By Rasheed El-Enany
This is often one of many first books in English to discover Arab responses to Western tradition and values in smooth Arab literature. via in-depth learn El-Enany examines the attitudes as expressed in most cases via works of fiction written via Arab authors in the course of the 20th, and, to a lesser volume, 19th century. It constitutes an unique addition to the age-old East-West debate, and is especially appropriate to the present dialogue on Islam and the West. along elevating hugely topical questions about stereotypical ideas concerning Arabs and Muslims quite often, the ebook explores representations of the West by means of the main Arab intellectuals over a two-century interval, as much as the current day, and should attract people with an curiosity in Islam, the center East, nationalism and the so-called ‘Clash of Civilizations’.
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Additional resources for Arab Representation of Occident: East- West Encounters in Arabic Fiction (Culture and Civilization in the Middle East)
If the French think nothing of this or that vice, that is fine by him, and he is perfectly happy to explain their ‘vices’ in ‘natural’ terms. By contrast, he is critical of polygamy and the custom of owning slave women, still then in practice in parts of the Ottoman Empire. If anything, he sees this as a worse vice than prostitution. 70 Why he describes the offspring of Eastern men in these pejorative terms can be attributed to the different styles of raising children between the two cultures. 71 By contrast, ‘mothers in the east raise their children to be superstitious, .
101 By way of justifying the writing of his book, he refers to the importance of understanding the European other in these terms: ‘We can properly distinguish what is most suitable for us only by having knowledge of those outside our own group, and especially of those who surround and live close to us’ (p. 71). He goes on to remind his reader that ‘secular organisation is a firm foundation for supporting the religious system’, and is not loath to express displeasure with religious scholars for their failure to observe the ‘circumstances of time in the application of Law’, and for being ignorant of both domestic and foreign events (p.
I dreamt of possessing their wonderful inventiveness, cleanliness and sense of order, but possessing them myself as an Arab, for I was not prepared to have one single hair of my head changed. ’ with as much rancour and disgust as I admired what I saw of them in Ismailia, Alexandria and Port Said . . * * * If calls for caution in the emulation of Western civilisation were already being made in the pre-colonial period as we have seen in cAli Mubarak’s views Colonial period: encounters under duress 35 expressed through his fictitious spokesman, cAlam al-Din, they were only bound to grow louder in the colonial period when the ‘ills’ of the West came closer to home, and the antagonism to all things Western was a natural response to the culture of the coloniser.
Arab Representation of Occident: East- West Encounters in Arabic Fiction (Culture and Civilization in the Middle East) by Rasheed El-Enany