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Ethnicity and Identity

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A website for K-12 educators featuring innovative resource on the culture, geography, history and religions of the Middle East, including essays, classroom activities, downloadable multimedia content and interactive Google Earth tours.


This web site aims to bring to you a wide variety of resources on Arab Culture and Civilization, but much more is available. This bibliography includes a number of additional materials that you may wish to consult. Texts that have recently been annotated or added to this list are shown with a tan background. In addition, there are many other online resources that you can explore from our links list.

Leadership and development in Arab society / Fuad I. Khuri, editor. [Beirut]: Center for Arab and Middle East Studies, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, American University of Beirut, 1981

Minorities and the State in the Arab World. Edited by Ofra Bengio and Gabriel Ben-Dor. Boulder : Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1999

Notes: This collection of essays by Israeli scholars discusses the situation of minority communities in eight Arab countries, including Iraq, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria and Egypt. It is edited and includes essays by a senior research fellow at the Moshe Dayan Center and a professor of political science and director of the graduate program in national security studies at the University of Haifa.

Religion and citizenship in Europe and the Arab world / edited by Jørgen S. Nielsen. (CSIC Studies on Islam and Christianity) London: Grey Seal, 1992

The Transformation of nomadic society in the Arab East / edited by Martha Mundy and Basim Musallam. Cambridge, UK: New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000

Notes: A volume of essays discussing the challenges pastoral nomadism has undergone, especially within the last century. Contributors subscribe to a vision of nomadism in the Middle East as a phenomenon not set apart from society, but engaged with it. Also discusses the changing environment of the steppes of the Middle East in the face of agricultural development.

Progressive Muslims on Jusice, Gender and Pluralism. Omid Safi, ed. Oxford: One World Press, 2003.

Notes: Edited and with an introduction by an Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Colgate University, this book is a collection of essays by prominent Muslim thinkers on the topics indicated in the title.

al-Mughni, Haya. Women in Kuwait: the politics of gender / Haya al-Mughni. London: Saqi, 1993

Notes: A study of the status of women in Kuwait, focusing on the role of women’s groups. The author proposes that the constraints of class and patriarchal tradition have the greatest effect on Kuwaiti women. The second edition includes 2 new chapters dealing with the post-Gulf War era.

Alcalay, Ammiel. After Jews and Arabs: Remaking Levantine Culture. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 1992.

Notes: In this book the author traces historical relations between Jews, Arabs and other Middle Eastern communities, arguing that the solution to the current situation in the Middle East requires considering contemporary cultures of the region, particularly Israeli culture, within a Middle Eastern historical and cultural context.

Asher, Michael, 1953-. The last of the Bedu: in search of the myth / Michael Asher; with colour photographs by Mariantonietta Peru. 1st ed. London: Viking, 1996

Bat Yeor. The decline of Eastern Christianity under Islam: from Jihad to Dhimmitude: seventh-twentieth century / Bat Ye'or; with a foreword by Jacques Ellul; translated from the French by Miriam Kochan and David Littman. Madison, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1996

-----. The Dhimmi: Jews and Christians under Islam / Bat Yeor; with a preface by Jacques Ellul; translated from the French by David Maisel (author's text), Paul Fenton (document section), and David Littman. Rutherford, [N.J.]: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press; London: Associated University Presses, ©1985

Notes: Examines the status of non-Muslims in Muslim territories throughout history and into the 20th century. Contains many primary sources connected to the subject matter as well as illustrations and glossaries.

Ben-Yehuda, Hemda, 1954-. The Arab-Israeli conflict transformed: fifty years of interstate and ethnic crises / Hemda Ben-Yehuda and Shmuel Sandler. (SUNY series in global politics) Albany: State University of New York Press, c2002

Notes: A study of the Arab-Israeli conflict using political theory and quantitative analysis as tools to prove the authors’ conclusion: that the conflict has transformed and lessened in the past quarter-century. The authors are both associated with Bar-Ilan University.

Brett, Michael and Elizabeth Fentress. The Berbers. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1997.

Notes: A history of the indigenous populations of North Africa by a lecturer in African history at the School of Oriental and African Studies at London University and an archeologist who is currently Mellon Professor of the American Academy in Rome.

Cadora, F. J. Bedouin, village, and urban Arabic: an ecolinguistic study / by F.J. Cadora. (Studies in Semitic languages and linguistics, 0081-8461; 18) Leiden; New York: E.J. Brill, ©1992

Notes: A linguistic study of Arabic as spoken by both sedentary (rural and urban) and non-sedentary (Bedouin) peoples. The author attributes differences in dialect among these groups to cultural and environmental differences. Presupposes a prior knowledge of linguistics.

Caspi, Mishael, 1932-. From slumber to awakening: culture and identity of Arab Israeli literati / Mishael Maswari Caspi, Jerome David Weltsch. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1998

Notes: Seeks to understand Arab Israeli identity and culture through the lens of literature. Includes interviews with Arab-Israeli and Jewish Israeli literati.

Cohen, Mark R. and A.L. Udovitch, eds.. Jews among Arabs: contacts and boundaries. Princeton, N.J. : Darwin Press, ©1989

Notes: Explores the “experience of Jewish communities of North Africa and Iraq in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries as one example of interaction between a religioethnic group and the dominant surrounding Arab Muslim society.” Contributions to this work are the result of a colloquium of the same name at Princeton University.

Haddad, Heskel M. Jews of Arab and Islamic countries: history, problems, solutions / by Heskel M. Haddad. New York: Shengold Publishers, ©1984

Notes: Considers the history of Jews of Arab and Islamic countries, who are generally considered to be Sephardic Jews. The author gives an historical and contemporary account of the status of Sephardic Jews in these countries in order to explain their current status in relation to Ashkenazi Jews in Israel.

Hazen, William Edward, 1933-. Middle Eastern subcultures: a regional approach / William E. Hazen, Mohammed Mughisudden [i.e. Mughisuddin], contributors, George N. Atiyeh, Abdul A. Said, Alan R. Taylor. Lexington, Mass.: Lexington Books, [1975]

Notes: Discusses six perceived subcultures in the Middle East—the military, the students, the professionals, the communicators, the bureaucracy, and the Western-educated elites—as they relate to regionalism, Islam and ideology. The authors are employees of the American Institutes for Research.

Hourani, Albert Habib. Minorities in the Arab World. New York: AMS Press, [1982] Reprint. Originally published: London; New York: Oxford University Press, 1947

Jabbur, Jibrail Sulayman. The Bedouins and the desert: aspects of nomadic life in the Arab East / Jibrail S. Jabbur; translated from the Arabic by Lawrence I. Conrad; edited by Suhayl J. Jabbur and Lawrence I. Conrad. (SUNY series in Near Eastern studies) Albany: State University of New York Press, ©1995

Notes: A detailed account of the nomadic peoples of the Syrian desert. Includes descriptions of desert flora and fauna, camels, and ecosystems, as well as the cultures and traditions of the bedouins. Translated from Arabic. Illustrated.

Khalidi, Rashid. Palestinian identity: the construction of modern national consciousness / Rashid Khalidi. New York: Columbia University Press, ©1997

Notes: An exploration of the development of the Palestinian national identity, within the context of history as well as the development of other national identities in the Middle East. The author is a professor at the University of Chicago and was an advisor to the Palestinian faction during the Middle East peace process in the mid-nineties.

Nash, Geoffrey. The Arab writer in English: Arab themes in a metropolitan language, 1908-1958 / Geoffrey Nash; foreword by Miles L. Bradbury. Portland, Ore.: Sussex Academic Press, 1998

Notes: Discusses the works of “Anglo-Arab” writers: Ameen Rihani, Khalil Jibran, George Antonius, and Edward Atiyah, all Lebanese authors writing in English. The author is a lecturer in English at Qatar University.

Nicholas S. Hopkins and Saad Eddin Ibrahim. Arab society: class, gender, power, and development. 3rd ed. Cairo, Egypt: American University in Cairo Press, ©1997

Notes: A text consisting of articles selected by professors of Sociology and Anthropology at the American University in Cairo for use in their undergraduate courses. Divided into seven sections: Arab society in general, demography, family and gender, development, politics, the environment and human rights, and religion.

Qleibo, Ali H. (Ali Hussein), 1955-. Before the mountains disappear: an ethnographic chronicle of the modern Palestinians / by Ali H. Qleibo. [Cairo]: Kloreus Book, ©1992

Sabour, M'hammed. The ontology and status of intellectuals in Arab academia and society / M'hammed Sabour. Aldershot; Burlington, VT: Ashgate, c2001

Shnell, Itzhak. Perceptions of Israeli-Arabs: territoriality and identity / Izhak Schnell. Aldershot, England: Avebury; Brookfield, Vt., USA: Ashgate Pub. Co., ©1994

Notes: Discusses how Arabs living in Israel perceive their identity and how that identity is linked to the idea of territory. Based on interviews and hard data. The author is a professor at Tel Aviv University.

Stillman, Norman A., 1945-. The Jews of Arab lands in modern times / Norman A. Stillman. Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society, 1991

Notes: A social history of Jews living in Arab countries from the beginning of the 19th century through 1967. The second half of the book is devoted entirely to translated primary sources as well as illustrations. The author is a professor of History and Arabic at SUNY-Binghamton.

Talhami, Ghada Hashem. Palestine and Egyptian national identity / Ghada Hashem Talhami. New York: Praeger, 1992

Notes: The author, a professor at Lake Forest College and a fellow of the Middle East Studies Center of Chicago, contends that Egyptian identities over the last century have largely been shaped by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Touches on the issues of Egyptian nationalism versus Arab nationalism as well as the identities of religious minorities in Egypt. Presupposes prior knowledge of Egyptian and Middle Eastern history.

Yamani, Mai. Changed identities: the challenge of the new generation in Saudi Arabia / Mai Yamani. London: Royal Institute of International Affairs; Washington, DC: distributed by the Brookings Institution, c2000

Notes: A study of present socioeconomic conditions in Saudi Arabia, specifically focusing on questions of identity and one’s role in society. Based on interviews with Saudi youth, ages 15-30. The author has been a scholar and lecturer in Saudi Arabia, Britain, and the US.

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