He took his B. He taught at Boston College and Sarah Lawrence College before taking up his post in Oxford in , where he teaches the modern history of the Middle East. Tauris, In the Horn of Africa, borders come from centuries of international political debate with, or even without, supposedly local authorities. The European colonial and pre-colonial experience in the Horn brought in this political panorama a need to adjust the political, social and geographic dimensions of statehood, so that they would coincide. The colonies in the periphery could only this way be recognised by the centre as dignified subjects, in contrast with the locally more diffuse power structures otherwise invisible to European eyes.
Borders were not unknown to local populations before the arrival of the Europeans, but they followed the movements of the social compositions rather than demarcating the territoriality of a certain sovereignty. The distinction between regional actors is in fact primarily in the way power and borders are conceived, where Ethiopia shares a territorial vision with the western world.
Therefore, when in presence of weak states with no or little national cohesion nor an effective control of their territory, such as Somalia, chronic issues recur in the application of dominium to a territory, as erroneously assimilated to a consistent people. However, these constant efforts to re-affirm this vision of statehood borders has deepened the fractures that already ran in the socially composite national people and did not let political and social unrest bring about a positive, constructive change inside these bubbles of statehood.
In the whole region, it appears how the authorities still find it hard to establish a socially cohesive power able to overrule the transnationally built identities made of religious and ethnic characteristics, and continuously re-trace colonial borders in the absence of a coherent revision of the issue. The sea cannot be divided: it represents a link between different peoples much more than an obstacle. Piracy is a typical transnational threat, because no ship running course in dangerous waters can be considered really safe from pirate attacks.
Seafarers from more than 30 nations were involved in kidnapping and hijacking: in , for instance, at least Philippine and almost Indian seamen were held as hostages. A dramatic decrease in piracy attacks was registered in however, Horn of Africa, Somalia and Indian Ocean are still far from safe. This paper aims to describe the following issues: a short history of the piracy in HOA; an analysis of the impact of piracy on seatrade; a description of the new forms of international collaboration against piracy.
This paper will open the discussion on people from South Central Asia and their role in the Persian Gulf region and beyond during the 19th and 20th centuries. The major motivations to Asian movements were originated from environmental issues as well as from socio-economic conditions in their land. These conditions implied numerous consequences such as the expansion of lawless habits throughout their region, enslaving by external powerful groups, and the progressive creation of new roles in the Persian Gulf region such as the military one.
For a long time available literature, not generous at all on this particular topic, did portray the Asians as a monolithic group of people who migrated in search of a better life. Nevertheless, we would like to try to re-read the role of this Asian community and especially their migrations throughout the wider Persian Gulf region.
Within this framework, the realities of terrain, climate and maritime connections and interconnections played a crucial influence on the construction of the Asian identity throughout contemporary history. This paper aims to focus on more than one littoral and more than one region, with the object of analyzing different perspectives both chronologically and methodologically.
It should be noted at the outset that ethnocentric views—especially Eurocentric ones—have informed numerous studies for a long time, and sometimes still do. In this regard, most of western oriented strategic studies and analysis on the role of South Central Asian region and of their people throughout history did focus on external menaces, interests and priorities. International, as well as regional policies that did ignore consistently both of these perspectives were, and probably will, destined to fail.
Consequently, we believe that an inward looking to the region and to the, true, identity of Asian groups and tribes, essentially a cultural identity regardless of political boundaries, could ease new, and more empathic approaches to the study of their roles throughout the broader Persian Gulf region. The first paper will ask how mizrahi fiction relates to ashkenazi Israeli fiction.
Obviously, Israeli literature is the context from which mizrahi literature emerged, and from which it is nourished. Mizrahi fiction proves that a group of people who had been subaltern for decades can, in fact, produce a minor literature that engages in a bold critical dialogue with the hegemonic major literature, its language and its forms of discourse.
From a preliminary survey of the various components belonging to what can be called mizrahi writing, one could then acknowledge the difference between the major Israeli literature and the minor mizrahi literature. This paper will consider the case of contemporary Jewish authors of Libyan descent in Israel to explore the understanding, appropriation or rejection of terms such as mizrahi and Arab Jew and of notions of heritage as they are reflected in their literary production. The texts will be considered against the background of the history of Israeli literature, mainly in the light of earlier stages of affirmation of these terms by mizrahi authors e.
This paper will instead talk about the cultural and literary contribution of the second and third-generation of Israelis of Moroccan Jewish descent and the ways in which this led to broadening the spaces of Diasporic memory and how it changed the Israeli national master narrative. Shabnam Holliday Plymouth University , Comparing Rouhanism and Khatamism: discourses about democracy and dialogue among civilisation. For Gramsci, hegemony is grounded in both domestic and international politics. His response is that there is no doubt: they follow Gramsci This elaboration of hegemony is an interesting framework through which to examine the relationship between international and domestic politics in Iran.
The aim of this paper is two-fold. Secondly, the paper argues that the election of Rouhani and the fact that he was permitted to be a presidential candidate demonstrates a change in domestic politics, which in turn has also led to a change in international politics through the process of nuclear negotiations. Thus, as Gramsci suggests noted above there is a complex relationship between domestic and international politics, whereby the international follows the social.
Relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Gulf monarchies have always been problematic. Despite common interests, GCC states have perceived Iran primarily as a threat to their strategic interest. Regional developments, including the Iran-Iraq War in the s and the domestic conflict in Iraq since , have underlined these differences.
The identification of an Iranian threat has aided political cooperation among the Gulf States as well as between these states and the United States. The Iranian regime, despite these realities, has tried to improve ties with the Gulf monarchies. In doing so, it has attempted to challenge notions of Iranian otherness, and emphasized common identities and interests. This attempt had mixed results under Ahmadinejad. How has this attempt been received among the Gulf states? What are the prospects of Iran-Gulf relations under Rouhani?
One year after the victory of Hassan Rohani in the 11th presidential elections the regional scenario in the Middle East post Arab Spring has changed drastically. The main reason behind that change is the shift in the Iranian foreign policy implemented by the new Iranian president and its first immediate consequence: the resumption of direct conversations with the United States and the nuclear negotiations.
This started to show some positive effects in the Iranian foreign trade damaged by the sanctions as well as a more confidence in the role that Iran could exert in the regional conflicts such as Syria. But, are the policies and discourse of Rohani so different than his predecessor Ahmadinejad? Is Rohani implementing a reform in the economic system? Is Rohani changing the relation between the police-state and the population?
Or it is only a cosmetic change in order to convince the international community regarding his good will in implementing its requirements to release the freeze assets and lift the sanctions? Although one year is not enough to evaluate the performance of one president, it is possible to analize his discourse and the implementation of some of the promised measures during the brief campaign as well as its effects on the Iranian mood. Despite the demands for jobs, bread, and social justice echoing in the protest slogans of , very little has been done so far both in Egypt and Tunisia.
In many respects, the economic conditions have worsened: GDP growth is down, unemployment has been soaring, investments particularly FDIs are stagnant or even falling. Second, free-market policies referring to the Washington Consensus are still the core of the economic agendas of the countries at stake, despite being often blamed for the current economic problems they have been facing in the last decades.
On the other hand, both the Muslim Brotherhood and Ennahda made huge efforts to legitimize their image and get international support by portraying themselves as pro-market organizations. The aim of this paper is twofold. It will first assess the economic developments of both Egypt and Tunisia in light of the measures undertaken and their effectiveness. Ultimately, it will try to discuss the approach of the main political actors involved in the transition of the two countries with respect to austerity, free-market policies and alternative views.
This paper examines the socio-economic policies implemented after the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak in The paper aims to investigate whether the neoliberal economic policies adopted in the s and s have remained in place or whether they have been revised since the uprisings. Adopting a political economy perspective, I will discuss the nature of the recent waves of contestation over the Egyptian state by various factions of the elite i. A key theme of this paper is to explore how the policies adopted by the Egyptian elites in the post-revolutionary period have reshaped the legitimacy of the state in the eyes of its citizens.
The research draws on open-source materials and scholarly publications as well as policy documents, the Egyptian constitutional debates since as well as fieldwork and interviews. The overthrow of the Qadhafi regime and the liberation of Libya proclaimed was welcomed as a new beginning for the country.
This enthusiasm, shared by Libyans and the international community alike, spreads equally to the economic domain. Contrary to expectations, the Libyan transition soon derailed and revealed all the complexity of the state formation process. The economy has emerged as one of the conflicting issues in the Libyan transition, and economic dynamics have contributed to redesign the power struggle between entrenched groups in the transition. This paper is a study of the reconfiguration of social classes in Iran and Turkey since the s.
These were the turbulent decades in which Iran experienced a post-revolutionary crisis, and Turkey, following a military coup, embarked upon an outward oriented neoliberal economic strategy. There is a dearth of empirical study about the pattern of change in the class structure of the Middle East societies, as their socio-economic structures have undergone some radical transformations in the past decades. This study is an attempt in overcoming this deficiency by focusing on the case of Iran and Turkey in their socio-economic and political context in the past decades.
We propose to empirically verify the structure and the transformation of their respective class configurations within a comparative framework. The last three decades have been pivotal in the modern history of Iran and Turkey. These two predominantly Muslim, non-Arab Middle Eastern countries experienced an autocratic modernization-secularization transformation about the same time and in much similar patterns in the s. They both have weathered, each in its own way, turbulent political conditions, shifting economic strategies in the post-war period, and deep political contestations, including differentiated democracies and Islamization of their politics, especially in the last three decades.
Ironically, until , they had been the two most secular states, among the Middle Eastern countries. In spite of many similarities, however, Turkey and Iran are different in many ways, in their historical heritage and in the path of capitalist socio-economic development that they have undertaken in the past decades. In our study of the comparative analysis of class reconfiguration in Iran and Turkey we will examine the development of their economies in terms of the deepening of capitalist relations of production in corresponding periods.
The focus of our study is the impact of the discontinuous, turbulent economic development in these two economies on the configuration of their social classes. The general framework of our class analysis is a structural conception of class influenced by Rosemary Crompton , John Scott , and Erik O. Wright , We rely on the cross classification of data on occupational status-economic activities-occupational groups, collected in decennial national census in Iran and Turkey for the operationalization of class structures.
Specifically, this paper investigates negotiations surrounding the Qualified Industrial Zone QIZ trade agreement with the US and Israel, examining the networks created across traditional public-private and domestic-international divides. This paper argues that the policies and organizations resulting from these networks have restructured the textile sector in the interest of a select group of business elite, granting exclusive privileges such as access to export markets and policy making circles.
Second, it argues that rather than promote development of the sector, the agreement has resulted in further deindustrialization, primarily through: 1 facilitating the capture of export markets by a few connected firms, and 2 promoting policy that favors trade over manufacturing— thus privileging large garment assemblers using high import content and with few interfirm linkages over textile producers far more integrated into the local economy.
Through targeted interviews with state officials, business elite, and smaller firm owners, this paper aims to shed light on how networks of exclusion have been formed and formalized in the backdrop of neoliberal reforms, and how they continue to dictate participation in the Egyptian textile and garment sector to the present. The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan represents one of the hybrid regimes — between politics of elections and controlled-liberalization — in the Arab Middle East.
Having felt the exigencies of the climax of Arabism and Nasserist camps, the Kingdom banned the political parties in until the inauguration of the National Charter in Thus between the years and the political parties and the opposition groups were deprived of political sphere to mobilize effectively with the exception of the Muslim Brotherhood Society Ikhwan. Representing the most stable monarchies and regimes in the entire Middle East, Jordan has embarked on a process of political liberalization after This paper departs from a question about the nature of the political regime: that is, whether Mauritania should be classified as an authoritarian state?
In order to explore this we are going to examine one explanatory variable which is one among others that in the case of Mauritania has attracted little attention. The main indicators that we are going to analyze are: 1 the level of grassroots support for parties in Mauritanian society the legitimacy of the parties , 2 the level of adhesion people feel to the leader and the role of the leader within the party, 3 the creation of new parties between elections stability , 4 the degree of volatility, or the differences of electoral support between elections.
Our starting premise is that representative democracy is established upon the structure of political parties. This understanding of modernity has also informed recent studies on modern Arabic literature such as the books The Arabic Postcolonial Novel by Muhsin al-Musawi and Arabic Literature. It does not look at Arab modernity through a genealogic perspective, but understands it as the result of transformations taking place at different levels: social structure as, for example, the increasing social mobility and the new role of youth , worldview the crisis of Islamic reformism and the advent of nationalism as a hegemonic paradigm and literary genres the emergence of the novel.
What is specifically modern in the Arabic literary production of the nineteenth and twentieth century? What is the relationship between modernity and the establishment of the novel as a canonical genre? On the other side it consisted in a counterrevolution that aimed at re-introducing a new kind of transcendence in the social and cultural life of people with the aim of exercising forms of coercion and political control. The paper aims at identifying these two contrasting forces of modernity within the Arab literary texts that will be discussed.
Aim of this paper is to reassess the Algerian literary production into Arabic in the wider frame of Arab modernity. The main idea of my paper is that although set at the margins of the literary production in the Arab world, due to the French occupation which lasted until , Algeria had nonetheless a cultural production in the Arabic language of its own which led to the birth of the modern and contemporary novel in this language. Identifying modernity in the work of Algerian writers does not mean, in my opinion, trying to set a binary opposition between tradition and modernity, as it is the case of most scholarship, but to dismantle this dichotomy to propose a nuanced reading where modernity is present inside the text as a space where different voices merge and produce ambiguity.
This because usually modernity is associated with secularism, and — as Talal Asad has shown — this association has shifted in the context of postcolonial nation-state. The prevailing of this thesis in most scholarship in the West and the Rest has clasped the study of Arab modernity into the border of a relation with West disregarding the job some writers did inside the traditional religious frame.
This seems to me especially necessary when approaching the study of Algerian Literature and eventually its path into modernity. The most frequent opinion among scholars is that the Algerian novel written in Arabic begins in , after the independence from French occupation, and that Algerian writers are influenced by French modes of prose writing. This at least is what one can read in the very few scholarly contributions on the subject written in European languages. In my opinion, on the contrary, modernity in the Arabic language came as a result from an inner development of the narrative prose in the country and from a confrontation inner to the Arab world.
The paper analyzes some diachronical variations of utopian discourse in Arabic literature in their relationship to identity and modernity. While pre-Modern Arabic literary tradition does display a rich array of utopian features Barbaro it does not appear to have ever developed a defined utopian literary genre as such. Thus, utopian thinking should be seen as a vehicle for the introduction of modernity into the Arabic literary world, while connecting to older Arabic traditions. Utopian discourse normally operates at the junction of literature and social reflection; this makes its study especially significant to the investigation of the broader intellectual shifts it reflects and feeds into.
In this framework, the paper will outline historically how some Arabic texts expressed utopian desires and concerns in their historical-intellectual context; these desires and concerns contribute to shape the wider landscape of Arabic literary modernity and are in turn shaped by it. Biography is probably one of the most durable genres in Arabic literature. In these magazines that are considered being both the driving force and the mirror of the transformation processes of their time, biographical essays became a primary ingredient, figuring not least as inspiring or deterrent example.
This paper will discuss how biographical writing changed according to these new conditions and a changed world view. However, questions of style and the general approach to the portrayed person are no less important. The paper will thus examine the relationship between genre and worldview, between text and socio-political context.
In the wake of the colonization waves and the anti-colonial movements occurred in the Middle East starting from the end of the 19th century, the Arab literary landscape witnessed the emergence of political memoirs. A fairly new genre, these texts were conceived as the depositories of the national histories belonging to the states emerged after the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire that followed World War I. The aim of this paper is to examine the development of political memoirs in Egypt and their link with the claims made by the nationalist movement in the so-called Liberal Age Space will be given to the memoirs authored by the Egyptian upper class during or after the interwar period and depicting the political and cultural life of the country.
Finally, this paper attempts an analysis of the intentions behind the production of these memoirs and of the way they depict, on one side, the history of the Egyptian nationalist movement and, on the other, the image of the ideal intellectual that is called to serve his own country. This kind of autobiography worked as a mise en forme of a dominant narration, and it has been very important in endorsing the conviction that the aesthetic apprenticeship as an integrant part of the making of a modern subject. In my paper I will focus in particular on how the aesthetic apprenticeship has been considered by a generation of modern Egyptian intellectuals as a fundamental step of their global education and cultural training.
In contemporary Egyptian cultural production, a multifaceted process of construction of national identity has been taking shape. At the beginning of the XXth century, due to the hegemonic role of European narrative realism, traditional forms of writing were left out, to be resumed after decolonization and with the definition of nasserist nationalist project. A similar process of recovery also took place in theater, particularly from the late s on Ruocco The writer and dramatist Yusuf Idris, in the introduction to al-Farafir, suggests that, by reworking pre-modern forms of representation like the samir, it is possible to lay the foundations of a specifically Egyptian — and Arab — theatre Idris , in contrast with the Italian theatre.
The translation of European texts and their circulation influenced the Arab playwrights literary production. The texts themselves were drastically adapted into Arabic language and culture, to increase their empathy with the Arabic audience. The main purpose of this paper is to investigate whether and to what extent discourses on modernity can take shape in Egyptian theatre through the dialectics between tradition and innovation. Giulia Guadagnoli urban planner, Beyruth : Small scale tactical interventions on the urban physical environment: case study on informality in Municipal Beirut.
How do cities provide livable spaces for their users? How can users act in this regard? Extensive walks around Beirut explored various sites, where small scale tactical interventions shape the physical environment, across the public private divide and along negotiable lines of agency and entitlement. Starting , observations included up to 40 sites within Municipal Beirut. In in-depth ethnographic records for selected sites documented the social interactions behind the creation, preservation, modification or removal of these interventions. Some of them date back to the civil war.
Others occurred during post-war reconstruction. Meanwhile, recurrent political instability and the inertia of mainstream urbanism jeopardize ongoing efforts to develop public policy and urban governance. Informality constitutes a pervasive and persistent interference within the formal city, bypassing the binary opposition and the physical segregation which define informal settlements.
The research investigates to which extent the observed interventions can inspire innovative approaches to the governance of cities. The analysis questions binaries such as formal and informal, top-down and bottom-up, use and value, ownership and property. It explores opportunities for radical innovation through dissemination and conceptualization of networks and assemblages. It encourages oblique forms of civic engagement, where, thinking with Lefebvre, spatial conceptions and perceptions could be reconciled with how spaces are lived, inhabited, and physically shaped, by users.
The paper aims at reconstructing the set of processes of economic development that have featured the first decade of the XXI century in the Middle East and North Africa. On the one hand, growth, diversification of the economic international relations as well as the leading role played by the Gulf States while, on the other hand, structural vulnerability, unemployment and social polarization are some of the main macroeconomic trends which can be observed throughout the MENA countries. History and economics cannot explain by themselves the rise of social and political conflicts since late however, they can contribute to set out the context on which new political actors have emerged, the lines of fractures over which they, and their international partners, would position, as well as the huge challenges laying ahead for the future of the Middle East and North Africa.
Economic relations between the rich and poor states of the Middle East have changed dramatically over the past five years. At the turn of the twenty-first century, Egypt and Tunisia enjoyed commercial and financial ties to the oil-producing states of the Gulf that approached complementarity.
In exchange for investment capital from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, Egypt supplied skilled and unskilled labor and an assortment of manufactured goods. This situation has been severely disrupted by the popular uprisings that occurred in Egypt and Tunisia during the winter of In the wake of these revolts, the poorer countries found themselves more dependent upon the richer Arab states than at any time since the early s. Trends in these three sectors now approximate the situation that was present in the region during the era described by the classic volume Rich and Poor States in the Middle East.
Precisely how the pursuit of energy security influences relations between oil-rich and oil-poor states continues to puzzle scholars of international relations in the Middle East. At the same time, the position of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in regional affairs seems to be inordinately complex. The governments of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar have taken steps designed to maximize their respective oil revenues, while at the same time making a concerted effort to ensure the economic security of Arab oil-importing economies.
These contradictory imperatives tamed the strategic ambitions of the richer Arab states during the late s and early s, along the lines predicted by game theory. It appears much less likely that events after the uprisings will work out in a similar way. Current trends in hydrocarbon production and marketing, in conjunction with the rise of alternative energy sources, have set the stage for heightened levels of irrationality and sub-optimality in regional oil markets, which threaten to generate unprecedented conflicts between the oil-producing and oil-importing economies of the Middle East.
In the essays that he composed for the volume Rich and Poor States in the Middle East, Malcolm Kerr laid out the strategic consequences of heightened economic dependence of the poorer countries, most notably Egypt, on the oil-producing Arab states of the Gulf. Such dependence greatly constrained that range of diplomatic choices that was open to the Egyptian leadership, and forced Cairo to pursue a more cautious and passive role in regional affairs than it had played in the early s.
Following the popular uprising of February that removed Husni Mubarak from power, Egypt once again finds itself at a marked disadvantage relative to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. It is crucial to explore the specific ways in which the return to asymmetrical interdependence in regional affairs is likely to shape the options available to post-Mubarak policy-makers in Cairo.
During the late s, economic relations exerted a direct impact on the pattern of alliances that took shape among the Arab states of the Middle East. In particular, the emergence of asymmetrical interdependence between Egypt and Syria on one hand and Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates on the other increased the tendency toward entrapment that is inherent in the alliance dilemma among all states in an anarchic arena.
This paper analyzes the ways in which growing intra-regional economic interdependence during the s encouraged alliance partners that found themselves in a disadvantageous position to launch foreign policy initiatives that pulled their patrons into unwanted crises. Such dynamics seem highly likely to re-emerge in the Middle East in the wake of the popular uprisings that swept across the region in the winter of The foreign policy of Saudi Arabia has witnessed an unprecedented shift after the Arab Uprisings of , moving from a traditional keeper of the status quo into a seeker of regional hegemony.
This paper aims at analysing and explaining which regional factors have enabled the kingdom to conduct a more assertive foreign policy. In so doing, the paper compares Saudi policy towards Egypt and Syria after the October War and after the Uprisings of , while stressing the character of power differential between oil-rich and oil-poor countries over the two periods under consideration. Furthermore, the paper argues that, as socio-economic indicators in oil-poor countries ultimately weakened the domestic legitimacy of the regime in Egypt and Syria, eventually leading to the Arab Uprisings of , patron-client ties between Saudi Arabia and societal groups in both countries, such as religious organizations or businessmen, expanded and intensified.
There are many social stressors relating to marriage in general, i. These all relate to polygyny as well and are valid arguments to date. Through this medium women are granted the opportunity to give an insight into their lives, their changing state of education and the current economic climate. The method of visual ethnography can present alternative insights into intimate spaces and practices, familial traditions and emerging perspectives centered on an age old practice closely associated with both the region and Islam.
This paper also highlights the difficulties in the making-off process which again gives insights in the complex relationship of media and the tribally structured society of Oman. This paper deals with the role that Arab women can assume in inter-cultural communication through the pan-Arab media in the Gulf. Moving from a transnational to a transcultural media system means to create new educational platforms and to enhance social growth.
A more dynamic female involvement in the Gulf-based pan-Arab media sector and social media is analysed and seen as a great challenge and an extraordinary opportunity to transform long-term educational gains into real job opportunities for young women too. If properly managed within joint EU-GCC initiatives, such involvement might contribute effectively to countering stereotypes of both Arab and European women in our media, while opening up even the most conservative societies to the possibility to develop synergies to the benefit of future generations.
This paper offers the insight of a seasoned Omani journalist, a recognized expert on Arab journalism with in-depth global media contacts and resources, who is actually working for Sky News Arabia. This contribution aims to illustrate the cultural and religious circumstances Arab women, and most specifically Omani women are facing, and it explains how that is affecting their choice of career. The analysis will be dealing on the relationship between women and media in three dimensions: first, woman as recipient of media contents: how she reacts to media contents?
Is she an active recipient? Second, woman as journalist: is she a decision maker? Does she have the choice of covering these issues? What do women think about it? How is it possible to change negative images and dedicate positive images of women in the media? Existing research on social media and UAE society is limited and focuses on both women and men. The chapter will also answer other questions, such as: how much are UAE women interested, concerned, or eager to learn about news happening around them?
Do they use social media to read news and learn or do they only use it for socialization and entertainment purposes? And are they active micro-bloggers or do they passively read updates without participating and giving their opinions? In a society deeply penetrated by Twitter and Facebook and where women use social media more than men, it is important to look at the patterns, reasons, and modalities behind the use of social networks and what they are used for.
This paper considers that our self-esteem is largely dependent on external validation and social inclusion: high inclusion is related to high self-esteem whereas social isolation is related to lower levels of self-esteem. One could argue that partaking with the online society is like talking to yourself yet talking to the whole world at the same time. In an environment as the Saudi one, where women traditionally have experienced limited opportunities for social inclusion, social media provide new ways of interaction and self-expression.
Since the beginning of the Syrian uprising in Spring , the social, economic and political Lebanese landscape — described as one of the most unstable and fragile of the Middle East — has unexpectedly showed a great ability in absorbing the effects of the crisis. The massive influx of Syrian refugees and the prolonged status of war in Syria have indeed exacerbated the pre-existent domestic political and sectarian tensions in various Lebanese regions.
This paper intends to discuss the exceptional flexibility of the Lebanese system in the light of its modern and contemporary history and to examine the crucial role played by local actors in the current transition. If the Lebanese society seems to have been spared the wave effects of the protest movements in the Arab world, it has, however, suffered the brunt of the security and humanitarian fallout from the Syrian crisis to the point of feeding the spectrum a return to civil war.
Beyond their divisions, opinion leaders and political-religious organizations have widely used this anxiogenic context to reinforce their social control on the Lebanese people and preserve the confessional status quo of the Taef agreements, ruling out any possibility of in depth institutional reform. In the vein of the Arab revolutions in , the streets of Beirut witnessed the largest mobilizations against sectarianism since the end of the civil war in The paper will also delve into an ethnographic study of the internal dynamics of the movement demonstrating the limits it carried from within.
Moreover it will allow us to question the interdepencies and interactions between social movements and political parties.
Le Comte de Monte-Cristo/Texte entier
Finally, the paper will pose the question of the role Lebanese public institutions in shaping dissident activism and containing it. However, after the assassination of the former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, an emblematic but highly controversial figure, the Sunni community seems to live — both politically and socially — in a limbo. The Sunni community seems to be not able to fill the political vacuum left by Rafiq Hariri and, at the same time, neither it seems to tolerate its slow marginalization within the country, also caused by the political rise of the Shiite community and of Hezbollah in particular.
In this context, a new element inside the community seems to be represented by his search for consensus and legitimacy among radical Islamic groups, historically very far from the Sunni Islam. This turning point of the Sunni community, along with the increasingly evident economic, social and political crisis faced by the Hariri clan and fueled, to some extent, by the regional diffusion of such radical groups Salafists in particular , it is something new that Sunnis in Lebanon have to face.
Consequently, given this backdrop, the aim of this paper is to analyse the transformation of the Sunni community in the last ten years focusing, and specifically on two dimensions: from one side we will study the evolution inside the al-Mustaqbal party, showing their difficulties in planning new political strategies and also in maintaining a strong connection with the basis. From the other side, we will study the Sunni radical mobilization that started in Saida in around the popular Imam Sheikh Assir, gathering resentments towards the Shia Hizbullah leading party.
For the first time in Sunni history in Lebanon, its mobilization strategy surprisingly adopted an attitude of minority. This radical form of expression revealed also a shift in the self-perception among Sunnis, a deep frustration and a feeling of resentment towards the powerful Hizbullah that tend to reveal the weakness of the Sunnis within the Lebanese political game. The hostilities between the two communities can be traced to vengeance massacres during the civil war.
The simmering conflict between them escalated following the Syrian troop withdrawal and erupted again in Beirut clashes and in the wake of the Syrian revolt March The army is deployed in the Syria Street, separating the two neighborhoods. During conflict, the army also deploys inside the two communities to prevent the conflict from turning into a bloodbath. The Syrian revolt has magnified community tensions, with both groups supporting their co-religionists: the Alawites the Assad regime and the Sunnis the Syrian insurgents. Tripoli is a strongly clientelist city, with political patrons controlling security, service provisions and access to public goods; water, electricity and jobs.
The paper is based on field visits and interviews in Tripoli, November The Islamic Republic of Iran is a frustrating subject for social scientists. Instead of continually subjecting Iran to stretched and hyphenated concepts e. In this paper I flip a common question about Iran on its head: Instead of lack of full democratization, why no Stalin in the Islamic Republic? That is, why has no single political-ideological faction ever monopolized control over the state apparatus? Though Khomeini was arguably the Lenin of the revolution, the Islamic Republic never produced a Stalin-type figure or party, or even a Mubarak.
Iran has partisans, but not parties. Thus existing theories of party dynamics — authoritarian or democratic — tend to obscure rather than elucidate. Instead, at various and recurring times in the post-revolutionary period, elite dynamics were influenced via socio-political movements in four different arenas: constitutional, ideological, economic, and popular.
By expanding on these four arenas, I hope to shed light on the political processes ongoing in Iran today, from the green movement to the surprising election of Hassan Rouhani. Elections have a special place within the course of social mobilizations in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Elections do not only affect the factional politics, but they also have significant impact on street politics in Iran. On the one side, they trigger public interest on politics and even cause widespread protests as it did in But it is also argued that they may serve as a mechanism to take public consent and marginalize the street as a political option.
Instead of considering elections and social movements as two opposite margins, there is a need to understand the deep and complex relationship between them. For instance, elections contributed to the creation of new factions which influenced street politics in the end. Especially after the Arab Uprisings which stand as a lively example of the tension between the bullet box and the street, the presidential elections of should be discussed within this framework.
This paper aims at discussing the election of Rouhani in terms of the relationship between elections and social mobilizations within the context of the Arab Uprisings. The Arab uprisings of have brought the democratic demands of the Arab peoples to the forefront of Arab politics. In the past, Gulf rulers looking for ways to address the demands for more popular participation, turned to more local forms of governance.
These municipal councils have become elements of regime and opposition calculations as Gulf monarchs respond to the Arab spring. Saudi Arabia ended its delay of their second municipal council elections, originally scheduled for , and carried out in September Qatar held their fourth municipal council elections in May Meanwhile Bahrain has wrestled with the independent activism of its existing elected councils, removing some councilors from their positions as punishment for their appeal to international rights organizations during the state crackdown on protestors.
These actions again raise questions about the role and significance of municipal councils in the political evolution of Gulf monarchies. In this paper I take a comparative look at municipal councils in the Gulf with a view to understanding their relationship to national politics and to evaluating the claims about their role in democratic transition. I begin by providing an historical overview of municipal governance throughout the GCC states. I then draw upon field research conducted in two countries which instituted municipal elections in the past decade, Bahrain and Qatar, comparing their electoral practices — including gerrymandering, differing political rights for different categories of citizens, and geographically phased polls — and their political significance.
Finally, I discuss the likely future role of the municipal councils in the GCC states in light of the recent social and political transformations in the region, paying close attention to the pivotal state of Saudi Arabia. Firstly, prominent figures of the opposition started to form political associations according their political ideals.
Secondly, they organized parliamentary blocs involving independent members and operated them as a frame of electoral cooperation and parliamentary activities. Then, they led electoral reform in the assembly of and succeeded in passing the electoral reform bill after they formed coalition and won a majority of seats in the elections. It is significant that this electoral reform improved balance of social representation and vote-value disparity and restrained vote buying under the initiative of the opposition.
The new electoral system expected more organized electoral campaign and further cohesion of parliamentary blocs however; all we saw afterward were fragmentation of parliamentary blocs and destabilized parliamentary politics. These phenomena were caused by following consequences of electoral reform. First, tribal politics was activated. Disparity of vote-value eased, peripheral-tribal districts contained the majority of voter.
Tribal representatives gained predominance over urban-elite and separated from urban-elite oriented blocs. Second, popularity vote was exerted. Failed to form organizational cooperation especially in urban districts, it aroused more personal appeal to voters and led escalation of grill ministers. Being in Sharp conflict with the government, opposition started to reorganize and work on parliamentary government. Since , the Kingdom of Bahrain has experienced one of the darkest periods of its history, marked by a massive crackdown on licensed and unlicensed opposition political societies and movements, and a structural division of the society probably unknown since the s.
In this context, this paper analyses the role held by the bicameral National Assembly composed of a Council of Representatives, elected by universal suffrage for four years from , and a Consultative Council appointed by the King in the post authoritarian system. In particular, it will pay special attention to the campaign, the participation and the outcomes of the Council of Representatives elections held in and This paper is based on the results of personal interviews and regular fieldworks in Bahrain since During the nineteenth century, the consolidation of the Hausa states into the Sokoto Caliphate Northern Nigeria entailed major political, economic and demographic changes leading to market expansion and an unprecedented growth in the Hausa textile industry.
Political and institutional changes played a central role in increasing trading expeditions and the immigration of foreign traders and weavers into Hausa towns which produced cloth. The jihad that took place in had major repercussions on patterns of trade growth and consolidation of decentralized political authority in the Sokoto Caliphate, characterized by a confederation of emirates and coordinated by a common Caliph. Decentralized control produced an adaptively efficient set of institutions, borrowed from Islam and the commercial culture of North Africa, that promoted local trade and commercial infrastructure, attracting merchants from North Africa and the Sahara.
This proved more effective than the mechanism adopted in Borno, where a centralized political authority controlled and monopolized trans-Saharan trade. This not only reinforced the interaction between long-distance trade and the economies of the Sub-Saharan savanna, but also permitted imports of low cost goods, including cotton cloths, by Saharan caravans as well as the export of Sudanese textiles over most of West Africa.
The AHD and the GERD, although conceived and constructed fifty years apart, have been supported by political leaders on a similar political and economic ground. On the other side, the construction of the two dams has taken place within a completely different context, which partially explains why Ethiopia is finding it much harder to justify a unilateral action than did Egypt in the s.
by members of
Moreover, there was still no talking about water scarcity in central and southern Sudan, and even less in Ethiopia, while at the same time concerns regarding environmental degradation were much less felt at the national and international level. It is hoped that a full-fledged comparison between the two cases, using both primary archival sources as well as interviews conducted on the field, will help us to better understand the reasons behind the current struggle over the Nile.
The main political challenge of the Nile jigsaw is to reconcile the tendency towards unilateralism with the need of shared resource management. Its eventual solution — or its otherwise violent outcome — will provide valuable insight into an understanding of water management across the Sahara-Sahel region and maybe of other trans-boundary natural resources as well. In the last decade, the Sahel and West Africa, has joined with unflagging insistence on the international agenda by the appearance of two phenomena that affect the regional stability and international security: the more involved in the international drug trafficking on one hand, and their incorporation into the complex web of international terrorism.
There are two factors that have marked this instability in the Sahel. First one is referred to the rise of radicalism not only in the countries of the Sahel, but across the Maghreb and West Africa. This paper analyzes both phenomena, and the particular key role of the Sahrawi people and the Polisario Front in the securitization of the region, and the Sahrawi Polisario Front by fighting against Al Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb AQIM and the smuggling in the region.
The Sahrawis have been historically a nomadic, aware of all the routes across the central Sahara. Lately, there have been numerous reports alleging the involvement of Sahrawis in drug trafficking, but also there are those who have collaborated with AQIM. Thus, the corrupting effects of drug money in the Sahel — Sahara region, is also evident in the recent arrest in Mali, for drug trafficking, six suspected members of the Polisario Front.
If AQIM would achieves strengthen their alliance of convenience with the Polisario Front , a movement that has been fighting for the independence of Western Sahara since , the threat in the region could increase even further. In the debate of organized criminal activity in the Sahel and the growing reach of al- Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, regional and international security officials agree that urgent action is needed to address the potential conflict in Western Sahara, because it encourages the emergence of violent activities and drug trafficking favors.
Any answer to the problem of insecurity in the Sahel must necessarily involve an alternative to conflict between Moroccan and Sahrawi. Morocco is one of the largest emigration countries in the world. As other diasporas, Moroccan community abroad generates different implications for home and host countries, which in both cases may fear the emergence of dual loyalties and alliances. As Islamic education progressively deteriorated under the willed neglect or active hostility of the French regime in Algeria, Tunisia's madrasas religious colleges , sufi zawaya plural of zawiya , a sufi center , and its great mosque-university, the Zaytuna, located in the capital, offered religious and other kinds of instruction to students and scholars from France's colony.
In the past century, Algerian students might first have come here to the Jarid, especially to the oasis of Nafta regarded as a provincial holy city, second only to al-Qayrawan Kairouan , to seek Islamic instruction in its numerous sufi centers and madrasas. The most gifted and ambitious would then pursue advanced learning in the capital at the feet of the Zaytuna's erudite masters. In large measure, Tunisia's attraction for Algerian religious and other figures explains the political trajectory of both countries in the past century.
If sufi orders have traditionally crisscrossed various kinds of borders and frontiers—political as well as spiritual and social—protest movements in nineteenth-century North Africa did likewise. Indeed it can be argued that the physical and moral displacement of Algerian sufi leaders from the Rahmaniyya, Tijaniyya, and Qadiriyya orders into southwestern Tunisia brought the French colonial encounter into Tunisia's backyard.
When Arabic printing presses became widely available in Tunis by the close of the nineteenth century, the city functioned as a publishing center for Algerian scholars seeking to have religious works printed which the European-controlled publishing establishment in Algeria declined to handle. This development explains why the biography of the great Algerian Rahmaniyya shaykh, Sidi Muhammad b. Abi al-Qasim c. And the fact that I had to travel to Rabat to consult the writings of Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Rahman al-Jurjuri, the Algerian founder of the Rahmaniyya brotherhood tariqa whose spiritual lessons are currently housed in Morocco's al-Khizana al-'Amma collection, is significant.
It provides evidence not only for Sidi 'Abd al-Rahman's own journeys and spiritual itinerary but also for the geographic range of his reputation as well as the movements of his disciples, ideas, and imitators during the years following the master's death in the last decade of the eighteenth century.
My own peregrinations to gather information on the religious notables and other dramatis personae who figure in this study took me far and wide—to some ten archival collections and libraries on three continents. These journeys, a form of research nomadism, and the wealth of documentation amassed would not have been possible without the beneficent support, financial and otherwise, of a large number of institutions and individuals.
While I can never hope to repay the debt which stretches back more years than I care to recall, I can at least acknowledge the extent of my liabilities. My deep respect for, and abiding interest in, the Maghrib and its gracious people began with the Peace Corps in Tunisia in , where we, the volunteers, had the good fortune to learn about all things Tunisian from Laurence O. Michalak, then the summer training director. Larry's enthusiasm for the country was infectious and has remained with me until this day.
Subsequently, I studied North African history with John Ruedy at Georgetown University, who proved to be a formidable intellectual mentor then as he still is now. Other Georgetown faculty, former and present, to whom I owe a debt of gratitude are Thomas Ricks, Barbara Stowasser, and Michael Hudson, to name only a few. In while still at Georgetown, I had the uncommon privilege of serving as Jacques Berque's teaching assistant, the start of a long intellectual friendship which later continued in France as well as in California.
From on the G. Ross E. Dunn of San Diego State University also has provided much encouragement. In addition, L. Carl Brown, Dale F. Eickelman, R. Stephen Humpfreys, and John Voll have offered greatly appreciated suggestions for improving portions of the manuscript. My years at Georgetown University and the University of California, Los Angeles, were punctuated by extended periods of study in France.
Germaine Tillion. I also had the opportunity to attend Lucette Valensi's stimulating seminars in Paris that year and again in The University of Virginia provided summer faculty research grants and a year of leave from teaching responsibilities to write. On the other side of the Atlantic and on the southern shores of the Mediterranean, the staffs of numerous archives and libraries in Tunisia, Morocco, France, Great Britain, and Malta have greatly facilitated my research forays, particularly Monsieur Moncef Fakhfakh of the Dar el-Bey, Tunis, and Mme.
Beyond institutional support, Tunisian colleagues and friends have provided all manner of sustenance to me and my family over the years: Alya Baffoun, Samya El Mechat, Khalid Mrad, Pat and Dick Payne, Noura and Mohamed Rostom, Fredj Stambouli, Abdeljelil Temimi, and countless others who have overwhelmed us with their hospitality. Closer to home, colleagues and graduate students at the University of Virginia have also contributed in one way or another to the present endeavor: Richard Barnett, Timothy Faulkner, Robert Fuller, Patrick Gibbons, R.
Still closer to home, my greatest debt is to my husband, Charles "Carl" D. Smith, who has, with unfailing good humor, read many drafts of this manuscript, both in early incarnations as a dissertation and in later versions, and has suffered for years from the effects of the distracted spouse syndrome. My daughter, Elisabeth, "helped" in her own inimitable way by inquiring cheerfully, if a bit impatiently, after school every day: "Have you finished your book today, Mommy?
Anyone who has traveled across North Africa's beautiful landscapes is acquainted with the intractable problems posed by the transliteration of proper names, geographical places, concepts, and institutions. These have their origins in classical Arabic, vernacular Arabic, Berber dialects, Ottoman Turkish, and, in many cases, have come down to English speakers from French. To complicate matters, during the colonial era in the Maghrib, Arabic and Berber terms were frequently rendered from colloquial forms into the French language.
While total consistency is impossible, I have attempted to stay as close to the written Arabic in rendering proper names and places as is feasible without unduly confusing the reader who may be more familiar with another system of transliteration. Thus, for example, Nefta becomes Nafta, but the western province of Algeria remains Oran instead of Wahran. For the names of geographical regions, I have mainly relied upon Jamil M. Abun-Nasr's A History of the Maghrib in the Islamic Period , which strikes me as achieving a reasonable compromise between the correct Arabic rendition and differing usage.
As for proper names and institutions, only the ayn ' and hamza ' are employed in the text and notes. Full diacritics are provided for the glossary. Moreover, words more widely used in English, for example, ulama , appear without diacritics. Abi al-Qasim, founder of the Rahmaniyya center of al-Hami. As the nineteenth century drew to a close, an Algerian female saint and sufi, residing in a small oasis on the Sahara's upper rim, composed a letter containing gentle rebukes to local French military officials: "I beg you to display solicitude and friendship by keeping away from me people who are unjust and disturb the peace and to examine attentively my case from the legal viewpoint since you are just and equitable.
Are Zaynab's words and the fact that she corresponded with Algeria's foreign masters to be interpreted as evidence of collaboration or of accommodation? Were her actions unusual or was Zaynab, a Muslim woman revered for her piety and erudition, merely acting as other religious notables did in the past century?
And what do letters appealing to those ostensibly monopolizing certain kinds of power betray about the nature of relations between colonizer and colonized, about the cultures of colonialism? The present study seeks to change the way we think about North African history during the turbulent nineteenth century. The complex responses of these notables, both individual and collective, to the imposition of the French colonial regime upon Algeria after shaped, indeed altered, the course of Maghribi history.
That history and that century were fashioned by a succession of encounters between the peoples of North Africa on the one hand and the twin forces of European imperialism and the larger world economy on the other. In these multiple confrontations, inconclusive skirmishes, bet hedging, implicit pacts, and prudent retreats were as important to historical process as. But first these encounters, involving religious notables and ordinary people alike, must be examined on three levels, all of them intertwined. The first is the local level—the world of Saharan religious figures and the tribal or village folk who constituted their followers.
Seemingly remote due to geographical location from the century's prevailing currents of historical change, these peoples were in fact caught up in much wider, relentless processes. To varying degrees, they were painfully aware of the larger, often menacing forces around them. At times it could mean no more than the next oasis or a regional pilgrimage center; at others, the world beyond was comprised of a North African capital or the cities of the Mashriq eastern Arab world and Hijaz. As colonialism gained momentum in the Maghrib, the outside came to include places, people, and events in Europe.
The next level was that of the Islamic ecumene, which for North Africans stretched from the shores of the Atlantic and Mediterranean deep into the Sahara and eastward to the Mashriq-Hijaz complex, while also encompassing Istanbul, the imperial core for both Algeria and Tunisia. More or less direct and continuous links between the local community and Dar al-Islam the Islamic world nurtured socioreligious aspirations and political programs, while sharpening, particularly for the Algerians under French rule, the sense of moral loss and outrage.
In the Islamic world, local communities often looked to local religious notables to explain, manage, or broker events and changes unleashed by triumphant European imperialism. From this perspective, the reactions of Saharan peoples to the deepening crises of the nineteenth century have a resonance with collective responses elsewhere in Africa or Asia. Finally, the last tier relates to world history. World-system theory has tended to ignore peoples located on the margins of non-Western states. Not only did the provincial Muslim notables and common folk studied here confront—and perhaps comprehend, if somewhat dimly—the outside forces intervening in society but they also sought to manipulate them to their advantage, sometimes successfully, at other times less so.
For the purposes of this study, notables refers to holy persons regarded by their communities as legitimately and simultaneously claiming the status of saint waliy , sufi, and scholar 'alim. Their followings were tribespeople, villagers, and oasis peasants as well as "secular" elites—tribal big men, desert princes, or the great families, allied first with the Turks and subsequently the colonial regime. The struggles of these elites, local and otherwise, to snatch the remnants of the partially toppled Turkish state after , and thereby turn adversity to personal advantage, molded the political world in which the Muslim notables lived.
Finally, while most of the notables studied here were members of one branch of the Rahmaniyya tariqa—the Saharan Rahmaniyya—other sufi orders and other types of religious leaders, principally rebellious mahdis Muslim redeemers , also figure in the historical narrative. The common folk, too, play a not insignificant role as clients and disciples of privileged saintly lineages and sufi masters; on more than one occasion, ordinary people worked as pressure groups for or against specific kinds of political action.
In several instances, they obliged reticent religious patrons to plunge into the uncertainties of populist protest. In addition to acting as both followers and advocates, people of modest substance actively contributed to politics as bearers of news, information, and rumors. These rumors articulated a language of power which boldly defied France's divinely ordained civilizing mission.
Thus, these rumors had an ideological dimension, and as such they constituted a form of implicit political discourse in a society of restricted literacy. Finally, due to the turmoil of the conquest era in North Africa, followers or disciples might be transformed into leaders. Bu Ziyan Abu Ziyan , the self-styled messianic leader of the Za'atsha Zaatcha revolt, originally came from the ranks of the humble. The mahdi of Warqala Ouargla , Muhammad b. Like Bu Ziyan, his uncommon acts of piety propelled him from the margins of the rural religious establishment onto the center stage of anticolonial resistance.
Of course, for ordinary people, active participation even in religiously sanctioned jihad was not an "unalloyed impulse" for it offered the opportunity to best local rivals or settle outstanding scores. But this is more than an investigation of the most dramatic manifestation of collective action and protest—armed revolt. For it seeks to dredge up the subterranean sociocultural universe which made rebellion possible and imaginable or conversely impeded such.
Thus the "how" of rebellion is as important as its causation; revolt serves as a vehicle for exploring other relationships, particularly how events from "outside" were experienced by those caught in their wake. Moreover, all of the options available to religious notables, tribal elites, and ordinary people are explored as they strove to oppose and challenge, or merely cope and come to terms with, the devastating reality of foreign conquest. The underlying assumption here is that various kinds of sociopolitical action—bet hedging, revolt, shifting trade strategies, migration, withdrawal, or avoidance protest—were in the aggregate the main motors of historical change during much of the past century rather than alternative forces, such as novel technologies, new economic systems, or new classes.
Nevertheless, the narrative is perhaps unduly prejudiced toward the more flamboyant expressions of collective grievances—movements led by mahdist rebels—since these are the best documented for the nineteenth century. What follows is an investigation of the political behavior of religious notables and other figures, or more accurately, of the implicit cultural norms governing that behavior. For just as there existed a moral economy of peasant rebellion, the political behavior of Muslim notables was dictated by shared and commonly accepted norms. These unstated agreements were crucial to modern Algerian history since they permitted the survival of her cultural patrimony in a society literally and figuratively under siege.
Political action thus is broadly defined to include not only participation in jihads or mahdist movements but also such things as moral persuasion, propaganda, hijra emigration , evasion, withdrawal, and accommodation with the colonial regime. Indeed, many of these strategies were continually merged—employed together or alternatively—as North Africans, whether of notable status or humble station, sought to create a space where the impact of asymmetrical power could be attenuated.
In this most failed, a few succeeded, and some achieved success in failure. To the extent that the sources permit, the story—or rather collection of stories—is told from the perspective of the North African population. To the indigenous inhabitants of the desert or mountains, the worlds of. The brutal suppression of uprisings aside, the colonial regime's authority was remote, experienced unevenly, and in some cases mediated through familiar intermediaries, among them, sufi shaykhs masters. Nevertheless, information and rumors about the curious, if repellent, foreigners reached the village and tribe, contributing to a local worldview of a social order overturned.
Therefore, I have attempted to portray events, transformations, and the daily flow of life from the peculiar vantage point of those concerned.
And most of these stories have not been told or have enjoyed only a partial hearing. Until now two constructs, one colonial and the other indigenous, regarding the political behavior of religious leaders, particularly sufi shaykhs, during the conquest era have prevailed. Moreover, the periodization of modern North African history has been informed in large measure by these two competing models of the political behavior of Muslim notables.
The colonial model held that certain sufi orders, especially the Rahmaniyya and its leaders, were inherently political, thus resolutely opposed to Algeria's French masters throughout the past century: "Everywhere, the leaders of the Rahmaniyya order exhort their followers to revolt against French domination. Many were in fact risk avoiders more than last-ditch resisters. Rather than enthusiastically enlisting in militant programs to expel the intruding Europeans, local Muslim notables found to their dismay that politics intruded, cruelly at times, more subtly at others, into their spiritual bailiwicks or mundane affairs.
For many saints and sufis, had politics not come to find them the preferred mode of coping would have surely been to ignore the presence of the infidels—and thereby come to terms with it. Simply stated, I have employed a biographical case study approach to debunk the myth that Muslim notables, especially the Rahmaniyya, were invariably the causative agents in anticolonial resistance in the rebellious half century stretching from to —only to subsequently become compliant collaborators in the French imperial experiment.
Moreover, some of the Rahmaniyya erudites of the pre-Sahara challenge characterizations of the North African holy man as a "warrior saint" or "martial marabout" who fused "strong-man politics with holy-man. This diffidence had many causes—the personality of the religious notable in question, the spiritual politics then in force between sufi-saintly lineages and their holy rivals, the demands and needs of followers, and how different events were perceived and lived. It was rather the mahdi, and the collective will of popular followings, that together forced some hesitant religious leaders into the tumult of the political arena, often with disastrous consequences.
The second paradigm of saintly behavior—the indigenous—is found in the writings of the Algerian scholar, Muhammad al-Hafnawi, and to a lesser extent, in those of the Tunisian chronicler, Ahmad ibn Abi al-Diyaf. If the colonial literature portrayed sufi activists, such as Shaykh Mustafa b. Thus was the nature and social uses of hagiography in this period. Rather the silence itself speaks loudly about hidden cultural norms defining the supple boundaries between the realms of the political and the religious.
One thesis is that an underground yet momentous transformation unfolded quietly sometime during the tumultuous era of Algeria's conquest — and the century's close. This transformation involved the establishment of unstated, although compelling, pacts between prominent religious figures, such as Muhammad b. The elaboration of these unwritten contracts and their observance by both parties meant that Algerian Muslim culture survived and in some cases was able to flourish modestly under the less than favorable circumstances of the period.
Moreover, by taking the historical narrative down to , the date of Lalla Zaynab's death, I suggest the existence of unsuspected continuities between the early conquest epoch and later periods; some of the transformations normally associated with the Third Republic were already incipient or well under way prior to the Muqrani Mokrani revolt of This is also a story about various kinds of movement—physical displacements such as travel, migration, pilgrimage, flight—and social or spiritual journeys from one status to another.
And movement of whatever sort. By adhering to the nascent Rahmaniyya movement of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, clans of somewhat parochial saints in the Kabylia, Awras, and pre-Sahara achieved a remarkable degree of social mobility.
Tariqa membership, along with popular cults celebrating the special piety of living and deceased holy persons, represented a lever for sociospiritual advancement. If local saints served as the hinges of daily life between the natural and supernatural, saintly-sufi lineages also served as mediators between Islam as locally received and the wider Islamic ecumene. This mediation in turn was related to the kinds of movement associated with hajj , or pilgrimage, which is both physical and interior or spiritual. For Shaykh Muhammad b. Sidi 'Abd al-Rahman's labors to effect reform and renewal in the Algerian Kabylia, his native land, ultimately gave birth to a new sufi order which by had expanded outward from its original nucleus to encompass followers in the Constantine, the Sahara, and neighboring Tunisia.
After in Algeria, hajj to the East and permanent migration out of French-held lands were frequently combined as strategies for personal salvation or collective redemption. As significant as hijra, or migration, from the colony was inkimash , a form of inward religiospiritual movement or withdrawal employed by those Muslims who lacked the will or the means to depart from their homeland.
I have deliberately chosen to cross back and forth between the shifting political limits separating Algeria from adjacent states because of their immense importance. In the course of the nineteenth century, the frontiers between the North African states were transformed into zones of exchange, compromise, and contest. Sufi shaykhs and their followers, merchants, recalcitrant tribes, and rebels ignored those borders, manipulating them to advantage as long as possible.
In doing so, they inadvertently caused the borders to be ever more rigidly defined and carefully policed as frantic colonial officials sought to close Algeria off from external influences. Paradoxically, the geospiritual hinterlands of some activist sufis, such as the Rahmaniyya Shaykh Mustafa b.
Driven into. From the safety of his large, prosperous zawiya in Nafta, Sidi 'Azzuz sent out spiritual runners far and wide. By the eve of his death in , he had become the focal point of a smaller movement, within the larger Rahmaniyya idiom, whose members referred to themselves as "'Azzuziyya. Over-the-border migrations were intimately connected to the movement of information conveyed from place to place by myriad bearers and go-betweens.
Access to news and rumors conferred a certain degree of mastery over events and their interpretation, even if those rumors deepened the collective sense of a topsy-turvy world. The endless cycle of rumors about revolt and imminent deliverance from the degradation of foreign rule may have contributed to outbursts of rebellious behavior in nineteenth-century North Africa. Yet they also betrayed a sense of injustice and moral uncertainty as North Africans strove to comprehend the incomprehensible. Moreover, if improvised news and hearsay circulated far and wide among the humble and mighty alike, the information circuits came to include the doings of the French masters of Algeria or even events in Europe.
And Shaykh Mustafa b. The point is that information—like spiritual authority or political legitimacy—became, as will be argued, a commodity to be fought over and negotiated for. And in an age of intense uncertainty for both colonizer and colonized, access to news and information represented a contested arena for the powerless and empowered alike. The biographies collected here demonstrate how people participated either willingly or unwittingly in, were buffeted by, or in some cases forged larger social processes.
Indigenous political elites, religious notables, and simple folk were ensnared in translocal forces which at times gradually filtered down to the village, town, or tribe and at others burst precipitously upon them. Conversely, defiant groups on the margins of the state or just beyond the colonial state's grasp lured France into campaigns and conquests.
Thus, the European conquerors were frequently ensnared as well in regions and struggles for which they were ill prepared and for which they hastily devised solutions. And small-scale actions and hidden as well as explicit forms of contention contributed as much to the configurations of the colonial enterprise in the Maghrib as did large-scale movements or the decrees of those at the pinnacle of the imperial hierarchy.
My conclusions point to the need for rethinking or reimagining the constantly fluctuating dialogue between the local and the translocal; new borders and markers for recasting North African history during the past century are needed. For certain questions and certain periods, the nationstate as a unit of analysis does not suffice.
- MÄR, Vol. 12: v. 12;
- Lasst uns roh und munter sein (German Edition).
- Withstanding the Improbable (The Withstanding Tetralogy Book 1).
- Voyeur: Secret Admirer.
- Maroc : des ouvrières agricoles s’organisent contre l’esclavage.
Rather it camouflages or overlooks many of the significant forces and transformations occurring at the perimeters of the state or just beyond its unforeseen limits. This study does not pretend to be a full-blown "history from below. The protagonists did not keep diaries or daily accounts of their endeavors. Nor would rebels like Bu Ziyan—had he survived—set about writing memoirs or autobiographies, genres largely unknown to that society in that age.
In large part, documentation for rebellious activity is drawn from colonial observers and actors—military leaders, Bureaux Arabes officers, explorers, adventurers, and travelers—many of whom, although not all, had a stake in narrating events and conditions as accurately as possible.
The richest source by far are the archives of the Bureaux Arabes, whose meticulous accounts from "on the scene" resemble "whodunit" detective tales or police reports. The principal aim of the literature of surveillance was to ascertain the causes and motives underlying insurrection as well as to identify prime movers.
In addition, there was a prophylactic dimension to these minute investigative inquiries; the ultimate intent was to learn from the past to better control the still unpredictable political future. Moreover, some of the sources are akin to court records or legal transcripts. While the accused were often absent from the proceedings, having perished during revolts or fled the country, they were no less indicted, put. If the record of the rebellion led by Bu Ziyan reads like a novel—with a beginning, climax, and dramatic end—it also represents the text of a trial.
Those who wrote about Bu Ziyan and his followers were not only judging him and North African society but also the colonial regime itself, its potential flaws and political soft spots. An element of the inquisitorial undergirds the documents in their assessment of what went "wrong" and thus why events transpired as they did. Zaynab's story also reads like a court case, although she was not on trial for classic insurrectionary behavior.
Zaynab stood accused of being a "fille insoumise" a "disobedient woman". Her indocility toward those in authority—male military officers and their indigenous Muslim allies—provoked panic in Algiers in an era celebrated as the apogee of French Algeria. Letters and gentle rebukes were perceived as threatening the fragile edifice of colonial control. Ironically—or perhaps tragically—these stories, or fragments of such, are about people who altered unintentionally the direction of North African history even as they struggled against changes deemed undesirable to their vision of a desirable social order.
Many of the people of the Jarid are richer than the people of Ifriqiya because they possess remarkable and diverse varieties of dates. Traveling south from the city of Constantine, one reaches the small oasis of al-Qantara, located in a narrow gorge at the western edge of the Awras mountains. Named for the Roman bridge still in existence near the village, al-Qantara spanned several ecological and sociopolitical zones.
Low and flat, it is composed of chains of sabkhas salt marshes, often referred to incorrectly as shatts , or chotts , interspersed by oases devoted primarily to date-palm cultivation. The alternating pattern of dun-shaded sand and meager scrub, abruptly broken by the vivid color of the oases, inspired medieval Arab geographers to describe this part of the Sahara as "the skin of the leopard.
Biskra has always been the political, administrative, and economic center of the Ziban singular, Zab , an archipelago of oases that stretches as far east as the region of the Suf Souf adjacent to the Tunisian border. Conventional studies of the pre-Sahara in Algeria and Tunisia have, for the most part, treated these areas and their populations purely within the boundaries of the nation-state. Nevertheless, the activities of religious notables, pilgrims, and merchants, who moved constantly across the borders, served as a cultural bridge between the Tunisian and Algerian pre-Sahara until the early decades of the present century.
Biskra is located at the mouth of a large depression, the Wadi Biskra, which extends from the western edge of the Saharan Atlas range to the Awras. One of the most historically important passes in this part of the Sahara was the oasis of al-Qantara, where the high plateaus of the southern Constantine abruptly give way to the desert. Known as fumm al-Sahra' mouth of the Sahara , al-Qantara was the shortest, most practicable route for caravans, missionaries, or military contingents moving between the Tell and the Ziban, Tuqqurt Touggourt , and Warqala.
In eastern Algeria, the Ziban historically represented a march or frontier zone, due to its location at the point of confluence between central government rule from the north and that of powerful nomadic chieftains or Saharan dynasties in the south. Containing some of Algeria's highest peaks, the wild massifs of the Awras formed a barrier between the northern Constantine and the desert. Because of this, the inhabitants of the southern Awras were more deeply involved in the economic and religious rhythms of the Ziban and pre-Sahara and its political life than with the north.
Likewise the Bu Sa'ada region to the southwest of the Hodna chain enjoyed easy access to the Ziban's oases with which both the market town of Bu Sa'ada and the small nearby oasis of al-Hamil maintained intense spiritual, commercial, and other kinds of ties. By holding the post of shaykh al-'arab , who was confirmed to office by the bey of the Constantine, tribal strongmen mediated relations between central governments and local populations, whether sedentary oasis cultivators or pastoral nomads; a few Saharan dynasties, such as the Banu Jallab of Tuqqurt and the Wadi Righ Oued Rir , succeeded in maintaining a jealously guarded semi-independence from Algiers until the nineteenth century.
By controlling the passageways into Ifriqiya, the deep Sahara, or the Algerian Tell, elites such as the Banu 'Ukkaz or the Banu Jallab exerted considerable political and economic clout. This was true to a lesser extent of southwestern Tunisia. There the Jarid's leading oases, Nafta and Tuzar Tozeur , located in a narrow corridor between the shatt al-Gharsa and the shatt al-Jarid, dominated east-west exchanges between the two countries. In contrast to the situation in the southern Constantine, the beys of Tunis exerted relatively more influence upon the peoples of the Jarid through the mechanism of the annual mahalla tax-collecting expedition.
Nevertheless, the mahalla constituted more an exercise in ritualized political negotiation than an unambiguous statement about sovereign relations between the Jarid and Tunis. The prosperity and location of a particular group of oases determined the degree of interest in—or indifference to—them by central governments seeking to maximize tributary relations with an economy of means. The oases in this part of the pre-Sahara ranged in size and function from modest villages or hamlets, like Za'atsha, to regional market towns, such as Bu Sa'ada, to large, bustling caravan centers, such as Biskra, Warqala, Tuzar, or Nafta.
Propinquity to trade routes was the single most important factor shaping the degree of involvement in various types of exchanges—local, regional, interregional Tell to desert , and international either trans-Saharan or Mediterranean. These exchange networks, however, were not necessarily discrete but fed into one another.
Moreover, the presence of prominent Islamic religious and cultural institutions—madrasas, zawaya, and shrine centers—enhanced the commercial attraction of oases like Biskra, Sidi 'Uqba, or Nafta. Due to the trans-Saharan trade in slaves and other commodities, blacks inhabited some oases in relatively large numbers; for example in southern Tunisia they formed as much as one-quarter of the total sedentary population.
Both the Jews and Ibadiyya Islamic schismatics formed religiocommercial communities distinct from their neighbors. While the Ibadites were mainly concentrated in the Mzab's seven oasis cities, small diaspora communities were found in the Wadi Righ and the Ziban. Permanent settlements of Mzabis were not permitted in the Suf since the Suwafa inhabitants of the Suf rightfully feared them as formidable commercial competitors.
Jewish communities were scattered about in the larger oasis towns and cities—in Biskra, Warqala, Tuqqurt, Tuzar, etc. Jewish traders often enjoyed ties of patronage with Muslim associates and were indispensable for economic and other sorts of exchanges. The same was true of the ubiquitous Kabyle colporteurs, who also traded extensively in the Sahara as far south as Tuqqurt. The transition from desert to oasis signifies an abrupt socioecological change from extremely low to very high population densities, and from extensive to intensive modes of resource extraction.
Here animal husbandry, commerce, industrial activities, and agriculture were juxtaposed in a remarkably intricate system seeking to utilize the meager resources of an inhospitable environment through risk avoidance. From a material standpoint, risk avoidance meant that producers, whether sedentary or pastoral, attempted to diversify production, however minimally, and to construct patron-client networks to offset natural or man-made calamities and thus assure subsistence.
Yet risk avoidance was a goal pursued in the realm of politics as well and was intimately related to the narrow range of options available in the pre-Saharan economy. Since desert rainfall is infrequent and negligible, only irrigated agriculture can support large populations. The waters that flow from the mountains above Biskra have been organized into elaborate hydraulic systems for millennia. From Roman times, the region has been populated and farmed without interruption by peasant cultivators. Like the oases of. An oft-cited proverb from the Sahara holds that the date palm "likes its head in the sun and its roots in the water.
And the totality of oasis economy, society, and civilization was tied in one way or another to the date-palm gardens. The more prosperous oases combined both cash-crop, market-oriented agriculture with subsistence farming, although in relative mixes that varied from place to place. This system brought integration into larger networks of exchange which worked against social and political closure. The two principal centers for the production and marketing of dates were the Ziban, which in the last century boasted some three million productive date palms, and the Jarid-Nafzawa complex, which counted almost two million trees.
These were the only regions in North Africa that produced the daqala al-nur date in quantities large enough to stimulate a considerable export sector. This type of "luxury" date was mainly a cash crop produced for sale or barter in local, regional, or international markets; it was also collected as a tax in kind by traditional central authorities. Many of the more common varieties of dates—and they were legion until the twentieth century—belonged both to the subsistence and to the "barter" sectors; some were mainly for home consumption while others were sought by consumers outside of the oases.
Particularly in the Jarid and the Ziban, the peasants cultivated citrus and other types of fruit trees which flourished under the shade "umbrella" provided by the date palms. Underneath this second layer of vegetation grew yet another stratum of flora—vines, vegetables, and fodder; much of this was consumed by the garden owner or cultivator and represented a short-term insurance policy against natural or political disasters.
If heavy autumn rains spoiled the date crop or tribal warfare disrupted the caravan traffic bringing grains from the north, then the garden could provide adequate nourishment. A few of the oases, notably Biskra, were able to produce grains barley and wheat , although never in quantities to achieve self-sufficiency. The demand for grains grown elsewhere in North Africa and consumed by pastoral nomads and peasants in the Sahara was the flywheel of interregional commerce between Tell and the desert. And the need to procure grains from the outside also shaped the array of political choices available to desert rebels.
Apart from dates, some cash or "industrial" crops were produced in the traditional oasis economy. The Suf has long cultivated an excellent tobacco, which was highly prized among North. Africans and mainly sent to Tunisia through the contraband trade. Henna, so important for ritual-ceremonial and medicinal purposes, could be grown only in limited quantities, and imported Egyptian henna met the remainder of local needs. In the nineteenth century, these industrial plants—henna, tobacco, and wars a plant used in dying textiles —were raised in small quantities and used by the peasant cultivators to pay taxes or to acquire a limited range of products not produced by the local economy, particularly raw or finished silk and cotton thread needed for weaving.
Yet their importance to the precarious peasant household economy was considerable, above all in relation to textiles made on looms in the domestic compound. As in Asia or preindustrial Europe, textile manufacture was the single most important handicraft activity until factory-made European commodities began to compete with indigenous products in the past century. Oasis cottage industries produced a wide variety of woven articles designed to meet domestic needs and to effect various kinds of exchanges.
After meeting household demand, family looms turned out a surplus intended for exchange in local or even regional markets. While textile production did not give rise to an artisan "class" as such, it was relatively specialized since certain types of textiles were made by specific groups. The finished products were normally not marketed by female producers but reached consumers through a series of intermediaries formed by kinship or patron-client relations or both.
Local or regional specialization as well as the distribution of cottage industry fabrics created extensive trade networks. For example, Tuzar produced an especially fine woolen burnus a hooded cloak , while Nafta was famous for its safsari cloak of silk mixed with high-grade wool. Both of these were exported not only to other parts of the Maghrib but also to the Mashriq and commanded hefty prices.
Their consumers were mainly urban, oasis, and tribal elites or Tunisian court notables who collected these luxury garments annually as a tax in kind from Jaridi producers. Taken to-. Nevertheless, the most crucial item for the Sahara in that triangular trade was grain. The incessant demand for cereals grown in the Tell would place limits upon sustained political action by desert peoples, particularly during the revolt of — Beside the peasantry, other social groups participated in the political economy of the Sahara—merchants or traders, privileged saintly lineages, and pastoralists.
However, rigid distinctions did not necessarily exist between either pastoral nomads and oasis cultivators or between merchants and nomads. In times of crisis, sedentary oasis dwellers have abandoned their gardens for herding or stock breeding; throughout the centuries pastoral-nomadic peoples have settled to engage in agriculture, frequently in combination with animal husbandry.
During certain moments in the date cultivation cycle, pastoralists gathered in large numbers in the oases to barter their products for dates, provide transportation and guides for caravans, or offer their labor for the harvest. Yet the pastoral nomads were both friend and foe. While they supplied indispensable goods and services, tribal groups often exacted tribute from traders and oasis inhabitants. In years of drought or insufficient pasturage, nomads raided caravans and travelers, rendered trade routes insecure, or swarmed into the oases, much to the dismay of sedentary populations.
Intertribal quarrels, one main source of political unrest in the Sahara, spilled over into the social life of desert towns and villages; the reverse was also true as oasis vendettas and struggles found a resonance among allied pastoral-nomadic groups. Thus, one of the most significant elements in the Sahara's political economy was sedentary-nomad mutualism which juxtaposed complementary modes of production, resulting in both cooperation and conflict.
Anthropologists have observed that the phenomenon of "vertical nomadism"—a fixed, annual migratory regime linking several different ecological niches—was more characteristic of Morocco and Algeria than Tunisia. Comparing North Africa with Southwest Asia, Donald Johnson also noted that the Maghribi pattern of "oscillating pastoral movement" resembles that of the mountain nomads of the Near East who take advantage of "altitudinal seasonal variations" to subsist.
Some pastoralists possessed date-palm gardens, invariably worked by khammas roughly, peasant sharecroppers who often enjoyed patron-client relations or kinship ties or both with pastoral owners. The seasonal sojourn of the pastoralists in the north had political implications. It allowed the Turkish government and later colonial authorities to levy taxes on the tribes in state-controlled markets and meant that tribal leaders maintained ties with central authorities in the Constantine.
For example, the 'Arba'a Larba'a of al-Aghwat Laghouat and the Sa'id 'Atba of Warqala spent the summer months with their herds in the western Tell below the massifs of the Ouarsenis. Those found in the immediate region of the Ziban and Wadi Righ migrated north either by going around the Awras via al-Qantara or by passing through strategic valleys in the Awras mountains, such as the pass near the village of Khanqa Sidi Naji, home to a powerful saintly lineage and Rahmaniyya zawiya by the early nineteenth century. The semiannual displacement of nomadic peoples in Algeria, a surprisingly regular, ordered process, was still partially operative in the south as late as the Second World War.
Similar sorts of long-distance, desert-to-Tell migrations did not ordinarily take place in Tunisia, where pastoral displacements were much more restricted; nor did the Saharan tribes in Morocco cross the High Atlas mountains. For Algeria this pattern has historically meant that certain kinds of exchanges, particularly those involving bulk goods and food items, have tended to take place along a north-south axis; the international trade in luxury commodities and the pilgrimage traffic between Taza in Morocco and Ifriqiya moved along the transversal or east-west routes.
It had an impact upon the shape of collective action and popular protest and upon religious alliances between tribal groups and various Rahmaniyya centers controlled by privileged saintly lineages. The very fact that recalcitrant tribes regularly fled across the fluid borders to avoid taxation constitutes in itself an implicit recognition of the territorial limits between the two regencies. The great Sha'amba confederation, which participated in the revolt led by the Sharif of Warqala, covered an immense area in the Algerian Sahara stretching from the Mzab to the Suf in the east and as far south as Tuareg territory.
In contrast, the pastoral nomads of the Suf did not normally cover the enormous distances of other Algerian tribes since they tended to follow an east-west axis which brought them at times into the Tunisian Jarid and Nafzawa. Another factor was the beylical mahalla, whose annual tax-collecting forays into southern Tunisia, aimed principally at the prosperous, yet refractory, sedentary inhabitants of the Jarid, also discouraged, momentarily at least, tribal conflicts. The decision on the part of Saharan peoples either to take up arms or to delay collective action for a more propitious moment was often a function of the pastoralists' migratory regime.
In many cases, the timing of a revolt was a function of the presence—or absence—of certain tribal groups in a particular region. Annual tribal movements were in turn dictated by the unremitting search for adequate pasturage and the agrarian cycles of the oases which demanded additional labor at specific times. Thus, an ecology of political action existed prior to and would determine the terms of the colonial encounter for decades after the French conquest. While stock breeding and animal husbandry were the mainstays of the pastoral-nomadic economy, trade and commerce—and the closely related activity of raiding—were nearly of equal importance.
Pastoralists actively participated in Saharan commerce in three basic ways: the provision of transport services, the furnishing of protection, and the distribution of their own products in markets through barter or sale. To these were added middleman functions since some of the tribes, such as the Awlad Amir of the Suf, acted as commercial intermediaries between desert and steppe economies.
Finally, patterned economic behavior, structured by patron-client arrangements, assured the distribution of oasis surplus outside of the pre-Sahara and represented another dimension of sedentary-nomad mutualism. Commodity transfers over a wide geographical and political space were facilitated by pacts establishing patronage ties between oasis producers, traders, and pastoralists. In some cases these ties spanned the borders between the two Turkish regencies.
Merchants from the Suf, who habitually traded in the Tunisian Nafzawa, maintained protection agreements with specific tribal groups in southern Tunisia. Yet whenever tribal warfare or excessive state fiscal pressures upon accessible nomadic groups rendered raiding more lucrative than protection, the price of transport would rise according to the dangers involved, thus wreaking havoc upon Saharan commerce.
In addition to offering security to sedentary clients, pastoral-nomadic peoples have long been pivotal in another related economic activity—smuggling and contraband. In the Maghrib as well as in parts of Iran, Anatolia, and elsewhere in the Near East, pastoralists have facilitated extralegal from the political center's point of view exchanges due to their involvement in transport at the margins of the state.
Tribal smugglers in southern Algeria and Tunisia were inevitably associated in these enterprises with oasis merchants, port traders, and even local agents of the government. Some tribes, such as the Tunisian Ghrib and the Algerian Sha'amba, came to specialize in contraband by the middle of the nineteenth century when the booming demand for European firearms and gunpowder in Algeria encouraged the trade in these prohibited "luxury" items.
As was true in sedentary-pastoralist relations, the nomads were both foe and friend of the traditional political center. If some pastoral-nomadic groups defied central governments by raiding, smuggling, and fiscal evasion of various sorts, others offered their services as irregular makhzan i.
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As Nikki Keddie has pointed out, the histories of Iran and. Thus, while the tribes were often located at the fluctuating margins of the state, they were not marginal to that state since an uneasy form of mutualism existed between political center and pastoral-nomadic society. The inhabitants of the oases, many of whom claimed pastoral-nomadic origins, were more often than not deeply divided; these divisions frequently played into the hands of central authorities in both the Turkish and colonial periods.
Moreover, tribal alliance systems, or saffs , discussed in subsequent chapters, were recreated within sedentary oasis societies, thus involving settled communities in much larger political contests. At the local level, however, daily conflicts erupted from the endless struggles over land and above all water—the "friend of the powerful. Islamic law and 'urf customary law theoretically cede to property owners the rights to water flowing upon their land.
Water rights could be inherited and theoretically alienated—sold, lent, mortgaged, or established as hubus waqf , or a pious endowment. Nevertheless, in some places in the pre-Sahara of Algeria, water belonged rather to the community and was collectively held. Therefore, water represented more than just a scarce resource, it constituted a bundle of symbols to be fought over. As such water rights were the stuff of oral traditions and folklore which accounted either for group identities or communal antagonisms.
The discourse of water, and of rights. The crucial technical as well as social problem was water distribution, and this more than anything else was the root of quotidian strife. In the Suf, underground sources were normally held and exploited directly by the owner of a particular plot, and allocation posed fewer difficulties. Yet waters flowing through extensive, complex systems, like those in the Ziban or the Jarid, had to be meticulously allotted since they irrigated gardens with numerous contiguous owners and cultivators. The most common method of repartition was by measured units of time as opposed to volume or a combination of time and volume units.