Ottoman Jerusalem in the Jawhariyah Memoirs: Volume One of the Memoirs of the Musician Wasif Jawhariyah, 1904-1917


These diaries cover a critical period of modern Jerusalem at the end of Ottoman rule. The author describes many aspects of daily life in Jerusalem and its suburbs, including religious ceremonies and secular celebrations, and ranging over a number of remarkable events, such as the introduction of electricity, the automobile, the phonograph, and cinema, as well as the welcome given by the inhabitants of the Baq'a neighborhood of the first Ottoman airplane to land in the city. These diaries also chronicle the author's life as an officer in the Ottoman army, his tour of duty at the Dead Sea, and his relationship to notable personages in the city of Jerusalem, such as Husayn al-Husayni. They also contain a colorful evocation of the fabric of life in the neighborhoods of Sa'diyyah and Misrarah. The book includes numerous historical photographs from the Jawhariyah collection, as well as appendices that document various aspects of the prevailing socio-economic system in Jerusalem at the time. The Jawhariyah diaries supply us with a unique glimpse of daily life in Jerusalem at the beginning of the twentieth century. Wasif Jawhariyah's lively voice is sarcastic at times, tame and pluralistic at other times, but always unmistakably secular. His memoirs provide a much-needed alternative view of Ottoman Jerusalem, amidst an abundance of studies that depict the city in this period as though it lay outside history and as though its entire existence was steeped in a set of religious identities. Thus, these diaries are not merely modern in character, but rather depict a city in the process of entering into modernity.

E edition: 
Second (First, was published in Jerusalem 2003)
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About the Author(s)

Wasif JAWHARIYAH was a composer, oud (Oriental lute) musician, and historian, who was born in Jerusalem in 1897 and died in Beirut in 1973.

Edited and introduced by:Salim Tamari,Issam Nassar

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.

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.


Institute for Palestine Studies
Second (First, was published in Jerusalem 2003)
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Language: Arabic
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