Sharabi pinpoints economic, political, social, and cultural changes—including Muslim fundamentalism—that led the Arab world and other developing countries to neopatriarchy—a modernized form of traditional culture—rather than industrial and secular modernity. In the next few years, as the older Palestinian generation dies out and the younger generation takes over, fundamental changes are likely to take place in the political organization and goals of the Palestinian people in regard to action within Israel itself, within the West Bank and Gaza, and within the Palestinian diaspora. Sharabj retirement in . Cities and Stability Jeremy Wallace. Popular resistance, which is likely to bring back the intifadawill simultaneously lead to building alliances and grassroots organizations, like the ones that emerged spontaneously in the early days of the original intifada which was snuffed out by the PLO leadership in Tunis. CPAP was established in to study and analyze the relationship between the United States and the Middle East, with particular emphasis on the Palestine problem and the Arab-Israeli conflict.
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He earned an M. After fleeing to Jordan, Sharabi went back to the United States to resume his studies. In he started teaching history at Georgetown University. He attained full professorship in only eleven years. In he officially ended his affiliation with the SSNP. Until , Sharabi was in what he himself calls "silence in exile," writing and publishing in English only to fulfill academic requirements.
The defeat and the student movement transformed Sharabi both intellectually and politically. He became very active in Palestinian and Arab affairs.
After giving numerous talks across campuses, Sharabi moved to Beirut in to work in the Palestine Planning Center and was visiting professor at the American University in Beirut in At around the same time, translations of his English work Arab Intellectuals and the West began to appear in Arabic, al-Muthaqqafun al-Arab wa al-Gharb. The eruption of the Lebanese civil war in thwarted his plans to settle in Lebanon. Instead he stayed at Georgetown, where he was professor of European intellectual history and holder of the Omar al-Mukhtar chair of Arab culture.
Sharabi has had an important role in building institutions to promote awareness and understanding of the Palestine issue and the Arab world. He co founded the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University , the only academic center solely devoted to the study of the Arab world in the United States, in Sharabi is also the founder and chair of the Jerusalem Fund, a Palestinian charitable organization that provides scholarships for students from Palestine.
Sharabi retired from his post at Georgetown University in Sharabi is best known as a committed, influential writer and scholar who remains a unique phenomenon as an Arab intellectual living in the West. Despite half a century of exile, he has maintained a lively dialogue with the Arab world through his substantial contributions in Arabic and English. He has been one of the few intellectuals who dar,ed to critique and propose a break with the leftist and nationalist establishments in order to chart a new epistemological horizon for Arab intellectuals.
His Muqaddimat li Dirasat al-Mujtama al-Arabi Introduction to the study of Arab society , published in , was a trail-blazing work and has had, and still has, a great impact on Arab intellectuals and educators, especially Palestinians.
His two-volume autobiography, al-Jamr wa al-Ramad: Dhikrayat Muthaqqa Arabi Embers and ashes: Memoirs of an Arab intellectual , published in , and Suwar al-Madi: Sira Dhatiyya Images of the past: An autobiography , published in , are already classics.
Unparalleled in their candor, the two volumes eloquently depict and critique the experience of a whole generation of Arab intellectuals, most of which has ended in compulsory or self-imposed exile, replete with dreams, disillusionment, and defeat.
It provided an alternative way to understand Arab society and has had a great impact on scholarly and intellectual circles in the Arab world.
For Sharabi, social change cannot be achieved merely by a revolution or a coup. In a post revolutionary world, change is a very complicated and dangerous process that entails a complete transfer from neopatriarchy to modernism on all levels.
Arab intellectuals must carefully walk an independent route through which they are capable of choosing what is suitable from the tools and concepts of both modernism and postmodernism in order to achieve modernism.
Aware that a new critical discourse by itself cannot effect sociopolitical change directly and must go hand in hand with praxis, Sharabi stresses that such a discourse is the first step to serious change. Intellectuals can influence the battles for sociopolitical change. Prerequisites for this new critical discourse are putting an end to the hegemony of metaphysics and philosophers and engaging in horizontal dialogues in society, not between ideological theorists.
Another prerequisite is a new understanding and attitude toward language, reading, and writing texts. Patriarchal language is ceremonial and ritualistic, leaving no space for dialogue and discussion. Sharabi confesses that even he himself writes under its hegemony. Reading equals writing in its critical role and importance. In order to liberate themselves and break with patriarchal structures, Arab intellectuals must master a foreign language in order to be able to translate the new intellectual concepts and categories and lay the grounds for a new language and new consciousness.
The new critical discourse must overthrow the hegemony of anyone discourse, even the secularist or revolutionary-nationalist. It must provide more than a description of the alternative to existing structures, but rather a social and intellectual preparation for the terrain required for establishing alternative structures. If read correctly, the critical-secularist text can challenge, and pose a serious threat to, the dominant powers and their ideologies.
As for the fundamentalist movements, they should be confronted only as political forces. Engaging in theological debates or appeasing such movements is a lost battle. The issue of women is the most crucial for Sharabi. He was deeply affected and transformed by his readings of feminist writings and realized how this issue was never addressed seriously and was given only lip service, even by secularist and leftist intellectuals.
The oppression of women is the cornerstone of the neo patriarchal system. Women are the time bomb at the heart of neo patriarchal societies. Sinan Antoon The above was quoted from Encyclopedia Of The Palestinians edited by Philip Mattar Disclaimer The above documents, article, interviews, movies, podcasts, or stories reflects solely the research and opinions of its authors.
Hisham Sharabi Memorial Library
He died of cancer at the American University of Beirut hospital on January 13, He spent his early years growing up in Jaffa, Palestine and Acre, Palestine before attending American University in Beirut, where he graduated with a B. He then traveled to study at the University of Chicago, where he completed an M. Forced to flee to Jordan after the parties disbanding in , Sharabi returned to the United States where he completed a Ph. That same year, he began to teach at Georgetown University, where he gained full professorship in eleven years. Sharabi, while an ardent supporter of Palestinian rights, was not beyond criticizing the Palestinian governing bodies.
He then traveled to study at the University of Chicago , where he completed an M. Forced to flee to Jordan after the parties disbanding in , Sharabi returned to the United States where he completed a Ph. That same year, he began to teach at Georgetown University, where he gained full professorship in eleven years. Controversy[ edit ] Dr. Sharabi, while an ardent supporter of Palestinian rights, was not beyond criticizing the Palestinian governing bodies. Sharabi the Umar Al-Mukhtar Chair in Arab Culture in recognition of his distinguished intellectual contributions and his efforts to promote Arab studies. Sharabi formed, later that same year, the Jerusalem Fund for Education and Community Development , an organization that worked on educational, cultural and health issues of Palestinians.