By Christa Salamandra
"[F]illed with infrequent encounters with Syria's oldest, such a lot elite households. Critics of anthropology's flavor for exoticism and marginality will take pleasure in this learn of upper-class Damascus, a global that's urbane and cosmopolitan, but in some ways as distant because the settings within which the easiest ethnography has generally been done.... [Written] with a nuanced appreciation of the cultural varieties in query and the way Damascenes themselves imagine, discuss, and create them." -- Andrew ShryockIn modern city Syria, debates in regards to the illustration, maintenance, and recovery of the previous urban of Damascus have turn into a part of prestige pageant and identification building one of the city's elite. In subject matter eating places and nightclubs that play on photographs of Syrian culture, in tv courses, nostalgic literature, and visible paintings, and within the rhetoric of historical protection teams, the assumption of the previous urban has turn into a commodity for the intake of holiday makers and, most vital, of recent and previous segments of the Syrian higher classification. during this vigorous ethnographic research, Christa Salamandra argues that during deploying and debating such representations, Syrians dispute the prior and criticize the present.Indiana sequence in center East reviews -- Mark Tessler, normal editor
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Additional resources for A New Old Damascus: Authenticity And Distinction In Urban Syria (Indiana Series in Middle East Studies)
Studies of such “dual cities” point to continuities between colonial urban planning and contemporary social and class structures. The classic case studies have dealt with North African cities, where French planners built new residential areas outside indigenous medinas. Perceived differences in culture were deemed to require residential segregation. According to Louis Herbert Lyautey, governor of Morocco from 1912 to 1925, and chief architect of the dual-city approach: Large streets, boulevards, tall facades for stores and homes, installation of water and electricity are necessary, [all of] which upset the indigenous city completely, making the customary way of life impossible.
144–145). In a context of heightened identity politics, authenticity becomes a means of controlling representation. As we shall see, Damascenes very often point to the local origins of a culture producer as evidence of a product’s authenticity; a non-Damascene screenwriter’s research-based depiction of Damascus is dismissed in favor of lived experience. Having the right to speak for an identity is as important as, and indeed often overrides, what is actually said. I therefore seek not to define authenticity, but rather to explore the uses of this concept in the processes of identity construction and social distinction.
D. 750, Damascus lost its eminence, becoming a provincial town within the Abbasid Empire. D. 934–1071 or 1075), Seljuks (1071–1174), Ayyubids (1174–1260), Mameluks (1260–1516), and Ottomans (1516–1918). The Hashimite Prince Faisal’s brief reign lasted from 1918 until 1920, the beginning of the French occupation. 1 For centuries Damascus has been an important stop along a major hajj (pilgrimage) route to Mecca. An oasis once surrounded by lavish orchards, the city has long been renowned for its beauty throughout the Arab and Muslim worlds.