Studies in the Social History of the Arab East (Bilad al-Sham): Biographies and Autobiographies


The essays in this volume attempt to redress a gap in the social history of the Arab East (Bilad ash-Sham) by suggesting an alternative reading of biographic and auto-biographic literature, with emphasis on subaltern biographies. It focuses on the lives of marginal and marginalized figures who played a critical role in the cultural life Eastern Mediterranean countries in the 19th and 20th centuries. It also addresses linkages, continuities, and ruptures in the social and cultural life of Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, and Jordan.

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About the Author(s)

Editors:Issam Nassar,Salim Tamari

Issam NASSAR is Assistant Professor of Middle East History at Illinois State University. He previously was on faculty at Al-Quds University in Jerusalem and was the associate director of the Institute for Jerusalem Studies. He is also associate editor of Jerusalem Quarterly.

Salim TAMARI is IPS senior fellow and the former director of the IPS-affiliated Institute of Jerusalem Studies. He is editor of Jerusalem Quarterly and Hawliyyat al Quds.

He is professor of sociology at Birzeit University and an adjunct professor at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University. He has authored several works on urban culture, political sociology, biography and social history, and the social history of the Eastern Mediterranean. Recent publications include: Year of the Locust: Palestine and Syria during WWI (UC Press, 2010) Ihsan's War: The Intimate Life of an Ottoman Soldier (IPS, Beirut, 2008); The Mountain Against the Sea (University of California Press, 2008); Biography and Social History of Bilad al Sham (edited with I. Nassar,2007, Beirut IPS); Pilgrims, Lepers, and Stuffed Cabbage: Essays on Jerusalem's Cultural History (edited, with I. Nassar, IJS, 2005) and Essays on the Cultural History of Ottoman and Mandate Jerusalem (editor, IJS, 2005).

Tamari has served as visiting professor, University of California at Berkeley (2005, 2007, 2008); Eric Lane Fellow, Cambridge University (2008); lecturer in Mediterranean Studies Venice University (2002-present); among other posts.


Institute for Palestine Studies
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