The First World War represents the historical framework in which Transjordan was founded and the Hashemite family was given the power over it. The Jordanian “imagined community”, to put it with Benedict Anderson, finds its founding moment in the Great Arab Revolt (1916), which, according to some historians such as George Antonius, represented a sort of a birth certificate to the Arab movement of independence from the “evil” Ottoman domination. The contradictions studding this simplistic view have been highlighted by the scholar William Ochsenwald among many others. According to Ochsenwald, it is paradoxical that the Arab war of independence was officially led by the Hashemites, whose understanding of modern nationalism was quite narrow. The contemporary Jordanian novel is a privileged field in order to analyze the way events that took place in the years of the Great War are today re-read and employed in order to underpin the official national narrative. From the very beginning of the Jordanian literary life, thanks to mechanisms of control which became more and more efficient over time, the Hashemite State has been shaping the nation also by means of literature, as the wave of historical novels published from the Eighties till today shows well. In my paper, I analyse one of these novels, namely al-Qurmiyya (1999) by Samīḥa Ḫurays, which is based on the events of the Arab Revolt and depicts the founding act of the Transjordanian Emirate, while at the same time embracing a pan-Arab perspective.

The Great Arab Revolt in Historical Fiction: Echoes of the Great War in Contemporary Jordan / Fischione, Fernanda. - In: LA RIVISTA DI ARABLIT. - ISSN 2239-4168. - 17-18(2019), pp. 69-80. ((Intervento presentato al convegno WOCMES - World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies tenutosi a Sevilla; Spain.

The Great Arab Revolt in Historical Fiction: Echoes of the Great War in Contemporary Jordan

Fernanda Fischione
2019

Abstract

The First World War represents the historical framework in which Transjordan was founded and the Hashemite family was given the power over it. The Jordanian “imagined community”, to put it with Benedict Anderson, finds its founding moment in the Great Arab Revolt (1916), which, according to some historians such as George Antonius, represented a sort of a birth certificate to the Arab movement of independence from the “evil” Ottoman domination. The contradictions studding this simplistic view have been highlighted by the scholar William Ochsenwald among many others. According to Ochsenwald, it is paradoxical that the Arab war of independence was officially led by the Hashemites, whose understanding of modern nationalism was quite narrow. The contemporary Jordanian novel is a privileged field in order to analyze the way events that took place in the years of the Great War are today re-read and employed in order to underpin the official national narrative. From the very beginning of the Jordanian literary life, thanks to mechanisms of control which became more and more efficient over time, the Hashemite State has been shaping the nation also by means of literature, as the wave of historical novels published from the Eighties till today shows well. In my paper, I analyse one of these novels, namely al-Qurmiyya (1999) by Samīḥa Ḫurays, which is based on the events of the Arab Revolt and depicts the founding act of the Transjordanian Emirate, while at the same time embracing a pan-Arab perspective.
WOCMES - World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies
jordanian novel; arabic literature; great war; first world war
04 Pubblicazione in atti di convegno::04h Atto di convegno in rivista scientifica o di classe A
The Great Arab Revolt in Historical Fiction: Echoes of the Great War in Contemporary Jordan / Fischione, Fernanda. - In: LA RIVISTA DI ARABLIT. - ISSN 2239-4168. - 17-18(2019), pp. 69-80. ((Intervento presentato al convegno WOCMES - World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies tenutosi a Sevilla; Spain.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1412464
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