In addition to the five historical chapters, three chapters are devoted to major themes of Arab costume history - the dress code for non-Muslims, the important socio-economic and political institution of luxury fabrics and garments of honor, and the most well-known and frequently misunderstood institution of veiling. Get A Copy.
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Anton Shammas, ArabesquesKnowledge for its own sakethat is the last snare of morality: with that one becomes completely entangled in it once more. The Great Debate nt b. Rather than dwell on sentimentality, however, I want to focus our attention on the importance of the current moment.
The struggles of those intellectuals in this manuscript are not romanticized or fetishized. They are the foci of this research because we live the effects of their thoughts, work, and experience today, the effects of the dilemmas that they faced if not also participated in creating. If this research is about historys force on the present, then acknowledging the past contributions, attention, loyalty, and affection of those who assisted me in completing this study testies to my current good fortune.
My indebtedness to, admiration of, and afnity for them all extends well beyond my communicative abilities. Likewise, I am grateful to Robert Sikorski and the John Hope Franklin Center at Duke University for their nancial assistance in the completion and renement of this study. In Lebanon, the administration of the American University of Beirut helped facilitate research while the staff at Jaffet Library and the libraries of the Universit de St. Joseph and the Near Eastern Seminar of Theology were most generous in allowing me access to printed and archival materials.
I would like to thank my brothers, comrades, and condants Kenneth Lang, Walid R ad, Walid Sadiq, and Ara Saraan, for their loyalty, friendship, and advice. Their companionship serves as the richest emotional, intellectual, and political sustenance.
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I thank my parents for their continued validation of my work and me. They instilled in me the consciousness and pride that has sustained me in a rewarding but often daunting and discouraging profession. Finally, but not least, my deepest love and gratitude must be expressed to my wife, Marguerite, and our children, Jad and Shadee, who are the inspiration for my everyday life.
Their faith and love are the fuel that drives my scholarship, teaching, and convictions.ecolearning.org.uk/117.php
Themes in Islamic Studies
The revelations in this book, as humble as they are, hope to enable them to live contented, fullling, loving, undisparaged, and unharassed lives as Arabs, as brown people, and as citizens of the world. I acknowledge the permission of the following journals for allowing republication of selections from articles that I previously published: Desire for the Self, Desire for the West, Jouvert: Electronic Journal for Postcolonial Studies n no.
These are cases of fact that no observant person can contest.
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Following the war that pushed ,, of his people into homeless squalor he has come to appreciate the liability of illiterate farmers and their unproductive farms; he admits the incompatibility of feodary and progress; he has noted the relationship of feudalism to ignorance, poverty to feudalism, foreign control to poverty and ignorance to foreign control. It associates the dispossession of the Palestinian people in b with their illiteracy and ignorance and simultaneously negates their historical and territorial identity as Palestinians. So the assumption then goes that they are only Arabs whose circumstances must be attributed to their own failure.
Although the pamphlet erases the history and politics of their dispossession that is, Zionist aggression , its intention is sympathetic to the plight of the Palestinian people, promoting UNDPs mission to promote education in the camps, where Palestinian refugees happen to end up as the result of war. Feodary, ignorance, and the absence of progressthe passage resonates forcefully with the advent of a new Caesarism of the U.
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State Department following September t. In addition to the conquest of Afghanistan, the global war on terror, and the American invasion of Iraq, the Bush administration eagerly adopted the Likud Partys platform vis--vis the Second Intifada and the Palestinian people.
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While this study does not intend to engage these ideologues or U. In brief, they purport that Arabs have failed to develop a signicant civil society, to develop democratic institutions, expand the economic private sector, and permit basic and widespread political and civil rights. Bush might say, have been unable to fully realize modernity. From this failure, the Arab peoples have not enjoyed the benets of globalization and therefore resent the transformations that it has brought.
Consequently, the Arab populace transmute this resentment into an irrational dislike of America, American culture, and American democracy. Rather than examining American foreign and economic policy, these analysts have faulted the Arab intelligentsia for blaming the West, Zionism, and colonialism for contemporary social ills and political maladies. Hence, Arab intellectuals are complicit with the corruption of their leadership because they refuse to question their own social, political, and cultural prohibitions and irrationalities.
Even a cursory glance at readily available Arabic and English secondary and primary sources demonstrates that innumerable secular and nonsecular intellectuals, from the left and from the right, have engaged in the issues that these Anglophone commentators have mentioned from democracy to womens rights to economic justice. The editorials in English-language dailies such as the Daily Star, Kuwait Times, Arab News, or al-Ahram Weekly, written by mainstream indigenous intellectuals, analysts, journalists, and activists, conrm such an observation.
In fact, the discomfort- PAGE 13 Introduction 3ing verisimilitude between Arab and American criticism reveals the effects of the double colonizing move performed by the very epistemology that will be under examination in this book. Like in Bootstrap, intellectuals from Constantine Zurayk, Sadiq Jalal alAzm, and Nadim Bitar to Hisham Sharabi and Hazim Saghiyah might agree that the disempowerment of the Arabs cannot be separated from their cultural and political illiteracy. For them, the loss of Palestine in b and the completion of their dispossession in n are manifestations of a deeper and more fundamental failure inherent to modern Arab subjectivity.
These tragedies were a result not only of the corruption and authoritarianism of Arab regimes but also the backwardness takhalluf and ignorance jahl of their own societies. More specically, they conclude that Arab societies failed to break with their traditionalist and conservative tendencies, preventing them from internalizing the spirit of modernity in its most positive, humanistic, and even revolutionary forms. I have opened this study with the quotation from Bootstrap and a discussion of the ideologues of American Caesarism to demonstrate the predominance of the discourse of Arab failure and backwardness in the late modern and postmodern eras.
Failure, backwardness, ignorance, lack of unity, and the absence of democracy and how they stand in contrast to Western progress, civilization, development, and modernity did not originate with Samuel Huntington or in the analysis of September These terms have existed as key analytical rubrics for sociopolitical phenomena from Operation Desert Storm in t back to the Arabs self-analysis of King Faisals loss to the French in Maysaloun, Syria, in t ; the loss that led to the French Mandate in Syria and Lebanon.
The obsession of Arab and non-Arab thinkers, scholars, journalists, artists, and activists with failure is not a coincidence but rather a preoccupation that nds its roots in the very formation of modern Arab subjectivity during the Arab Renaissance or al-nahdah al-arabiyah. These terms predominate because they are an outgrowth of paradigms inherent to modernity and built on the dichotomy of progress and backwardness.
This book does more than locate the origins of such a language of binaries. It also reveals that modern subjectivity the subjectivity underlying Arab nationalist ideologies and their concomitant popular identitiesarose out of paradigms of modernity that were generated and reconstituted by intellectuals, literati, and activists of all confessions during the nineteenth century. The epistemology upon which modern identity would rest, I assert, became the very intellectual quicksand for the Arab worlds confrontation with Western colonialism and imperialism, capitalist expansion, and individual state formation.
PAGE 14 4 Foundations of Modern Arab IdentityAge of Expansion and Transformations While this present research is a study of the textual and epistemological roots of modern Arab subjectivity, one must remember that the writings of Muslim, Christian, and Jewish Arab intellectuals during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries cannot be separated from the radical and vibrant historical transformations and developments of their day. Historians have traditionally marked Napoleons invasion of Egypt in b as the Arab worlds dawn of the modern period.
The French invasion, so it is asserted, is responsible for the introduction of the printing press into the Arab world and familiarizing Egyptian intelligentsia and noblemen with French scholars, generals, ofcers, and bureaucrats. But, moreover, the occupation had brought Egypt and later Greater Syria directly into the rivalry of competing interests between France and England. Discussing the role of competing groups or salons of organic intellectuals in the rise of the proto-bourgeoisie, merchant classes in eightee nthcentury Egypt, Peter Gran has forcefully debunked the myth that Napoleons expedition jolted the Arabo-Islamic world out of a cultural, economic, and social slumber.
Even preceding the Crusades, the region was accustomed to doing business with the West. Waxing and waning over centuries, the nature of that commercial and cultural relationship changed by the nineteenth century.
Related Arab Dress: A Short History: From the Dawn of Islam to Modern Times (Themes in Islamic Studies, V. 2)
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