The late Ottoman period was one of enormous change. This book focuses on the evolution of Ottoman reform as it was perceived, and negotiated, from the perspectives of the capital Istanbul and of the Arab provinces of Syria, including Palestine. It also examines the close interrelationship between the symbolic and actual measures introduced by the state, particularly since the Tanzimat era (1839-76), and the role of Islam as its foundational ethos and as the religion of the majority of the population. The twelve case studies included in this volume reveal the extent of the changes that the Ottoman Empire underwent throughout the period, ranging from the Ottoman dynasty and court at the top, to the marginalized Druzes and Bedouin populations on the periphery.
Itzchak Weismann is lecturer at the Department of Middle Eastern History, the University of Haifa, Israel. His research interests encompass modern Sufi, fundamentalist and radical Islamic movements. He is the author of 'Taste of Modernity - Sufism, Salafiyya, and Arabism in Late Ottoman Damascus'. Fruma Zachs is lecturer at the Department of Middle Eastern History, the University of Haifa, Israel. Her research interests focus on eighteenth and nineteenth century Ottoman Syria, especially Christian Arab intellectuals and the construction of their self-identity. She is the author of 'The Rise of the Syrian Identity: Intellectuals and Merchants in Nineteenth Century Beirut'.