CONTENTS OF Vol. 31, Nos. 3-4, 2006
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MARIA ROSA MENOCAL: To Create an Empire: Adab and the Invention of Castilian Culture
ABSTRACT: This essay explores the relationship between adab and the Castilian translation movement led by Alfonso X in the second half of the thirteenth century. The author suggests that the entire Alfonsine era can best be understood in terms of an Arabic tradition converted into a Castilian one. Through the translation movement, the Castilian vernacular became the vehicle for a secular and bellelettristic culture that represented the culmination of the imperial aspirations of Castilian kings living and governing as latterday versions of Andalusian rulers. Among other topics, this essay proposes a non-linear relationship between Toledos Castilian and Latin translation movements (and their parallels to the Arabo-Persian adab tradition versus Baghdads scholarly translations and commentaries), discusses the complex concept of mudejar, and touches upon some of Alfonso Xs first translations from Arabic into Castilian.
KENNETH E. SHAW: Human Resources and Development in the Arabian Gulf Region
ABSTRACT: Recent writing on the Middle East and in the Gulf region relating to human resource accumulation and skills are discussed, especially with reference to the chronic problems of unemployment there and issues of economic and social development. Responses to the problems are divided between those advocating solutions based on the opening up of markets and the role of the private sector and those favouring state initiatives to promote employment. I argue that within a complex social reality people engage in conducts within social constraints, which reflect back on social institutions, including markets, people and institutions modify each other reciprocally. Education has a role within these processes by promoting valued skills and thus human resources. These may enhance competitiveness, promote economic success and thus the creation of sustainable worthwhile employment as part of national development. The state working with the market can promote such programmes in the region. But to do so needs a skilled, professional bureaucracy. Introducing reforms would entail a degree of modification of cultural assumptions about work, both in families and in employees, as well as substantial evolution in school pedagogies and curricula. Whilst some countries have achieved success in delivering employment through free markets, in many others the mobilisation and coordination of resources across many government departments has been a vital requirement. Conditions in the MENA region point to the need for the member states to take further initiatives for reform and regulation, rather than rely heavily on market-orientated structural adjustment programmes from the international Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
ABBAS HAMDANI: Arabic Sources for Pre-Columbian Voyages of Discovery
ABSTRACT: In line with many diffusionist scholars I have held that before Columbus arrival in the New World, there have been many explorations in the Atlantic with the purpose of discovering a new continent. For these pre-Columbian events there is very little historical material, although there is considerable archaeological evidence. Arabic geographical and historical sources have been referred to before, but not all have been collected in original and translated in English at one place. This has been done in this article. They are the works of al-Masudi (died 345H/956A.D), al-Udhri (died 478/1085), al-Idrisi (died 560/1165) and Ibn Fadl Allah al-Umari (died 749/1349). Several inferences have been drawn, particularly that the Native Americans probably reached the Canaries islands before Columbus arrived in the Caribbean; and that Berber ships reached Brazil. The Hypotheses presented are backed by a discussion of ships, sails, winds, currents, maps and scientific instruments and also by parallel historical evidence. In addition to the Arabic sources, a Chinese source has also been examined.
KATARZYNA JARECKA-STEPIEN: Polish Travellers in Libya
ABSTRACT: This article presents the history of the relationship between Poles and Libyans up till the Second World War. It shows that the number of Poles in Libya has changed over the years. At the beginning there were only a few Polish travellers. Perhaps the first Polish visitor to reach Libya was Prokop Pieniazek, the admiral of the Maltese fleet in the 16th century. Poles first arrived in Libya looking for discovery and trade. They were followed by journalists, writers, scientists and travellers; only a few Poles took holidays in Libya.
WASIF SHADID: Muslims and Islam in Western Media: Selective Coverage and Negative Presentation
ABSTRACT: Recent publications demonstrate that news
coverage of Western media of issues dealing with ethnic minorities,
and especially with Muslims, is far from ideal. The media directly and
indirectly contribute to the creation, spreading and maintenance of
stereotypes and prejudice towards the groups concerned, and even play
a central role in their discrimination in society. Put differently,
these findings confirm the views of communication researchers that the
media are powerful devices for communicating information, and that they
do create stereotypes, mainly by underrepresentation of the groups concerned,
selective coverage, stereotypic presentation, and framing and priming.
AHMED FAROUK: Une Police des Mers pour Neutraliser les Corsaires Marocains au XVIIIe Siècle
RÉSUMÉ: Parmi les inconvénients
de voyages daffaires dans les eaux de la Méditerranée
occidentale, au XVIIIe siècle, on peut avancer la présence
active des corsairs marocains. Les Salétins, comme on les appelait
dans les documents consulaires de lEurope occidentale, inquiètent
marins et patrons des bâtiments de commerce qui fréquentent
les eaux du détroit de Gibraltar et des mers proches. La rencontre
avec un Salétin, quand on nest pas armé pour la
guerre, est toujours signe de mauvaise augure, et les risques de perdre
les biens transportés, equipage et liberté sont grands
et bien réels dans ces parages.
YAHIA H. ZOUBIR and LOUISA DRIS-AIT-HAMADOUCHE: The United States and the Maghreb: Islamism, Democratization and Strategic Interests
ABSTRACT: Historically, the United States did not
perceive the Maghreb as a region of strategic importance. However, today
the Maghreb has become of great interest to the United States. Many
reasons explain this. A major factor is economic, stemming mostly from
US energy needs and instability in Asia and the Persian Gulf. The United
States political interests are related to the traditional allies
(Morocco and Tunisia) and the new partners (Algeria and, eventually,
Libya). Military and security interests are concerned with the war on
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