusual coincidence during Ramadan this year made it the ideal opportunity to highlight the country’s pledge of religious co-existence.
Tunisia’s Prime Minister Youssef Chahed hailed Djerba on Wednesday as a “worldwide symbol and example to be followed.”