What is the nature of intellectual activity in the Middle East, and what is its role in politics and society? While much scholarly attention has been given to the intelligentsia in the West, a comprehensive analysis of the social role of intellectuals in the Middle East has until now been lacking. This new book seeks to fill this gap, providing an overview of the role of influential thinkers in public life in the Middle East, and the impact they have had upon social, political and cultural spheres in the region. Covering a diverse range of key thinkers on the Middle East from Edward Said, Mohamed Arkoun and Halim Barakat to Abd al-Rahman al-Kawakibi and Abd al-Ghani al-Nabulusi, the book examines intellectuals' connections to social movements, 'street politics' and civil society, and democracy and its prospects in the region. This is an important new contribution to the literature on Middle Eastern societies and politics.
Mohammed A. Bamyeh is Professor of Sociology at the University of Pittsburgh, USA, and the editor of International Sociology Review of Books. He specializes in the study of social movements and revolutions, the comparative history of ideas and global sociology.
Introduction The Social Dynamism and the Organic Intellectual - Mohammed A. Bamyeh PART I: INTELLECTUALS AS MODERN VANGUARD 2. Nazik al-'Abid and the Nur al-Fayha' Society: Independent Modernity, Colonial Threat and the Space of Women - Elizabeth Williams 3. Edification Between Sect and Nation: Murad Farag and al-Tahdhib 1901-03 - Lital Levy 4. The Public Intellectual and the Secret Society: Al-Kawakibi and his Legacy - Sanna Makhlouf PART II: INTELLECTUALS AS DEFENDERS OF HERITAGE 5. The 'Alim as Public Intellectual: Abd al-Ghani al-Nabulusi as a Scholar-Activist - Steve Tamari 6. Founders of Islam in Republican Turkey: Kisakurek and Topcu - Michelangelo Guida 7. Islamist Intellectuals and Women in Turkey - Fatma Tutuncu PART III: INTELLECTUALS AS MIGRANTS 8. Leading Arab Intellectuals in the West: the Cases of Mohamed Arkoun and Edward Said - Thomas Brisson 9. Some Distinctive Features of Mahjar Arab Intellectuals: On Hisham Sharabi and Halim Barakat - Nedal al-Mousa Conclusion