Teaching Literature and Staying au courantThe Man from Nowhere and the Ancient Greeks

There is a profound joy in introducing students to classic texts. I am very grateful that I have spent so much of my working life among the splendors of ancient Greek plays, Romantic Era poets, Jane Austen and Oscar Wilde.

And I am happy that as I teach I have gotten better at choosing classics which speak to my students, from 20th century writers such as Tawfiq al-Hakim to more modern writers such as Mohammed Al Murr and Badriyah al Bashar. And it’s fun help them get over the newness of Moushegh Ishkhan, Oriah Mountain Dreamer, Ryszard Krynicki, T’ao Yuan Ming, Tomas Tranströmer and Wisława Szymborska.

When I start the poetry class, I know that there is at least one student will be blown away by the Cold Mountain poems, Basho, Mary Oliver, Naomi Shihab Nye or Fowziyah Abu-Khalid. Someone will fall in love with  “Embroidered Memory” by Lorene Zarou-Zouzounis; someone else will champion “About Mount Uludag” by Nazim Hikmet.

It’s a delight to read familiar lines and see how students relate to familiar characters. Who is going to defend Ismene this semester? Who will argue on Creon’s behalf? Who is going to laugh when Patty in Quality Street talks about her hopefulness?  If we read Rebecca West’s The Return of the Soldier, who will my students pick as the one who deserves Chris – Kitty, Margaret or Jenny?

At the same time, it is good for me to be in the position of not knowing, to remember how it feels to be confused by a text. I became a better teacher after I spent two summers studying Arabic in Muscat. Sitting in a classroom as a student, panicking when a teacher asked me a question I did not understand, studying for a test and waiting anxiously for my grade made me more understanding of my own students.

So I try to seek out new texts to read and, perhaps, use for teaching. I scan shelves in bookstores and ask friends for suggestions. Since I don’t know Spanish writers, I asked a friend who has expertise and, following her suggestions, found “Marta Alvarado, History Professor” by Marjorie Agosín and “New Clothes” by Julia Alvarez, as well as “Tula” and “Turtle Came to See Me” by Margarita Engle.

Over the past few years, I have realized that I few students are into K-pop (BTS! Blackpink! Twice! NCT!) and so I decided to dip a toe into that cultural tradition.

The easiest way to start was movies so I duly looked at “top 10 Korean movie” lists and rented The Man from Nowhere (2010). One review mentioned that it was similar to Léon: The Professional (1994) in that it involved a young girl who is taken in and protected by a hired assassin. I thought knowing the plot would help me but there were a lot of differences, making the movie both interesting and confusing. For example, the ending surprised me. At the end of Léon, the girl is re-enrolled at her boarding school and she finally plants the small tree that she has been carrying around with her, symbolizing that she is now rooted.

At the end of The Man from Nowhere, the anti-hero asks the police for one favor and he brings the young girl he has been trying to protect back to her old neighborhood, goes into a small convenience store and buys her some composition books, writing supplies and a back-pack. Then he asks her if she will be ok. She nods, they hug and then he turns to go back into the police car.

I stared at the screen in astonishment. “That’s the end?!?” I wondered. Her father left long ago, her mother died at the start of the film, the girl was kidnapped and brutally treated for weeks, and now, with a few stationary supplies, the girl is now alone and supposed to take care of herself?

Over the next few weeks, I watched a few more and was astounded by whole new levels of plotting. It often feels like I am watching several movies at one: Assassination (2015) has freedoms fighters betrayed by team members (shades of Guns of Navarone), funny but doomed killers (shades of Bitch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid) and twin sisters on opposite sides of an immense cultural, educational and temperamental divide (a grown-up, super spy equivalent of the Parent Trap).

I am often bewildered as I try out comedies, historical fiction and modern thrillers such as The Good, the Bad, the Weird (2008), Masquerade (2012), The Villainess (2017) and War of the Arrows (2011).

It takes a lot of concentration to understand each movie, not because of the sub-titles but the  work of trying to create new templates and figure out new tropes. How can I visually tell the difference between good guys and bad guys? Is the behavior of this woman showing that she is good or bad? Does this style of house indicate that the owners are rich, poor, old-fashioned or trend-setters? Is the meal the characters being served haut cuisine or everyday fare? Is this behavior normal or odd?

Sometimes it is good to be lost.

New essay: “Shin is for Saracen” on the Arabic alphabet website

The Arabic Alphabet: A Guided Tour – http://alifbatourguide.com/

by Michael Beard, illustrated by Houman Mortazavi

“Shin is for Saracen” – http://alifbatourguide.com/the-arabic-alphabet/shin/

excerpt:

Shîn is distinguished from Sîn by a triangle of dots over the teeth (as with Tha or Z͎ha). To my ear it makes sense that the Sh sound would be represented like an S with something added. Shîn sounds heavier, thicker, as if it utilized more of the voice-making apparatus. Arabic adds the three dots to Sin (as we add the letter H next to the letter S). 

In manuscripts of sufficient age you will also see the clearer sibilant Sîn carrying the same three-dot load, but underneath, i.e., ڛ, (no doubt to make the difference between Sîn and Shîn unmistakable). In contemporary Turkish (in Roman letters), the SH sound is represented by ş, an S with a cedilla, as in şaşmak, to be surprised, or şişlemek, to pierce to stab, or şiş, a skewer, as in şişkebap

Spring

The great Greek poet Constantine Cavafy lived in Alexandria. He knew enough Arabic to entitle one of his early poems (1890s), «Σαμ ελ Νεσíμ» (Sam el Nesîm), the name of an Egyptian spring festival. Or almost the name, since the festival is properly speaking Shamm al-nasîm, with a Shîn. You cannot blame him, as there is no SH sound in Greek.

Shamma in Arabic means to sniff or breathe in. Shamm al-Nasim means “inhaling the air,” “enjoying the air,” to greet the coming of spring. It can be traced back, before Arabic, to a word with a similar sound, in ancient Egyptian, a proper noun Shemu, the season between May and September. Shamm al-Nasîm is observed by both Christians and Muslims according to the Coptic calendar, the day after Coptic Easter. Edward Lane, writing in 1834, translates shamm al-nasim “smelling of the Z͎ephyr”: “the citizens of Cairo ride or walk a little way into the country, or go in boats, generally northwards to take the air… The greater number dine in the country or on the river” (Lane, 483). It is, Lane adds, a festival observed with persistence: “This year (1834) they were treated with a violent hot wind, accompanied by clouds of dust, instead of the neseem; but considerable numbers, notwithstanding, went out to ‘smell’ it.” 

Cavafy didn’t keep “Sam el Nesîm” in his complete works, perhaps because the premise is too simple. (It’s a poem which says this is a time of celebration, but down deep we know we’ll return to our usual grim lives soon enough. Or, more personally, “it’s their celebration, not mine.”) There are many ways to describe the grain of daily life in a culture other than ours; you can’t help but suspect that even in the most neutral descriptions there is something suspicious or demeaning. If Cavafy knew the etymology, as is likely enough, it would have been possible to make more use of the fact that the contemporary festivals traced back pre-Islamic sources. Poets (شعراء, shu‘râ’) love that.

 

shin4

Reflections on Ethnographic Research: (Not) Asking Questions

“What is your favorite fruit?”

I stared in surprise at the younger relative who had just asked me that. There are a group of us eating breakfast and chatting; the question seemed odd to me, but I answered. Then I realized that I should ask “back.” So I asked her what her favorite fruit is.

Thinking about that exchange, I decided that I am out of practice for being asked questions. With my friends in Dhofar, I usually follow their pattern which is “if you want someone to know something, tell them.” Direct questions are rare, especially questions about expressing a preference.

At a friend’s house a few weeks later, I was talking to her son about of interest of his and ran into the opposite problem. I recognized afterwards that I should have asked what “his favorite” was – I had missed a good chance to hear his opinions.

Remembering those two moments in which I felt out of tune with American conversational tactics made me consider how I use and don’t use questions while doing research. Part of my hesitation about asking Dhofaris about their ideas and lives comes from trying to find a balance between a good friend and a good researcher. It’s not necessarily a tension, but it means (as Dhofaris say) “holding myself,” trying to think before speaking and choosing the right time and reason for asking for information.

As one example, a few years ago I asked one of the research guys (X) if he was free to have a picnic with the group on a Thursday night. He told me that his sister was getting married. I read that statement as a way of shutting down, not opening up, further conversation. If he had simply said, “I am busy” I probably would have asked if he wanted to meet with the group on Friday. I interpreted him telling me about the wedding, as if he was saying, “I and the people who you know in my family and extended family will all be busy all weekend” given that weddings are usually held on Friday or Saturday nights and in the days before, all members of the household are getting ready.

Dhofaris usually only talk about relatives when there is a specific need and usually only ask if there is a specific reason, such as asking after someone who you were told was sick or going to travel. Hearing that his sister was getting married made me want to ask a lot of questions; with Americans, asking about a sibling’s wedding is a positive sign of interest in your friend. But I couldn’t justify asking him. In my opinion, there was no need for me to know details. Even though I wanted to know, I felt that I had to accept Dhofari standards so I replied with the conventional statements about how I wished the couple well and hoped everything would be well. The next time I saw him I asked about “the wedding” in general terms. He affirmed that everything went well and that was the end of the topic.

Later, the situation changed. I was writing the section of my Houseways book about how Dhofaris move rooms (or don’t) when they get married or divorced. One facet that came out in interviews was whether a married woman would spend the night in her family’s home with her husband. I had information from a few women, but I wanted to get a man’s perspective.

So during a picnic, I told X that, if it was ok, I wanted to ask a few questions about where couples stayed after they were married. He agreed.

The next time I saw him, I pulled out my notebook and, even though I had done other interviews with him about topics related to houses, I started again at the beginning by explaining the Houseways project, then about my current focus about how people moved between houses. I said I wanted to ask some questions on that topic and that I would not write his name, tribe or any details that would allow readers to identify him or any family members.

When he agreed, I picked up my pen, opened my book and started in. I asked him about which houses he had spent the night in as a child and after he was married. Then I said, “Is it ok if I ask about your sister?” When he agreed, I asked a whole series of questions: How often does your sister come to visit your family house (where she was raised)? When your sister comes to visit, does she spend the night? How often? Does her husband stay the night with her? etc.

Then I moved on to general questions (do you know of any examples of married women who spend the night in their family’s house with their husband?) and hypotheticals. Then I paged back to a previous interview. I told him that I had asked a woman (Y) from Z group of tribes about this issue, I was going to read what she said and could he please give his opinion on her attitude.

I wrote up the interviews, tried to figure out the variables of the decision tree of who stays where in which house, then discussed what I had written with X, Y and other informants. At the end, I had a few paragraphs which I think accurately sum up the issue.

In the general context of talking between friends, asking X about his sister was not OK. But in the specific context of me trying to figure out how married Dhofari women maneuver through various houses, asking X questions directly related to my research was acceptable. He was helping me understand a world-view, i.e. what choices people perceived they had and how those choices were decided.

(picture is part of a photo from social media – yes Dhofar is very green now and, gentle reminder, please pick up your trash after picnicking!) 

New essay: “Sîn is for Zenith” on the Arabic alphabet website

The Arabic Alphabet: A Guided Tour – http://alifbatourguide.com/

by Michael Beard, illustrated by Houman Mortazavi

“Sîn is for Zenith” – http://alifbatourguide.com/the-arabic-alphabet/sin/

excerpt:

The sound of Sîn (pronounced “scene”) is the clear sibilant we represent with our letter S. The S we know is all curves. Sîn is usually more angular, a little closer to the W shape of its Phoenician ancestor. Greek Sigma comes from the same source, the W shape tipped up 90 degrees clockwise.There was a Nabatean predecessor of Sîn in the form of a bowl shape with an upright growing out of it, something like Hebrew Shin. The shape of Sîn grows out of it: two miniature half-circles resting side by side. What strikes the eye are those three short uprights, referred to as “teeth” (Sîn word sinân in Arabic, the plural of sinn). It is not my job to say what is beautiful and what isn’t, but what I’m taken by in the most elegant handwritten Sîn is a slight asymmetry: the space between the first two teeth (reading right to left) is slightly narrower than the space between the second and third.

In terminal form Sîn ends with a rounded clockwise sweep, a shape which fledgling calligraphers struggle over, the clockwise descent and return, thickening along the bottom, tapering to a point as it rises on the left. The same curve reappears in Shin, Ṣad & Ḍad.

Sîn went through a period in its evolution when it had a triangle of dots suspended below the line, to distinguish it from the letter Shîn, the next in sequence, which has three dots above. (Shîn kept them. Present-day Sîn goes commando.) A streamlined variant of Sîn, still used, was developed in interests of efficiency: it can take the form, perhaps as a visual representation of the smooth prolonged sound of sibilance, of a straight unrippled line, often descending slightly, throwing the base line down a notch and continuing at a lower level. Easiest letter ever. In the initial or medial position the line simply continues on for a bit with nothing else happening.

The source of sinn, “tooth,” is the Arabic stem S–N–N, which, as a verb, means to sharpen, mold, shape. In one form, sunna, it means, in Hans Wehr’s definition, “habitual practice, customary procedure or action, norm, usage sanctioned by tradition; al-sunna or sunnat al-nabîy, the Sunna of the Prophet (nabîy), i.e. his sayings and doings, later established as legally binding precedents…” In other words, the ahl-al-sunna are the follows of the sunna, in English “Sunnis.” It’s an admirable definition, if only because Wehr defines the etymological stream of meanings without getting excited, or lost in detail. A history book, once it has said “Sunni,” has to go into teacher’s mode, including the actors and the theology, plus the alternative, Shiism, and to describe how Shiism ended up breaking away from “Sunnism.” Today everyone knows it, or can look it up, and the history hardly seems necessary. Hans Wehr defines shî‘a, the other major branch, as “followers, adherents, disciples, faction, party, sect”; al-shî‘a, the faction of Ali, the Shiah, the Shiites (that branch of the Muslims who recognize Ali, the Prophet’s son-in-law, as the rightful successor.)” It’s all the definition you need. They’re just words, ordinary words. Neither sunna nor shî‘a occur in the Qur’ân.

Reflections on Houseways Research

I got the e-mail confirming that my Houseways book will be published in January 2023 while sitting in a living room that is completely opposite of the rooms I have described and lived in Oman. The Canadian house had wooden floors and furniture, windows without curtains, no AC, a big fireplace, floor lamps, crocheted afghans, many photos and bookshelves overflowing with novels, candles, puzzles, souvenirs and small wooden carvings of birds. Looking at the room while thinking of the descriptions of Omani houses in my book was a good reminder of how differently people arrange their living spaces.

Given that my academic background is literature and travel writing, it might seem odd that I decided to write about houses, but I grew up in a home in which everyone had strong opinions about how to live and an active interest in building decks, planting gardens, finding a rug in exactly the right shade of blue and putting the sofa there, no, not there, there, a little to the right, no, now forward a little.

As I child, I wanted to live in a Baroque castle; everyone else wanted to live in a modernist, northern European design-aesthetic structure. I wanted to read novels; everyone else wanted to figure out if it was possible to punch a hole in that wall to put in a window. For my 13th birthday I wanted a ball gown and was given my very own tool kit with hammer, pliers, wrench, level and screwdrivers.

I heard about Mansard roofs, color wheels, mixed-use developments and Frank Lloyd Wright. Our living room had a Barcelona chair, a Scandinavian Designs sofa and a Century House (Madison, WI) rug; when my father and I went to England, it was to see Milton Keynes and Welwyn Garden City. I watched my family build furniture, swatch paints, install insulation, build benches to strengthen community bonds in our neighborhood and weed. I read in cafés while they re-framed doorways.

The root of this problem was that when he was in his early 20s, my father walked into Louisburg Square in Boston and thought, “everyone should live like this.” That collection of houses changed his life; he became an urban planner and spent more than 60 years thinking, talking, writing and teaching about how to form better-organized houses, neighborhoods and cities. My mother creates gardens and both siblings have planned renovations of their houses down to the trim on the underside of cabinets.

I thought I had escaped this legacy until I got interested in how Dhofaris design kitchens as part of my Foodways project [ Foodways in Southern Oman – Short Essays and Images ]. I realized, while that I am not interested in decorating or remodeling, I love listening to people’s stories about how they live in their houses, what choices they make and why.

I am grateful to my family for all that early training and to the Omanis who have trusted me with their stories, opinions, photos and friendship.

https://www.routledge.com/Houseways-in-Southern-Oman/Risse/p/book/9781032218595

https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/mono/10.4324/9781003270317/houseways-southern-oman-marielle-risse

Ethnographic Work and Pop Songs

(photo by M. A. Al Awaid)

A friend jokingly asked if I was going to talk about pop songs in my next book as my books were the only ones they had seen in which an academic author thanked Bernice Johnson Reagon, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Josh Ritter, the Muppets, Pink, Prince, and Toby Keith in the acknowledgments. I said yes.

Living where I do research and living overseas for more than fifteen years is sometimes difficult. Sometimes I drive around town with the car windows rolled up blasting the Boss; sometimes the only way to get motivated to sit down and work on a Friday morning is to play Toby Keith.  I see listing the songs and singers as a way of being honest about how I do research.

Recognizing that I use pop songs to keep me focused is modeling that researchers do not have to be serious all the time, in the same way I try to model honest behavior for my students. Acknowledging pop songs is similar to my saying to students “I don’t know” or “I am not sure about the spelling of that word.” Sometimes a student will gasp, “YOU DON’T KNOW?” I laugh and explain that there are no spelling bees in Germany because they aren’t needed, but every state in the USA has spelling contents because English spelling can be tricky with all the loan words. So, no, I don’t know how to spell every word in English and I sometimes need to do a quick check to make sure.

About a week after I started on-line teaching I watched the movieTrolls and I loved the song “Get Back Up Again.” All that spring “Get Back” was on constant repeat as I fought unfamiliar tech, new ways of teaching, trying to increase student involvement (“TURN ON YOUR MICROPHONES!”). Now when I hear “Get Back Up Again” I am transported back to those tough weeks in March – May 2020 when I left my apartment once a week to go to the grocery store. Bereft of my café, friends, chats with colleagues, the pool where I went swimming and picnics with the research guys, that saccharine song was my stay-positive mantra.

When I first heard the line “I don’t know when, confused about how as well” from the song “Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol, I thought: that’s my life as a researcher. I am constantly trying to make sense of what I am seeing and I spend a lot of time living in confusion.

When I used to do teacher-training, I would tell teachers to work from their strengths, be frank when they were lost and ask for help when they needed it. By embracing my inner Top 40 doo-wop persona, I practice what I preach. What helped me through Spring 2022:

  • Big Energy – Latto, and the remix with Mariah Carey
  • Devil with the Blue Dress – Mitch Rider and the Detroit Wheels
  • Don’t Start Now – Dua Lipa
  • Duke of Earl – Gene Chandler
  • Happy all the Time from Elf
  • Hello, Hello – Elton John
  • House on Fire – Mimi Webb
  • I Don’t Feel Like Dancing – Scissor Sisters
  • Leave before You Love Me – Marshmello and Jonas Brothers
  • The Lion Sleeps Tonight – The Tokens
  • Mr Brightside – The Killers
  • The Other Side – SZA and Justin Timberlake
  • Pretty in Pink soundtrack
  • So Happy it Hurts – Bryan Adams
  • Thunder – Imagine Dragons

from my books:

Community and Autonomy in Southern Oman. Palgrave Macmillan, 2019

I would like to thank the memory of Gerald Durrell and Lawrence Durrell, whose books pulled me out into the world: Jersey, Cyprus, Rhodes, Provence and Alexandria. I have lived over 15 years overseas and have missed a lot of popular culture, but I am grateful for The Mummy (1932 and 1999 versions), Chariots of Fire (1981), Sahara (2005), Black Gold (2011), Theeb (2014), and A Perfect Day (2016), and “All these Things That I’ve Done” sung by the Killers; “If You’re Going Through Hell” sung by Rodney Akins; “Club Can’t Handle Me” sung by Flo Rida;  Elton John, especially “Island Girl” and Aida; Prince, especially “The One U Want to C”; Bruce Springsteen, especially “From Small Things” and “Frankie Fell in Love”; Toby Keith, especially “How Do You Like Me Now,” “Rum is the Reason,” and “Ain’t No Right Way”; Josh Ritter, especially “Getting Ready to Get Down” and “Girl in the War”; Bernice Johnson Reagon; John Denver; Jimmy Buffett; Kid Rock, and the Muppets.

Foodways in Southern Oman. Routledge, 2021

Thanks to Kid Rock (for the slow songs, not the politics, not the rap), Pink, Toby Keith and all the songs picked by Steve Nathans-Kelly which got me through a lot of long drives late at night on dark roads.

Houseways in Southern Oman. Routledge, forthcoming

I am grateful for Aida (Broadway and concept albums); “Mama Knows the Highway,” Hal Ketchum; “Unwritten,” Natasha Bedingfield; “La Vie Boheme,” Rent; “Drunk Americans,” Toby Keith; “American Rock ’n Roll,” Kid Rock, “Let the River Run,” Carly Simon, as well as Jimmy Buffet, Pink, Prince, Bob Seger, Shaggy and Tina Turner.

Updated bibliography for Houseways in Southern Oman, June 2022

Selected references related to Houseways in Southern Oman, Dr. Marielle Risse

(photo by Ms. Onaiza Shaikh)

[references for pre-historic and pre-modern Dhofar are also listed in separate topic-specific bibliographies at the end]

 

Abdelghani, Montasser. 2013. “The Impact of Shopping Malls on Traditional Retail Stores in Muscat. Case Study of Al-Seeb Wilayat.” Regionalizing Oman. Steffen Wippel, ed. New York: Springer. 227-47.

 

Abu-Lughod, Janet. 1989. “What Is Islamic about a City? Some Comparative Reflections,” in Urbanism in Islam: The Proceedings of the International Conference on Urbanism in Islam (Tokyo: Middle Eastern Culture Center): 193-217.

 

—. 1987. “The Islamic City: Historical Myth, Islamic Essence and Contemporary Relevance.” International Journal of Middle East Studies 19.2: 155-76.

 

Adam, Khalid and Liudmila Cazacova, 2012. “The Round Dhofari House Popularity Uniting the Past and the Present.” Proceedings of the 6th International Seminar on Vernacular Settlements. Eastern Mediterranean University, Famagusta, North Cyprus. 365-74.        

 

Akcan, Esra. 2014. “Postcolonial Theories in Architecture” in A Critical History of Contemporary Architecture (1960-2010). Elie Haddad and David Rifkind, eds. London: Ashgate. 119-40.

 

—. 2014. “Global Conflict and Global Glitter: Architecture in West Asia (1960-2010)” in A Critical History of Contemporary Architecture (1960-2010). Elie Haddad and David Rifkind, eds. London: Ashgate. 317-43.

 

Al Gandel, Thamna and Ibrahim Bryan Finn. 2017. Learn About Dhofar from 530 Questions and Answers. Muscat: Dar al Wraq.

 

Al Harthy, Sultan. 1992. The Traditional Architecture of Oman: A Critical Perspective. Unpublished M.Arch. thesis. The University of Arizona. https://repository.arizona.edu/bitstream/handle/10150/555398/AZU_TD_BOX353_YARP_1120.pdf?sequence=1https://repository.arizona.edu/handle/10150/555398

 

Al Hinai, H., W. J. Batty and S. D. Probert. 1993. “Vernacular Architecture of Oman: Features that Enhance Thermal Comfort Achieved within Buildings.” Applied Energy 44.3: 233-44. 10.1016/0306-2619(93)90019-L

 

Al Ismaili, Ahmed. 2018. “Ethnic, Linguistic, and Religious Pluralism in Oman: The Link with Political Stability.” Al Muntaqa 1.3: 58-73.

 

Al Kathiri, Muna Salim and Liudmila Cazacova. 2014. “Islamic Architecture Features and Modern Housing: A Case Study of the North Awqad District in Salalah, Oman.” The International Journal of the Constructed Environment 4: 1-18.

 

Al Mohannadi, Asmaa Saleh, Raffaelo Furlan and Mark David Major. 2019. “Socio-Cultural Factors Shaping the Spatial Form of Traditional and Contemporary Housing in Qatar: A Comparative Analysis based on Space Syntax.” Proceedings of the 12th Space Syntax Symposium.

 

Al Mohannadi, Asmaa Saleh and Raffaello Furlan. 2019. “Socio-cultural Patterns Embedded into the Built Form of Qatari Houses: Regenerating Architectural Identity in Qatar.” Journal of Urban Regeneration and Renewal 12.4: 1-23.

 

Al Thahab, Ali, Sabah Mushatat, and Mohammed Abdelmonem. 2014. “Between Tradition and Modernity: Determining Spatial Systems of Privacy in the Domestic Architecture of Contemporary Iraq.” ArchNet – International Journal of Architectural Research 8.3: 238-250.

 

Albright, Franklin. 1982. The American Archaeological Expedition in Dhofar, Oman, 1952-1953. Washington DC: American Foundation for the Study of Man.

 

Alexander, Christopher, Sara Ishikawa, Murray Silverstein, Max Jacobson, Ingrid Fiksdahl-King and Shlomo Angel. 1977. A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction. Oxford: OUP (Center for Environmental Structure Series).

 

Alkhalidi, Abdulsamad. 2013. “Sustainable Application of Interior Spaces in Traditional Houses of the United Arab Emirates.” Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences 102: 288-299.

 

AlMutawa, Rana. 2022. “Navigating the Cosmopolitan City: Emirati Women and Ambivalent Forms of Belonging in Dubai,” in Migration in the Making of the Gulf Space Social, Political, and Cultural Dimensions. Antia Mato Bouzas and Lorenzo Casini, eds. New York: Berghahn Books. 67-85.

 

—. 2020, Dec. 9. “Dishdasha Blues: Navigating Multiple Lived Experiences in the Gulf.” London School of Economics Middle East Blog Posts https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/mec/2020/12/09/dishdasha-blues-navigating-multiple-lived-experiences-in-the-gulf/

 

—. 2019, Nov 8. “Dubai Mall or Souq Naif? The Quest for ‘Authenticity’ and Social Distinction.” London School of Economics Middle East Blog Posts. https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/mec/2019/11/08/dubai-mall-or-souq-naif-the-quest-for-authenticity-and-social-distinction/

 

—. 2019. “The Mall Isn’t Authentic!: Dubai’s Creative Class And The Construction of Social Distinction.” Urban Anthropology and Studies of Cultural Systems and World Economic Development 48: 1-2: 183-223.

 

—. 2018, Dec.4. “Challenging Concepts of ‘Authenticity’: Dubai and Urban Spaces in the Gulf.” London School of Economics Middle East Blog Posts. https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/mec/2018/12/04/challenging-concepts-of-authenticity-dubai-and-urban-spaces-in-the-gulf/

 

—. 2017. “Women and Restrictive Campus Environments: A Comparative Analysis Between Public Universities and International Branch Campuses in the UAE.” Higher Education in the Gulf States: Present and Future. 17-9.

 

Ammann. Ludwig. 2006. “Private and Public in Muslim Civilization,” in Islam in Public: Turkey, Iran and Europe. Nilüfer Göle and Ludwig Ammann, eds. Istanbul Bilgi University Press. 77-125.

 

—. 2002. “Islam in Public Space.” Public Culture 14.1: 277-79.

 

Anderson, Esther. 2021. “Positionality, Privilege, and Possibility: The Ethnographer ‘at Home’ as an Uncomfortable Insider.” Anthropology and Humanism 46.2: 212-25.

 

Anderson, John. 1896. “A Sketch of the Physical Features of the Coast of South-East Arabia.” A Contribution to the Herpetology of Arabia. London: R.H. Porter. 2-18.

 

Atlas of Archaeological Survey in the Governorate of Dhofar Sultanate of Oman. 2013. Muscat: Office of the Advisor to His Majesty the Sultan for Cultural Affairs.

 

Andraos, Amale. 2016. “The Arab City.” Places Journal. https://doi.org/10.22269/160531

 

Arnaud, Jean-Luc. 1995. “La Formation de l’Architecture Contemporaine à Sanaa,” in Sanaa hors les Murs, une Ville Arabe Contemporaine. Franck Mermier and Gilbert Grandguillaume, eds. Urbama – CFEY: Tours. 165-226.

 

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Kotnik, Toni. 2005. “The Mirrored Public Architecture and Gender Relationship in Yemen.” Space and Culture 8.4: 472-83.

 

Lancaster, William and Fidelity Lancaster. 2020. “Some Relations between ‘Tribes’ and ‘Territory’ in the Arabian Peninsula in the Recent Past.” Semitica et Classica: International Journal of Oriental and Mediterranean Studies 13. 177-87. https://doi.org/10.1484/J.SEC.5.122987

 

Le Renard, Amélie. 2014. A Society of Young Women: Opportunities of Place, Power and Reform in Saudi Arabia. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

 

Lees, G. M. 1928. “The Physical Geography of South-Eastern Arabia.” Geographical Journal 71.5: 441-70.

 

Limbert, Mandana. 2010. In the Time of Oil: Piety, Memory and Social Life in an Omani Town. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

 

—. 2008. “The Sacred Date: Gifts of God in an Omani Town.” Ethnos 73.3: 361-76.

 

Liverani, Mario. 1997. “Beyond Deserts, Beyond Oceans” in Profumi d’Arabia. Alessandra Avanzini, ed. Rome: L’Erma Bretschneider. 557-64.

 

Maclagan, Ianthe. 1994. “Food and Gender in a Yemeni Community,” in Culinary Cultures of the Middle East. Sami Zubaida and Richard Tapper, eds. New York: I. B. Tauris Publishers. http://food.oregonstate.edu/ref/culture/middleeast/yemen_zubaida.html

 

Makhlouf, Carla. 1979. Changing Veils: Women and Modernisation in North Yemen. London: Croom Helm.

 

Maneval, Stefan. 2019. New Islamic Urbanism: The Architecture of Public and Private Space in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. London: UCL Press.

 

—. 2019. “Navigating Urban Space: Jeddah, Early Twenty-first Century,” in New Islamic Urbanism: The Architecture of Public and Private Space in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. London: UCL Press, 170-216.

 

Marchand, Trevor, ed. 2017. Architectural Heritage of Yemen: Buildings that Fill my Eye. London: Ginko.

 

McCorriston, Joy, Michael Harrower, Tara Steimer, Kimberly D. Williams, Matthew Senn, Mas‘ūd Al Hādhari, Mas‘ūd Al Kathīrī, ‘Ali Ahmad Al Kathīrī, Jean-François Saliège and Jennifer Everhart. 2014. “Monuments and Landscape of Mobile Pastoralists in Dhofar: The Arabian Human Social Dynamics (AHSD) Project 2009-2011.” Journal of Oman Studies 12: 117-44.

 

Meneley, Anne. 2017. “The Zabidi House,” in Architectural Heritage of Yemen: Buildings that Fill my Eye. Trevor Marchand, ed. London: Gingko Library. 195-203.

 

—. 2007. “Fashions and Fundamentalisms in Fin-De-Siecle Yemen: Chador Barbie and Islamic Socks.” Cultural Anthropology 22.2: 214–43.

 

—. 1996. Tournaments of Value: Sociability and Hierarchy in a Yemeni Town. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

 

Menoret, Pascal. Joyriding in Riyadh: Oil, Urbanism, and Road Revolt. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014.

 

Mershen, Birgit. 1999. “Settlement Space and Architecture in South-Arabian Oases: Preliminary Remarks on the Use and Division of Space in Omani Oasis Settlements.” Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 29: 103-10.

 

Molotch, Harvey and Davide Ponzini. 2019. “The New Arab Urban: Test Beds, Work-arounds, and the Limits of Enacted Cities.” AlMuntaqa 2.1: 9-23. https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.31430/almuntaqa.2.1.0009

 

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Montgomery, Charles. 2014. Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design. New York: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux.

 

Morris, Jan. 1957/ 2008. Sultan in Oman. London: Eland.

 

Morris, Miranda. 1997. “The Harvesting of Frankincense in Dhofar,” in Profumi d’Arabia. Alessandra Avanzini, ed. Rome: L’Erma Bretschneider. 231-50.

 

—. 1987. “Dhofar – What Made it Different” in Oman: Economic, Social and Strategic Development. B.R. Pridham, ed. London: Croom Helm. 51-78.

 

Nagieb, Maher, Stefan Siebert, Eike Luedeling, Andreas Buerkert, and Jutta Haser. 2004. “Settlement History of a Mountain Oasis in Northern Oman – Evidence from Land-use and Archaeological Studies.” Die Erde 135.1: 81-106.

 

Nagy, Sharon. 2004. “Keeping Families Together: Housing Policy, Social Strategies and Family in Qatar.” The MIT Electronic Journal of Middle East Studies 4: 42-58.

 

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Newton, Lynne. 2010. “Shrines in Dhofar,” in Death and Burial in Arabia and Beyond: Multidisciplinary Perspectives, Society for Arabian Studies Monographs 10. Lloyd Week, ed. 329-40.

 

Newton, Lynne and Juris Zarins. 2017. The Archaeological Heritage of Oman. Dhofar Through the Ages. An Ecological, Archaeological and Historical Landscape. Muscat: Ministry of Heritage and Culture Sultanate of Oman.

 

—. 2014. “A Possible Indian Quarter at al-Baleed in the Fourteenth-Seventeenth Centuries AD?” Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 44: 257-76.

 

Orazi, Roberto. 2002. “The Harbour and City of Khor Rawri.” Journal of Oman Studies 12: 210-22.

 

Othman, Zulkeplee, Rosemary Aird, and Laurie Buys. 2015. “Privacy, Modesty, Hospitality, and the Design of Muslim Homes: A Literature Review.” Frontiers of Architectural Research 4: 12–23. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foar.2014.12.001

 

Ovington, John. 1929.  A Voyage to Surat in the Year 1689. H. G. Rawlinson, ed. London: Oxford University Press.

 

Pavan, Alexia. 2020. “The Port of Al Baleed (southern Oman), the Trade in Frankincense and Its Coveted Treasures.” Polish Archaeology in the Mediterranean 29.1. doi:10.31338/uw.2083-537X.pam29.1.13

 

—. 2017-2018. “Husn Al Baleed: Civil and Military Architecture along the Indian Ocean in Medieval Times.” Journal of Indian Ocean Archaeology 13-14: 28-41.

 

Pavan, Alexia and Michele Degli Esposti, 2016. The Urban Shrine in Quarter A at Sumhuram: Stratigraphy, Architecture, Material Culture. Quaderni di Arabia Antica 4, Roma: L’Erma di Bretschneider.

 

Pavan, Alexia, Agnese Fusaro, Chiara Visconti, Alessandro Ghidoni, and Arturo Annucci. 2020. “New Researches at The Port of Al Balid and Its Castle (Husn): Interim Report (2016-2018).” The Journal of Oman Studies 21: 172-99.

 

Pavan, Alexia, S. Laurenza, and R. Valentini, 2020. “Masonry and Building Techniques in a Medieval City Port of the Sultanate of Oman: Preliminary Typological Atlas at al-Balīd.Newsletter Archeologia 10.

 

Pavan, Alexia and Chiara Visconti. 2020. “Trade and Contacts between Southern Arabia and East Asia: The Evidence from al-Balīd (southern Oman).” Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 50: 243–57.

 

Pirenne, J. 1975. “The Incense Port of Moscha (Khor Rori) in Dhofar.” Journal of Oman Studies 1: 81-96.

 

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Raymond, André. 1994. “Islamic City, Arab City: Orientalist Myths and Recent Views.” British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 21.1: 3-18. https://sci-hub.se/10.1080/13530199408705589

Remali, Adel, Ashraf Salama, Florian Wiedmann and Hatem G. Ibrahim. 2016. “A Chronological Exploration of the Evolution of Housing Typologies in Gulf Cities.” City, Territory and Architecture 3.14: 1-15. doi:10.1186/s40410-016-0043-z

 

Richthofen, Aurel von. 2019. Spatial Diversity and Sustainable Urbanisation in Oman. unpublished dissertation. Technische Universitaet Carolo-Wilhelmina zu Braunschweig. https://doi.org/10.24355/dbbs.084-201901220928-0

 

—. 2016. “Visualizing Urban Form as Mass Ornament in Muscat Capital Area” in Visual Culture(s) in the Gulf: An Anthology. N. Mounajjed, eds. Gulf Research Centre Cambridge. 137-58.

 

Risse, Marielle. 2021. Foodways in Southern Oman. London: Routledge.

 

—. 2021. “Private Lives in Public Spaces: Perceptions of Space-Usage in Southern Oman,” presentation at Middle East Studies Association annual conference. Montreal, Quebec. December 2.

 

—. 2019. Community and Autonomy in Southern Oman. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan.

 

—. 2018. “Accounts from the Journeys of the Brig ‘Palinurus’ Along the Dhofar Coast in the mid-1800s.” Maritime Exploration and Memory Conference, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, England. Sept. 15.

 

—. 2015. “Generosity, Gift-giving and Gift-avoiding in Southern Oman.” Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 45: 289-96.

 

—. 2013. “Verstehen/ Einfühlen in Arabian Sands (1959): Wilfred Thesiger as Traveler and Anthropologist.” Journeys: The International Journal of Travel & Travel Writing 14.1: 23-39.

 

—. 2009. “Cultural Refraction: Using Travel Writing, Anthropology and Fiction to Understand the Cultures of Southern Arabia.” Interdisciplinary Humanities 26:1: 63-78.

 

Roche, Thomas, Erin Roche and Ahmed Al Saidi. 2014. “The Dialogic Fashioning of Women’s Dress in the Sultanate of Oman.” Journal of Arabian Studies 4:1: 38-51.

 

Rose, Jeff. 2022. An Introduction to Human Prehistory in Arabia: The Lost World of the Southern Crescent. New York: Springer.

 

Rose, Jeff and Yamandu Hilbert. 2014. “New Paleolithic Sites in the Southern Rub’ Al Khali Desert, Oman.” Antiquity 88.341. https://antiquity.ac.uk/projgall/rose341

 

Rose, Jeff, Yamandu Hilbert, Anthony Marks and Vitaly Usik. 2018. The First People of Oman: Palaeolithic Archaeology of the Nejd Plateau. Sultanate. Muscat: Ministry of Heritage and Culture.

 

Rose, Jeff, Vitaly Usik, A. Marks, Yamandu Hilbert, Chris Galletti, A. Parton, V. Černý, J. Geiling, M. Morley, and R. Roberts. 2011. “The Nubian Complex of Dhofar, Oman: An African Middle Stone Age Industry in Southern Arabia.” PLoS ONE 6(11) e28239.

 

“Salalah al-Wusta & Gharbiya: Dhofar Governorate: Documentation and Heritage Management Plan.” 2016. University of Liverpool and the Ministry of Heritage and Culture. https://issuu.com/archiam/docs/20170908_hmp_salalah

 

Salama, Ashraf. 2015. “Urban Traditions in the Contemporary Lived Space of Cities on the Arabian Peninsula.” Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review 27.1: 27-39.

 

—. 2014. “A Century of Architecture in the Arabian Peninsula: Evolving Isms and Multiple Architectural Identities in a Growing Region,” in Architecture from the Arab World (1914-2014): A Selection: Bahrain Catalogue in Biennale Venice. G. George Arbid (ed.). Manama: Bahrain Ministry of Culture. 137-43.

 

Sale, J. 1980. “The Ecology of the Mountain Region of Dhofar.” The Journal of Oman Studies: Special Report 2: The Oman Flora and Fauna Survey 1975. Muscat: Diwan of H. M. for Protocol. 25-54.

 

Saunders, J. P. 1846. “A Short Memoir of the Proceedings of the Honorable Company’s Surveying Brig ‘Palinurus,’ during Her Late Examination of the Coast between Ras Morbat and Ras Seger, and between Ras Fartak and the Ruins of Mesinah.” Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London 16: 169-86.

 

Scholz, Fred. 1980. “Part III. Case Study: The Sultanate of Oman,” in Bedouins, Wealth, and Change: A Study of Rural Development in the United Arab Emirates and the Sultanate of Oman. Tokyo: United Nations University. https://archive.unu.edu/unupress/unupbooks/80143e/80143E07.htm

 

Singh, Kaushalendra. 2018., Jan 12. “A Saga of Legacy at Bait al Ghassani.” Oman Observerhttps://www.omanobserver.om/article/64672/Front Stories/a-saga-of-legacy-at-bait-al-ghassani

 

Smith, G. Rex and Venetia Porter. 1988. “The Rasulids in Dhofar in the VIIth-VIIIth/XIII-XIVth Centuries.” The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland 1: 26-44.

 

Smith, John Alexander. 1991.“The Islamic Garden in Oman: Sanctuary and Paradise.” Garden History 19: 187-208.

 

—. 1983. “Desert Developments.” Building Design 11: 18-21.

 

Sobh, Rana and Russell Belk. 2011. “Domains of Privacy and Hospitality in Arab Gulf Homes.” Journal of Islamic Marketing 2.2: 125-37.

 

—. 2011. “Privacy and Gendered Spaces in Arab Gulf Homes.” Home Cultures 8.3: 317-40.

 

Sobh, Rana, Belk, Russell and Justin Gressel. 2010. “Conflicting Imperatives of Modesty and Vanity Among Young Women in the Arabian Gulf,” in Advances in Consumer Research 38. D. W. Dahl, G. V. Johar, and S. M. J. van Osselaer, eds. Duluth, MN: Association for Consumer Research.

 

Speck, Jeff. 2013. Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America One Step at a Time. New York: North Point Press.

 

St Albans, Suzanne. 1980. Where Time Stood Still: Portrait of Oman. London: Quartet Books.

 

Stephenson, Lindsey. 2011. “Women and the Malleability of the Kuwaiti Dīwāniyya.” Journal of Arabian Studies 1.2: 183-99.

 

Stephenson, M.I., Karl, A.R. and David, E. 2010. “Islamic Hospitality in the UAE: Indigenization of Products and Human Capital.” Journal of Islamic Marketing 1.1: 9-24.

 

Tabook, Salim Bakhit. 1997. Tribal Practices and Folklore of Dhofar, Sultanate of Oman. Unpublished PhD thesis, Faculty of Arts, Exeter University.

 

Tabuki, Salim Bakhit. 1982. “Tribal Structures in South Oman.” Arabian Studies 6: 51-6. (same author as above)

 

Takriti, Abdul Razzaq. Monsoon Revolution: Republicans, Sultans and Empires in Oman 1965-1976. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.

 

Thesiger, Wilfred. 1991/ 1959. Arabian Sands. New York: Penguin.

 

Thomas, Bertram. 1932, reprint. Arabia Felix: Across the Empty Quarter of Arabia. London: Jonathan Cape.

 

Usik, Vitaly, Jeff Rose, Yamandu Hilbert, P. Van Peer, and Anthony Marks. 2013. “Nubian Complex Reduction Strategies in Dhofar, Southern Oman.” Quaternary International 300: 244-66.

 

van Nes, Akkelies and Claudia Yamu. 2018. “Space Syntax: A Method to Measure Urban Space Related to Social, Economic and Cognative Factors,” in The Virtual and the Real in Planning and Urban Design: Perspectives, Practices and Applications. C. Yamu, A. Poplin, O. Devisch, and G. de Roo, eds. Routledge: New York. 136-150.

 

Varanda, Frenando. 2017. “The Domestic Architecture of the Northern Plateaux and Eastern Slopes of Yemen: Building Attitudes and Formal Identities,” in Architectural Heritage of Yemen: Buildings that Fill my Eye. Trevor Marchand, ed. London: Gingko Library. 89-99.

 

vom Bruck, Gabriele. 2018. Mirrored Loss: A Yemeni Woman’s Life Story. New York: Hurst.

 

—. 2017. “Bodies on the Move: Gender Dynamics on a Sanaani Minibus,” in Architectural Heritage of Yemen: Buildings that Fill my Eye. Trevor Marchand, ed. London: Gingko Library. 187-93.

 

—. 2005. “The Imagined ‘Consumer Democracy’ and Elite Re-Production in Yemen.” Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 11.2: 255-75.

 

—. 1997. “A House Turned Inside Out: Inhabiting Space in a Yemeni City.” Journal of Material Culture 2.2: 139-72.

Walsh, Tony. 2013. Walking Through History: Oman’s World Heritage Sites.

 

Wanucha, Elizabeth and Zahra Babar, eds. 2018. Hawwa, CIRS Special Issue: Family in the Arabian Peninsula 16.1-3.

 

Weir, Shelagh. 2007. A Tribal Order: Politics and Law in the Mountains of Yemen. Austin: University of Texas Press.

 

Wikan, Unni. 1982. Behind the Veil in Arabia: Women in Oman. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

 

Winter, Tim. 2015. “Urban Sustainability in the Arabian Gulf: Air Conditioning and its Alternative.” Urban Studies. 1-15. doi: 10.1177/0042098015608782

 

Wolfe, Charles. 2020, Sept. 9. “Five Principles of the ‘Urbanism of Experience’.” Public Square. https://www.cnu.org/publicsquare/2020/09/09/five-principles-urbanism-experience

 

Yapicioglu, Balkiz and Liudmila Cazacova. 2018. “‘Omani Burqa’ vs. Decorated Facade of Modern Omani House: The Case of Salalah, Dhofar Region, Oman.” The Academic Research Community Publication. 101-111. ISSN online: 2537-0162

 

—. 2016. “The Building as a Statement of an Artefact: The Mijmara.” International Journal of Ecology & Development 31.3: 99-116.

 

—. 2016. “Culture Embedded in City’s Architecture; Incense Burning Custom and Its Effects on Modern Buildings’ Features of Salalah, Oman.” Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Sustainable Tourism and Cultural Heritage. Istanbul, Turkey.

 

Yarwood, John. 2012. Urban Planning in the Middle East: Case Studies. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

 

Yule, Paul and K.K. Mohammad. 2006/ 1998. “Report on Al-Baleed Pottery: Reference Collection,  RWTH Aachen University” Muscat: Office of the Adviser to His Majesty the Sultan for Cultural Affairs.

Zarins, Juris. 2009. “The Latest on the Archaeology of Southern Oman.” Journal of the American Oriental Society 129.4:  665-74.

 

—. 2007. “Aspects of Recent Archaeological Work at al-Balid (Zafar), Sultanate of Oman.” Proceedings of the Seminar of Arabian Studies 37: 309-24.

—. 2001. The Land of Incense: Archaeological Work in the Governorate of Dhofar, Sultanate of Oman, 1990-1995. Muscat, Oman: Sultan Qaboos University Publications.

 

—. 1997. “Mesopotamia and Frankincense: The Early Evidence,” in Profumi d’Arabia. Alessandra Avanzini, ed. Rome: L’Erma Bretschneider. 251-72.

 

—. 1997. “Persia and Dhofar: Aspects of Iron Age International Politics and Trade,” in Crossing Boundaries and Linking Horizons. G. Young, M. Chavalas and R. Averbeck, eds. Bethesda: CDL Press. 615-89.

Zarins, Juris and Newton, Lynne. 2012 “Al Balid: Ancient Zafar, Sultanate of Oman. Report of Excavations, 2005-2011 and Salalah Survey.” Unpublished ms., Muscat-Salalah.

 

Zerboni, Andrea, Alessandro Perego, Guido S. Mariani, Filippo Brandolini, Mohammed Al Kindi, Eleonora Regattieri, Giovanni Zanchetta, Federico Borgi, Vincent Charpentier and Mauro Cremaschi. 2020. “Geomorphology of the Jebel Qara and Coastal Plain of Salalah (Dhofar, southern Sultanate of Oman).” Journal of Maps 16.2: 187-98.

 

Zimmerle, William. 2017. Cultural Treasures from the Cave Shelters of Dhofar: Photographs of the Painted Rock Art Heritage of Southern Oman. Washington: Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center/Liberty Press.

 

—. 2017. Crafting Cuboid Incense Burners in the Land of Frankincense: The Dhofar Ethnoarchaeology Preservation Project. Washington: Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center/Liberty House Press.

 

Selected references – Al Baleed and Sumhuram

Albright, Franklin. 1982. The American Archaeological Expedition in Dhofar, Oman, 1952-1953. Washington DC: American Foundation for the Study of Man.

Avanzini, Alessandra, ed. 2008. A Port in Arabia between Rome and the Indian Ocean (3rd C.BC. – 5th C.AD) Khor Rori Report 2. Rome: L’Erma di Bretschneider.

—. 2007.“Sumhuram: A Hadrami Port on the Indian Ocean,” in The Indian Ocean in the Ancient Period: Definite Places, Translocal Exchange BAR International Series 1593. Eivind Heldaas Seland, ed. Oxford: Archaeopress. 23-31.

—. 2002. “Incense Routes and Pre-Islamic South Arabian Kingdoms.” Journal of Oman Studies 12: 17-24.

Avanzini, Alessandra and Alexander Sedov. 2005. “The Stratigraphy of Sumhuram: New Evidences.” Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 35: 11-7.

Belfioretti, Luca. and Tom Vosmer. 2010. “Al-Balīd Ship Timbers: Preliminary Overview and Comparisons.” Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 40: 111-18.

Buffa, V and A.V. Sedov. 2008. “The Residential Quarter,” in A Port in Arabia between Rome and the Indian Ocean (3rd C. BC – 5th C. AD). A. Avanzini, ed. Khor Rori Report 2, Roma: L’Erma di Bretschneider: 15-59.

Carter, Henry. 1846. “The Ruins of El Balad.” Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London 16: 187-99.

Cleveland, R. L. 1960. “The 1960 American Archaeological Expedition to Dhofar.” Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 159: 14-26.

—. 1959. “The Sacred Stone Circle of Khor Rori (Dhofar).” Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 155: 29-31.

Costa, Paulo. 1982. “The Study of the City of Zafar (Al-Balid).” Journal of Oman Studies 5: 111-50.

Degli Esposti, Michele and Alexia Pavan. 2020. “Water and Power in South Arabia: The Excavation of “Monumental Building 1” (MB1) at Sumhuram (Sultanate of Oman).” Arabian Archeology and Epigraphy. 1 – 29. DOI: 10.1111/aae.12159

Franke-Vogt, Ute. 2002. “Remarks on the Classification of the Pottery from Al-Balid, Dhofar (Oman).” Unpublished ms., Office of the Advisor to HM the Sultan for Cultural Affairs: Muscat-Salalah.

Fusaro, Agnese. 2021. “The Islamic Port of al-Balīd (Oman), between Land and Sea: Place of Trade, Exchange, Diversity, and Coexistence.” Journal of Material Cultures in the Muslim World 1.1-2: 67-95. doi: https://doi.org/10.1163/26666286-12340003

Giunta, Roberta. 2009. “Coins from Al Balid, A Preliminary Report.” Unpublished ms, Office of the Advisor to HM the Sultan for Cultural Affairs: Muscat-Salalah.

Ibrahim, Moawiyah and Ali Tigani ElMahi. 1997. “A Report on Two Seasons of Sultan Qaboos University Excavations at Al-Balid, Dhofar 1996-7.” Unpublished ms. Office of the Advisor to HM the Sultan for Cultural Affairs: Muscat- Salalah.

Jansen, Michael, ed. 2015. “The Archaeological Park of Al-Baleed, Sultanate of Oman. Site Atlas along with selected Technical Reports 1995-2001.” Muscat: Office of the Adviser to His Majesty the Sultan for Cultural Affairs.

Newton, Lynne and Zarins, Juris. 2014. “A Possible Indian Quarter at al-Baleed in the Fourteenth-Seventeenth Centuries AD?” Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 44: 257-76.

Orazi, Roberto. 2002. “The Harbour and City of Khor Rawri.” Journal of Oman Studies 12: 210-222.

Pavan, Alexia. 2020. “The Port of Al Baleed (southern Oman), the Trade in Frankincense and Its Coveted Treasures.” Polish Archaeology in the Mediterranean 29.1. doi:10.31338/uw.2083-537X.pam29.1.13

—. 2017-2018. “Husn Al Baleed: Civil and Military Architecture along the Indian Ocean in Medieval Times.” Journal of Indian Ocean Archaeology 13-14: 28-41.

Pavan, Alexia and Michele Degli Esposti, 2016. The Urban Shrine in Quarter A at Sumhuram: Stratigraphy, Architecture, Material Culture. Quaderni di Arabia Antica, Roma: L’Erma di Bretschneider.

Pavan, Alexia, Agnese Fusaro, Chiara Visconti, Alessandro Ghidoni, and Arturo Annucci. 2020. “New Researches at The Port of Al Balid and Its Castle (Husn): Interim Report (2016-2018).” The Journal of Oman Studies 21: 172 – 199

Pavan, Alexia, S. Laurenza, and R. Valentini, 2020. “Masonry and Building Techniques in a Medieval City Port of the Sultanate of Oman: Preliminary Typological Atlas at al-Balīd.Newsletter Archeologia 10.

Pavan, Alexia and Chiara Visconti. 2020. “Trade and Contacts between Southern Arabia and East Asia: The Evidence from al-Balīd (southern Oman).” Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 50: 243–257.

Pirenne, J. 1975. “The Incense Port of Moscha (Khor Rori) in Dhofar.” Journal of Oman Studies 1: 81-96.

Yule, Paul and K.K. Mohammad. 2006/ 1998. “Report on Al-Baleed Pottery: Reference Collection,  RWTH Aachen University” Muscat: Office of the Adviser to His Majesty the Sultan for Cultural Affairs.

Zarins, Juris. 2007. “Aspects of Recent Archaeological Work at al-Balid (Zafar), Sultanate of Oman.” Proceedings of the Seminar of Arabian Studies 37: 309-24.

Zarins, Juris and Newton, Lynne. 2012 “Al Balid: Ancient Zafar, Sultanate of Oman. Report of Excavations, 2005-2011 and Salalah Survey.” Unpublished ms., Muscat-Salalah.

 

Selected references: Himbert, Rose and Usik – Pre-historic

Hilbert, Yamandu. 2013. “Khamseen Rock Shelter and the Late Palaeolithic-Neolithic Transition in Dhofar.” Arabian Archeology and Epigraphy 24: 51-8.

Hilbert, Yamandu, Ash Parton, Mike Morley, Lauren Linnenlucke, Zenobia Jacobs, Laine Clark-Balzan, Richard Roberts, Chris Galletti, Jean-Luc Schwenninger and Jeff Rose. 2015. “Terminal Pleistocene and Early Holocene Archaeology and Stratigraphy of the Southern Nejd, Oman.” Quaternary International 282: 250-263. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1040618215001603

Hilbert, Yamandu, Jeff Rose and Richard Roberts. 2012. “Late Paleolithic Core Reduction Strategies in Dhofar, Oman.” Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 42: 1-18.

Hilbert, Yamandú, Vitaly Usik, Christopher Galletti, Ash Parton, Laine Clark-Balzan, Jean-Luc Schwenninger, Mike Morley, Zenobia Jacobs, Lauren Linnenlucke, Richard Roberts and Jeffrey Rose. 2015. “Archaeological Evidence for Indigenous Human Occupation of Southern Arabia at the Pleistocene/Holocene Transition: The Case of al-Hatab in Dhofar, Southern Oman.” Paléorient 41.2: 31-49.

Rose, Jeff. 2022. An Introduction to Human Prehistory in Arabia: The Lost World of the Southern Crescent. New York: Springer.

Rose, Jeff and Yamandu Hilbert. 2014. “New Paleolithic Sites in the Southern Rub’ Al Khali Desert, Oman.” Antiquity 88.341. https://antiquity.ac.uk/projgall/rose341

Rose, Jeff, Yamandu Hilbert, Anthony Marks and Vitaly Usik. 2018. The First People of Oman: Palaeolithic Archaeology of the Nejd Plateau. Sultanate. Muscat: Ministry of Heritage and Culture.

Rose, Jeff, Vitaly Usik, A. Marks, Yamandu Hilbert, Chris Galletti, A. Parton, V. Černý, J. Geiling, M. Morley, and R. Roberts. 2011. “The Nubian Complex of Dhofar, Oman: An African Middle Stone Age Industry in Southern Arabia.” PLoS ONE 6(11) e28239.

Usik, Vitaly, Jeff Rose, Yamandu Hilbert, P. Van Peer, and Anthony Marks. 2013. “Nubian Complex Reduction Strategies in Dhofar, Southern Oman.” Quaternary International 300: 244-66.

 

Other selected references – pre-modern

Adam, Khalid and Liudmila Cazacova, 2012. “The Round Dhofari House Popularity Uniting the Past and the Present.” Proceedings of the 6th International Seminar on Vernacular Settlements. Eastern Mediterranean University, North Cyprus. 365-74.    

Bortolini, Eugenio and Olivia Munoz. 2015. “Life and Death in Prehistoric Oman: Insights from Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age Funerary Practices (4th – 3rd mill. BC).” Proceedings of the Symposium: The Archaeological Heritage of Oman. Paris: UNESCO. 61-80.

Charpentier, Vincent, Jean-Francois Berger, Rémy Crassard, Fredico Borgi and Philippe Béarez. 2016. “Les Premiers Chasseurs-collecteurs Maritimes d’Arabie (IXe-IVe millénaires avant notre ère) [Early Maritime Hunter-Gatherers in Arabia] Archéologie des Chasseurs-collecteurs Maritimes. Catherine Dupont and Gregor Marchand, eds. Paris: Société Préhistorique Française. 345-66. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/311650424_Les_premiers_chasseurs-collecteurs_maritimes_d’Arabie_IXe-IVe_millenaires_avant_notre_ere

Charpentier, Vincent, Alex de Voogt, Remy Crassard, Jean-Francois Berger, Federico Borgi and Ali Al-Mashani. 2014. “Games on the Seashore of Salalah: The Discovery of Mancala Games in Dhofar, Sultanate of Oman.” Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy 25: 115-120.

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Garba, Roman, Alžběta Danielisová, Maria Pia Maiorano, Mahmoud Abbas, Dominik Chlachula, David Daněček, W. Al-Ghafri, Stephanie Neuhuber, Denis Štefanisko and Jakub Trubač. 20202. TSMO (Trilith Stone Monuments of Oman) Research Project Expedition Report of the 2nd Season 2019-2020. Muscat: Ministry of Heritage and Culture. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/341193620_TSMO_EXPEDITION_REPORT_OF_THE_2nd_SEASON_2019-2020_campaigns_TSMO_2A_2B_Ministry_of_Heritage_and_Culture_Sultanate_of_Oman

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McCorriston, Joy, Michael Harrower, Tara Steimer, Kimberly D. Williams, Matthew Senn, Mas‘ūd Al Hādhari, Mas‘ūd Al Kathīrī, ‘Ali Ahmad Al Kathīrī, Jean-François Saliège and Jennifer Everhart. 2014. “Monuments and Landscape of Mobile Pastoralists in Dhofar: The Arabian Human Social Dynamics Project 2009-2011.” Journal of Oman Studies 12: 117-44.

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Newton, Lynne and Juris Zarins. 2017. The Archaeological Heritage of Oman. Dhofar Through the Ages. An Ecological, Archaeological and Historical Landscape. Muscat: Ministry of Heritage and Culture Sultanate of Oman.

Potts. D. 2016. “Trends and Patterns in the Archaeology and Pre-Modern History of the Gulf Region,” in The Emergence of the Gulf States: Studies in Modern History. J.E. Peterson (ed.). London: Bloomsbury. 19-42.

Zarins, Juris. 2001. The Land of Incense: Archaeological Work in the Governorate of Dhofar, Sultanate of Oman, 1990-1995. Muscat: Sultan Qaboos University Publications.

Zerboni, Andrea, Alessandro Perego, Guido S. Mariani, Filippo Brandolini, Mohammed Al Kindi, Eleonora Regattieri, Giovanni Zanchetta, Federico Borgi, Vincent Charpentier and Mauro Cremaschi. 2020. “Geomorphology of the Jebel Qara and Coastal Plain of Salalah (Dhofar, southern Sultanate of Oman).” Journal of Maps 16:2, 187-198.

Zimmerle, William. 2017. Cultural Treasures from the Cave Shelters of Dhofar: Photographs of the Painted Rock Art Heritage of Southern Oman. Washington: Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center/Liberty Press.

—. Crafting Cuboid Incense Burners in the Land of Frankincense: The Dhofar Ethnoarchaeology Preservation Project. 2017. Washington: Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center/Liberty House Press.

Conference presentation: Bringing Language Teaching into Literature Classrooms

Bringing Language Teaching into Literature Classrooms, Dr. Marielle Risse

English Scholars Beyond Borders International Conference, Dec. 4, 2021

Outline of ‘Bringing Language Teaching into Literature Classrooms’

1 – Introduction

2 – Choosing texts

3 – Teaching strategies

4 – Short lessons

5 – Assignments

6 – Examples: “July” by John Clare and Philoketes by Sophocles

Introduction

The title of this conference is crossing borders and that is a good metaphor for discussing literature and language teaching because it’s easy for a language teacher to cross the border between disciplines and become a literature teacher. Language teachers read books, poems and dramas and understand the concepts of genre, narrator, metaphor, connotations, etc.

But for a literature teacher to cross the border in the opposite direction and become language teacher is much more difficult. I can tell you from first-hand experience that a literature teacher in a language classroom is a miserable and lost creature.

I studied German and French at university so I am well acquainted with the grammar of those two languages, but in English – explaining the difference between when to use the present simple and present continuous? Rules for doubling consonants when making a present participle? Forming nouns off of verbs by adding ‘y’? Conditional clauses? When I have to teach a grammar class and explain ‘count’ vs. ‘non-count’ nouns or the present perfect or when to use ‘for instance’ instead of ‘for example’ – painful!

But I need to do some language teaching in all my literature class. When I walked into my first Middle Eastern literature classroom at the American University of Sharjah more than 20 years ago, I had students from 15 countries with varying levels of English. I had to blend some language information into my discussion of texts so I made a series of changes in my teaching.

In this presentation I want to explain how I teach literature differently with English major students than with literature majors, concentrating on four main areas: choosing texts, teaching strategies, short lessons and assignments.

Choosing texts

I have several publications on how to choose appropriate texts for literature classes and my main point is that it is vital to pick a text that students can connect to in some way as they are already fighting language and sometimes cultural difficulties and differences.

Dickens has written many classics, but his diction is difficult and the recurrent theme of a child cast out from the family, in novels such as Oliver Twist, Great Expectations and David Copperfield, create hurdles for understanding and appreciation.  

Whereas, my students have really enjoyed Beowulf’s and Sir Gawain’s lessons about protecting one’s leader and staying loyal to one’s family.

For Shakespeare, I choose the accessible plays such as Much Ado about Nothing, The Tempest, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, As You Like It, Romeo and Juliet, and Henry V with selections from King Lear and Macbeth. Not Julius Caesar or Merchant of Venice.

As 99% of my students are female, for other dramas, I often pick ones with interesting heroines caught between conflicting duties such as:

  • Alcestis, Euripides
  • Deanira, Sophocles
  • Antigone, Sophocles
  • The Importance of Being Earnest, Oscar Wilde
  • Lady Windemere’s Fan, Oscar Wilde
  • Arms and the Man, Shaw
  • Quality Street, J.M. Barrie
  • Our Town, Thornton Wilder
  • Princess Sunshine, Tawfiq Al Hakim

In terms of fiction, I use Jane Austen, Edith Wharton’s Age of Innocence and Rebecca West’s The Return of the Soldier to spark class discussion.

Teaching strategies – using scaffolding to create a strong foundation

reading aloud – every class, every student reads to improve pronunciation and enunciation

  • poem – one line
  • fiction – one sentence
  • drama – one character’s words

comparing narrative structures

For example, I give students the first page of an autobiography from an Omani writer and from an English writer and ask them to work in groups to figure out what is similar and what is different. English writers usually have exact dates, list full names of family members, give specific place names etc., while local writers give more general impressions. This leads to a discussion of how cultures tell stories and give opinions differently

comparisons with Arabic

  • using the evocative O = ya
  • starting sentences with verb, often used in Arabic but in English = command or question

Short lessons

word attack/ word meanings

  • homonyms – prey / pray – bear / bare
  • teach prefix/ suffix/ root – Latin and Greek – like: auto-bio-graphy

explicit grammar

e’en – ‘Tis – apostrophe for missing letter

explicit teaching of archaic speech

  • thou, thee, thy, thine
  • ye, yon, yonder, yore
  • -th ending for verbs like thinketh

explicit metaphor teaching

  • color metaphors – I’m blue, he’s yellow, I’m green
  • animals – monkey, positive and negative
  • objects – the moon (positive in Arab cultures, negative in North America/ Europe)

Assignments

recitation

helps with pronunciation, enunciation and emotion

acting

helps students use the language in a natural way

with so many essays on the internet, make assignments which check for understanding and are personal

  • compare character to someone you know
  • have a conversation with a character
  • explain the drama or novel with a friend, your mom, your husband and write a short paper explaining what you agree and disagree on – my mom thought…

supporting opinions with proof/ evidence to help get ready for IELTS and standardized English exams

‘Some people’ or ‘everyone’ vs. I think Alcestis made the right choice because I think…

Two examples

1 -teaching grammar, vocabulary and literary terminology through poetry

“July” by John Clare

Loud is the Summer’s busy song,

The smallest breeze can find a tongue,

While insects of each tiny size

Grow teasing with their melodies,

Till noon burns with its blistering breath

Around, and day lies still as death

The cricket on its bank is dumb;

The very flies forget to hum;

And, save the wagon rocking round,

The landscape sleeps without a sound.

The breeze is stopped, the lazy bough

Hath not a leaf that danceth now;

  • topic students can relate to – hot weather, sleeping in the middle of the day
  • metaphors and simile – Summer’s busy song, day lies still as death
  • alliterations – sleeps without a sound
  • expand vocabulary – breeze, tiny, melodies
  • double meanings – bank and dumb 
  • grammar – hath, danceth

2 – picking an interesting text so that students want to read and discuss

Philoketes by Sophocles        

This drama is based on one of the stories from the siege of Troy. On the way to Troy, the soldier Philoketes is hurt and his wound does not heal, so he is left on a desert island by Odysseus. After ten years of fighting against Troy, Odysseus is told that the Greeks will never win Troy without Philoketes and his magic bow so Odysseus goes back to the island,

Odysseus tries to play a trick, he stays hidden and tells a young soldier, Neoptolemus, to find Philoketes, become friends with him, and then convince Philoketes to allow Neoptolemus to hold the bow – then Neoptolemus will run to the boat with the bow and they will sail away, leaving Philoketes stranded.

The play works well because:

1) a lot of suspense – Will Odysseus’ trick work? it seems to, but at the last minute, Neoptolemus tells Philoketes the truth

2) themes of forgiveness and trust – Should Philoketes forgive Odysseus for leaving him on the island for 10 years? Should he trust that Odysseus will bring him back to his country?

3) connection to Omani society – The dilemma is solved when Hercules appears and tells Philoketes to get on the boat, that he will be safe. This highlights the importance of mediators, a very important part of Omani cultures; when two people are at an impasse, they should look for someone older/ wiser to both give advice and guarantee correct behavior.

(photo by S. B.)

Related publications

Risse, M. “Teaching Paired Middle Eastern and Western Literary Texts,” in Advancing English Language Education. Wafa Zoghbor and Thomaï Alexiou, eds.. Dubai: Zayed University Press, 2020. 221-223.

Risse, M. “Ok Kilito, I Won’t Speak Your Language: Reflections after Reading Thou Shalt Not Speak My Language,” in Octo-Emanations. Carter Kaplan, ed. Brookline, MA: International Authors, 2020: 233-236.

Risse, M. “Teaching Literature on the Arabian Peninsula,” Anthropology News website, October 7 2019. http://www.anthropology-news.org/index.php/2019/10/07/teaching-literature-on-the-arabian-peninsula/

 Risse, M. and Miriam Al Sabbah. “Don’t Be Afraid of the Novel: Austen for ESL Students,” Proceedings of the 16th Oman International ELT Conference. Muscat: Sultan Qaboos University Press, 2017: 28-35.

Risse, M. “Writing Prompts to Facilitate Creativity and Interesting Texts,” Proceedings of the 15th Oman International ELT Conferences. Muscat: Sultan Qaboos University Press, 2016: 46-52.

Risse, M. “Selecting the Right Literary Texts for Middle Eastern Students: Challenges and Reactions,” in Focusing on EFL Reading: Theory and Practice. Rahma Al-Mahrooqi, ed. Muscat: Sultan Qaboos University Press, 2014: 165-188.

Risse, M.  “Frosty Cliffs, Frosty Aunt and Sandy Beaches: Teaching Aurora Leigh in Oman,” Ariel: A Review of International English Literature 43.4, 2013: 123-145.

Risse, M. “Who Are You Calling ‘Coddled’?: ‘Cloistered Virtue’ and Choosing Literary Texts in a Middle Eastern University,” Pedagogy 13.3, 2013: 415-427.

Risse, M. “Do You know a Creon?: Making Literature Relevant in an Omani University,” in Literature Teaching in EFL/ESL: New Perspectives. Rahma Al-Mahrooqi, ed. Muscat: Sultan Qaboos University Press, 2012: 302-314.

Risse, M.  “Using Local Voices in Literature Classrooms,” Learning and Teaching in Higher Education: Gulf Perspectives 9.1, 2012. http://lthe.zu.ac.ae/index.php/lthehome/article/view/71

Risse, M.  “John Clare Looks Good in a Dishdash: Linking John Clare to Middle Eastern Poetry,” John Clare Society Journal 30, 2011: 53-63.

Risse, M. “An Open Letter to Alice Walker,” The Chronicle of Higher Education. Feb. 20, 2009: B11. http://chronicle.texterity.com/chronicle/20090220b/?pg=11#pg11

I am happy to announce that I will be presenting “Bringing Language Teaching into Literature Classrooms”

l will be presenting “Bringing Language Teaching into Literature Classrooms” at the English Scholars Beyond Borders – Dhofar University International Conference. Dec. 4-5, 2021.

My presentation will argue that in non-Anglospheric institutions such as Dhofar University, literature teachers will always need to be language and culture teachers. Given that many students on the Arabian Peninsula will use English when traveling or teaching primary or secondary students, texts must be chosen for their linguistic and cultural, as well as literary, qualities. I will use examples from teaching literature, cultural studies and education on the Arabian Peninsula for over 15 years to discuss how to create syllabi which reflect both the literary canon and students’ needs, with an emphasis on teaching multi-level classes and explicating cultural narration differences, as well as sneaking in language lessons. For example, folding language teaching into literature classes means both silent editing (such as not calling attention to spoken mistakes but repeating the student’s words with the correct pronunciation and/ or grammar) and short, explicit lessons. Lastly, it is vital to foreground cultural differences in plot, characters, settings and themes, in addition to narrative structures as an analysis of a literary text in English is expected to have the author’s opinion clearly stated with proof in the form of quotes and specific details, a format that Arabian Gulf students sometimes have not learned.

New essay: ‘Zhe is for Bijan’ on the Arabic alphabet website

New essay: ‘Zhe is for Bijan’ on the Arabic alphabet website

by Michael Beard, illustrated by Houman Mortazavi

http://alifbatourguide.com/the-arabic-alphabet/zhe/

http://alifbatourguide.com/

excerpt of ‘Zhe is for Bijan’

Zhe is the third of the four Persian letters that have been added to deal with sounds you won’t hear in Arabic. The sound of Zhe is the S of “measure,” the J of French (jupe, jour, bijou, jus), or the common mispronunciation of the hard J in “Beijing.” It is for indigenous Persian words still in use after the arrival of the Arabic alphabet, a glimpse of an earlier language. Today it also allows for proper transcriptions of words borrowed from European languages. Zhânvieh (through French) for January, Zhâpon for Japan. Dehkhoda’s massive Loghat-nâmeh, the OED of Persian, includes Zhen for Genoa, Zhâmâ’îk for Jamaica, Zhakobît for Jacobite. The last example may be a key to his political affinities.

The letter J is used for Zhe words in contemporary Turkish, though there aren’t many of them. There is less than a page of J words in Redhouse’s 1,292-page dictionary, most of them loans from French. Nine of them are on loan from Persian.

Household Words

Before Zhe was devised, you would just use Ze (Arabic Za’) and assume the reader would recognize the word from context, spoken but not visible on the page. And then sometimes pronunciation of Zh words would adjust to what the Arabic alphabet was able to express. Zhang, “rust,” became zang. Zhang still exists, with the same meaning, but you won’t see it often. If you look up zhang in a Persian/Persian dictionary the definition is likely to be zang.

Sometimes a Zhe word will evoke the substantial, resonant or sublime, as with the word zharf, “deep, profound.”  It’s a respected Zhe word, the only Zhe entry in A.K.S. Lambton’s shorter Persian Vocabulary. And sometimes a Zhe word will send us back to the heroic world of pre-Islamic chivalry, as in Ferdowsi, like zhubin, a spear.’ More frequently, though, the Zhe words which persisted over the evolution of New Persian, the ones that slipped through the 28-letter Arabic mesh, are the words closest to home, the intimate ones: household words, words for the ordinary, humble and non-heroic. Often you have to dig through those dictionaries which include the obscure and forgotten to find them. Zhakfar means patient, meek, mild. Zhakâreh is quarrelsome, squabbling. Zhan means deformed. (A cultured Iranian friend has never heard of the last three. It’s a good thing we have dictionaries.) Zhulideh, definitely still in use, is to be disheveled, tousled, scattered in the wind. Zhendeh, also a linguistic survivor, means old, worn out, frayed, or a patched garment. Imperfect things can be a source of praise too. Hair which is zhulideh is a source of fascination. Patches or patched clothes can be the clothes of someone who has taken a vow of poverty, a mystic. Zhendeh is a positive image, as you can see in a couplet of Hafez:

Chandân bemân ke kharqeh-ye azraq konad qabûl
bakht-e javân-at az falak-e pir-e zhendeh-push

[Stay as you are (or perhaps “be patient . . .”) until the sky’s patched blue (azraq) coat grants to you, though you are young, a spiritual elder’s patched robe (zhendeh).]