An Introduction to Modern Arab Culture

(First Edition)
Bassam Frangieh
©2019, 434 pages

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An Introduction to Modern Arab Culture

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    An Introduction to Modern Arab Culture exposes readers to fundamental characteristics of the Arab people, their culture, and their society.

    Over the course of 13 chapters, readers learn about the emergence and influence of Islam in Arab culture, religious and ethnic minorities within the Arab world, the critical role of family in Arab life, and the origin and evolution of the Arabic language. Dedicated chapters provide an introduction to the religion of Islam and the Qur’an, and an exploration of Islamic communities throughout the ages. Additional chapters explore Arab poetry, literature, music, values, and thought, revealing the impact of major artworks and their creators on Arab life and tradition. The final chapters address the Arab Spring, the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis, and contemporary challenges and opportunities.

    An Introduction to Modern Arab Culture introduces readers to aspects of Arab culture while demonstrating how these facets intertwine to create a unique tapestry of identity, experience, and history. The book is well suited to courses in Middle East culture and history, politics, thought, literature, religion, and language, and courses in sociology, anthropology, and cultural studies.

    Bassam Frangieh, Ph.D., is a professor of Arabic at Claremont McKenna College and a scholar of contemporary Arabic literature and culture. He previously taught at Georgetown University and Yale University. Dr. Frangieh is the author of Anthology of Arabic Literature, Culture, and Thought from Pre-Islamic Times to the Present and Arabic for Life (both published by Yale University Press). He authored and coauthored numerous articles related to Arab culture and the arts, and has translated various books, passages, articles, and more for widespread publication. His translated books include Love, Death, and Exile, a volume of poetry from the works of the renowned Iraqi poet Abdul Wahab Al-Bayati.
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    Adopting instructors will receive a test bank with chapter quizzes, a list of discussion questions and thirteen PowerPoint presentations.
    “In a time when there are many negative stereotype images of Arabs and Muslims, the book is very timely because it provides profound analytical review of WHO are the Arabs from sociological, anthropological and cultural and political perspectives. Highlighting the nuances of the Arab societies and putting in context the history of the Muslim Arab world, this book is a unique eye opener revealing so many facts that seem to be hidden because of lack of information in the West about the civilization of the Arab and Muslim world. The book reveals the societal transformation values in Arab societies from the Arab renaissance time to the Arab Uprisings in 2010 -2011 which left the Middle East shattered because of the on-going conflicts and proxy wars in the region which the book describes as the 'Syrian refugee tragedy'.

    While exploring the crisis of the Arab culture and the political as well as the economic challenges in the Middle East region, the author was able to unravel many of the changes occurring in the Arab world at large in a lucid manner which helps the reader to understand the riddles in many Arab societies.

    I highly recommend the book as references for courses on the Middle East and the Arab world. This book will not only help serve students but it will serve a wide spectrum of American and non-American readers who are interested in understanding the complex nature of the Arab world and its rich culture and its diversity. The books links the past with the present and the future of the Arab world.”

    Sallama Shaker, Full Clinical Professor of Middle East & International Studies, Claremont Graduate University
    Read the book listing of An Introduction to Modern Arab Culture in the Foreign Service Journal.

    Read Suheir Abu Oksa Daoud's review of An Introduction to Modern Arab Culture by Bassam Frangieh in Arabic Literature Today.