Postwar Beirut conjures up contradictory images of remarkable openness and inconceivable violence, of great antiquity and a bright future. The Lebanese capital stands for Arab cosmopolitanism and cultural effervescence but also for its tragedies of destruction. This book examines the historical formation of Beirut as a multiply contested Mediterranean city. Fin de Siècle Beirut is a landmark contribution to the growing literature in Ottoman studies, in Arab cultural history and on Mediterranean cities. Combining urban theory, particularly Henri Lefebvre's work on cities and capitalism, with postcolonial methodology, the central thesis of this book is that modern Beirut is the outcome of persistent social and intellectual struggles over the production of space. The city of Beirut was at once the product, the object, and the project of imperial and urban politics of difference: overlapping European, Ottoman, and municipal civilising missions competed in the political fields of administration, infrastructure, urban planning, public health, education, public morality, journalism, and architecture. Jens Hanssen offers a comprehensive, original account of the emergence of modern Beirut out of an economic shift away from Acre in the wake of the Napoleonic wars. He argues that the Ottoman government's decision to heed calls for the creation of a new province around Beirut and grant it provincial capital status in 1888 paved the way for fundamental urban and regional reconfigurations long before colonial policies during the French Mandate period. This new Ottoman province came to constitute the territorial embodiment of regional self-determination for Arab nationalists in Beirut until the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire after World War I. Drawing on published and unpublished Ottoman government documents, Arabic sources, and European archival material, Hanssen's book traces the urban experience of modernity in the Ottoman Empire. The transformation of everyday life in late nineteenth-century Beirut and the concomitant policies of urban management is vividly set against the devastating civil war in Mount Lebanon and Damascus in 1860.
This comprehensive and beautifully illustrated collection of essays conveys a vivid picture of a fascinating and hugely significant period in history, the Fin de Siècle. Featuring contributions from over forty international scholars, this book takes a thematic approach to a period of huge upheaval across all walks of life, and is truly innovative in examining the Fin de Siècle from a global perspective. The volume includes pathbreaking essays on how the period was experienced not only in Europe and North America, but also in China, Japan, the Middle East, Latin America, Africa, India, and elsewhere across the globe. Thematic topics covered include new concepts of time and space, globalization, the city, and new political movements including nationalism, the "New Liberalism", and socialism and communism. The volume also looks at the development of mass media over this period and emerging trends in culture, such as advertising and consumption, film and publishing, as well as the technological and scientific changes that shaped the world at the turn of the nineteenth century, such as the invention of the telephone, new transport systems, eugenics and physics. The Fin-de-Siècle World also considers issues such as selfhood through chapters looking at gender, sexuality, adolescence, race and class, and considers the importance of different religions, both old and new, at the turn of the century. Finally the volume examines significant and emerging trends in art, music and literature alongside movements such as realism and aestheticism. This volume conveys a vivid picture of how politics, religion, popular and artistic culture, social practices and scientific endeavours fitted together in an exciting world of change. It will be invaluable reading for all students and scholars of the Fin-de-Siècle period.
The book explores the affairs of Mount Lebanon and its surrounds through fourteen centuries, beginning with the emergence of its Christian, Muslim and Islamic-derived communities between the sixth and eleventh centuries. Against this backdrop, it interprets the modern republic of Lebanon from Ottoman antecedents to present day crises.
Whether in search of adventure and opportunity or fleeing poverty and violence, millions of people migrated to Argentina in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. By the late 1920s Arabic speakers were one of the country’s largest immigrant groups. This book explores their experience, which was quite different from the danger and deprivation faced by twenty-first-century immigrants from the Middle East. Hyland shows how Syrians and Lebanese, Christians, Jews, and Muslims adapted to local social and political conditions, entered labor markets, established community institutions, raised families, and attempted to pursue their individual dreams and community goals. By showing how societies can come to terms with new arrivals and their descendants, Hyland addresses notions of belonging and acceptance, of integration and opportunity. He tells a story of immigrants and a story of Argentina that is at once timely and timeless.
This book offers the first critical engagement with the political economy of the Middle East and North Africa. Challenging conventional wisdom on the origins and contemporary dynamics of capitalism in the region, these cutting-edge essays demonstrate how critical political economy can illuminate both historical and contemporary dynamics of the region and contribute to wider political economy debates from the vantage point of the Middle East. Leading scholars, representing several disciplines, contribute both thematic and country-specific analyses. Their writings critically examine major issues in political economy—notably, the mutual constitution of states, markets, and classes; the co-constitution of class, race, gender, and other forms of identity; varying modes of capital accumulation and the legal, political, and cultural forms of their regulation; relations among local, national, and global forms of capital, class, and culture; technopolitics; the role of war in the constitution of states and classes; and practices and cultures of domination and resistance. Visit politicaleconomyproject.org for additional media and learning resources.
Levant is a book of cities. It describes the role of Smyrna, Alexandria and Beirut as windows on the world, escapes from nationality and tradition, centres of wealth, pleasure and freedom. By their mix of races and religions, they challenge stereotypes. France and Britain liberated the area through their schools, while conquering it through arms. They were not only manipulators but manipulated, often invited in by local factions. Smyrna, Alexandria and Beirut were both pacifiers and stimulants of nationalism. Nasser was born in Alexandria, Smyrna and Beirut became centres of Turkish and Arab nationalism. Using unpublished family papers Philip Mansel describes their colourful, contradictory history, from the beginning of the French alliance with the Ottoman Empire in the sixteenth century to their decline in the mid twentieth century. Smyrna was burnt; Alexandria Egyptianised; Beirut lacerated by civil war. Levant is the first history in English of these cities in the modern age. Levant is also a challenge from history. It is about ourselves; it shows how Muslims, Christians and Jews live together in cities. Levantine compromises, putting deals befor ideals, pragmatism before ideology, made these cities work, until states reclaimed them for nationalism. Smyrna, Alexandria and Beirut have a message for today. The new Levantine cities of the twenty-first century, with comparable mixes of races and religions, are London, Paris and New York.
Explores the influences that triggered the Arabic awakening, the 'nahdah', from the 1700s onwards. To understand today's Arab thinking, you need to go back to the beginnings of modernity: the nahdah or Arab renaissance of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Abdulrazzak Patel enhances our understanding of the nahdah and its intellectuals, taking into account important internal factors alongside external forces.Patel explores the key factors that contributed to the rise and development of the nahdah, he introduces the humanist movement of the period that was the driving force behind much of the linguistic, literary and educational activity. Drawing on intellectual history, literary history and postcolonial studies, he argues that the nahdah was the product of native development and foreign assistance and that nahdah reformist thought was hybrid in nature. Overall, this study highlights the complexity of the movement and offers a more pluralist history of the period.