Informations and abstract
The question of identity/identification in the Arab-Muslim world is remarkably complex. In fact, in a historical perspective, it refers to a whole series of characters and even legal rules tending to define the individual in relation to the concepts of time and space, and also in relation to others, as a member of the community to which he belongs to. This contribution intends to focus on the peculiar perception of this issue by a relevant part of the Muslim historiography, starting from a specific case: the hira, or emigration of Maghribi groups to Damascus in the 19th century. In this particular circumstance, we will not consider the “otherµ as external to the Muslim community, rather the muwin, that is “he who was born and/or chooses to live in a determined placeµ, showing how Maghribi individuals were gradually integrated in the new social system, and how the process of construction of an identity depends on a series of different factors at a time. For this reason, different kind of sources will be taken into account: Arabic biographical dictionaries (tarim), local histories/ chronicles and travel accounts reveal traces of an important issue so far little explored.