Language, Memory, and Identity in the Middle East: The Case by Franck Salameh

By Franck Salameh

Language reminiscence and identification within the center East differs from conventional sleek center East scholarship in that it reevaluates the photographs and perceptions that specialists-and center Easterners themselves-have normalized and intellectualized in regards to the area, usually with a patronizing rejection of the legitimacy and authenticity of non-Arab heart jap peoples, and a refusal to characteristic the center East's pathologies to explanations outdoor the normal Arab-Israeli and post-colonial paradigms.

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My wrists have rubbed, in turn, against the caresses of silk, the chafing of wool, the gold of princes and the chains of slaves. My fingers have parted a thousand veils, my lips have made a thousand virgins blush, and my eyes have seen cities die and empires collapse. From my mouth you will hear Arabic, Turkish, Castilian, Berber, Hebrew, Latin and Italian vulgari, because all tongues and all prayers belong to me. But I belong to none of them. ” Not unlike his Lebanese author, the supposedly Muslim Arab North African Moorish European Catholic, was neither Arab, nor African, nor even European, but rather a composite cosmopolitan polyglot, who was intimately familiar with the cultures and ways of Europeans and Arabs alike, and who wielded Arabic, Hebrew, Turkish, Berber, Latin, and its French, Spanish, and Italian vernaculars, with the ease and affection of a native.

If al-Husri advocated a forced Arabness for anyone prattling an idiom resembling Arabic, Michel Aflaq, an apostle of his and cofounder of the Baath Party, promoted outright violence and cruelty against those users of the Arabic language who refused to conform to an overarching Arab identity as postulated by al-Husri. Arab nationalists, Aflaq preached, would be foolish to condone the national and cultural claims of others who renounce the Arabness offered to them. He was brutally honest in his justification of violence and physical punishment against those users of Arabic who rejected their imputed Arabness.

45 These imageries of roads, seas, and mountains—perpetuity, rootedness, and everlasting fluidity and movement—are of paramount importance to someone as physically, affectively, and intellectually invested in the Mediterranean and Mediterranean culture as Maalouf. 46 For millennia, “the peoples of the Mediterranean have been shaped not only by the sea [. ”47 This is the predominant theme in Maalouf’s oeuvre, in his conception of identity, and in his perception of the composite nature of the inhabitants of the Mediterranean, Mediterranean Lebanon, and the Levant; perpetuity, diversity, and eternal movement.

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