Whereas most studies of Islamism focus on politics and religious ideology, this book analyses the ways in which Islamism in the Arab world is defined, reflected, transmitted and contested in a variety of creative and other cultural forms. It covers a range of contexts of production and reception, from the early twentieth century to the present, and with reference to cultural production in and/or about Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, the Gulf, Lebanon and Israel/Palestine. The material engaged with is produced in Arabic, English and French and includes fiction, autobiography, feature films, television series, television reportage, the press, rap music and video games. Throughout, the book highlights the multiple forms and contested interpretations of Islamism in the Arab world, exploring trends and tensions in the ways Islamism is represented to (primarily) Arab audiences and complicating simplistic perspectives on this phenomenon. The book considers repeated and idiosyncratic themes, modes of characterisation, motifs, structures of feeling and forms of engagement, in the context of an ongoing struggle for symbolic power in the region.
How do people come to think of themselves as part of a nation? Dramas of Nationhood identifies a fantastic cultural form that binds together the Egyptian nation—television serials. These melodramatic programs—like soap operas but more closely tied to political and social issues than their Western counterparts—have been shown on television in Egypt for more than thirty years. In this book, Lila Abu-Lughod examines the shifting politics of these serials and the way their contents both reflect and seek to direct the changing course of Islam, gender relations, and everyday life in this Middle Eastern nation. Representing a decade's worth of research, Dramas of Nationhood makes a case for the importance of studying television to answer larger questions about culture, power, and modern self-fashionings. Abu-Lughod explores the elements of developmentalist ideology and the visions of national progress that once dominated Egyptian television—now experiencing a crisis. She discusses the broadcasts in rich detail, from the generic emotional qualities of TV serials and the depictions of authentic national culture, to the debates inflamed by their deliberate strategies for combating religious extremism.
In Love in Exile Bahaa Taher presents multilayered variations on the themes of exile, disillusionment, failed dreams, and the redemptive power of love. Unwilling to recant his Nasserist beliefs, the unnamed narrator is an Egyptian journalist in a self-imposed exile in Europe after conflict with the management of his newspaper and a divorce from his wife. Absorbed in introspection over his impotent position at the paper and in ill health, he suddenly finds himself faced with two issues he cannot ignore: the escalating tensions in Israeli-occupied Lebanon and, more personally, an unexpected love affair with a much younger Austrian woman, Brigitte. Brigitte, also an exile of sorts, encourages him to turn his back on the problems and pressures of the everyday world and cocoon himself in the warmth of their love. However, the horror of events surrounding the occupation of Lebanon in 1982 soon shocks them out of their contentment and safety.
Written to accompany an exhibition at the Moesgard Museum in Aarhus, Denmark in 2003-2004, this handsome volume describes the culture and civilization of the region south of Cairo on the upper Nile River. Scholars from Denmark, Egypt, France, the UK, and the Netherlands contributed chapters.
This indispensible guide to modern Arabic literature in English translation features not only a comprehensive bibliography but also chapters on fiction, drama, poetry, and autobiography, as well as a special chapter on Iraq's Arabic literature. By focusing on Najib Mahfuz, one of Arabic Literature's luminaries, and on poetry--a major, if not the major genre of the region-- Altoma assesses the progress made towards a wider reception of Arabic writing throughout the western world.
Taking a global view, this volume is a landmark analysis of the enormous growth of Christianity in the southern hemisphere and its revolutionary implications for both the church and political landscape in the 21st century.
For those who want to find out more about Africa and the Middle East than can be found in a normal guidebook, Sarah Anderson’s Travel Companion offers a delightfully informed personal selection, including travel literature, illustrated volumes, biographies and memoirs, and more. Travelers and readers can discover novels set in Kenya, cultural studies of Syria, or guidebooks best suited to their tastes. This is an indispensable companion for every serious reader of travel writing.