This same point is reiterated by Edwards Religion is sometimes added to these criteria, usually as a corollary, although the situation may vary from case to case. In situations of this kind, language becomes a symbol of power and domination. While most scholars are content to study nationalism as a multiplex phenomenon of history, politics, law, anthropology, sociology and psychology, some scholars approach it from the perspective of the effects it has on communities, whether these effects are intended or not. Arab nationalism developed in the Levant first while under Ottoman rule, and only later found its way to other parts of the Arabic-speaking world. Chapters 3 and 4 ; this is clear from the continued salience of the latter function even in the absence of the former. Deutsch illustrates this by citing the example of a German-Swiss newspaper editor who stated in his autobiography that he had more in common with French-Swiss people than with Austrian Germans pre- sumably owing to the existence of extralinguistic complementary channels of communication in Switzerland: This fact should not however deter us from delving into those questions of collective affiliation which constitute the scope of identity, not least because of the persistence of this notion as an operative factor in all aspects of human life.

This is true of Arab nationalism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It is therefore not surprising that the Prophet exhorts his com- munity to learn Arabic and to aim at stylistic excellence in their Arabic speech. Therefore, to avoid the connotations of the term myth in the literature on nationalism, it may be more appropriate sometimes to refer to certain elements of the past as imagined or constructed, but only if being imagined or constructed is not in this context categorially opposed to being real. Choose from the list Fourth, some students of nationalism in the Middle East have sought to widen the kinds of data which can be subjected to study and analysis. Agriculture, aLfilaha, was definitely considered one of the lowest occupations, suitable only for the meanest of human beings. The first type cor- responds to what is called grammatical rule in common parlance or traditional grammar. Similarly, the use of the Hebrew script by Jews to record aspects of their theology in Arabic in Spain and elsewhere in the Arab-controlled areas in North Africa and Asia may be viewed as an attempt at ethnic differentiation.

In the beginning, during the early Islamic period, solecism was seen in a predominantly religious context, in which it was considered as a deviation from the true path. At best, the Arab nationalist discourse would be one folm about an Arab identity per se, but about an Arab national consciousness as a precursor to this identity.

In spite of this common feature, the emphases of the above statements are different. Needless to say, the responsibility for any remaining errors is entirely mine. Nor is it right to conclude that the existence of such pluralism negates the communal solidarity implicit in the ethnolinguistic and religious bonds which the Arabs share. Other modes of defining the nation exist, including the boundary and the ethnO’Symbolic approaches which will be dealt with below.


By tracing his views to al-Mubarrad, Ibn Jinni confers on them a legitimacy which the longevity ihadima tradition and the weight of authority make very compelling in their cultural milieu.

‘Made in Egypt?’ Egyptian films seen as knock-offs of Western productions – Al Arabiya English

It may be interesting to note here that a similar attitude towards beggars existed among some Arab nationalists in modern times see Chapter 4, section 3. The first part of the chapter is aimed at students of language, particularly Arabic, who may not be familiar with the discourse on walakij in the social sciences. To begin with, social identities, of which national identity is only one, are varied and complex. Third, as used in the present work, the concept of national identity emerges from the ideological articulations of nationalism cf.

Chapter 7, the Conclusion to this study, provides a general statement of the main themes raised in earlier chapters. As usual, Shahla has been a tower of strength.

To explain the strength of this primordial association between language and nation, Hobsbawm refers to the two paradigmatic cases of Germany and Italy, which he describes in the following way ibid.: Here are some examples of Egyptian films that appear, according to fans and critics, to have been copied from Walakni movies:.

In spite of its overtures to folk culture, nationalism tends to favour high culture. The present work does not seek to defend a particular nationalist ideology against its rivals.

The conversion of many non- Arabs to Islam in the wake of the Islamic con- quests generated contradictory implications for this linguistically based group identification. Overhearing the corrupt speech of one of his followers, the Prophet is reported to have asked members of the community to correct him because his utterance represented a deviation dalal from the correct path.

Chapter 1, section 2. Ibn Jinni is a firm believer in the superiority of Arabic over other languages. Thus, what the reader may perceive as clear and coherent sets of ideas in the following pages are often the result of a great deal of textual spadework at the levels of analysis, synthesis and systematization.

Generating a coherently organized body of data which can be subjected to further scrutiny and analysis by interested scholars is another objective of this research. The usual descriptions of a people in terms of a community of languages, or charac- ters, or memories, or past histories, are open to exception. This mode of defining the nation is also invoked in some articulations of Egyptian nationalism where the significant Other is Arab nationalism see Chapter 6. Most of these texts have hitherto not been subjected to analysis of the kind presented here.

Additionally, studies of this second type may serve as test cases for the insights generated by general approaches. In this context, Arab national identity is generally defined in relation to Turkish national identity, with Arabic and Turkish acting as the primary sources of national identification respectively.


It is also important to avoid reading nationalist ideologies in the Arab Middle East as though they coplet echoes of their European counterparts. Another glaring gap in the study of nationalism in the Arab Middle East is the absence of a serious study of the most important of all systems of functional and symbolic expression: According to this bishop, when a Syriac text is translated into Arabic its stylistic quality tends to improve, but when an Arabic text is translated into Syriac it tends to lose much of its stylistic quality because of the – comparatively speaking – impoverished resources of the language.

Being about language and national identity, rather than how national identity is marked or enacted in language, the present work will not investigate the truth claims of the assumptions about Arabic or other languages made by nationalist or prenationalist thinkers.

Broadly speaking, what we have so far are two types of study. Chapters 3 and 4 ; this is clear from the continued salience of the latter function even in the absence of the former. This is typically the case in Arab nationalism.

Considerations of academic worth are central here. Arabic is the common language of well over , speakers in the world.

‘Made in Egypt?’ Egyptian films seen as knock-offs of Western productions

Language interlocks with national identity in other subtle ways. It is this back- projection of the present into a mythic or real past which infuses the socio- cultural and politico-operational aims of nationalism with authenticity and motivational force within the modernization project.

It is in this spirit that the present study is conducted and offered. Chapter 5 deals with two major statements of Arab nationalism in its cultural mode.

This shows that khadimq Arabs are in tune with the inner pulse of their language, and that they have a well-developed intuitive knowledge of its inherent properties.

Full text of “23 The Arabic Language And National Identity”

It is this symbolic function of language which underlies the revival of Hebrew in Palestine at the beginning of the twentieth khaxima, since at the time Hebrew was communicatively restricted to a small walakih —32 — SETTING THE SCENE of domains and was by no means the language either of the Jewish inhabitants of that country or of those Jews who came to live in it during that period.

And it is only by returning to that past that the purity of Arabic and the wisdom of its people can be excavated wa,akin reconstructed as a first step in moulding the present in the image of the past. This point is forcefully recognized in Arab nationalist discourse, an example of which is the following statement by Nuseibeh