Middle East - Topics & Arguments 2020-04-03T13:18:11+02:00 Managing Editor Open Journal Systems <p><strong>META</strong>'s geographical focus is the MENA region (Middle East and North Africa). The journal is concerned with the states of Northern Africa and West Asia.</p> Contacts in the MENA region: a brief introduction 2020-01-18T20:43:16+01:00 Vera Tsukanova Evgeniya Prusskaya 2019-12-22T22:30:26+01:00 Copyright (c) 2019 Vera Tsukanova, Evgeniya Prusskaya Arabic or Latin: Language Contact and Script Practices 2020-01-18T20:43:13+01:00 Dris Soulaimani <p>This study discusses the social aspects of script reforms and the hierarchies attached to languages and scripts in contact. In Morocco, Arabic, French, and Berber/Amazigh compete for similar social domains. In recent years, intense debates took place surrounding the official adoption of Tifinagh to codify Amazigh; however less focus has been placed on the unofficial selection of the French-based Latin characters to write both Arabic and Amazigh. This study argues that, besides practicality, preference of the Latin script in Morocco is ideologically connected to the status of French as a language that indexes power, modernity and social prestige.</p> 2019-12-22T22:47:54+01:00 Copyright (c) 2019 Dris Soulaimani Touching Language! 2020-01-18T20:43:14+01:00 Christian Junge <p>This paper argues for using academic Arabic more actively in Arabic Studies in Germany. Based on an ongoing discussion at the Centre for Near and Middle Eastern Studies at the Philipps-Universität Marburg about the pros and cons of dealing more closely with academic knowledge production from the MENA region, this paper sheds light on the potentials of academic Arabic for non-native students and scholars. In the framework of postcolonial studies, it discusses linguistic, epistemic and ethic benefits of using academic Arabic in teaching and researching more actively and maps recent German initiatives to foster academic Arabic. As a conclusion, it calls for a close affective contact with Arabic: Daring to touch language and getting touched by language!</p> 2019-12-22T22:46:24+01:00 Copyright (c) 2019 Christian Junge Arabic as a scholarly language? 2020-04-03T13:18:11+02:00 Vera Tsukanova Michael Waltisberg <p>Virtually all Arabists at some point ask themselves whether they should take into account specialized literature in Arabic, whether to take part in conferences held in Arabic countries, and which language they should choose for publishing their work. In this paper, we try to review this question in a broader context of the language of scholarship. By adducing historical and typological parallels, we reflect on the role of language in conducting research and exchanging ideas. The authors of this article are both linguists specialized in Semitic languages; therefore, they concentrate on the problems of their field, although these should be relevant to some extent also for the adjacent fields in the humanities.</p> 2019-12-22T22:41:19+01:00 Copyright (c) 2019 Vera Tsukanova, Michael Waltisberg Inquiries into Proto-World Literatures 2020-01-18T20:43:14+01:00 Chiara Fontana <p>Western studies on Persian metrical system debate the linguistic origins of quatrains, (Per. robāʽiyyāt - Ar. rubāʽiyyāt) in Arabic, and regard prosodic Persian schemes independently of Arabic counterparts, despite reciprocally influenced metrical patterns. Attempts to dismantle Arabo-centric critical inferences about Persian metres are largely prosodic observations of the robāʽi/rubāʽī, thus neglecting their ontological evolution from a metrical scheme into an aesthetically experimental frame in Persian and Arabic poetry. This study closely investigates the spread of robāʽī/rubāʽī from Persian to Arabic literature employing a holistic culturally embedded methodology to reread their linkages in global terms, as an example of an inherited “Proto-World Literature”.</p> 2019-12-22T22:43:48+01:00 Copyright (c) 2019 Chiara Fontana Networks, Contact Zones and the Trans-Local Dimensions of the Imperial Mediterranean 2020-01-18T20:43:13+01:00 Gavin Murray-Miller <p>Recent histories of the Mediterranean have drawn attention to the region’s internal diversity and provided a basis for considering the sea and its surrounding coastal areas as a place of trans-national entanglements. While this space was a contact zone between cultures, the dynamics and practices of Mediterranean imperialism frequently extended beyond a strict colonizer-colonized relationship. By examining networks forged through émigré communities, journalism, religion and finances, we can rethink concepts of the contact zone within a trans-imperial context. Assessing forms of engagement across and between imperial frontiers allows us to question the familiar metropole- periphery relationship and examine the connective webs that linked nodal cities and multiple peripheries spanning Europe, North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean.</p> 2019-12-22T22:50:40+01:00 Copyright (c) 2019 Gavin Murray-Miller When Crisis Promotes Proximity 2020-03-11T23:19:31+01:00 Jonathan Kriener <p>During the Lebanese war of 1975 to 1990, the only public university of Lebanon branched out into more than 40 locations all over the country. While this deed reflects the inner division of Lebanon, it also moved the University nearer to the country’s geographical and social peripheries. Employing field research, newspaper articles, and grey literature this article gauges the effects of fragmentation in terms of the dynamics of social control that resulted from it. It shows that by the perspective of social control, sectarianism and clientelism can be observed as related with, but distinct from one another.</p> 2019-12-22T22:42:43+01:00 Copyright (c) 2019 Jonathan Kriener Language Contacts in Arabic Poetry 2020-01-18T20:43:13+01:00 Hanan Natour <p>Language contacts in poetry differ from other forms of linguistic contacts, allowing writers to merge formal specificities of distinct languages within a single poem. This paper focuses on contacts between Arabic and European languages in selected poems of Adonis (*1930) and Fuad Rifka (1930-2011), both of whom are Syrian-Lebanese by birth and have lived for many years in Western Europe: Adonis in France and Rifka in Germany. How, then, do both poets deal with contacts between Arabic and French or German in their poetry? Can poetry be a way of crossing boundaries by merging patterns of different languages into one?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Erratum: p. 84, col. 1, line 23. Printed: الوَرَقَ. Corrected: الوَرَق.</p> 2019-12-22T22:49:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2019 Hanan Natour The Invisible Life-worlds of a Coptic Christian 2020-01-18T20:43:14+01:00 Mina Adel Ibrahim <p>This essay presents the life-story of a Coptic Christian between the PlayStation lounge, the coffeehouse and the prison. By taking this constellation as a point of departure, I broadly link such a portrait to overlooked contacts between Coptic Christian youth and the clerical hierarchy of the institution of the Coptic Orthodox Church. While attention is usually given to how Copts experience, negotiate and struggle against the various roles of the Church and its tradition of khidma (service), I investigate Coptic youngsters’ lifeworlds when they wish or have to stay invisible from the Coptic Church’s presumptions of representing its congregants.</p> 2019-12-22T22:45:07+01:00 Copyright (c) 2019 Mina Adel Ibrahim Sarhan Dhouib, editor: "Sprache und Diktatur. Formen des Sprechens, Modi des Schweigens." 2020-01-18T20:43:15+01:00 Anna Christina Scheiter 2019-12-22T22:35:20+01:00 Copyright (c) 2019 Anna Christina Scheiter ʿAmr Munīr: Miṣr fī al-āsāṭīr al-ʿarabiiyah 2020-01-18T20:43:15+01:00 Ahmed Mohamed Sheir 2019-12-22T22:40:06+01:00 Copyright (c) 2019 Ahmed Mohamed Sheir Urban Development in Beirut: Gender and Space 2020-01-18T20:43:12+01:00 Sandrine Melki <p>While tackling the gender/urban development approach is new, but widely spread in the western world, the subject is almost irrelevant to Middle-Eastern research. The case study of one neighborhood in the cosmopolitan and distinctive Beirut explores this approach while focusing on women, either as recipients or as producers within their experience of space and their involvement with urban material. &nbsp;</p> 2019-12-22T22:52:08+01:00 Copyright (c) 2019 Sandrine Melki