Article published by Cambridge University Press, January 2020
Author: Sami Samuel Everett
This article is an investigation of ethno-commercial exchanges and interactions between Jews and Muslims of North African heritage that takes account of their cross-cultural antecedents and continuities. The ethnographic focus is a telecommunications company called M-Switch located in the Parisian neighborhood of le Sentier, the trajectory of which is part of a broader cultural and economic shift observable in the neighborhood from industry to new technologies. This particular company is a privileged site for witnessing how people work with and across religious differences between Maghrebi Jews and Muslims in France. The ethnography looks at how contemporary, non-nostalgic reconceptualizations of the past are utilized to negotiate an ethnically plural and potentially convivial present. Relationships within the company have a Maghrebi center made up of shared cultural memories, economic interdependency, and changing gender and class relations. More specifically, relationships between Jews and Muslims at M-Switch are often defined by a desire to re-appropriate and adapt a Maghrebi world. This project is complicated by French and geopolitical representations of ethno-religious conflict.