The center of a vibrant Jewish pilgrimage each spring, La Ghriba Synagogue, one of the oldest in the world, was the venue on May 11, 2009 of the "Lag B'Omer", the only Jewish pilgrimage in an Arab country.
Located on the island of Djerba South of Tunisia, one of the world's major tourist destinations, and the home of a Jewish community of some 1100 people, the synagogue was also the scene this year of joyful celebrations by many pilgrims from all over the world.
According to Mr Perez Trabelsi the president of the la Ghriba Synagogue and of the Jewish community of Erriadh in Djerba, some 6000 Jews attended the event this year.
During a ceremony attended by the Governor of Medenine and the Chief Rabbi of Tunis, the Tunisian Minister of tourism, Mr Khelil Laajimi stressed the importance of the event as "the triumph of love over destructive instincts".
He also expressed his conviction that "the members of the Tunisian Jewish community living in Tunisia are and will be deeply attached to this land to which they are bound by a relation of fidelity."
The Minister also highlighted the spirit of tolerance and openness prevailing in the country, a result of Tunisia's millenary history, but also of a strong political commitment since the Change to promote a dialogue of civilizations and religions, as testified by the setting up since 2001 of the Ben Ali Chair for the Dialogue of Civilizations and Religions.
Global Arab Network