The A-Z entries feature extensive information about each city's location, geography, demographics, climate and environmental issues, ancient and classical history, Islamic history, post-1800 C.E. history, architecture, religious significance, cultural issues, society, municipal features, economic issues, and contemporary trends. Introductory essays explore urban general history and historiography, urban planning and modernization, poverty, interaction between cities, social welfare, culture, identity issues, and the place of these cities within the world economy.
Michael R. T. Dumper is reader in Middle East politics at the University of Exeter, Exeter, UK, specializing in urbanism and religious institutions of the Middle East.
Bruce E. Stanley is provost at Huron University in London and a research fellow in the Department of Politics at the University of Exeter, Exeter, UK, specializing in Middle East political economy and urbanization.
Michael Dumper plots a history of Jerusalem that examines this intersecting and multileveled matrix and, in so doing, is able to portray the constraints on Israeli control over the city and the resilience of Palestinian enclaves after forty-five years of Israeli occupation. Adding to this complex mix is the role of numerous external influences—religious, political, financial, and cultural—so that the city is also a crucible for broader contestation. While the Palestinians may not return to their previous preeminence in the city, neither will Israel be able to assert a total and irreversible dominance. His conclusion is that the city will not only have to be shared but that the sharing will be based upon these many borders and the interplay between history, geography, and religion.
This volume is a must-read for anyone interested in the sweep of Syrian history and archaeology, and is an ideal partner to Burns’ Aleppo (2016). Lavishly illustrated, Damascus: A History remains a unique and compelling exploration of this fascinating city.