Arabs in the Mirror: Images and Self-images from Pre-Islamic to Modern Times

Arabs in the Mirror: Images and Self-images from Pre-Islamic to Modern Times

By: Nissim Rejwan (author)Paperback

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To bring new perspectives to the question of Arab identity, Iraqi-born scholar Nissim Rejwan has assembled this fascinating collection of writings by Arab and Western intellectuals, who try to define what it means to be Arab. He begins with pre-Islamic times and continues to the last decades of the twentieth century, quoting thinkers ranging from Ibn Khaldun to modern writers such as al-Ansari, Haykal, Ahmad Amin, al-'Azm, and Said. Through their works, Rejwan shows how Arabs have grappled with such significant issues as the influence of Islam, the rise of nationalism, the quest for democracy, women's status, the younger generation, Egypt's place in the Arab world, Israel's role in Middle Eastern conflict, and the West's "cultural invasion." By letting Arabs speak for themselves, Arabs in the Mirror refutes a prominent Western stereotype-that Arabs are incapable of self-reflection or self-government. On the contrary, it reveals a rich tradition of self-criticism and self-knowledge in the Arab world.

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About Author

Nissim Rejwan is currently a Research Fellow at the Harry S Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Over a distinguished, six-decade career as a historian and journalist, he has published a dozen books, including The Jews of Iraq: 3000 Years of History and Culture and Israel's Place in the Middle East: A Pluralist Perspective, for which he won the 1998 National Jewish Book Award for Israel Studies.


Prologue. The Bedouin, the Camel, the Sand, and the Palm Tree One. Identity and Self-Definition Two. Ibn Khaldun's Appraisal Appraised Three. "Arabizing the Arabs" Four. Self-Images Old and New Five. Calls for "Critical Self-Analysis" Six. Unity in Diversity Seven. The Quest for Democracy Eight. Resources and Development Nine. The Social Scene Ten. The Case of Egypt Eleven. The West's Inroads Twelve. The Difference Israel Has Made Thirteen. New Lessons for Old Fourteen. The Intellectuals Appendix. Portraits in a Mirror: Three Fictional Versions Index

Product Details

  • publication date: 15/04/2008
  • ISBN13: 9780292717282
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 224
  • ID: 9780292717282
  • weight: 511
  • ISBN10: 0292717288

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