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Urban Violence in the Middle East

Changing Cityscapes in the Transition from Empire to Nation State

Edited by Ulrike Freitag, Nelida Fuccaro, Claudia Ghrawi, and Nora Lafi

334 pages, 21 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78238-583-7 $95.00/£67.00 Hb Published (March 2015)

eISBN 978-1-78238-584-4 eBook


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“…the spatial approach of the studies in this volume provides a framework for understanding recent events. For students and researchers examining street politics and urban conflict, in the Middle East or beyond, Urban Violence in the Middle East shows how macro level spatial context can be used to develop deeper and more nuanced understanding of micro level violence and political contestation.” · Middle East Media and Book Reviews Online

“This is a very remarkable collection of chapters... The totality is a lively read, exhibiting an almost universal familiarity with and appreciation of the literature.” · Peter Sluglett, National University of Singapore

“...the book is timely, it is topical and useful for a more historically grounded understanding of the urban unrest in the Middle East during the last years up to the present.” · Christoph Herzog, University of Bamberg

Covering a period from the late eighteenth century to today, this volume explores the phenomenon of urban violence in order to unveil general developments and historical specificities in a variety of Middle Eastern contexts. By situating incidents in particular processes and conflicts, the case studies seek to counter notions of a violent Middle East in order to foster a new understanding of violence beyond that of a meaningless and destructive social and political act. Contributions explore processes sparked by the transition from empires — Ottoman and Qajar, but also European — to the formation of nation states, and the resulting changes in cityscapes throughout the region.

Ulrike Freitag is a historian of the Modern Middle East with a special interest in urban history and the Arabian Peninsula in its global context. She directs Zentrum Moderner Orient and teaches at the Freie Universität. She is author of Indian Ocean Migrants and State Formation in Hadhramaut (Brill, 2003).

Nelida Fuccaro is Reader in Modern Middle Eastern History at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. She is the author of Histories of City and State in the Persian Gulf (CUP, 2008) and the editor of “Histories of Oil and Urban Modernity in the Middle East” in CSSAAME (2013).

Claudia Ghrawi holds a Master of Arts degree in history and political science and studied Arabic in Damascus and Berlin. She works as a research fellow at the Zentrum Moderner Orient and is a Ph.D. student at the Freie Universität Berlin.

Nora Lafi is researcher at Zentrum Moderner Orient and is a historian of the Ottoman Empire with a focus on Urban Studies. She is coeditor of The City in the Ottoman Empire: Migration and the Making of Urban Modernity (Routledge, 2010).

Series: Volume 14, Space and Place
Subject: Urban Studies General History
Area: Middle East & Israel

LC: HN656.Z9V587 2015

BISAC: SOC051000 SOCIAL SCIENCE/Violence in Society; POL002000 POLITICAL SCIENCE/Public Policy/City Planning & Urban Development

BIC: JFSG Urban communities; JFFE Violence in society




Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments

Introduction: Urban Violence in the Middle East: Changing Cityscapes in the Transition from Empire to Nation State
Claudia Ghrawi, Fatemeh Masjedi, Nelida Fuccaro, Ulrike Freitag

Part I: Managing and Employing Violence

Chapter 1. Mapping and Scaling Urban Violence: The 1800 Insurrection in Cairo
Nora Lafi

Chapter 2. A Capital Challenge: Managing Violence and Disorders in Late Ottoman Istanbul
Noémi Lévy-Aksu

Chapter 3. Gendered Obscenity: Women’s Tongues, Men’s Phalluses and the State’s Fist in the Making of Urban Norm in Interwar Egypt
Hanan Hammad

Part II: Symbolic Politics of Violence

Chapter 4. Urban Violence, the Muharram Processions and the Transformation of Iranian Urban Society: The Case of Dezful
Reza Masoudi Nejad

Chapter 5. Symbolic Politics and Urban Violence in Late Ottoman Jeddah
Ulrike Freitag

Part III: Communal Violence and its Discontents

Chapter 6. The 1850 Uprising in Aleppo: Reconsidering the Explanatory Power of Sectarian Argumentations
Feras Krimsti

Chapter 7. The City as a Stage for a Violent Spectacle: The Massacres of Armenians in Istanbul in 1895-96
Florian Riedler

Chapter 8. Transforming the Holy City: From Communal Clashes to Urban Violence, the Nebi Musa Riots in 1920
Roberto Mazza

Part IV: Oil Cities: Spatiality and Violence

Chapter 9. On Lines and Fences: Labour, Community and Violence in an Oil City
Rasmus Christian Elling

Chapter 10. Reading Oil as Urban Violence: Kirkuk and its Oil Conurbation, 1927-1958
Nelida Fuccaro

Chapter 11. Structural and Physical Violence in Saudi Arabian Oil Towns, 1953-1956
Claudia Ghrawi

Afterword: Urban Injustice, Urban Violence and the Revolution: Reflections on Cairo
Khaled Adham

Notes on Contributors
Bibliography

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