"A most enjoyable book abouut [Muslim women]--simple, dignified, human, colorful, sad and humble as the life they lead." --Muhsin Mahdi, Jewett Professor of Arabic Literature, Harvard Unversity.
Fernea's dialogue with friends, colleagues, and acquaintances prompts a range of diverse and unpredictable responses, but in every country she visits, women demonstrate they are anything but passive. In Iraq, we see an 85 percent literacy rate among women; in Egypt, we see women owning their own farms; and in Israel, we see women at the very forefront of peacemaking efforts. Poor or rich, educated or illiterate, these women define their own needs, solve their own problems, and determine the boundaries of their own very real, very viable feminism. In Search of Islamic Feminism offers a groundbreaking new interpretation of the status and vision of Muslim women that will open up a new world to its readers, even as it challenges our own sense of what feminism means.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
The authors reveal the human face of the Arab World as they revisit and talk with newsmakers and colleagues, old friends and new. Their forty years of experience in the region help illuminate the human consequences of changes all too often discussed in abstractions and generalizations: the military conflicts, new urbanization, labor migration, religious revival, as well as radical changes in the roles of men, women, and the family. With new chapters on Baghdad, Beirut, Amman, Jerusalem, Marrakech, and Cairo, this new edition of The Arab World will strengthen its reputation as a book "which should be required reading for anyone with a serious interest in the Middle East" (The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs).
From the Trade Paperback edition.
The forty-one pieces are organized into sections on the history of childhood, growing up, health, work, education, politics and war, and play and the arts. They are presented in many forms: essays in history and social science, poems, proverbs, lullabies, games, and short stories. Countries represented are Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, Israel/West Bank, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Lebanon, Turkey, Yemen, and Afghanistan.
This book complements Elizabeth Fernea's earlier works, Women and the Family in the Middle East and Middle Eastern Muslim Women Speak (coedited with Basima Bezirgan). Like them, it will be important reading for everyone interested in the Middle East and in women's and children's issues.
Elizabeth Warnock Fernea, a well-known writer of books and documentary films about women and the family in the Middle East, has collected stories of childhoods spent in Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, and Turkey. The accounts span the entire twentieth century, a full range of ethnicities and religions, and the social spectrum from aristocracy to peasantry. They are grouped by eras, for which Fernea provides a concise historical sketch, and include a brief biography of each contributor. The introduction by anthropologist Robert A. Fernea sets the memoirs in the larger context of Middle Eastern life and culture.
As a collection, the memoirs offer an unprecedented opportunity to look at the same period in history in the same region of the world from a variety of very different remembered experiences. At times dramatic, humorous, or tragic, and always deeply felt, the memoirs document the diversity and richness of people's lives in the modern Middle East.
Coordinated with a documentary film of the same name, the book is designed as a tool for the study of conflict resolution generally and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in particular. The twelve original essays deal with the issues from different disciplinary perspectives: political science (Yehoshafat Harkabi, A. R. Norton, Muhammad Muslih, and Robert Vitalis); history (Avraham Zilkha and Joel Beinin); anthropology (Robert Rubinstein); sociology (Salim Tamari); film (Steven Talley); law (Edward Sherman); and international peacekeeping (Christian Harleman). The human side of the struggle is presented through brief biographies and portraits of twenty-five ordinary Israelis and Palestinians involved in peace activities in Israel and the West Bank.