Download Among the Ruins: Syria Past and Present by Christian Sahner PDF

By Christian Sahner

As a civil conflict shatters a rustic and consumes its humans, historian Christian C. Sahner deals a poignant account of Syria, the place the prior profoundly shapes its dreadful current. one of the Ruins blends historical past, memoir and reportage, drawing at the author's huge wisdom of Syria in historic, medieval, and smooth instances, in addition to his stories residing within the Levant at the eve of the battle and in the course of the "Arab Spring". those plotlines converge in a wealthy narrative of a rustic in consistent flux - a spot renewed via the very shifts that, within the close to time period, are proving so harmful.

Sahner makes a speciality of 5 subject matters of curiosity to an individual intrigued and dismayed via Syria's fragmentation considering that 2011: the position of Christianity in society; the coming of Islam; the increase of sectarianism and competing minorities; the emergence of the Ba'ath get together; and the present pitiless civil battle.

Among the Ruins is a brisk and illuminating learn, an available advent to a rustic with an drastically wealthy previous and a sad current. For a person looking to comprehend Syria, this e-book can be their place to begin.

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Because the Prophet left no sons of his own (he had three, but all died in childhood) the mantle fell to his cousin ‘Ali, and in turn, to ‘Ali’s sons Hassan and Hussein. 18 â•… Hassan, the older of the two sons, did not wish to lead the Shi‘a. All the same, recognizing the potential threat he posed to them, the Umayyads retired him to a large estate near the city of Medina, where he carried on in solitude until his mysterious death in 669. His younger brother Hussein, on the other hand, eagerly assumed the cause of their slain father.

I hope I do her justice. xxx 1 THE IMPERIAL MOMENT ISLAM IN SYRIA Mount Qassioun glowered over Damascus like a silent sentry. It is said that the Prophet Muhammad visited this mountaintop in the early seventh century—years before the armies of Islam fanned across the Middle East—and he took in her beauty. Then, Damascus was a much smaller place, studded with the towers of Byzantine churches, her Roman walls ringed by lush orchards and cool mountain streams. Yet the Prophet refused to descend and enjoy the city up close: man was meant to enter heaven only once.

This arrangement was not so unusual: we know about similar arrangements at other sites from the early Islamic period, where the first generation of Muslims prayed in spaces borrowed from their Christian subjects. â•… Whether this arrangement reflected the ecumenism, magnanimity, or pragmatism of the conquerors is tough to say. What is easy to imagine is how the arrangement eventually unravelled, having 15 AMONG THE RUINS became a source of embarrassment for the Umayyads. The Muslims of Damascus—which, by the turn of the eighth century, had become the capital of the greatest empire in the world at the time— were squatting in “rented space,” and what is more, “rented space” belonging to their religious rivals.

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