The African Renaissance and the Afro-Arab Spring addresses the often unspoken connection between the powerful call for a political-cultural renaissance that emerged with the end of South African apartheid and the popular revolts of 2011 that dramatically remade the landscape in Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia. Looking between southern and northern Africa, the transcontinental line from Cape to Cairo that for so long supported colonialism, its chapters explore the deep roots of these two decisive events and demonstrate how they are linked by shared opposition to legacies of political, economic, and cultural subjugation. As they work from African, Islamic, and Western perspectives, the book’s contributors shed important light on a continent’s difficult history and undertake a critical conversation about whether and how the desire for radical change holds the possibility of a new beginning for Africa, a beginning that may well reshape the contours of global affairs.
How did Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood win power so quickly after the dramatic “Arab Spring” uprising that ended President Hosni Mubarak’s thirty-year reign in February 2011? And why did the Brotherhood fall from power even more quickly, culminating with the popular “rebellion” and military coup that toppled Egypt’s first elected president, Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi, in July 2013? In Arab Fall, Eric Trager examines the Brotherhood’s decision making throughout this critical period, explaining its reasons for joining the 2011 uprising, running for a majority of the seats in the 2011–2012 parliamentary elections, and nominating a presidential candidate despite its initial promise not to do so. Based on extensive research in Egypt and interviews with dozens of Brotherhood leaders and cadres including Morsi, Trager argues that the very organizational characteristics that helped the Brotherhood win power also contributed to its rapid downfall. The Brotherhood’s intensive process for recruiting members and its rigid nationwide command-chain meant that it possessed unparalleled mobilizing capabilities for winning the first post-Mubarak parliamentary and presidential elections.
Yet the Brotherhood’s hierarchical organizational culture, in which dissenters are banished and critics are viewed as enemies of Islam, bred exclusivism. This alienated many Egyptians, including many within Egypt’s state institutions. The Brotherhood’s insularity also prevented its leaders from recognizing how quickly the country was slipping from their grasp, leaving hundreds of thousands of Muslim Brothers entirely unprepared for the brutal crackdown that followed Morsi’s overthrow. Trager concludes with an assessment of the current state of Egyptian politics and examines the Brotherhood’s prospects for reemerging.
Islamic literature is rich, varied, and abundant, as befits the literature of a civilization which once controlled an empire as great as that of the Romans. In Aspects of Islamic Civilization, A. J. Arberry has chosen and translated passages from the most highly regarded works of Islamic literature in order to illustrate the development of Islamic civilization from its origins in the sixth century to the present.
This anthology is made up of selections from Arabic and Persian writers who have given world renown to Islamic literature—such as Hafiz, Sa'di, Jalal al-Din Rumi, Omar Khayyam, Ibn al-Farid, Avicenna, Ibn Hazm—and from such works as the Koran, the Masnavi, and the Moorish Anthology. It is an invaluable collection of sources for anyone interested in the Moslem world and a fascinating volume to browse in.
Working with stylized typographic and calligraphic forms, Egyptian-Lebanese street artist Bahia Shehab brings creative presentations of language and culture to public spaces around the world. During the Egyptian revolution of 2011, she began taking to the streets to paint. Starting in Cairo, Shehab began creating large-scale public art as a form of resistance against military rule and violence. With her spray can in hand, this artist, designer, and historian set out to spread beautiful and empowering images in the face of tumultuous times. Now she has taken her peaceful resistance to the streets of the world, creating works in cities from New York to Tokyo, Amsterdam, and Honolulu. Engaging with identity and the preservation of cultural heritage, Shehab creates work that investigates Islamic art history and reinterprets contemporary Arab politics, feminist discourse, and social issues. Internationally renowned, Shehab’s work has been on display in exhibitions, galleries, and city streets across the world and has earned her a number of international recognitions and awards, including the BBC 100 Women list, TED Senior fellowship, and a Prince Claus Award. In 2016, she became the first Arab woman to receive the UNESCO-Sharjah Prize for Arab Culture.
At the Corner of a Dream offers extensive documentation of Shehab’s powerful street paintings. It also chronicles the stories of the people she meets along her journeys and includes her observations from the streets of each new city she visits. Shehab’s work is a manifesto, a cry for freedom and dignity, and a call to never stop dreaming.
"Pamuk is a writer who shares my reverence for the great art of the novel. He takes the novel seriously in a way that is perhaps no longer possible for Western writers, boldly describing it as European civilization’s greatest invention."—Michael McGaha
Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk is a prominent voice in Turkish literature, speaking to the country’s history, culture, and politics. In 2006, he became the first Turkish writer to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Autobiographies of Orhan Pamuk is the first book-length study of the life and writings of Pamuk. It provides both a historical and cultural context that will help readers better understand and appreciate both the man and his work. It begins with a brief biography, outlines Pamuk’s contributions to Turkish literature and history, examines how his art has evolved over the past thirty years, and discusses some of the writers who provided inspiration. Though his books deal with specifically Turkish issues, like all great literature the themes they explore are universal. In addition to a thorough analysis of his seven published novels, including Snow and My Name is Red, an entire chapter is devoted to his first two novels, Cevdet Bey and Sons and The Silent House, which have yet to be translated into English.
This is a comprehensive examination of the Nobel laureate’s work, free of jargon and of interest to anyone who enjoys good literature.