This article presents a survey of Persian music known as ‘learned’ – or better yet, ‘literate’ – that is currently practised, but from a perspective acquired over the past three decades. e subject is approached here not from a ‘scientifically neutral’ point of view, but rather in a subjective and narrative manner, through anecdotes, observations, personal reflections and especially aesthetic judgements. These are based on the author’s familiarity with Persian musical culture and on the broad consensus that his analyses and his critical approach have received among the community of Iranian artists and amateurs. is point of view emphasises the ‘post-modern’ character of the contemporaneous musical culture, thus surpassing the ancient-modern dispute while at the same time acknowledging certain requirements for quality.
Floor, Willem (2003), Agriculture in Qajar Iran (Washington, DC: Mage Publishers). 692 pp.
Scholz, Fred (2002), Nomadism and Colonialism: A Hundred Years of Baluchistan 1872–1972, trans. Hugh Van Skyhawk (Oxford: Oxford University Press). xviii–328 pages, bibliography, figures, index.
Tapper, Richard and McLachlan, Keith (2003) (eds.), Technology, Tradition and Survival: Aspects of Material Culture in the Middle East and Central Asia (London and Portland, OR: Frank Cass) (History and Society in the Islamic World Series). 256 pages, 49 pl. h.-t., illustrations, maps, index. Published with the assistance of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), the British Institute for Persian Studies (BIPS) and the Centre of Near and Middle Eastern Studies (CNMES) at the London School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).
Books, Films and Conferences
Zyarah, Khaled (1997), Gulf Folk Arts, trans. by K. Bishtawi (Doha: Al-Ahleir Press). 63 Arabic pages and 58 English pages. Every chapter has a black and white picture.
Al Bagdadi, Khaled (2004), Hassan Al Mulla. e Memory of Man and Place (Doha: Doha Modern Printing Press). 184 pages, illustrated in colour. 10 pages of English text, trans. by Samar Al Hussein. Taha, Dr. Munir (2003), Qatar in Prehistoric Times (Doha: Antiquities and Museums Department). 144 pages, 4 maps, 46 pages illustrated heavily in col- our or black and white pictures and drawings.
Sheikholeslami, Mahvash (2003), Murderer or Murdered, 26 minutes.
‘Gamete and Embryo Donation in Infertility Treatment’, 1–2 March 2006, Tehran, Iran
The Turkish Army has been reported many times to use the burning of villages, forest and fields as a strategy in the war against the Kurdish insurgents. However, the army not only destroys the villages, the fields, the forests but also animals. Despite the vast research by academics on the destruction of the villages by the Turkish army, little is known about the damage caused by the army to animals. This article deals with the use of mules for the legal or illegal cross-border trade between Turkey-Iraq and Turkey-Iran, more precisely between Kurdish regions, and the destruction of the mules, who play a very important role in this kind of commerce, by the Turkish Army in the context of conflict against the Kurds.
Alessandro Nova, The Book of the Wind: The Representation of the Invisible (2011) Reviewed by Tomas Macsotay
Tej Vir Singh, Critical Debates in Tourism (2012) Reviewed by Chiara Gius
Fabian Frenzel, Ko Koens, and Malte Steinbrink, eds., Slum Tourism: Poverty, Power and Ethics (2012) Reviewed by Clare A. Sammells
Jennifer Laing and Warwick Frost, Books and Travel: Inspiration, Quests and Transformation (2012) Reviewed by Olga Denti
Stuart Alexander Rockefeller, Starting from Quirpini: The Travels and Places of a Bolivian People (2010) Reviewed by Marie D. Price
Churnjeet Mahn, British Women's Travel to Greece, 1840-1914: Travels in the Palimpsest (2012) Reviewed by Semele Assinder
Naghmeh Sohrabi, Taken for Wonder: Nineteenth-Century Travel Accounts from Iran to Europe (2012) Reviewed by Arash Khazeni
Since the mid-1980s Italy’s relations with the United States (US)
have been characterised by occasional periods of tension, usually
following some unilateral American initiative in the Mediterranean.
At the beginning of 1999 it seemed that the two countries
were again on a collision course. The US was uneasy about Italian
diplomatic overtures to Iran and Libya. Italy, for its part, ignored
American advice that it extradite Kurdish nationalist leader Ocalan
to Turkey where he was wanted for terrorist activities, and it
repeatedly and publicly expressed strong reservations about the
rationale and effectiveness of the periodic Anglo-American bombing
of Iraq. Then, in early March, came the verdict of an American
military court acquitting the pilot responsible for the Cermis accident
of February 1998. The Italian government, backed by practically
the whole of parliament, reacted by calling for a review and
possible re-negotiation of the treaty regulating the use of NATO’s
military bases in Italy.
Despite Silvio Berlusconi’s much-publicized friendship with US President
George W. Bush, the election of Barack Obama in November 2008
did not lead to any appreciable deterioration of US-Italy relations. The
clash of personalities and “ideologies” that some had predicted did not
materialize. The two leaders soon established a cordial and pragmatic
relationship. The emphasis on continuity, however, did not deter
change. In fact, the shift in priorities and approach brought about by
the Obama administration during its first year in office altered the context
within which Italian foreign policy was carried out. New opportunities
opened up as Italy’s engagement with Russia and Iran, which
had attracted criticism in the past, also became the stated goal of the
US government. At the same time, Italian foreign policy was faced
with new constraints as Obama’s new course combined US leadership
with coordination, expecting European allies to consult with Washington
on dossiers having both national and transatlantic dimensions.
Reading between Opaque Narrative and Transparent Text
The torch of ember and its puzzling knowability are my exemplars, serving to open the binary of opacity and transparency in narrativity. I highlight inadequacies in the binary of opacity and transparency by examining the works of Peter Lamarque and Clare Birchall on matters of narrative and secrecy. I will try to see how one can think about opacity/transparency through the lenses of speculative realism and object-oriented philosophy. I do so by drawing examples from memories of the Iran-Iraq war (1980–1989) and explaining how the language of remembering becomes the realm of a tension between presence and absentia, between the unsaid within the said. I explore how memory-as-narrative and narrative-as-memory sustain the potentiality that eludes Orwellian newspeak.
Anthropological Approaches to the Study of Children in the Middle East
Erika Friedl and Abderrahmane Moussaoui
For several reasons there exist only relatively few ethnographic studies of children in the Middle East or in the diaspora. Accordingly, the articles in this issue of Anthropology of the Middle East represent thematically and theoretically highly divergent projects, all based on ethnographic topics and methodologies. Geographically they encompass different locations, and thematically they range from the history of childhood in Iran to matters of socio-cultural integration in Austria; from legal matters concerning youths in Algeria to socio-psychological problems of schoolchildren in Lebanon and to parent-child dynamics in Morocco. The short research, book and conference reports in this issue emphasize approaches and topics in critical anthropology as applied to the Middle East.
La civilisation de l'Oxus
The Bronze Age civilisation of Central Asia developed during the second half of the third millennium BC. Besides elements resembling Middle Eastern contemporary civilisations (e.g. economy, art), it displays also some peculiarities resembling earlier periods (e.g. importance of hunting), as well as specific steppe relations (e.g. pottery, horses) and purely local traits (e.g. animal burials, camel domestication, lapis lazuli, tin trade). This original 'Oxus civilisation' raises a number of issues related to environmental (arid period), ethno-linguistic (Indo-Iranian), historical (chronology, origin, decline) and methodological problems, such as its place in a neo-evolutionist scheme as a manifestation of a proto-urban phenomenon. The longue durée, revisited as a system in the Middle Asian interaction sphere, seems a promising way of understanding this civilisation.