While the notion of 'human rights' is sometimes thought to be a product of the Western Enlightenment, human rights as a subject for philosophical enquiry and a the basis for government in fact have a long and rich heritage within Arab thought. In this anthology, Salma K. Jayyusi brings together a list of distinguished scholars to reflect the range and depth of Arab thinking on this subject. Translated from the best-selling Arabic edition, this work offers English readers a fresh and original insight into the rich literature of human rights. Leading Arab intellectuals have made contributions on topics ranging from civil and political rights to the rights of women. Spanning pre-Islamic times to the present day, this work explores the developing relationship between the theory and practice of human rights in Arab societies. The contributors write from a number of perspectives: Islamist, secular, generalist, regionalist, historical and political, bringing together ideas which will challenge and enlighten anyone interested in human rights and the modern Arab world.
Salma K Jayyusi received her Ph.D. from the University of London (SOAS), and has published several books of her own writing, as well introducing numerous Arab writers to the English-speaking world for the first time. In 2005 she was awarded the Edward Said Award for Arab American literature. Her previous publications include 'Beyond the Dunes: An Anthology of Modern Saudi Literature' (I.B.Tauris).