Al-Nahda

Al-Nahda

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Encyclopedia
For the Omani football club, see Al-Nahda (Omani football club)
Al-Nahda (Omani football club)
Al-Nahda Sports Club is an Omani football club based in Al-Buraimi, Oman. The club only has a brief history and was formed in 2003. In the few years the club has been competing they have had a considerable amount of achievements, including qualifying for the 2008 AFC Cup and reaching the...

.


Al-Nahda ( / ALA-LC: an-Nahḍah; Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

 for "awakening" or "renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

") was a cultural renaissance that began in the late 19th century and early 20th century in Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, then later moving to Ottoman
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

-ruled Arabic-speaking regions including Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

, Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 and others. It is often regarded as a period of intellectual modernization and reform.

The Nahda is seen as connected to the cultural shock brought on by Napoleon's invasion of Egypt in 1798, and the reformist drive of subsequent rulers such as Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali of Egypt
Muhammad Ali Pasha al-Mas'ud ibn Agha was a commander in the Ottoman army, who became Wāli, and self-declared Khedive of Egypt and Sudan...

. The Egyptian nahda was articulated in purely Egyptian terms, and its participants were mostly Egyptians
Egyptians
Egyptians are nation an ethnic group made up of Mediterranean North Africans, the indigenous people of Egypt.Egyptian identity is closely tied to geography. The population of Egypt is concentrated in the lower Nile Valley, the small strip of cultivable land stretching from the First Cataract to...

, and Cairo
Cairo
Cairo , is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world and Africa, and the 16th largest metropolitan area in the world. Nicknamed "The City of a Thousand Minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life...

 was undoubtedly the geographical center of the movement. But al-Nahda was also felt in neighboring Arab capitals, notably Beirut
Beirut
Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon, with a population ranging from 1 million to more than 2 million . Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's Mediterranean coastline, it serves as the country's largest and main seaport, and also forms the Beirut Metropolitan...

 and Damascus
Damascus
Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

. The shared language of Arabic-speaking nations ensured that the accomplishments of the movement could be quickly picked up by intellectuals in Arab countries.

In the Ottoman
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

-ruled Arabic regions, major influence and motive were the 19th century tanzimat
Tanzimat
The Tanzimât , meaning reorganization of the Ottoman Empire, was a period of reformation that began in 1839 and ended with the First Constitutional Era in 1876. The Tanzimât reform era was characterized by various attempts to modernize the Ottoman Empire, to secure its territorial integrity against...

 reforms of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

, which brought a constitutional order to Ottoman politics and engendered a new political class, and later the Young Turk Revolution
Young Turk Revolution
The Young Turk Revolution of 1908 reversed the suspension of the Ottoman parliament by Sultan Abdul Hamid II, marking the onset of the Second Constitutional Era...

 which allowed proliferation of press and other publications.

Rifa'a Rafi' el-Tahtawi




The Egyptian scholar Rifa'a el-Tahtawi
Rifa'a el-Tahtawi
Rifa'a al-Tahtawi was an Egyptian writer, teacher, translator, Egyptologist and renaissance intellectual...

 (1801–1873) is often seen as the pioneering figure of the Nahda. He was sent to Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 in 1826 by Muhammad Ali's government to study Western sciences and educational methods, although originally to serve as Imam
Imam
An imam is an Islamic leadership position, often the worship leader of a mosque and the Muslim community. Similar to spiritual leaders, the imam is the one who leads Islamic worship services. More often, the community turns to the mosque imam if they have a religious question...

 for the Egyptian cadets training at the Paris military academy. He came to hold a very positive view of French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 society, although not without criticisms. Learning French, he began translating important scientific and cultural works into Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

. He also witnessed the July Revolution
July Revolution
The French Revolution of 1830, also known as the July Revolution or in French, saw the overthrow of King Charles X of France, the French Bourbon monarch, and the ascent of his cousin Louis-Philippe, Duke of Orléans, who himself, after 18 precarious years on the throne, would in turn be overthrown...

 of 1830, against Charles X
Charles X of France
Charles X was known for most of his life as the Comte d'Artois before he reigned as King of France and of Navarre from 16 September 1824 until 2 August 1830. A younger brother to Kings Louis XVI and Louis XVIII, he supported the latter in exile and eventually succeeded him...

, but, perhaps understandably, was careful in commenting on the matter in his reports to Muhammad Ali. His political views, originally influenced by the conservative Islamic teachings at al-Azhar university, changed on a number of matters, and he came to advocate parliamentarism, women's education and, some hold, a degree of secularism
Secularism
Secularism is the principle of separation between government institutions and the persons mandated to represent the State from religious institutions and religious dignitaries...

.

After five years in France, he then returned to Egypt to implement the philosophy of reform he had developed there, summarizing his views in the book Takhlis al-Ibriz fi Talkhis Bariz (sometimes translated as The Quintessence of Paris), published in 1834. It is written in rhymed prose
Rhymed prose
Rhymed prose is a literary form and literary genre, written in unmetrical rhymes. This form has been known in many different cultures. In some cases the rhymed prose is a distinctive, well-defined style of writing...

, and describes France and Europe from an Egyptian Muslim viewpoint. Tahtawi's suggestion was that the Egypt and the Muslim world
Muslim world
The term Muslim world has several meanings. In a religious sense, it refers to those who adhere to the teachings of Islam, referred to as Muslims. In a cultural sense, it refers to Islamic civilization, inclusive of non-Muslims living in that civilization...

 had much to learn from Europe, and generally embraced Western society, but also held that reforms should be adapted to the values of Islamic culture. This brand of self-confident but open-minded modernism came to be the defining creed of al-Nahda.

Religion



In the religious field, Jamal al-Din al-Afghani
Jamal al-Din al-Afghani
Sayyid Muḥammad ibn Ṣafdar Husaynī , better known as Sayyid Jamāl-ad-Dīn al-Afghānī and Sayyid Jamal-ad-Din Asadabadi , , was a political activist and Islamic ideologist in the Muslim world during the late 19th century, particularly in the Middle East, South Asia and Europe...

 (1839–1897) gave Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 a modernist reinterpretation and fused adherence to the faith with an anti-colonial doctrine that preached Pan-Islamic
Pan-Islamism
Pan-Islamism is a political movement advocating the unity of Muslims under one Islamic state — often a Caliphate. As a form of religious nationalism, Pan-Islamism differentiates itself from other pan-nationalistic ideologies, for example Pan-Arabism, by excluding culture and ethnicity as primary...

 solidarity in the face of European pressures. He also favored the replacement of authoritarian monarchies
Monarchy
A monarchy is a form of government in which the office of head of state is usually held until death or abdication and is often hereditary and includes a royal house. In some cases, the monarch is elected...

 with representative rule, and denounced what he perceived as the dogmatism, stagnation and corruption of the Islam of his age. He claimed that tradition (taqlid
Taqlid
Taqlid or taklid is an Arabic term in Islamic legal terminology connoting "imitation", that is; following the decisions of a religious authority without necessarily examining the scriptural basis or reasoning of that decision, such as accepting and following the verdict of scholars of...

, تقليد) had stifled Islamic debate and repressed the correct practices of the faith. Al-Afghani's case for a redefinition of old interpretations of Islam, and his bold attacks on traditional religion, would become vastly influential with the fall of the Caliphate
Caliphate
The term caliphate, "dominion of a caliph " , refers to the first system of government established in Islam and represented the political unity of the Muslim Ummah...

 in 1924. This created a void in the religious doctrine and social structure of Islamic communities which had been only temporarily reinstated by Abdul Hamid II
Abdul Hamid II
His Imperial Majesty, The Sultan Abdülhamid II, Emperor of the Ottomans, Caliph of the Faithful was the 34th sultan of the Ottoman Empire...

 in an effort to bolster universal Muslim support, suddenly vanished. It forced Muslims to look for new interpretations of the faith, and to re-examine widely held dogma; exactly what al-Afghani had urged them to do decades earlier.

Al-Afghani influenced many, but greatest among his followers is undoubtedly his student Muhammad Abduh
Muhammad Abduh
Muhammad Abduh was an Egyptian jurist, religious scholar and liberal reformer, regarded as the founder of Islamic Modernism...

 (1849–1905), whose teachings would play a similarly important role in the reform of the practice of Islam. Like al-Afghani, Abduh accused traditionalist Islamic authorities of moral and intellectual corruption, and of imposing a doctrinaire form of Islam on the umma
Umma
Umma was an ancient city in Sumer. Note that there is some scholarly debateabout the Sumerian and Akkadian names for this site.-History:...

, that had hindered correct applications of the faith. He therefore advocated that Muslims should return to the "true" Islam practiced by the ancient Caliphs, which he held had been both rational and divinely inspired. Applying the original message of the Prophet
Prophet
In religion, a prophet, from the Greek word προφήτης profitis meaning "foreteller", is an individual who is claimed to have been contacted by the supernatural or the divine, and serves as an intermediary with humanity, delivering this newfound knowledge from the supernatural entity to other people...

 Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

 with no interference of tradition or the faulty interpretations of his followers, would automatically create the just society ordained by God in the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

, and so empower the Muslim world to stand against colonization and injustices.

Among the students of Abduh were Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

n Islamic scholar and reformer Rashid Rida
Rashid Rida
Muhammad Rashid Rida is said to have been "one of the most influential scholars and jurists of his generation" and the "most prominent disciple of Muhammad Abduh"...

 (1865–1935), who continued his legacy, and expanded on the concept of just Islamic government. His theses on how an Islamic state
Islamic State
An Islamic state is a type of government, in which the primary basis for government is Islamic religious law...

 should be organized remain influential among modern-day Islamists such as the Muslim Brotherhood
Muslim Brotherhood
The Society of the Muslim Brothers is the world's oldest and one of the largest Islamist parties, and is the largest political opposition organization in many Arab states. It was founded in 1928 in Egypt by the Islamic scholar and schoolteacher Hassan al-Banna and by the late 1940s had an...

.

Shia Islam


Shi'a scholars contributed to the renaissance movement, such as the linguist shaykh Ahmad Reda
Ahmad Reda
Sheikh Ahmad Reda was one of the foremost scholars of Arab literature and linguistics.-Early life:Born in Nabatiyeh, he was a main supporter of King Faisal's Greater Syrian rule , following the Arab Revolt in the First World War...

, the historian Muhammad Jaber al-Safa
Muhammad Jaber al-Safa
Muhammad Jaber Āl Safa was a prominent historian and writer from the Lebanese region of Jabal Amel.Born in Nabatiye, he studied language and history under famous scholars Hassan Yusef al-Makki and Muhammad Ibrahim al-Husseini....

 and Suleiman Daher, but, for obvious reasons, their influence on Sunni religious reform was rather limited. Important political reforms took place simultaneously also in Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 and Shi'a religious beliefs saw important developments with the systematization of a religious hierarchy
Hierarchy
A hierarchy is an arrangement of items in which the items are represented as being "above," "below," or "at the same level as" one another...

. A wave of political reform followed, with the constitution
Constitution
A constitution is a set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed. These rules together make up, i.e. constitute, what the entity is...

al movement in Iran, to some extent paralleling the Egyptian Nahda reforms.

Literature


Through the 19th century and early 20th centuries, a number of new developments in Arabic literature started to emerge, initially sticking closely to the classical forms, but addressing modern themes and the challenges faced by the Arab world in the modern era.

In 1865 the Syrian writer
Writer
A writer is a person who produces literature, such as novels, short stories, plays, screenplays, poetry, or other literary art. Skilled writers are able to use language to portray ideas and images....

, poet
Poet
A poet is a person who writes poetry. A poet's work can be literal, meaning that his work is derived from a specific event, or metaphorical, meaning that his work can take on many meanings and forms. Poets have existed since antiquity, in nearly all languages, and have produced works that vary...

, and physician
Physician
A physician is a health care provider who practices the profession of medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintaining or restoring human health through the study, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, injury and other physical and mental impairments...

 Francis Marrash
Francis Marrash
Francis bin Fathallah bin Nasrallah Marrash , also known as Francis al-Marrash or Francis Marrash al-Halabi, was a Syrian writer and poet of the Nahda movement...

 published his novel Ghabat al-haq, considered to be the first modern novel of Arabic literature. With his book The researcher's source in the science of criticism, Qestaki al-Homsi
Qestaki al-Homsi
Qusṭākī al-Ḥimṣī was a Syrian writer and poet of the Nahda movement , a prominent figure in the Arabic literature of the 19th and 20th centuries and one of the first reformers of the traditional Arabic poetry...

 from Aleppo
Aleppo
Aleppo is the largest city in Syria and the capital of Aleppo Governorate, the most populous Syrian governorate. With an official population of 2,301,570 , expanding to over 2.5 million in the metropolitan area, it is also one of the largest cities in the Levant...

, Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 is considered to be the founder of modern literary criticism
Literary criticism
Literary criticism is the study, evaluation, and interpretation of literature. Modern literary criticism is often informed by literary theory, which is the philosophical discussion of its methods and goals...

 among the Arab scholars.

In 1914, Muhammad Husayn Haykal
Muhammad Husayn Haykal
Muhammad Hussein Haekal was an Egyptian writer, journalist, politician and Minister of Education in Egypt.- Life :...

 (1888–1956) published Zaynab
Zaynab (novel)
Husayn Haykal's Zaynab is the first modern Egyptian novel published in 1913. The book depicts life in the Egyptian countryside and delves into the relationships between men and women.-Plot introduction:...

, the first Egyptian novel written in Egyptian Arabic
Egyptian Arabic
Egyptian Arabic is the language spoken by contemporary Egyptians.It is more commonly known locally as the Egyptian colloquial language or Egyptian dialect ....

. Prose writing rapidly developed from this date.

A group of young writers formed The New School, and in 1925 began publishing the a weekly literary journal al-Fajr (The Dawn), which would have a great impact on Arabic literature. The group was especially influenced by 19th-century Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

n writers such as Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy
Tolstoy
Tolstoy, or Tolstoi is a prominent family of Russian nobility, descending from Andrey Kharitonovich Tolstoy who served under Vasily II of Moscow...

 and Gogol.

In poetry, the Egyptian Ahmad Shawqi, among others, began to explore the limits of the classical qasida, although he remained a clearly neo-classical poet. After him, others, including Hafez Ibrahim
Hafez Ibrahim
Hafez Ibrahim was an Egyptian poet, called , means the Poet of the Nile. He was one of several poets that revived Arabic poetry during the latter half of the 19th Century. While still using the classical Arabic system of meter and rhyme, these poets wrote to express new ideas and feelings...

 began to use poetry to explore themes of anticolonialism as well as the classical concepts. The Mahjar (emigrant) poets, of whom the most famous is the Lebanese
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

 Khalil Gibran
Khalil Gibran
Khalil Gibran Jubrān Khalīl Jubrān,Jibrān Khalīl Jibrān, or Jibrān Xalīl Jibrān; Arabic , January 6, 1883 – April 10, 1931) also known as Kahlil Gibran, was a Lebanese American artist, poet, and writer...

 (1883–1931), but which included other writers, in South America as well as the USA, further contributed to the development of the forms available to Arab poets.

The Prophet
The Prophet (book)
The Prophet is a book of 26 poetic essays written in English by the Lebanese artist, philosopher and writer Kahlil Gibran. It was originally published in 1923 by Alfred A. Knopf. It is Gibran's best known work...

, published in 1923 by the Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

-based Gibran, is perhaps the best known work of the era in the West
West
West is a noun, adjective, or adverb indicating direction or geography.West is one of the four cardinal directions or compass points. It is the opposite of east and is perpendicular to north and south.By convention, the left side of a map is west....

, but was actually first written in English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 (Read The Prophet online here). Gibran's associate in the Arab-American League of the Pen (al-Rabita al-Qalamiyya), Mikha'il Na'ima
Mikha'il Na'ima
Mikha'il Na'ima was a Lebanese author and poet of the New York Pen League.-Biography:...

 (1898–1989) would later return to Lebanon and contribute to the development of the novel there.

One of the main literary innovators in the later stages of al-Nahda was Prof. Taha Hussein (1889–1973), the blind
Blindness
Blindness is the condition of lacking visual perception due to physiological or neurological factors.Various scales have been developed to describe the extent of vision loss and define blindness...

 child of an Egyptian peasant family who is today widely considered an intellectual giant of Egypt, and apart from his Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

ic education at al-Azhar held triple doctorates from Cairo University
Cairo University
Cairo University is a public university located in Giza, Egypt.The university was founded on December 21, 1908, as the result of an effort to establish a national center for educational thought...

, the University of Sorbonne and the University of Paris
University of Paris
The University of Paris was a university located in Paris, France and one of the earliest to be established in Europe. It was founded in the mid 12th century, and officially recognized as a university probably between 1160 and 1250...

. He served as Minister of Education in Egypt in the 1950s, and was responsible for creating free and mandatory schooling. His best known book is the autobiographical el-Ayyam (The Days).

Media


In 1821, Muhammad Ali of Egypt
Muhammad Ali of Egypt
Muhammad Ali Pasha al-Mas'ud ibn Agha was a commander in the Ottoman army, who became Wāli, and self-declared Khedive of Egypt and Sudan...

 brought the first printing press
Printing press
A printing press is a device for applying pressure to an inked surface resting upon a print medium , thereby transferring the ink...

 to Egypt. Modern printing techniques spread rapidly and gave birth to a modern Egyptian press, which brought the reformist trends of the al-Nahda into contact with the emerging Egyptian middle class
Middle class
The middle class is any class of people in the middle of a societal hierarchy. In Weberian socio-economic terms, the middle class is the broad group of people in contemporary society who fall socio-economically between the working class and upper class....

 of clerks and tradesmen. The Egyptian newspaper al-Ahram
Al-Ahram
Al-Ahram , founded in 1875, is the most widely circulating Egyptian daily newspaper, and the second oldest after al-Waqa'i`al-Masriya . It is majority owned by the Egyptian government....

 dates from 1875, and between 1870 and 1900, Beirut alone saw the founding of about 40 new periodicals and 15 newspapers.
  • See also: List of Arabic newspapers

Language


The efforts at translating European and American literature led to the modernization of the Arabic language
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

. Many scientific and academic terms, a well as words for modern inventions, were incorporated in modern Arabic vocabulary, and new words were coined in accordance with the Arabic root system
Triliteral
The roots of verbs and most nouns in the Semitic languages are characterized as a sequence of consonants or "radicals"...

 to cover for others. The development of a modern press (see above) ensured that classical Arabic
Classical Arabic
Classical Arabic , also known as Qur'anic or Koranic Arabic, is the form of the Arabic language used in literary texts from Umayyad and Abbasid times . It is based on the Medieval dialects of Arab tribes...

 spread through society in its updated form, Modern Standard Arabic, which is used still today all over the Arab world
Arab world
The Arab world refers to Arabic-speaking states, territories and populations in North Africa, Western Asia and elsewhere.The standard definition of the Arab world comprises the 22 states and territories of the Arab League stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the...

. The Lebanese scholar Butrus al-Bustani
Butrus al-Bustani
Buṭrus al-Bustānī was a notable writer and scholar from present day Lebanon.-Life:Al-Bustani was born to a Maronite Christian family in the village of Dibbiye in the Chouf region, in January 1819...

 (1819–83) created, in the late 19th century, the first modern Arabic encyclopedia
Encyclopedia
An encyclopedia is a type of reference work, a compendium holding a summary of information from either all branches of knowledge or a particular branch of knowledge....

, drawing both on medieval Arab scholars and Western methods of lexicography
Lexicography
Lexicography is divided into two related disciplines:*Practical lexicography is the art or craft of compiling, writing and editing dictionaries....

, and Ahmad Reda
Ahmad Reda
Sheikh Ahmad Reda was one of the foremost scholars of Arab literature and linguistics.-Early life:Born in Nabatiyeh, he was a main supporter of King Faisal's Greater Syrian rule , following the Arab Revolt in the First World War...

 created the first modern dictionary of Arabic, "Matn al-Lugha" ("Lisan al-Arab" was written in the 13th century).

Politics


In 1876, the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 promulgated a constitution
Constitution
A constitution is a set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed. These rules together make up, i.e. constitute, what the entity is...

, as the crowning accomplishment of the tanzimat
Tanzimat
The Tanzimât , meaning reorganization of the Ottoman Empire, was a period of reformation that began in 1839 and ended with the First Constitutional Era in 1876. The Tanzimât reform era was characterized by various attempts to modernize the Ottoman Empire, to secure its territorial integrity against...

 reforms (1839–76) and inaugurating the Empire's First Constitutional Era
First Constitutional Era (Ottoman Empire)
The First Constitutional Era of the Ottoman Empire was the period of constitutional monarchy from the promulgation of the Kanûn-ı Esâsî , written by members of the Young Ottomans, on 23 November 1876 until 13 February 1878...

. It was inspired by European methods of government and designed to bring the Empire back on level with the Western powers. The constitution was opposed by the Sultan, whose powers it checked, but had vast symbolic and political importance.

The introduction of parliamentarism also created a political class in the Ottoman-controlled provinces, from which later emerged a liberal
Liberalism
Liberalism is the belief in the importance of liberty and equal rights. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally, liberals support ideas such as constitutionalism, liberal democracy, free and fair elections, human rights,...

 nationalist elite that would spearhead the several nationalist movements, in particular Egyptian nationalism. Egyptian nationalism was non-Arab, emphasising ethnic Egyptian identity and history in response to European colonialism and the Turkish occupation of Egypt. This was paralleled by the rise of the Young Turks
Young Turks
The Young Turks , from French: Les Jeunes Turcs) were a coalition of various groups favouring reformation of the administration of the Ottoman Empire. The movement was against the absolute monarchy of the Ottoman Sultan and favoured a re-installation of the short-lived Kanûn-ı Esâsî constitution...

 in the central Ottoman provinces and administration. The resentment towards Turk
Ottoman Turks
The Ottoman Turks were the Turkish-speaking population of the Ottoman Empire who formed the base of the state's military and ruling classes. Reliable information about the early history of Ottoman Turks is scarce, but they take their Turkish name, Osmanlı , from the house of Osman I The Ottoman...

ish rule fused with protests against the Sultan's autocracy, and the largely secular concepts of Arab nationalism
Arab nationalism
Arab nationalism is a nationalist ideology celebrating the glories of Arab civilization, the language and literature of the Arabs, calling for rejuvenation and political union in the Arab world...

 rose as a cultural response to the Ottoman Caliphate
Caliphate
The term caliphate, "dominion of a caliph " , refers to the first system of government established in Islam and represented the political unity of the Muslim Ummah...

s claims of religious legitimacy. Various Arab nationalist secret societies rose in the years prior to World War One, such as al-Fatat
Al-fatat
Al-Fatat or the Young Arab Society was founded in 1911 by Arab nationalist, Izzat Darwaza .It was a secret Arab nationalist organization under the Ottoman Empire. Its aims were to gain independence and unity for various Arab nations then under the Ottoman rule. It found adherents in areas such as...

 and the military based al-Ahd.

This was complemented by the rise of other national movements, including Syrian nationalism
Syrian nationalism
Syrian nationalism refers to the nationalism of Syria, or the Fertile Crescent as a cultural or political entity. It should not be confused with the Arab nationalism that is the official state doctrine of the Syrian Arab Republic's ruling Baath Party, nor should it be assumed that Syrian...

, which like Egyptian nationalism was in some of its manifestations essentially non-Arabist and connected to the concept of Greater Syria
Greater Syria
Greater Syria , also known simply as Syria, is a term that denotes a region in the Near East bordering the Eastern Mediterranean Sea or the Levant....

. The main other example of the late al-Nahda era is the emerging Palestinian nationalism
Palestinian nationalism
Palestinian nationalism is the national movement of the Palestinian people. It has roots in Pan-Arabism and other movements rejecting colonialism and calling for national independence. More recently, Palestinian Nationalism is expressed through the Israeli–Palestinian conflict...

, which was set apart from Syrian nationalism by Zionist
Zionism
Zionism is a Jewish political movement that, in its broadest sense, has supported the self-determination of the Jewish people in a sovereign Jewish national homeland. Since the establishment of the State of Israel, the Zionist movement continues primarily to advocate on behalf of the Jewish state...

 immigration to Palestine and the resulting sense of Palestinian particularism.

Further reading

  • Hourani, Albert
    Albert Hourani
    -Life and career:Hourani was born in Manchester, England, the son of Soumaya Rassi and Fadlo Issa Hourani, immigrants from Marjeyoun in what is now South Lebanon. His brothers were George Hourani and Cecil Hourani. His family had converted from Greek Orthodoxy...

    , A History of the Arab Peoples, New York
    New York
    New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

    : Warner Books, 1991. (ISBN 0-446-39392-4)
  • Lapidus, Ira M.
    Ira M. Lapidus
    Ira M. Lapidus is an Emeritus Professor of History, Islamic Social History at The University of California at Berkeley. He is the author of A History of Islamic Societies, and Contemporary Islamic Movements in Historical Perspective, among other works....

    , A History of Islamic Societies, 2nd Ed. Cambridge University Press
    Cambridge University Press
    Cambridge University Press is the publishing business of the University of Cambridge. Granted letters patent by Henry VIII in 1534, it is the world's oldest publishing house, and the second largest university press in the world...

  • Armstrong, Karen
    Karen Armstrong
    Karen Armstrong FRSL , is a British author and commentator who is the author of twelve books on comparative religion. A former Roman Catholic nun, she went from a conservative to a more liberal and mystical faith...

     The Battle for God
    The Battle for God
    The Battle for God: Fundamentalism in Judaism, Christianity and Islam is a book by best-selling author Karen Armstrong published in 2000 by Knopf/HarperCollins which the New York Times described as "one of the most penetrating, readable, and prescient accounts to date of the rise of the...

    , 2000
  • Kassir, Samir
    Samir Kassir
    Samir Kassir was a Lebanese professor of history at Saint-Joseph University and journalist. Born to a Palestinian father and a Syrian mother, Kassir received his degree in philosophy and political philosophy in 1984, in 1990, Kassir earned his PhD in Modern History also from the University of...

     Considérations sur le malheur arabe, Paris
    Paris
    Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

    , 2004.

External links

  • Plain talk - by Mursi Saad ed-Din, in al-Ahram
    Al-Ahram
    Al-Ahram , founded in 1875, is the most widely circulating Egyptian daily newspaper, and the second oldest after al-Waqa'i`al-Masriya . It is majority owned by the Egyptian government....

     Weekly.
  • Tahtawi in Paris - by Peter Gran, in al-Ahram
    Al-Ahram
    Al-Ahram , founded in 1875, is the most widely circulating Egyptian daily newspaper, and the second oldest after al-Waqa'i`al-Masriya . It is majority owned by the Egyptian government....

    Weekly.
  • France as a Role Model - by Barbara Winckler