Antonino Pellitteri

«Istawṭana bihā»: Maghribini a Damasco nell'Ottocento. Uno studio dei fattori identitari a partire dall’analisi di fonti arabe

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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 hi􀃷ra, 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 muw􀆗􀜒in, 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 (tar􀆗􀃷im), local histories/ chronicles and travel accounts reveal traces of an important issue so far little explored.


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