Professors Samir and Roseanne Saad Khalaf, an AUB husband-wife team, have edited a volume (Saqi Books of London, 2009) titled, Arab Society and Culture, which will be released during a book launch and signing on December 11 at 6pm in BIEL, as part of the Beirut Arab Book Fair.
The compilation combines a number of narrative and creative non-fiction essays along with sociological and anthropological papers.
"For three years, we carefully selected works that successfully combine not only scholarly and academic essays with a narrative edge, but also literary selections that stimulate insightful analysis and meaningful commentaries on an individual’s life in society," said Samir Khalaf.
The volume includes close to 50 wide-ranging contributions by some of the foremost writers and thinkers in the Arab world: Orhan Pamuk, Amin Maalouf, Edward Said, Nawal El Saadawi and Tarik Ramadan as well as passages from the fairly recent output of an emerging core of young, gifted scholars. Topics address sensitive subjects like cultural variations in everyday life, the negotiation of identities in dissonant worlds, behavioral departures (such as circumcision, honor crimes, the commercialization of sexual outlets and gay sub-cultures). Issues related to gender, youth exclusion, changing family patterns, religion and ritual, contested space, variations in sexual desire and eroticism, the new media in the Arab world and the prospects for Transnational Islam are explored in a probing and insightful manner. Another appealing attribute of the book is that each chapter is prefaced by an engaging introduction which brings together conceptual and narrative themes.
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