Cover

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Title page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-x

This collective, transregional, and transdisciplinary conversation began under the best of conditions thanks to the intelligence, vision, and hospitality of Paulo Gabriel Hilu da Rocha Pinto, professor of anthropology at the Federal University Fluminense in Rio de Janeiro, with whom I founded the Center for Middle...

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Introduction

Paul Amar

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pp. 1-14

What lies behind Brazil’s new affiliations with the Middle East, and South America’s attempts to unite, economically and politically, with the Arab League in order to counterbalance U.S. and Global North hegemony? How can we explain the sudden explosion of visibility and creativity among Brazil’s approximately...

Part One. South-South Relations, Security Politics, Diplomatic History

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1. The Middle East and Brazil: Transregional Politics in the Dilma Rousseff Era

Paul Amar

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pp. 17-38

Dilma Rousseff, Brazil’s first woman president, was elected to office on October 31, 2010, on the eve of the eruption of mass uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt that would captivate Brazil and the rest of the world, and that would demand radical transformations in relationships between emerging Global South...

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2. The Summit of South America–Arab States: Historical Contexts of South-South Solidarity and Exchange

Paulo Daniel Elias Farah, Translated by Katia Costa-Santos

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pp. 39-56

Since early 2003, a series of summits in the South American and Arab capitals were organized in order to establish initiatives for the development of cultural, educational, scientific, technological, economic, and financial cooperation based on the increasing sense of common interests between these two emergent...

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3. Brazil’s Relations with the Middle East in the “Oil Shock” Era: Pragmatism, Universalism, and Developmentalism in the 1970s

Carlos Ribeiro Santana, Translated by Bianca Brigidi

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pp. 57-74

The 1973 worldwide oil crisis, the result of geopolitical shifts beyond Brazil’s control, produced an acute foreign policy crisis in the country. Brazil, during this developmentalist period when its military government was pushing both industrialization and export-oriented commerce, was a nation dependent on...

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4. Palestine-Israel Controversies in the 1970s and the Birth of Brazilian Transregionalism

Monique Sochaczewski, Translated by Bianca Brigidi

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pp. 75-91

Before the 1970s, Brazil’s foreign policy toward the Middle East was referred to as “equidistant,” oscillating between support for Israel, embodied in the important role Oswaldo Aranha, Brazil’s UN ambassador, played in 1947–1948 when he served as president of the UN General Assembly and supported the...

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5. Terrorist Frontier Cell or Cosmopolitan Commercial Hub? The Arab and Muslim Presence at the Border of Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina

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pp. 92-116

Reading the international media, one would infer that the Tríplice Fronteira (in Portuguese) and Triple Frontera (in Spanish)—the region where the borders of Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay meet, known as the Tri-Border Region in English—is a threat to international security. It condenses all aspects of a...

Part Two. Race, Nation, and Transregional Imaginations

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6. Tropical Orientalism: Brazil’s Race Debates and the Sephardi-Moorish Atlantic

Ella Shohat and Robert Stam

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pp. 119-161

On Avenida Rio Branco in downtown Rio de Janeiro, at a busy juncture between the palm trees and the art deco buildings, stands an obelisk. Dating back to 1906 and the period of the world’s fairs, this homage (by the Italian Society of Brazil) evokes not only a supposed Greco-Roman past of a tropical “Latin”...

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7. Slave Barracks Aristocrats: Islam and the Orient in the Work of Gilberto Freyre

Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond

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pp. 162-181

In Orientalism (1978), Edward Said charts European representations that produce the East not only as the differential marker of Europe but as inherently subject to the West. In Gilberto Freyre’s sociology of Brazilian plantation society, Casa-Grande e Senzala (The Plantation Manor and the Slave...

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8. Islamic Transnationalism and Anti-Slavery Movements: The Malê Rebellion as Debated by Brazil’s Press, 1835–1838

José T. Cairus, Translated by Eduardo Viana da Silva

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pp. 182-198

In 1835, in the city of Salvador, the capital of the province of Bahia, a few hundred Africans challenged paradigms established by centuries of slavery in Brazil. Their leaders were clerics affiliated with revivalist Islam in West Africa, as confirmed by Salvador’s chief of police after the rebellion, who stated, “There...

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9. A Transnational Intellectual Sphere: Brazil and Its Middle Eastern Populations

María del Mar Logroño Narbona

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pp. 199-214

In the historic neighborhood of Botafogo, in Rio de Janeiro, stands the house of Rui Barbosa, a well-known lawyer, politician, and public intellectual of early-twentieth-century Brazil. Today his residence has become the seat of the Rui Barbosa Foundation, a public research center and library specializing in...

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10. The Politics of Anti-Zionism and Racial Democracy in Homeland Tourism

John Tofik Karam

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pp. 215-227

Since the late nineteenth century, Brazilians of Syrian and Lebanese descent have visited their homelands. Yet, during the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, the marketing strategies of airline enterprises and state powers both reproduced and transformed their practice of traveling to the eastern...

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11. Rio de Janeiro’s Global Bazaar: Syrian, Lebanese, and Chinese Merchants in the Saara

Neiva Vieira da Cunha and Pedro Paulo Thiago de Mello, Translated by Silvia C. Ferreira

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pp. 228-240

The Saara is at once Rio de Janeiro’s most enduring and most vibrant popular commercial area. It comprises eleven city blocks and 1,250 stores (Ribeiro 2000; Worcman 2000), and is frequented daily by many people from all over the city. According to the president of its principal organization, about 150,000...

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12. Muslim Identities in Brazil: Engaging Local and Transnational Spheres

Paulo Gabriel Hilu da Rocha Pinto

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pp. 241-256

Brazil has one of the largest Muslim communities of the Americas,¹ which has been formed by diverse waves of migration from the Middle East (Syria, Lebanon, Palestine) since the nineteenth century and by the conversion of non-Arab Brazilians. The Muslim community is mostly urban, with large...

Part Three. Literature and Transregional Media Cultures

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13. Telenovelas and Muslim Identities in Brazil

Silvia M. Montenegro, Translated by Anneliese Pollock

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pp. 259-278

Telenovelas (evening soap operas or serial melodramas) represent the most popular genre of contemporary narrative media in Brazil. They attract more viewers, by far, each night than films, situation comedies, television news broadcasts, and musical programs. Social controversies, political events, and...

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14. Turco Peddlers, Brazilian Plantationists, and Transnational Arabs: The Genre Triangle of Levantine-Brazilian Literature

Silvia C. Ferreira

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pp. 279-295

Since their initial arrival in Brazil at the end of the nineteenth century, Levantine migrants and their descendants have written prolifically in the Portuguese language. While historians have read some of their works as part of the historical archive, little attention has been paid to their production of uniquely...

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15. Multiple Homelands: Heritage and Migrancy in Brazilian Mahjari Literature

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pp. 296-307

John Tofik Karam demonstrates in Another Arabesque how an Arab identity has been recently embraced as a component of Brazilian culture and society in reaction to increased globalization (Karam 2007). In this chapter, I explore the roots of a multicultural Brazil with a recognized Arab component that lie...

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16. Orientalism in Milton Hatoum’s Fiction

Daniela Birman, Translated by Silvia C. Ferreira

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pp. 308-321

Milton Hatoum’s debut novel, Relato de um certo oriente (Tale of a Certain Orient) abounds with references to popular imaginings of the Middle East. The novel describes typical Middle Eastern delicacies, customary prayers in the direction of Mecca, learning the Arabic language, and stories from...

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17. Arab-Brazilian Literature: Alberto Mussa’s Mu‘allaqa and South-South Dialogue

Waïl S. Hassan

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pp. 322-336

While the last two decades have been marked by the geopolitical dominance of the United States in the aftermath of the Soviet Union’s demise—dominance that was manifested militarily in the two Iraq wars, the first of which (“Operation Desert Storm” to liberate Kuwait from Saddam Hussein in 1991...

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Contributors

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pp. 337-340

Paul Amar, trained in the fields of political science, urban anthropology, sociology of globalization, and comparative literature, serves as Associate Professor of Global and International Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is author of The Security Archipelago: Human-Security States...

Index

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pp. 341-355