Non-Fiction Books:

Cosmopolitanism, Identity and Authenticity in the Middle East


Paperback / softback

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Cosmopolitanism, Identity and Authenticity in the Middle East by Roel Meijer
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At a time when it seems difficult to communicate and break down barriers of mutual distrust, this book presents the views of leading Arab intellectuals from countries from Morocco to the Gulf who discuss their own highly diverse personal and professional perspectives on cosmopolitanism in the Middle East. The central theme of this book is the relationship between cosmopolitanism, identity and authenticity. Several questions are raised, such as whether cosmopolitanism as a lifestyle and attitude is restricted to certain exceptional periods, places and environments in the past history of the Middle Eastern, or whether it has a future? Does cosmopolitanism rule out authenticity and the quest for a fixed identity? After an introductory chapter by Sami Zubaida, these questions are dealt with from three perspectives: a personal one that weaves the theme of cosmopolitanism into the fabric of autobiographical narrative; an Islamic perspective arguing both for and against authenticity as a precondition for universalism and cosmopolitanism; and, finally, one that looks more closely at the question of cosmopolitanism, identity and authenticity in individual countries.
Release date NZ
January 26th, 1999
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
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