Djerba (alternately: Jerba, Jarbah, Gerba, Girba), surrounded by the Gulf of Gab\u00e8s to the west and the open Mediterranean Sea to the east, has an incredibly rich multicultural, religiously diverse history stemming from ancient times. Greek sources (Polybius and Strabo) identified Djerba (ancient Meninx<\/em>) as the mysterious \u201cland of the lotus-eaters\u201d associated with the sleep-inducing lotus fruit narcotic from Homer's epic poem Odyssey <\/em>(8th century BCE). Greek, Israelite, Punic, Roman, Amazigh (Berber), Arab (Ibadi Muslim), Spanish, Ottoman, and French historical influences have interchangeably shaped the uniqueness of Djerba, the largest island in North Africa (ca. 27 km long by 26 km wide).<\/p>\n"}