Wed 31 Dec 2014
Tue 30 Dec 2014
Comments Off on Rumi Rocks
Rumi Rocks, literally. Check out this Iranian video…
Mon 29 Dec 2014
Comments Off on Postcards from old Aden #16
There are many postcards on the Internet from old Aden under British control. Photographers in Aden were not immune to the Orientalist gaze on the curious and the bizarre.
to be continued… for #15, click here.
Fri 26 Dec 2014
Comments Off on Mughal Christmas Art
Mother and Child with a White Cat. Attributed to Manohar (active ca. 1582–1624) or Basawan. Photo credit: The San Diego Museum of Art
There is nice online collection of Mughal court images of Christianity from the courts of Akbar and Jehangir, after being contacted by Jesuit missionaries. Check it out here.
Thu 25 Dec 2014
Comments Off on Tabsir Redux: Picturing Bethlehem
December eyes are fixed on Bethlehem, which has been an inspiration for artists over many years and indeed centuries. On this Christmas day, take a look at Bethlehem as it might have looked more than a century ago.
Left hand element of a stereoscopic photograph of the Bethlehem region circa 1900. Courtesy of Glenn Bowman.
Approaching Bethlehem. Source: Earthly Footsteps of the Man of Galilee.
The following two illustrations of Bethlehem can be found on the website (Jerusalem in 19th Century Art) put up by James E. Lancaster.
Bethlehem Tinted lithograph printed by Day & Son, after David Roberts, published about 1855.
Wed 24 Dec 2014
Comments Off on Otto-mania
Turkey in the Ergogan era is undergoing an interesting change. Now it seems the course is less about economically reinvading Europe than going on a kind of Ottoman-matic pilot course. A committee has recently announced a call to have mandatory teaching of Ottoman in Turkish high schools. “According to the proposal, Ottoman Turkish should be compulsory because people in Turkey are not able to read documents from Ottoman times, including the epitaphs of their forefathers. The proposal argues that Ottoman Turkish is necessary to keep Turkish people’s ties with their past strong,” notes a Turkish paper. As a student of history in the region, I am delighted that there should be such an interest in promoting the study of Turkey’s Ottoman past. But given that Ataturk must be rolling over in his mausoleum, one wonders about the political symbolism in such a revival.
President Erdogan has come under considerable criticism at home and abroad for his support of the Muslim Brotherhood, a more conservative brand of Islam than many Turks favor, and his apparent failure to stem the tide of Western and Arabic recruits for the ISIS/ISIL/IS caliphate in the making (and unmaking) to his south. Now that there is a new Ak Saray (White Palace) for President Erdogan with 1,000 rooms on 150,000 sq. m of former forested land and at a cost now nearing $615 million, the idea of reviving the Ottoman caliphate is clearly waiting in the wings (and that saray has a lot of wings). The Middle East still has its kings, sultans and emirs, even if most of the dictators have bit the dust. So can Ak Saray blend with the Topkapi to form a new re-Ottomanized Turkey? (more…)
Sun 21 Dec 2014
Comments Off on Heroic Teachers in Peshawer
[This story of incredible bravery needs to be widely distributed. As we try to make sense of such a senseless cowardly act, it is well to remember such bravery by these incredible women]
Pakistanis for Gender Equality, December 18, 2014
As the nation mourns the Peshawar school attack, let us also commend the exemplary bravery shown by these women (amongst others) who gave their lives in the hopes of protecting Pakistan’s tomorrow. Who says women are weak? Can our leaders show this kind of resolve to save this country from the TTP barbarians? Let us not let their sacrifices be in vain.
1) Tahira Qazi. Her personal assistant says she had the opportunity to escape the school but instead chose to stay with the students. As the militants fired shots, she rushed from classroom to classroom, shouting at those inside to lock themselves in. She consoled, protected, and ushered many students to safety. She even phoned parents to come and collect their children. One source says, “the honourable principal was asked by the terrorists ‘where are the students and why are you hiding them?’ She replied: ‘Talk to me, I am their mother.’ The terrorists replied ‘Ok, you die first, in a miserable way.’ She was burnt and bullets were fired in her head directly.” (more…)
Sat 20 Dec 2014
Comments Off on Slavery in the Ottoman Era
Check out the new podcast by Nur Sobers-Khan on the Ottoman History Podcast Site. Here is a description of the podcast:
The legal and social environments surrounding slavery and manumission during the early modern period varied from place to place and profession to profession. In this episode, Nur Sobers-Khan presents her exciting research on the lives of a particular population of slaves in Ottoman Galata during the late eighteenth century, how they were classified and documented under Ottoman law, and the terms by which they were able to achieve their freedom.