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Acknowledgments This book is drawn from research conducted in Damascus for twentyfour months, from 1992 to 1994, with a monthlong return visit in February–March 1996. Fieldwork was supported by grants from the Social Science Research Council and the Linacre House Trust, and sponsored by the Syrian Directorate of Antiquities. To adequately thank all the individuals who helped would require at least a name for every page. In Damascus, special thanks go to Iman Abdul Rahim for intellectual input and enduring friendship . Rebecca Foote, Hana Nahas, Mary Tahan, Steven Tamari, and Elizabeth Thompson provided numerous contacts during the initial stage of fieldwork. The many Syrians who lent their time and energy I must thank anonymously, but their patience and generosity warrant more acknowledgment than a mere ethnography can pay. My deepest gratitude goes to Paul Dresch, whose breadth of vision and feel for ethnography sustained me through each stage of fieldwork and writing. Many others read and commented on various sections of the manuscript: Mukulika Banerjee, Morgan Clarke, Roberta Dougherty, Dale Eickelman, Annie Hudson, Pratima Mitchell, David Odo, James Piscatori, Diane Scheinman, Ken Seigneurie, Jonathan Shannon, Andrew Shryock, Fawwaz Traboulsi. Marlin Dick, who shares my sensitivity to Damascene dialect, helped with transliteration . Walter Armbrust’s tireless, sensitive engagement warrants special mention. Thanks also to Rebecca Tolen, my editor at Indiana University Press, for careful reading and helpful advice, and to John Mulvihill for his thorough copyediting. My Lebanese American University colleagues, especially Sami Baroudi, created an ideal environment for the final stages of writing. Mona Khalaf and the research staff at the Institute for Women’s Studies in the Arab World offered valuable comments and suggestions on my gender material. Social Science and Education Division research assistants Layal Abu Darwich, Mohammed Ayoub, and Jean-Paul Chamie helped with numerous last-minute queries. LAU graphic arts student Yasmina Take Arslan designed the map of elite Damascus. For friendship and unflagging support across time and space, I must thank Gail Baker, Jane De George, Samer El-Karanshawy, Gwenda Foord, Cristina Mansfield, Francisca Mutapi, Marcus ParkerRhodes , Faujja Singh, and Lynne Townley. Much of the credit for the virtues of this book, but none of the blame for its faults, goes to these individuals and many others who helped along the way. x Acknowledgments ...

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