Cover of In the Shadow of the Wall by Vincent Lemire, Translated by Jane Kuntz
In the Shadow of the Wall
The Life and Death of Jerusalem's Maghrebi Quarter, 1187–1967
Vincent Lemire, Translated by Jane Kuntz


April 2023
352 pages.
from $30.00

Hardcover ISBN: 9781503615397
Paperback ISBN: 9781503634206



The Maghrebi Quarter of Jerusalem long sat in the shadow of the Western Wall, the last vestige of the Second Temple. Three days after the June '67 War, Israeli forces razed the Quarter, its narrow alleys widened and homes removed, to create the Western Wall Plaza. With this book, Vincent Lemire offers the first history of the Maghrebi Quarter—spanning 800 years from its founding by Saladin in 1187 to house North African Muslim pilgrims through to its destruction.

To bring this vanished district back to life, Lemire gathers its now-scattered documentation in the archives of Muslim pious foundations in Jerusalem and the Red Cross in Geneva, in Ottoman archives in Istanbul and Israeli state archives. He engages testimonies of former residents and looks to recent archaeological digs that have resurfaced household objects buried during the destruction. Today, the Western Wall Plaza extends over the former Maghrebi Quarter. It is one of the most identifiable places in the world—yet one of the most occluded in history. In the Shadow of the Wall offers a new point of entry to understand this consequential place.

About the author

Vincent Lemire is professor of contemporary history at Gustave Eiffel University and director of both the Open Jerusalem European Research Council project and the French Research Center in Jerusalem (CRFJ). He is a coauthor of Jerusalem: History of a Global City (2022) and author of Jerusalem 1900: The Holy City in the Age of Possibilities (2017).