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ENGC51H3 Lecture Notes - Arab Spring, Arab Culture

Course Code
Maria Assif

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Session 1 (Jan.16th): Arab Literary Life Writing and Memoir: An overview
Assignment number one announced (Blackboard)
Early Arab women wrieers
Life Writings
Commonalities between Arab Countries
-Political issues- many Arab countries have issues with political power
control, democracy—results of elections. Issues of war too because of
territorial issues that are also related to religion and history. Ex. Arab
-Cultural faith-based topics/issues- Islam is main religion, but there are
minorities. Some of these countries question how they can be together
even though they are different? For Arab countries, Islam is the major
religion in the constitution. Issues of faith religion are major part of what’s
going on in Arab World.
-Globalization- Who am I? Am I different or similar? Agency in relation to
-Minorities/Ethnicity- its not part of Arab culture to think about minorities.
But they are thinking who they are and how to protect their identity and
how to open the door to minorities who lived in these countries for
generations. What is home for these people?
-Colonization/Independence- most countries were colonized for 30-120
years. Issues come up after colonization. How can we define ourselves
after being colonized for so long?
-Arabization” coined word-
-Poverty/Classification—class systems.
History of Arab Women Writers
1. Rabiya Al Adawiya—sufism. Mystic poetry.
2. Al Khansa—earliest best poets ever in Arabic Literature
3. Walloodah—bold for her standards and wonderful poetic skills.
4. Shahrazade—female character of epic story: Arabian Knights or 1001
nights. Arabian Nights work originally not Arab in origins, it is originally
Indian and Persian. Translated into Arabic in the 8th century, so many parts
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