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Kamis, 23 April 2009

The Arab World (Paperback)


This book is a collection of personal essays by Elizabeth and Robert Fernea concerning aspects of daily life in the several corners of the Arab world where they lived and conducted their anthropological research. The areas covered include Beirut (Lebanon), Amman (Jordan), Marrakech (Morocco), Cairo and Nubia (Egypt), Hail (Saudi Arabia), the West Bank, and Baghdad and Al-Nahra (Iraq). The Ferneas began their acquaintance with Arabia in 1956, when in their first year of marriage, Robert Fernea chose to do his doctoral research in Al-Nahra Iraq, and Elizabeth accompanied him there. After Robert was awarded his doctorate, the Ferneas went to Egypt, where Robert took a teaching post at the American University in Cairo. While in Egypt, Elizabeth wrote her now-classic description of women's life in Iraq, Guests of the Sheikh. Later research projects took the Ferneas, together with their three children, to Nubia and Marrakech. In each location, the Ferneas observed local cultures for their formal academic publications. But they also kept journals of their daily experiences in dealing with the culture and trying to learn the answers to anthropological questions as Westerners, and it is excerpts from these journals that appear here. Interspersed with these descriptions of their personal experiences are short background or follow-up essays that provide further information about some of the associated topics.

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