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Area and Ethnic Studies > Middle Eastern Studies

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Abolition of Slavery in Ottoman Tunisia Cover

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Abolition of Slavery in Ottoman Tunisia

Ismael M. Montana

In this groundbreaking work, Ismael Montana fully explicates the complexity of Tunisian society and culture and reveals how abolition was able to occur in an environment hostile to such change. Moving beyond typical slave trade studies, he departs from the traditional regional paradigms that isolate slavery in North Africa from its global dynamics to examine the trans-Saharan slave trade in a broader historical context. The result is a study that reveals how European capitalism, political pressure, and evolving social dynamics throughout the western Mediterranean region helped shape this seismic cultural event.

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Afghanistan in the Cinema

Mark Graham

In this timely critical introduction to the representation of Afghanistan in film, Mark Graham examines the often surprising combination of propaganda and poetry in films made in Hollywood and the East. Through the lenses of postcolonial theory and historical reassessment, Graham analyzes what these films say about Afghanistan, Islam, and the West and argues that they are integral tools for forming discourse on Afghanistan, a means for understanding and avoiding past mistakes, and symbols of the country's shaky but promising future. Thoughtfully addressing many of the misperceptions about Afghanistan perpetuated in the West, Afghanistan in the Cinema incorporates incisive analysis of the market factors, funding sources, and political agendas that have shaped the films. _x000B__x000B_The book considers a range of films, beginning with the 1970s epics The Man Who Would Become King and The Horsemen and following the shifts in representation of the Muslim world during the Russian War in films such as The Beast and Rambo III. Graham then moves on to Taliban-era films such as Kandahar, Osama, and Ellipsis, the first Afghan film directed by a woman. Lastly, the book discusses imperialist nostalgia in films such as Charlie Wilson's War and destabilizing visions represented in contemporary works such as The Kite Runner. _x000B_

Alexandrian Cosmopolitanism Cover

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Alexandrian Cosmopolitanism

An Archive

Hala Halim

Interrogating how Alexandria became enshrined as the exemplary cosmopolitan space in the Middle East, this book mounts a radical critique of Eurocentric conceptions of cosmopolitanism. The dominant account of Alexandrian cosmopolitanism elevates things European in the city's culture and simultaneously places things Egyptian under the sign of decline. The book goes beyond this civilization/barbarism binary to trace other modes of intercultural solidarity. Halim presents a comparative study of literary representations, addressing poetry, fiction, guidebooks, and operettas, among other genres. She reappraises three writers--C. P. Cavafy, E. M. Forster, and Lawrence Durrell-- whom she maintains have been cast as the canon of Alexandria. Attending to issues of genre, gender, ethnicity, and class, she refutes the view that these writers' representations are largely congruent and uncovers a variety of positions ranging from Orientalist to anti-colonial. The book then turns to Bernard de Zogheb, a virtually unpublished writer, and elicits his Camp parodies of elite Levantine mores in operettas one of which centers on Cavafy. Drawing on Arabic critical and historical texts, as well as contemporary writers' and filmmakers' engagement with the canonical triumvirate, Halim orchestrates an Egyptian dialogue with the European representations.

Algeria in France Cover

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Algeria in France

Transpolitics, Race, and Nation

Paul A. Silverstein

Algerian migration to France began at the end of the 19th century, but in recent years France's Algerian community has been the focus of a shifting public debate encompassing issues of unemployment, multiculturalism, Islam, and terrorism. In this finely crafted historical and anthropological study, Paul A. Silverstein examines a wide range of social and cultural forms -- from immigration policy, colonial governance, and urban planning to corporate advertising, sports, literary narratives, and songs -- for what they reveal about postcolonial Algerian subjectivities. Investigating the connection between anti-immigrant racism and the rise of Islamist and Berberist ideologies among the "second generation" ("Beurs"), he argues that the appropriation of these cultural-political projects by Algerians in France represents a critique of notions of European or Mediterranean unity and elucidates the mechanisms by which the Algerian civil war has been transferred onto French soil.

Algerians without Borders Cover

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Algerians without Borders

The Making of a Global Frontier Society

Allan Christelow

This account of Algeria through its migratory history begins in the last quarter of the eighteenth century by looking at forced migration through the slave trade. It moves through the colonial era and continues into Algeria’s turbulent postcolonial experience.

In Algerians without Borders, Allan Christelow examines the factors that have drawn or pushed Algerians to cross borders, both literal and metaphoric. He provides an in-depth analysis of the results of these crossings: from problematic efforts to secure external support for political projects, to building interfaith dialogue and the exploration of new ideas, to the emergence of new communities. He also investigates the return of border crossers to Algeria and the challenges they face in adapting to new environments, whether negotiating alliances, engaging in dialogue, or simply seeking legal acceptance.

Christelow concludes with a discussion of the last few decades of Algerian history. He explores how Algerian intellectuals operated outside of the country's borders, spurred on by the rise of Islamism as well as by freer dialogues with Western powers, specifically Britain and the United States. The result is an alternate history of Algeria that demonstrates just how much its citizens' engagement with other societies has transformed the country.

Alliance Israelite Universelle and the Jewish Communities of Morocco, 18621962, The Cover

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Alliance Israelite Universelle and the Jewish Communities of Morocco, 18621962, The

The Alliance Israélite Universelle—an international organization representing a community of over 240,000 Jews—was founded in France in 1860. Its goal was to achieve the intellectual regeneration and social and political elevation of the Jewish people. This book examines the impact of the AIU on Moroccan Jewry. It answers such questions as: How did the AIU establish itself in Morocco’s communities? How did it go on to become a power not to be underestimated by either the Moroccan government or the Europeans? And more importantly, how did the AIU improve the conditions of the Jews in Morocco, creating an important Frenchspeaking urban elite? Also discussed are such topics as Zionism and JewishMuslim relations in Morocco.

Amazigh Arts in Morocco Cover

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Amazigh Arts in Morocco

Women Shaping Berber Identity

By Cynthia Becker

In southeastern Morocco, around the oasis of Tafilalet, the Ait Khabbash people weave brightly colored carpets, embroider indigo head coverings, paint their faces with saffron, and wear ornate jewelry. Their extraordinarily detailed arts are rich in cultural symbolism; they are always breathtakingly beautiful—and they are typically made by women. Like other Amazigh (Berber) groups (but in contrast to the Arab societies of North Africa), the Ait Khabbash have entrusted their artistic responsibilities to women. Cynthia Becker spent years in Morocco living among these women and, through family connections and female fellowship, achieved unprecedented access to the artistic rituals of the Ait Khabbash. The result is more than a stunning examination of the arts themselves, it is also an illumination of women's roles in Islamic North Africa and the many ways in which women negotiate complex social and religious issues. One of the reasons Amazigh women are artists is that the arts are expressions of ethnic identity, and it follows that the guardians of Amazigh identity ought to be those who literally ensure its continuation from generation to generation, the Amazigh women. Not surprisingly, the arts are visual expressions of womanhood, and fertility symbols are prevalent. Controlling the visual symbols of Amazigh identity has given these women power and prestige. Their clothing, tattoos, and jewelry are public identity statements; such public artistic expressions contrast with the stereotype that women in the Islamic world are secluded and veiled. But their role as public identity symbols can also be restrictive, and history (French colonialism, the subsequent rise of an Arab-dominated government in Morocco, and the recent emergence of a transnational Berber movement) has forced Ait Khabbash women to adapt their arts as their people adapt to the contemporary world. By framing Amazigh arts with historical and cultural context, Cynthia Becker allows the reader to see the full measure of these fascinating artworks.

The American University of Beirut Cover

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The American University of Beirut

Arab Nationalism and Liberal Education

By Betty S. Anderson

Among the Jasmine Trees Cover

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Among the Jasmine Trees

Music and Modernity in Contemporary Syria

Jonathan Holt Shannon

How does a Middle Eastern community create a modern image through its expression of heritage and authenticity? In Among the Jasmine Trees: Music and Modernity in Contemporary Syria, Jonathan H. Shannon investigates expressions of authenticity in Syria's musical culture, which is particularly known for embracing and preserving the Arab musical tradition, and which has seldom been researched in depth by Western scholars. Music plays a key role in the process of self-imaging by virtue of its ability to convey feeling and emotion, and Shannon explores a variety of performance genres, Sufi rituals, song lyrics, melodic modes, and aesthetic criteria. Shannon shows that although the music may evoke the old, the traditional, and the local, these are re-envisioned as signifiers of the modern national profile. A valuable contribution to the study of music and identity and to the ethnomusicology of the modern Middle East, Among the Jasmine Trees details this music and its reception for the first time, offering an original theoretical framework for understanding contemporary Arab culture, music, and society.

Ancient and Modern Israel Cover

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Ancient and Modern Israel

An Exploration of Political Parallels

This book identifies and examines those parallels between ancient and modern Israel that help to clarify the conflicts apparent in modern Israel. It discusses such contemporary issues as the Arab uprising and the Israeli government’s ambivalence in dealing with it; the government’s inability to come to a permanent solution concerning the territories occupied in 1967; and the lack of a clear-cut consensus in the 1988 elections.

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