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Books to Understand the Arab World

Posted by alicehilligan , 29 September 2021 · 54 views

Books to Understand the Arab World

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1. The History of the Arab Peoples, Albert Hourani

With efficiency and extensive documentation, the author unfolds the history of the Arab peoples from the 7th century, when the new religion was beginning to spread from the Arabian Peninsula to the West.

He describes the expansion of monotheism and the Arabic language and the creation of the mighty Ottoman Empire. He showed its disintegration, the development of European trade during the 19th century, the rise of nationalism and nation-states, the transformation of Arab culture due to new influences, and the reaffirmation of Islamic identity in recent times.

2. The World of Islamic Civilization, Gustave Le Bon

It is one of the most remarkable works about Arab culture. It includes the origin and characteristics of the Arab race, its empire, its customs, institutions, and, finally, the history of the civilization and decadence of one of the most influential peoples in history. All illustrated by hundreds of pictures that make this edition a valuable example of Arab art.
This book is often referred to by paper writers when preparing their materials and reviews about Arab culture.

3. Orientalism, Edward W. Said

An essential classic to understand the eternal misunderstandings about the Islamic world.

Edward W. Said offers us an enlightening description of the formation and development of clichés about Islam and Muslims, which often impede or bias our vision. He shows us how these "ideological clichés" obey the interests and strategies of the dominant power and points out the difficulty for the Western world to think about the East if it is not first able to break those prejudices that distort our reading.

4. Dreams on the Threspass, Fatima Mernissi

Fatima Mernissi was a revolutionary author who must be read. In Dreams on the Threspass, the Moroccan narrates in the first person what her childhood was like and how different her paternal and maternal families were. In this review, you have my impressions.

Any book by the author can bring you closer to the reality of Morocco, even if you find negative things because of the culture shock. You have to read Fatima Mernissi because of how much you can learn from her and her life and because she shows a side that we tend to forget: that she was free to choose her way of life.

5. Ten Things I Hate About Me, Randa Abdel-Fattah

Ten Things I Hate About Me shows the inner conflict of a teenage girl who wants to follow her ways and integrate into society. It is a challenging but not impossible task. Of course, having some support in the environment is a great help. Teenage rebellion or struggle to defend herself? The author shows us how a young Muslim girl feels in a country where her religion is a minority.
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