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Arab American Heritage Month
Arab American Heritage Month celebrates the culture and contributions of Arab Americans to the United States. In celebration, these resources focus on the history and culture of Arab Americans as well as the history and culture of people from countries in the Arab world, in recognition that it is this history and culture which helps to contribute to Arab Americans’ unique blend of experiences.
"This month, we recognize National Arab American Heritage Month and honor the contributions of this diverse community to America. Immigrants with origins from the Arab world have been arriving to the United States since before our country’s independence and have contributed to our nation’s advancements in science, business, technology, foreign policy, and national security" (U.S. Department of State, 2022).
U.S. Department of State. (2022, April 1). Recognizing National Arab American Heritage Month [Press statement]. https://www.state.gov/recognizing-national-arab-american-heritage-month/
Arab American Heritage Links
General Arab History & Culture
The Arabs of the Ottoman Empire, 1516-1918 by The Ottomans ruled much of the Arab World for four centuries. Bruce Masters's work surveys this period, emphasizing the cultural and social changes that occurred against the backdrop of the political realities that Arabs experienced as subjects of the Ottoman sultans. The persistence of Ottoman rule over a vast area for several centuries required that some Arabs collaborate in the imperial enterprise. Masters highlights the role of two social classes that made the empire successful: the Sunni Muslim religious scholars, the ulama, and the urban notables, the acyan. Both groups identified with the Ottoman sultanate and were its firmest backers, although for different reasons. The ulama legitimated the Ottoman state as a righteous Muslim sultanate, while the acyan emerged as the dominant political and economic class in most Arab cities due to their connections to the regime. Together, the two helped to maintain the empire.
Publication Date: 2013-04-29
The Arab World by This wide-ranging examination of Arab society and culture offers a unique opportunity to know the Arab world from an Arab point of view. Halim Barakat, an expatriate Syrian who is both scholar and novelist, emphasizes the dynamic changes and diverse patterns that have characterized the Middle East since the mid-nineteenth century. The Arab world is not one shaped by Islam, nor one simply explained by reference to the sectarian conflicts of a "mosaic" society. Instead, Barakat reveals a society that is highly complex, with many and various contending polarities. It is a society in a state of becoming and change, one whose social contradictions are at the root of the struggle to transcend dehumanizing conditions. Arguing from a perspective that is both radical and critical, Barakat is committed to the improvement of human conditions in the Arab world.
Publication Date: 1993-10-14
Destiny Disrupted by We in the west share a common narrative of world history. But our story largely omits a whole civilization whose citizens shared an entirely different narrative for a thousand years. In Destiny Disrupted , Tamim Ansary tells the rich story of world history as the Islamic world saw it, from the time of Mohammed to the fall of the Ottoman Empire and beyond. He clarifies why our civilizations grew up oblivious to each other, what happened when they intersected, and how the Islamic world was affected by its slow recognition that Europe,a place it long perceived as primitive and disorganized,had somehow hijacked destiny.
Publication Date: 2010-04-27
Encyclopedia of the History of Arabic Science by The Arabic contribution is fundamental to the history of science, mathematics and technology, but until now no single publication has offered an up-to-date synthesis of knowledge in this area. In three fully-illustrated volumes the Encyclopedia of the History of Arabic Science documents the history and philosophy of Arabic science from the earliest times to the present day. The set as a whole covers seven centuries. Thirty chapters, written by an international team of specialists from Europe, America, the Middle East and Russia cover such areas as astronomy, mathematics, music, engineering, nautical science and scientific institutions.
Publication Date: 1996-05-09
Europe Through Arab Eyes, 1578-1727 by Traveling to archives in Tunisia, Morocco, France, and England, with visits to Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Spain, Nabil Matar assembles a rare history of Europe's rise to power as seen through the eyes of those who were later subjugated by it. Many historians of the Middle East believe Arabs and Muslims had no interest in Europe during this period of Western discovery and empire, but in fact these groups were very much engaged with the naval and industrial development, politics, and trade of European Christendom. Beginning in 1578 with a major Moroccan victory over a Portuguese invading army, Matar surveys this early modern period, in which Europeans and Arabs often shared common political, commercial, and military goals. Matar concentrates on how Muslim captives, ransomers, traders, envoys, travelers, and rulers pursued those goals while transmitting to the nonprint cultures of North Africa their knowledge of the peoples and societies of Spain, France, Britain, Holland, Italy, and Malta. From the first non-European description of Queen Elizabeth I to early accounts of Florence and Pisa in Arabic, from Tunisian descriptions of the Morisco expulsion in 1609 to the letters of a Moroccan Armenian ambassador in London, the translations of the book's second half draw on the popular and elite sources that were available to Arabs in the early modern period. Letters from male and female captives in Europe, chronicles of European naval attacks and the taqayid (newspaper) reports on Muslim resistance, and descriptions of opera and quinine appear here in English for the first time. Matar notes that the Arabs of the Maghrib and the Mashriq were eager to engage Christendom, despite wars and rivalries, and hoped to establish routes of trade and alliances through treaties and royal marriages. However, the rise of an intolerant and exclusionary Christianity and the explosion of European military technology brought these advances to an end. In conclusion, Matar details the decline of Arab-Islamic power and the rise of Britain and France.
Publication Date: 2008-11-12
The Great Caliphs by In this accessibly written history, Amira K. Bennison contradicts the common assumption that Islam somehow interrupted the smooth flow of Western civilization from its Graeco-Roman origins to its more recent European and American manifestations. Instead, she places Islamic civilization in the longer trajectory of Mediterranean civilizations and sees the ‘Abbasid Empire (750–1258 CE) as the inheritor and interpreter of Graeco-Roman traditions. At its zenith the ‘Abbasid caliphate stretched over the entire Middle East and part of North Africa, and influenced Islamic regimes as far west as Spain. Bennison’s examination of the politics, society, and culture of the ‘Abbasid period presents a picture of a society that nurtured many of the “civilized” values that Western civilization claims to represent, albeit in different premodern forms: from urban planning and international trade networks to religious pluralism and academic research. Bennison’s argument counters the common Western view of Muslim culture as alien and offers a new perspective on the relationship between Western and Islamic cultures.
Publication Date: 2009-09-22
The Origins of the Arab Israeli Wars by This highly-regarded history gives a balanced and judicious introduction to this immensely complex and controversial subject, weaving different strands of the story into a single coherent narrative, thus making it essential reading for all students studying conflict in the Middle East. Of all the troubles affecting the modern world few are as topical, deep rooted and intractable as the Arab-Israeli conflict. For this region, an understanding of the past is vital to an understanding of the present. Ritchie Ovendale's classic study of the roots of the conflict is now updated for a fourth time and considers events until 2003.
Publication Date: 2004-04-15
Social Media in the Arab World by Following the Arab Spring, the use of social media has become instrumental in organising activist movements and spreading political dissent in the Middle East. New online behaviours have transformed traditional communication channels, enabling young people of all backgrounds to feel politically empowered. But now that spring has turned to winter, what are the long-term implications of internet activism in the region? Social Media in the Arab World provides a unique insight into the role of online communications as a force for change in the Gulf States. Featuring examples as diverse as neo-patrimonial politics in Saudi Arabia and the ways an online presence affects the status of women in Kuwait, the chapters examine shifts in the political, social and religious identities of citizens as a result of increased digital activism. With contributions from a variety of inter-disciplinary experts, this wide-ranging study examines the consequences of changing power dynamics brought about by popular social media. In doing so, this book offers an original perspective on the long-term implications of internet usage in the Arab world and is essential reading for students and researchers working across the region.
Publication Date: 2016-04-21
Understanding Arabs by Now more than ever, Margaret Nydell's book Understanding Arabs is a must-read. The fifth edition of this classic introduction to Arab culture has been revised and updated to help readers understand the complex issues of today's world. Understanding Arabs: A Guide for Modern Times is a handbook accessible to everyone. Written by the esteemed academic Margaret Nydell, the book promotes understanding between modern-day Arabs and Westerners without pushing a political agenda.
Publication Date: 2012-01-01
Arab & Arab American Gender, Sexuality, and Feminism
Arab and Arab American Feminisms by Arab and Arab American feminists enlist their intimate experiences to challenge simplistic and assumptions about gender, sexuality, and commitments to feminism and justice-centred struggles. Contributors hail from multiple geographical sites, spiritualities, occupations, sexualities, class backgrounds, and generations. They employ a mix of genres to express feminist issues and highlight how Arab and Arab American feminist perspectives simultaneously inhabit multiple, overlapping, and intersecting spaces.
Publication Date: 2015-04-30
Culture, Class, and Work among Arab-American Women by Drawing on US Census data and a national poll of ethnic groups to situate Arab-American women in a broader immigrant context, Read (sociology, U. of California-Irvine) expands the demographic profile and understanding of a group often viewed stereotypically. In this study of cultural and class influences on workforce participation as correlates of
Publication Date: 2004-01-01
Desiring Arabs by Sexual desire has long played a key role in Western judgments about the value of Arab civilization. In the past, Westerners viewed the Arab world as licentious, and Western intolerance of sex led them to brand Arabs as decadent; but as Western society became more sexually open, the supposedly prudish Arabs soon became viewed as backward. Rather than focusing exclusively on how these views developed in the West, in Desiring Arabs Joseph A. Massad reveals the history of how Arabs represented their own sexual desires. To this aim, he assembles a massive and diverse compendium of Arabic writing from the nineteenth century to the present in order to chart the changes in Arab sexual attitudes and their links to Arab notions of cultural heritage and civilization. A work of impressive scope and erudition, Massad's chronicle of both the history and modern permutations of the debate over representations of sexual desires and practices in the Arab world is a crucial addition to our understanding of a frequently oversimplified and vilified culture. "A pioneering work on a very timely yet frustratingly neglected topic. . . . I know of no other study that can even begin to compare with the detail and scope of [this] work."--Khaled El-Rouayheb, Middle East Report "In Desiring Arabs, [Edward] Said's disciple Joseph A. Massad corroborates his mentor's thesis that orientalist writing was racist and dehumanizing. . . . [Massad] brilliantly goes on to trace the legacy of this racist, internalized, orientalist discourse up to the present."--Financial Times
Publication Date: 2007-06-15
Islam, Gender, and Social Change by For several decades, the Muslim world has experienced a religious resurgence. The reassertion of Islam in personal and political life has taken many forms, from greater attention to religious practice to the emergence of Islamic organizations, movements, and institutions. One of the most controversial and emotionally charged aspects of this revival has been its effect on women in Muslim societies. The essays collected in this book place this issue in its historical context and offer case studies of Muslim societies from North Africa to Southeast Asia. These fascinating studies shed light on the impact of the Islamic resurgence on gender issues in Iran, Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan, Oman, Bahrain, the Philippines, and Kuwait. Taken together, the essays reveal the wide variety that exists among Muslim societies and believers, and the complexity of the issues under consideration. They show that new things are happening for women across the Islamic world, and are in many cases being initiated by women themselves. The volume as a whole militates against the stereotype of Muslim women as repressed, passive, and without initiative, while acknowledging the very real obstacles to women's initiatives in most of these societies.
Publication Date: 1997-12-11
Male Domination, Female Revolt by This book investigates various forms of women's resistance to male domination, as represented in Kuwaiti women's fiction. Drawing on Marxist-feminist literary theory, it closely analyses selected texts (published between 1953 and 2000), which reflect the effects of patriarchal culture and tradition on race, class, and gender relations in Kuwait and the Arabian Gulf region in general. It argues that the selected texts portray the pre-oil generations of Kuwaiti/Arabian Gulf women-born before or in the first half of the twentieth century-as resistant and/or revolutionary figures, contrary to the common notion of their stereotypical passivity and submissiveness. This book demonstrates how Kuwaiti women writers have used literature to work for, and contribute to, social change.
Publication Date: 2009-07-31
Masculine Identity in the Fiction of the Arab East Since 1967 by This book offers an exploration of masculinity in the literature of the Arab East (Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Syria, and Iraq) in the context of a specific set of anxieties about gender roles and sexuality in Arab societies. While gender studies in the area have focused primarily on the situation of women, the treatment of Arab men as gendered subjects has fallen behind. Samira Aghacy's rich analysis presents gender relations not within a fixed biological mold, but rather as a complex phenomenon fraught with ambivalence and operating within particular historical and geopolitical settings. Through a series of close readings of twenty contemporary Arabic novels, Aghacy presents a mosaic of masculinities that challenges the generally held view of an essentialized archetypal Arab man and mirrors a contested vision of manliness where men figure in diverse sociocultural environments. This groundbreaking work reveals the volatile nature of masculinity and its inextricability from femininity.
Publication Date: 2009-12-30
Queer Beirut by Gender and sexual identity formation is an ongoing anthropological conversation in both Middle Eastern studies and urban studies, but the story of gay and lesbian identity in the Middle East is only just beginning to be told. Queer Beirut is the first ethnographic study of queer lives in the Arab Middle East. Drawing on anthropology, urban studies, gender studies, queer studies, and sociocultural theory, Sofian Merabet's compelling ethnography suggests a critical theory of gender and religious identity formations that will disrupt conventional anthropological premises about the contingent role that society and particular urban spaces have in facilitating the emergence of various subcultures within the city. From 1995 to 2014, Merabet made a series of ethnographic journeys to Lebanon, during which he interviewed numerous gay men in Beirut. Through their life stories, Merabet crafts moving ethnographic narratives and explores how Lebanese gays inhabit and perform their gender as they formulate their sense of identity. He also examines the notion of "queer space" in Beirut and the role that this city, its class and sectarian structure, its colonial history, and religion have played in these people's discovery and exploration of their sexualities. In using Beirut as a microcosm for the complexities of homosexual relationships in contemporary Lebanon, Queer Beirut provides a critical standpoint from which to deepen our understandings of gender rights and citizenship in the structuring of social inequality within the larger context of the Middle East.
Publication Date: 2014-10-15
A Spring Aborted by The Arab Spring uprisings were not about gender; these were uprisings demanding rights for all. Yet, they presented a rare opportunity for women to let themselves be heard. And, from being some of the most memorable and lasting leaders of these revolutionary protests, female activists were particularly targeted by many regimes. In A Spring Aborted: How Authoritarianism Violates Women's Rights in the Arab World, leadership expert Yusuf Sidani tracks the contributions of female activists, the reasons for the Arab Spring, and the abuse these leaders suffered. Including analysis of protests across Sudan, Egypt, Syria, Yemen, and Tunisia, Sidani looks at the aims of the protests, and the impact, evaluating whether the changes brought about were deep enough to disrupt governance structures. Finally, Sidani explores how the Arab Spring has been hijacked. From deep divisions among the allies who shaped the Arab Spring, to sheer force and brutality, Sidani analyses the causes of the Spring's disintegration.
Publication Date: 2019-10-09
Arab American History
Books from the library's collections:
Arab-American Faces and Voices by As Arab Americans seek to claim their communal identity and rightful place in American society at a time of heightened tension between the United States and the Middle East, an understanding look back at more than one hundred years of the Arab-American community is especially timely. In this book, Elizabeth Boosahda, a third-generation Arab American, draws on over two hundred personal interviews, as well as photographs and historical documents that are contemporaneous with the first generation of Arab Americans (Syrians, Lebanese, Palestinians), both Christians and Muslims, who immigrated to the Americas between 1880 and 1915, and their descendants. Boosahda focuses on the Arab-American community in Worcester, Massachusetts, a major northeastern center for Arab immigration, and Worcester's links to and similarities with Arab-American communities throughout North and South America. Using the voices of Arab immigrants and their families, she explores their entire experience, from emigration at the turn of the twentieth century to the present-day lives of their descendants. This rich documentation sheds light on many aspects of Arab-American life, including the Arab entrepreneurial motivation and success, family life, education, religious and community organizations, and the role of women in initiating immigration and the economic success they achieved.
Publication Date: 2010-01-01
Arab Americans in Michigan by The state of Michigan hosts one of the largest and most diverse Arab American populations in the United States. As the third largest ethnic population in the state, Arab Americans are an economically important and politically influential group. It also reflects the diversity of national origins, religions, education levels, socioeconomic levels, and degrees of acculturation. Despite their considerable presence, Arab Americans have always been a misunderstood ethnic population in Michigan, even before September 11, 2001 imposed a cloud of suspicion, fear, and uncertainty over their ethnic enclaves and the larger community. In Arab Americans in Michigan Rosina J. Hassoun outlines the origins, culture, religions, and values of a people whose influence has often exceeded their visibility in the state.
Publication Date: 2005-10-24
Arabs in America by For many North Americans, Arab Americans are invisible, recalled only when words like "terrorism" or "anti-American sentiments" arise. However, people of Arab descent have been contributing to U. S. an d Canadian culture since the 1870s in fields as diverse as literature, science, politics, medicine, and commerce -- witness surgeon Michael DeBakey, former Oregon governor Victor Atiyeh, consumer advocate Ralph Nader, and Canadian M.P. Mac Harb. Yet while Arab American contributions to our society are significant and Arab Americans surpass the U.S. average in both education and economics, they still struggle for recognition and acceptance. In this volume, editor Michael Suleiman brings together 21 prominent scholars from a wide range of perspectives -- including anthropology, economics, history, law, literature and culture, political science, and sociology -- to take a close look at the status of Arabs in North America. Topics range from the career of Arab American singer, dancer, and storyteller Wadeeha Atiyeh to a historical examination of Arab Americans and Zionism. The contributors discuss in Detroit, a group of well-educated Jordanian men, and the Shi'a Muslims -- to illustrate the range of Arab emigre experience. More broadly, they examine Arab American identity, political activism, and attempts by Arab immigrants to achieve respect and recognition in their new homes. They address both the present situation for Arab Americans and prospects for their future. Arabs in America will engage anyone interested in Arab American studies, ethnic studies, and American studies.
Publication Date: 1999-11-17
Becoming American? by Countless generations of Arabs and Muslims have called the United States "home." Yet while diversity and pluralism continue to define contemporary America, many Muslims are viewed by their neighbors as painful reminders of conflict and violence. In this concise volume, renowned historian Yvonne Haddad argues that American Muslim identity is as uniquely American it is for as any other race, nationality, or religion. Becoming American? first traces the history of Arab and Muslim immigration into Western society during the 19th and 20th centuries, revealing a two-fold disconnect between the cultures--America's unwillingness to accept these new communities at home and the activities of radical Islam abroad. Urging America to reconsider its tenets of religious pluralism, Haddad reveals that the public square has more than enough room to accommodate those values and ideals inherent in the moderate Islam flourishing throughout the country. In all, in remarkable, succinct fashion, Haddad prods readers to ask what it means to be truly American and paves the way forward for not only increased understanding but for forming a Muslim message that is capable of uplifting American society.
Publication Date: 2011-10-30
Between Arab and White by This multifaceted study of Syrian immigration to the United States places Syrians-- and Arabs more generally--at the center of discussions about race and racial formation from which they have long been marginalized. Between Arab and White focuses on the first wave of Arab immigration and settlement in the United States in the years before World War II, but also continues the story up to the present. It presents an original analysis of the ways in which people mainly from current day Lebanon and Syria--the largest group of Arabic-speaking immigrants before World War II--came to view themselves in racial terms and position themselves within racial hierarchies as part of a broader process of ethnic identity formation.
Publication Date: 2009-05-06
Arab American Literature
American Arabesque by Part of the American Literatures Initiative Series American Arabesque examines representations of Arabs, Islam and the Near East in nineteenth-century American culture, arguing that these representations play a significant role in the development of American national identity over the century, revealing largely unexplored exchanges between these two cultural traditions that will alter how we understand them today. Moving from the period of America's engagement in the Barbary Wars through the Holy Land travel mania in the years of Jacksonian expansion and into the writings of romantics such as Edgar Allen Poe, the book argues that not only were Arabs and Muslims prominently featured in nineteenth-century literature, but that the differences writers established between figures such as Moors, Bedouins, Turks and Orientals provide proof of the transnational scope of domestic racial politics. Drawing on both English and Arabic language sources, Berman contends that the fluidity and instability of the term Arab as it appears in captivity narratives, travel narratives, imaginative literature, and ethnic literature simultaneously instantiate and undermine definitions of the American nation and American citizenship.
Publication Date: 2012-06-11
Culture, Class, and Work among Arab-American Women by Drawing on US Census data and a national poll of ethnic groups to situate Arab-American women in a broader immigrant context, Read (sociology, U. of California-Irvine) expands the demographic profile and understanding of a group often viewed stereotypically. In this study of cultural and class influences on workforce participation as correlates of
Publication Date: 2004-01-01
Dinarzad's Children by This work reveals the complex and varied experiences of Arab American life. The first edition of ""Dinarzad's Children"" was a groundbreaking and popular anthology that brought to light the growing body of short fiction being written by Arab Americans. This expanded edition includes sixteen new stories - thirty in all - and new voices and is now organized into sections that invite readers to enter the stories from a variety of directions. Here are stories that reveal the initial adjustments of immigrants, the challenges of forming relationships, the political nuances of being Arab American, the vision directed towards homeland, and the ongoing search for balance and identity.
Publication Date: 2009-10-30
Etching Our Own Image by Etching Our Own Image: Voices From Within the Arab American Art Movement is a celebration of Arab American art and identity. In the wake of 9/11, the need for Arab Americans to define themselves, rather than be defined by others has galvanized an artistic movement. This collection of writers includes poets, musicians, playwrights, creative writers, painters, conceptual artists, comedians and scholars of the arts who have gathered to assert for themselves what it means to be Arab American and an artist. Arab American artists use their art both to resist and to embrace their past, present and future. Through their art they retain their origins, while creating something new. They collaborate and come together. The artists included here are above all artists and the artistic renderings in this collection demonstrate their commitment to craft, innovation, and expression. They take on the task of etching their own image willingly or unwillingly, consciously or unconsciously. By telling their own stories through their own artistic mediums, these voices from within the Arab American art movement reclaim their own image and tell the world who they are.
Publication Date: 2007-06-01
Gibran, Rihani and Naimy by Originally published in Russian during the final years of the Soviet Union, this volume examines the influences of foreign literary movements, specifically Romanticism and Realism, on the three authors examined within. By viewing Gibran and Rihani's works in the light of English poets such as Wordsworth, Byron, and Shelley and American writers such as Emerson and Whitman--and by exploring Naimy through the lens of the Russian Realist tradition, drawing parallels specifically with the work of Belinsky, Tolstoy, Turgenev, and the Chekhovian tradition--this work provides an unusual window into the Arab world's cultural interaction with Europe, America, and Russia in the early 20th century. At the same time, it reaches beyond its academic scope and reveals universal elements that speak to all people and go beyond cultural frameworks altogether.
Publication Date: 2010-04-01
Inclined to Speak by At no other time in American history has our imagination been so engrossed with the Arab experience. An indispensable and historic volume, ""Inclined to Speak"" gathers together poems, from the most important contemporary Arab American poets, that shape and alter our understanding of this experience. These poems also challenge us to reconsider what it means to be American. Impressive in its scope, this book provides readers with an astonishing array of poetic sensibilities, touching on every aspect of the human condition. Whether about culture, politics, loss, art, or language itself, the poems here engage these themes with originality, dignity, and an unyielding need not only to speak, but also to be heard.Here are thirty-nine poets offering up 160 poems. Included in the anthology are Naomi Shihab Nye, Samuel Hazo, D. H. Melhem, Lawrence Joseph, Khaled Mattawa, Mohja Khaf, Matthew Shenoda, Kazim Ali, Nuar Alsadir, Fady Joudah, and Lisa Suhair Majaj. Charara has written a lengthy introduction about the state of Arab American poetry in the country today and short biographies of the poets and provided an extensive list of further readings.
Publication Date: 2008-06-30
Modern Arab American Fiction by Within the spectrum of American literary traditions, Arab American literature is relatively new. Writing produced by Americans of Arab origin is mainly a product of the twentieth century and only started to flourish in the past thirty years. While this young but thriving literature varies widely in content and style, it emerges from a common community and within a specific historical, political, and cultural context. In Modern Arab American Fiction, Salaita maps out the landscape of this genre as he details rather than defines the last century of Arab American fiction. Exploring the works of such best-selling authors as Rabih Alameddine, Mohja Kahf, Laila Halaby, Diana Abu-Jaber, Alicia Erian, and Randa Jarrar, Salaita highlights the development of each author's writing and how each has influenced Arab American fiction. He examines common themes including the Israel-Palestine conflict, the Lebanese Civil War of 1975-90, the representation and practice of Islam in the United States, social issues such as gender and national identity in Arab cultures, and the various identities that come with being Arab American. Combining the accessibility of a primer with in-depth critical analysis, Modern Arab American Fiction is suitable for a broad audience, those unfamiliar with the subject area, as well as scholars of the literature.
Publication Date: 2011-04-30
Remember Me to Lebanon by Evelyn Shakir crafts tales that are rich in history and cultural detail, setting her stories in different eras, from the 1960s to the present and carrying us back, on occasion, to the turn of the twentieth century. Each in their own way, Shakir's first- and second-generation women work either to reclaim their Lebanese heritage or to leave it behind. In ""The Story of Young Ali"", a teenage girl resists her beloved father's traditional tales of honor and self sacrifice. The matriarch of ""House Calls,"" on the other hand, is so wedded to the past that she returns from the grave to harangue her Americanized family. In ""Oh, Lebanon,"" a young woman who has fled Lebanon's civil war and refuses to cover her hair with a scarf finds that turning her back on her past leads her in unexpected directions. With agile humor and emotional truth, Shakir offers multiple perspectives on the experience of Lebanese women in the United States. Her stories dismantle stereotypes and remind us that women of Lebanese background have been a part of the American narrative for over a century.
Publication Date: 2007-02-28
Arab Film & Performance Art
The Arab Avant-Garde by From jazz trumpeters drawing on the noises of warfare in Beirut to female heavy metallers in Alexandria, the Arab culture offers a wealth of exciting, challenging, and diverse musics. The essays in this collection investigate the plethora of compositional and improvisational techniques, performance styles, political motivations, professional trainings, and inter-continental collaborations that claim the mantle of "innovation" within Arab and Arab diaspora music. While most books on Middle Eastern music-making focus on notions of tradition and regionally specific genres, The Arab Avant Garde presents a radically hybrid and globally dialectic set of practices. Engaging the "avant-garde"-a term with Eurocentric resonances-this anthology disturbs that presumed exclusivity, drawing on and challenging a growing body of literature about alternative modernities.Chapters delve into genres and modes as diverse as jazz, musical theatre, improvisation, hip hop, and heavy metal as performed in countries like Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, and the United States. Focusing on multiple ways in which the"Arab avant-garde" becomes manifest, this anthology brings together international writers with eclectic disciplinary trainings-practicing musicians, area studies specialists, ethnomusicologists, and scholars of popular culture and media. Contributors include Sami W. Asmar, Michael Khoury, Saed Muhssin, Marina Peterson, Kamran Rastegar, Caroline Rooney, and Shayna Silverstein, as well as the editors.
Publication Date: 2013-11-13
Doomed by Hope: Essays on Arab Theatre by Doomed by Hope is a beautifully presented collection of essays by writers and artists which traces the history of contemporary Arab theatre and its relationship to social change. With contributors from Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine, Kuwait and Yemen, this book includes both academic discussions and personal narratives, alongside a number of specially commissioned portraits of contemporary Arab theatre artists. The essays revolve around the legacy of the late Syrian dramatist Saadallah Wannous, whose monumental plays incited audiences to rise up against tyranny decades ago. This unique book is one of the first English language volumes on Arab theatre. In a highly topical manner following the Arab Spring, it explores cultural practices - from reading plays in a classroom to performing in a security state and directing in theatres, prisons, and international festivals - in times of revolt.
Publication Date: 2013-01-09
Encyclopedia of Arab Women Filmakers by Arab women filmmakers: Who are they? What drives them? What are their experiences in a male-dominated profession? How do they function within the contexts--and constraints--of patriarchal societies? The answers are complex and sometimes surprising, as complex and surprising as the vastly different films these women direct. In this unprecedented book, Rebecca Hillauer assembles a comprehensive and penetrating look into the history of Arab women's filmmaking, as well as the political and social background of the countries--Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Algeria, among others--from which these artists emerged.In addition to the biographies, filmographies, and discussions of their most important works, lively, in-depth interviews allow us to hear from the filmmakers themselves. Collectively, these women, who hail from a wide range of professional, religious, and social backgrounds, provide a varied and vivid picture of what it means to work in creative and journalistic fields in the modern Arab world. For Hillauer, the subject of a film, its genesis, and the personal story of the artist who created it reveal far more than a particular approach to cinematography. Arab women filmmakers and their main characters (who are often semi-autobiographical) not only afford us a look at seldom-seen facets of Arab societies, they personify an alternative women's 'model,' one that is far removed from western clichés. Broad in scope, and rich in insight, Arab Women Filmmakers is a must read for cineastes as well as students of film, feminism, and the Middle East.
Publication Date: 2006-02-02
Local Music Scenes and Globalization by This book offers the first in-depth study of experimental and popular music scenes in Beirut, looking at musicians working towards a new understanding of musical creativity and music culture in a country that is dominated by mass-mediated pop music, and propaganda. Burkhalter studies the generation of musicians born at the beginning of the Civil War in the Lebanese capital, an urban and cosmopolitan center with a long tradition of cultural activities and exchanges with the Arab world, Europe, the US, and the former Soviet Union. These Lebanese rappers, rockers, death-metal, jazz, and electro-acoustic musicians and free improvisers choose local and transnational forms to express their connection to the broader musical, cultural, social, and political environment. Burkhalter explores how these musicians organize their own small concerts for 'insider' audiences, set up music labels, and network with like-minded musicians in Europe, the US, and the Arab world. Several key tracks are analyzed with methods from ethnomusicology, and popular music studies, and contextualized through interviews with the musicians. Discussing key references from belly dance culture (1960s), psychedelic rock in Beirut (1970s), the noises of the Lebanese Civil war (1975-1990), and transnational Pop-Avant-Gardes and World Music 2.0 networks, this book contributes to the study of localization and globalization processes in music in an increasingly digitalized and transnational world. At the core, this music from Beirut challenges "ethnocentric" perceptions of "locality" in music. It attacks both "Orientalist" readings of the Arab world, the Middle East, and Lebanon, and the focus on musical "difference" in Euro-American music and culture markets. On theoretical grounds, this music is a small, but passionate attempt to re-shape the world into a place where "modernity" is not "euro-modernity" or "euro-american modernity," but where possible new configurations of modernity exist next to each other.
Publication Date: 2012-12-19
New Voices in Arab Cinema by New Voices in Arab Cinema focuses on contemporary filmmaking since the 1980s, but also considers the longer history of Arab cinema. Taking into consideration film from the Middle East and North Africa and giving a special nod to films produced since the Arab Spring and the Syrian crisis, Roy Armes explores themes such as modes of production, national cinemas, the role of the state and private industry on film, international developments in film, key filmmakers, and the validity of current notions like globalization, migration and immigration, and exile. This landmark book offers both a coherent, historical overview and an in-depth critical analysis of Arab filmmaking.
Publication Date: 2015-01-29
Roots of the New Arab Film by Roots of the New Arab Film deals with the generation of filmmakers from across North Africa and the Middle East who created an international awareness of Arab film from the mid-1980s onwards. These seminal filmmakers experienced the moment of national independence first-hand in their youth and retained a deep attachment to their homeland. Although these aspiring filmmakers had to seek their training abroad, they witnessed a time of filmic revival in Europe - Fellini and Antonioni in Italy, the French New Wave, and British Free Cinema. Returning home, these filmmakers brought a unique insider/outsider perspective to bear on local developments in society since independence, including the divide between urban and rural communities, the continuing power of traditional values and the status of women in a changing society. As they made their first films back home, the feelings of participation in a worldwide movement of new, independent filmmaking was palpable. Roots of the New Arab Film is a necessary and comprehensive resource for anyone interested in the foundations of Arab cinema.
Publication Date: 2018-01-06
Ten Arab Filmmakers by Ten Arab Filmmakers provides an up-to-date overview of the best of Arab cinema, offering studies of leading directors and in-depth analyses of their most important films. The filmmakers profiled here represent principal national cinemas of the Arab world--Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, and Syria. Although they have produced many of the region's most-renowned films and gained recognition at major international festivals, with few exceptions these filmmakers have received little critical attention. All ten share a concern with giving image and voice to people struggling against authoritarian regimes, patriarchal traditions, or religious fundamentalism--theirs is a cinéma engagé. The featured directors are Daoud Abd El-Sayed, Merzak Allouache, Nabil Ayouch, Youssef Chahine, Mohamed Chouikh, Michel Khleifi, Nabil Maleh, Yousry Nasrallah, Jocelyne Saab, and Elia Suleiman.
Publication Date: 2015-06-29
Countries in the Arab World - History and Culture
Brownies and Kalashnikovs by Fadia, a Saudi Arab, grew up in the strictly circumscribed and tailor-made 'desert Disneyland' of Aramco (the Arabian American Oil Company). This slice of modern, suburban, middle America was located in Dhahran, Aramco's administrative headquarters in Saudi Arabia, a theocratic Muslim kingdom run according to strict Wahabbi Shari'a law. Eventually, after only brief holidays abroad visiting relatives in colorful Arab cities like Medina, Damascus and Alexandria, Fadia moved to Beirut, the glitzy 'Paris of the Middle East', to attend high school. In Beirut she fell in love with a passionate and idealistic Lebanese journalist with whom she eloped against her parents' wishes, subsequently getting caught up in Lebanon's fifteen-year civil war while raising a family of five children. Providing a fascinating account of a Saudi woman's painful journey from naïve Aramcon girl to life as a resident of a war-torn capital city, this book provides new insight into two very different Middle Eastern worlds about which so little is known by those living outside the region.
Publication Date: 2009-03-01
The Development of Trans-Jordan 1929-1939 by Very little has been written about the 1929-1939 history of Trans-Jordan-a decade of importance in the history of its struggle for independence and sovereignty, its progress and development, its relations with Palestine and the neighboring Arab countries, and the new awakening of Arab nationalism. During the 1930s, although still under the mandate of the League of Nations (which was entrusted to Great Britain), Trans-Jordan began to develop an international presence. The people remained very poor however, and the government was supported by a grant-in-aid from the British government. The British Resident in Amman, Col. Henry Cox, used that grant-in-aid as a justification for his financial and political control over the new mandated state, which limited its sovereignty. At this time, Great Britain had the largest empire on earth. Her wealth and power, as well as the survival of her empire, depended mainly on her ability to defend her trade routes with her overseas colonies, protectorates, and mandated territories. The Amir Abdullah Ibn al Husain wanted to take Trans-Jordan back from Great Britain and develop it into an independent state. This book examines the decade of that struggle.
Publication Date: 2006-06-01
A Documentary History of Modern Iraq by Previously published histories and primary source collections on the Iraqi experience tend to be topically focused or dedicated to presenting a top-down approach. By contrast, Stacy Holden's A Documentary History of Modern Iraq gives voice to ordinary Iraqis, clarifying the experience of the Shiites, Sunnis, Kurds, Jews, and women over the past century. Through varied documents ranging from short stories to treaties, political speeches to memoirs, and newspaper articles to book excerpts, the work synthesises previously marginalised perspectives of minorities and women with the voices of the political elite to provide an integrated picture of political change from the Ottoman Empire in 1903 to the end of the second Bush administration in 2008. Covering a broad range of topics, this bottom-up approach allows readers to fully immerse themselves in the lives of everyday Iraqis as they navigate regime shifts from the British to the Hashemite monarchy, the political upheaval of the Persian Gulf wars, and beyond. Brief introductions to each excerpt provide context and suggest questions for classroom discussion. This collection offers raw history, untainted and unfiltered by modern political framework and thought, representing a refreshing new approach to the study of Iraq.
Publication Date: 2012-07-30
A History of Egypt by Egypt occupies a central position in the Arab world. Its borders between sand and sea have existed for millennia and yet, until 1952, the country was ruled by foreigners. Afaf al-Sayyid Marsot explores the paradoxes of Egypt's history in an updated edition of her successful A Short History of Modern Egypt. Charting the years from the Arab conquest, through the age of the Mamluks, Egypt's incorporation into the Ottoman Empire, the liberal experiment in constitutional government in the early twentieth century, followed by the Nasser and Sadat years, the new edition takes the story up to the present day. During the Mubarak era, Egyptians have seen major changes with the rise of globalization and its effects on their economy, the advent of new political parties, the entrenchment of Islamic fundamentalism and the consequent changing attitudes to women. This short history is ideal for students and travelers.
Publication Date: 2007-03-29
A History of Modern Libya by In the wake of the civil war and Qadhafi's demise, the time is ripe for a new edition of Dirk Vandewalle's classic history of Libya. The book, which was originally published in 2006, traces the country's history back to the 1900s, through the Italian occupation in the early twentieth century, the Sanusi monarchy and, thereafter, to the revolution of 1969 and the accession of Qadhafi. The following chapters analyse the economics and politics of Qadhafi's revolution, offering insights into the man and his ideology as reflected in his Green Book. The new edition covers the intervening years, since 2005, when, courted by the West, Qadhafi came in from the cold. At home, though, his people were disillusioned, and economic liberalization came too late to forestall revolution. In an epilogue, the author reflects upon Qadhafi's premiership and the legacy he leaves behind.
Publication Date: 2012-03-26
In the Time of Oil by Before the discovery of oil in the late 1960s, Oman was one of the poorest countries in the world, with only six kilometers of paved roads and one hospital. By the late 1970s, all that had changed as Oman used its new oil wealth to build a modern infrastructure. In the Time of Oil describes how people in Bahla, an oasis town in the interior of Oman, experienced this dramatic transformation following the discovery of oil, and how they now grapple with the prospect of this resource's future depletion. Focusing on shifting structures of governance and new forms of sociality as well as on the changes brought by mass schooling, piped water, and the fracturing of close ties with East Africa, Mandana Limbert shows how personal memories and local histories produce divergent notions about proper social conduct, piety, and gendered religiosity. With close attention to the subtleties of everyday life and the details of archival documents, poetry, and local histories, Limbert provides a rich historical ethnography of oil development, piety, and social life on the Arabian Peninsula.
Publication Date: 2010-06-07
Keepers of the Golden Shore by For those who visit the United Arab Emirates (UAE), staying in its the lavish hotels and browsing in the ultra-modern shopping malls of Abu Dhabi or Dubai, the country can be a mystery, a glass and concrete creation that seems to have sprung from the desert overnight. Keepers of the Golden Shore looks behind this glossy façade, illuminating the region's history, which stretches from the ancient Arabian tribes who controlled a desolate but economically important shoreline to the ostentatious architectural wonders--bankrolled by a massive wealth of oil--that characterize it today. As Michael Quentin Morton recounts, the region now known as the UAE likely began as a trading post between Mesopotamia and Oman, and since that time has been the stage of important economic and cultural exchanges. It has seen the rise and fall of a thriving pearl industry, piracy, invasions and wars, and the arrival of the oil age that would make it one of the richest countries on earth. Since the early 1970s, when seven sheikhs agreed to enter into a union, it has been a sovereign nation, carrying on the resourceful spirit--with resplendent fervor--that the brutally inhospitable landscape has long demanded of the people. Ultimately, Morton shows that the country is not only rich in oil and money but in an extraordinarily deep history and culture.
Publication Date: 2016-03-15
Making the Desert Modern by In 1933 American oilmen representing what later became the Arabian American Oil Company (Aramco) signed a concession agreement with the Saudi Arabian king granting the company sole proprietorship over the oil reserves in the country's largest province. As drilling commenced and wells proliferated, Aramco soon became a major presence in the region. In this book Chad H. Parker tells Aramco's story, showing how an American company seeking resources and profits not only contributed to Saudi "nation building" but helped define U.S. foreign policy during the early Cold War. In the years following World War II, as Aramco expanded its role in Saudi Arabia, the idea of "modernization" emerged as a central component of American foreign policy toward newly independent states. Although the company engaged in practices supportive of U.S. goals, its own modernizing efforts tended to be pragmatic rather than policy-driven, more consistent with furthering its business interests than with validating abstract theories. Aramco built the infrastructure necessary to extract oil and also carved At the same time, executives cultivated powerful relationships with Saudi government officials and, to the annoyance of U.S. officials, even served the monarchy in diplomatic disputes. Before long the company became the principal American diplomatic, political, and cultural agent in the country, a role it would continue to play until 1973, when the Saudi government took over its operation.
Publication Date: 2015-05-04
My Memoirs by These memoirs of the distinguished Iraqi statesman Tawfiq al-Suwaydi (1892-1968) evocatively recapture a now largely vanished Arab world-and are an eloquent reminder that Iraq was once a far more open and tolerant society than it is today. Al-Suwaydi served as Iraq's prime minister three times (1929, 1946, 1950), as foreign minister on numerous occasions, and as ambassador to Iran, the League of Nations, and the United Nations. He frequently undertook sensitive diplomatic missions on behalf of the Iraqi monarchy. Among the major world figures with whom he interacted personally were Kemal Ataturk, Adnan Menderes, Gamal Abdul Nasser, Chaim Weizmann, David Ben Gurion, John Foster Dulles, Anthony Eden, George Curzon, Benito Mussolini, George Antonius, and Kings Abdullah, Faisal, Hussein, and Ibn Saud. From this vantage point, he wrote with an insider's detail about the diplomatic, political, and geostrategic issues that vexed Iraq and the entire Arab world from the early twentieth century through mid-1960's. A comprehensive essay by Antony T. Sullivan, senior associate for Middle East affairs at TerraBuilt Corporation International, introduces this first English-language edition of the memoirs.
Publication Date: 2013-08-30
The Origins of Syrian Nationhood by The 'Syria idea' emerged in the nineteenth century as a concept of national awakening superseding both Arab nationalism and separatist currents. Looking at nationalist movements, ideas and individuals, this book traces the origin and development of the idea of Syrian nationhood from the perspective of some of its leading pioneers. Providing a highly original comparative insight into the struggle for independence and sovereignty in post-1850 Syria, it addresses some of the most persistent questions about the development of this nationalism. Chapters by eminent scholars from within and outside of the region offer a comprehensive study of individual Syrian writers and activists caught in a whirlwind of uncertainty, competing ideologies, foreign interference, and political suppression. A valuable addition to the present scholarship on nationalism in the Middle East, this book will be of interest to many professionals as well as to scholars of history, Middle East studies and political science.
Publication Date: 2011-08-09
Saudi Arabia by This book describes all aspects of Saudi Arabia, including its government, economy, society, and culture, as well as its role in the Middle East and its position internationally. In this comprehensive introduction to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, author Sherifa Zuhur reveals the fascinating people, culture, politics, and economic development of the largest Arab country of the Middle East. The book provides a detailed summary of Arabian history from the earliest settlements on the Arabian peninsula to the present day, with a focus on the rise of the current Saudi regime. It provides essential background on the oil politics of the Kingdom dating back to the discovery of oil in the late 1930s, an account of Saudi Arabia's subsequent economic advancement, and explanations of emerging societal issues such as labor importation and the changing roles of women. Saudi Arabia also details the Kingdom's cultural and religious milieu, including its music, poetry, architecture, legal system, and prominence in the Islamic world. Provides a comprehensive bibliography full of suggestions for further reading and materials to bolster research Includes a glossary section that defines and describes important terms and concepts
Publication Date: 2012-01-05
Syria by Syria (which in its historical wider sense includes modern Syria, Lebanon, Israel/Palestine and Jordan) has always been at the center of events of world importance. It was in this region that pastoral-stock rearing, settled agriculture and alphabetic writing were invented (and the dog domesticated). From Syria, Phoenician explorers set out to explore the whole Mediterranean region and sailed round Africa 2,000 years before Vasco de Gama. These are achievements enough but the succeeding centuries offer a rich tapestry of turbulent change, a cycle of repeated conquest, unification, rebellion and division. John D Grainger gives a sweeping overview (though replete with telling details) of the making of this historical region. From the end of the ice age through the procession of Assyrian, Phoenician, Persian, Greek, Roman, Arab, Turkish, French and British attempts to dominate this area, the key events and influences are clearly explained and analyzed. The events playing out on our TV screens over recent years are put in the context of 12,000 years of history.
Publication Date: 2016-05-24
Syria's Peasantry, the Descendants of Its Lesser Rural Notables, and Their Politics by In this book, the distinguished scholar Hanna Batatu presents a comprehensive analysis of the recent social, economic, and political evolution of Syria's peasantry, the segment of society from which the current holders of political power stem. Batatu focuses mainly on the twentieth century and, in particular, on the Ba`th movement, the structures of power after the military coup d'état of 1963, and the era of îvfiz al-Asad, Syria's first ruler of peasant extraction. Without seeking to prove any single theory about Syrian life, he offers a uniquely rich and detailed account of how power was transferred from one demographic group to another and how that power is maintained today. Batatu begins by examining social differences among Syria's peasants and the evolution of their mode of life and economic circumstances. He then scrutinizes the peasants' forms of consciousness, organization, and behavior in Ottoman and Mandate times and prior to the Ba`thists' rise to power. He explores the rural aspects of Ba`thism and shows that it was not a single force but a plurality of interrelated groups--prominent among them the descendants of the lesser rural notables--with different social goals and mental horizons. The book also provides a perceptive account of President Asad, his personality and conduct, and the characteristics and power structures of his regime. Batatu draws throughout on a wide range of socioeconomic and biographical information and on personal interviews with Syrian peasants and political leaders, offering invaluable insights into the complexities of a country and a regime that have long been poorly understood by outsiders.
Publication Date: 1999-07-21
Trade and Empire in Muscat and Zanzibar by M. Reda Bhacker looks at the role of Oman in the Indian Ocean prior to British domination of the region. Omani merchant communities played a crucial part in the development of commercial activity throughout the territories they held in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, especially between Muscat and Zanzibar, using long established trade networks. They were also largely responsible for the integration of the commerce of the Indian Ocean into the nascent global capitalist system. The author, himself a member of an important Omani merchant family, looks in detail at the complex relationship between the merchant community and Oman's rulers, first the Ya'ariba and then the Albusaidis. He analyses the tribal and religious dynamics of Omani politics both in Arabia, where he looks especially at the Wahhabi/Saudi threat, and in Oman's sprawling `empire', with particular reference to Zanzibar where the Omani ruler Sa'id b Sultan had his court from 1840. His aim is to consider all Oman's overseas territories as a single entity, without the usual misleading compartmentalisation of African and Arab history. Dr Bhacker finds that despite their prestige and influence in the region neither the merchant communities nor the government were able to respond to Britain's determined onslaught. Bhacker traces the local and regional factors that allowed Britain to destroy Oman's largely commercial challenge and to emerge by the end of the nineteenth century as the commercially and politically dominant power in the region.
Publication Date: 1992-11-17
Tunisia since the Arab Conquest by This comprehensive history of Tunisia covers an essential period in the country's development, from the Arab conquest of the 7th century to the Jasmine Revolution and the fall of Ben Ali's regime in 2010. The book describes the evolution of the Tunisian state, its place in the Mediterranean basin, and its contacts with the civilizations of that region. Beginning with the conquest of AD 648-669, it analyzes the crucial events that shaped the country's history in the dynastic age. The book then goes on to discuss the impact of the Ottoman conquest, as well as the impact of the European competition in the Mediterranean, on the development of the Tunisian state. Tunisia since the Arab Conquest provides a thorough coverage of the French conquest and the French Protectorate, and their influence on the country's development. It discusses Franco-Tunisian relations in a vivid manner and explores the impact of the first and second World Wars on the country. The book then examines the Tunisian nationalist movement and the country's struggle for independence, assessing the main personalities who played a role in that movement. Tunisia's relations with France and the methods by which the country obtained its independence are discussed in great detail. The narrative continues with an analysis of the political, social, economic, and cultural developments in Tunisia since its independence, including an in-depth analysis of the country's achievements and failures under the regimes of Habib Bourguiba and Ben Ali. Based on primary and secondary sources in Arabic, French, Italian, Hebrew, and English, this book provides the reader with a comprehensive history of the country. It will be essential reading for students and academics who wish to understand the formative years of the Tunisian state, as well as the political developments which took place after its independence.
Publication Date: 2012-08-01