Hamidian Palestine

Politics and Society in the District of Jerusalem

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During the era of Sultan Abdülhamid II, modern state institutions were established in Palestine, while national identities had not yet developed. Hamidian Palestine explores how the inhabitants of the Ottoman District of Jerusalem interacted with each other and how they organised their interests in a historical moment before ‘Arabs’ and ‘Jews’ emerged as the central political categories in the country. Based on a wide range of Arabic, Turkish and Hebrew sources, the book examines the social and political relations of Palestinians from a wide variety of perspectives. By situating individual case studies within larger contexts such as modernisation, regionalisation and state-building, it allows Palestinian society to be compared with other local societies within the Ottoman Empire and beyond.
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Biographical Note

Johann Büssow, PhD (2008) in Middle Eastern Studies, Freie Universität Berlin, is a research associate at Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Germany. His fields of research include the social and political history of the modern Middle East and modern Islamic thought.

Review Quotes

'....Ultimately, what this book offers, as Büssow himself acknowledges, is a ‘framework for inquiry into the societal history of late Ottoman Palestine’ (p. 515). I would add that this book provides an excellent point of departure for future projects on Hamidian Palestine that could take advantage of the wide range of resources that Büssow showcases, with the potential of challenging our understanding of that period. Finally, I believe this book is a must for every student of late Ottoman Palestine’s history. The sheer amount of information compiled and skillfully presented in four parts, along with very useful appendices, makes this book one of the most comprehensive English language resources available on this period'.

Mostafa Minawi, Cornell University
In: Journal of Islamic Studies, May, 2013


“By means of […] micro-histories, we are able to get a sense of how the gap between the Ottoman past and nationalist memory was a result of the disruptive experiences of the [First World W]ar […].
In Hamidian Palestine […] Johann Büssow takes a significant step towards closing this gap in the historiography by means of a comprehensive account of the state formation process in Palestine throughout the three decades preceding the Young Turk Revolution.”

Akın Sefer, Northeastern University
In: New Perspectives on Turkey, no. 48 (2013): 129-140;

Table of contents

CONTENTS

List of Figures ..................................................................................... ix
List of Maps ........................................................................................ xiii
List of Text Boxes .............................................................................. xv
List of Abbreviations ......................................................................... xvii
Months of the Islamic Hijrī Calendar, in Ottoman Turkish and Arabic ............ xix
Note on Transliteration .................................................................... xxi
Acknowledgements ............................................................................ xxiii

Introduction ........................................................................................ 1
Temporal and Geographic Scope of the Study ........................ 5
Concepts ......................................................................................... 6
Historiography ............................................................................... 13
Sources ............................................................................................ 16
Structure of the Study ................................................................... 36

PART I
IMPERIAL POLITICS
Chapter One The Making of a Province .................................... 41
Drawing Boundaries: The Creation of the District of Jerusalem ...................... 41
Building Institutions: Translating the Tanzimat Reforms in Local Contexts ... 59
Formalised Avenues of Local Participation .............................. 71
The District Government’s Budget ............................................. 81
Conclusion ...................................................................................... 95

PART II
EVERYDAY POLITICS
Chapter Two Making Spaces: Regionalisation through Everyday Practices ............. 103
Chapter Three The Highlands ...................................................... 106
Jerusalem and Jabal al-Quds ....................................................... 107
Case Study
The Memoirs of ʿUmar al-Ṣāliḥ al-Barghūthī: The Banī Zayd Region and its Political Leadership between Autonomy and Integration ................................... 111
The City of Jerusalem ................................................................... 133
Local Political Life ......................................................................... 134
Conclusion ...................................................................................... 165
Case Study
The Memoirs of Wāṣif al-Jawhariyya: Communities, Hierarchies and Networks in Late Ottoman Jerusalem .... 168
Conclusion ...................................................................................... 192
Hebron and Jabal al-Khalīl ......................................................... 194
Case Study
The Family History of the Āl al-ʿAmla: Memories of Socio-Political Change in the Hebron Region .......... 203
Conclusion ...................................................................................... 209
Chapter Four The Coastal Plains ................................................. 211
The Jaffa Region ............................................................................. 216
Case Study
The Memoirs of Yosef Eliyahu Chelouche: Between Old and New Worlds ............................................ 238
Conclusion ...................................................................................... 256
The Gaza Region ............................................................................ 258
Case Study
Success Stories from the Frontier Region of Gaza: The Ḥusaynī, Shawwā and Abū Khaḍra Families as Portrayed by ʿUthmān al-Ṭabbāʿ ........................................ 285
Conclusion ...................................................................................... 301

PART III
ELITE POLITICS
Chapter Five Central and Local Elites: A Conceptual Framework ........ 309
Chapter Six Local Elites ................................................................. 316
Continuity and Change in Local Elite-Formation ................... 316
Resources ........................................................................................ 324
Case Study
The Education of ʿUmar al-Ṣāliḥ al-Barghūthī ..................... 342
Political Roles and Functions of the aʿyān ............................... 356
Being Noble: Representation and Distinction .......................... 375
The Oligarchs and the Ottoman Government ......................... 392
Conclusion ...................................................................................... 395
Chapter Seven Central Elites ........................................................ 398
Ottoman Officials: Families, Households, and Careers .......... 400
Hamidian Governors and Their Perceptions of Palestine and the Palestinians ....... 405
Conclusion ...................................................................................... 426

PART IV
WIDENING THE SCOPE OF POLITICS
Chapter Eight The Infrastructure of the Public Sphere ........... 435
New Possibilities for Long-Distance Communication ............ 437
Education ........................................................................................ 454
Print Culture .................................................................................. 461
Old and New Forms of Sociability ............................................. 470
Chapter Nine Palestine as a Social Space ................................... 476
Chapter Ten Repercussions of Empire-Wide Developments and the Politicisation of Everyday Concerns .... 484
Chapter Eleven Government and Opposition in the Public Sphere ................................................. 496
Conclusion .......................................................................................... 510

Appendices .......................................................................................... 517
1. Chronology of Palestinian History, 1872–1908 .................. 517
2. Ottoman Administrators ........................................................ 543
3. Budgets and Tax Revenue ...................................................... 557
4. Currencies, Prices and Salaries .............................................. 563
Glossary ............................................................................................... 565
Bibliography ........................................................................................ 569
Index .................................................................................................... 597

Readership

All those interested in the social and political history of modern Palestine and the Ottoman Empire.

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