Saturday, March 31, 2007

Sousse و في أهلها دهقنة

I just like reading Ibn Hawqal (writing in the 2nd half of the 10th century); it's like reading a 19th century anthropolgue. Here is for instance how he describes the 'people of Sousse' (a Tunisian coastal city), which he visited sometime around 950:

و في أهلها دهقنة و الغالب عليهم السلامة

I like especially the use of the word 'dahqana', which is rarely used in Islamic sources. It's originally persan (comes from 'Dahaqina' plural for 'Dihhqan': a social class in Fars composed of villages' bosses) but when it was arabized it got a new meaning (as Ibn Manzur mentions) in the sense of 'takayyus' or 'kiyasa' meaning something like smartness and delicacy at the same time: attributes strongly linked in the mind of the early Muslim authors with urbanity...

The second part (والغالب عليهم السلامة) goes in the same sense; urbanity necessitates longing for peacefulness...

Other authors might use stronger and bolder words... but Ibn Hawqal is usually far more delicate...

4 Comments:

At 10:59 PM, Blogger Zied said...

Congratulations Tarek for your new blog in arabic. we will be honored to have you with us in the Attounissia blog. This blog aims to compile the best of the Tunisphere posts in arabic language.
Please send me your email in order to invite you to join the contributors list.

 
At 2:15 AM, Blogger Marc Manley said...

من أين اشتريت هذا الكتاب؟ يستطيع أن يجد في فيلادلفيا؟

 
At 9:17 AM, Blogger Tarek Kahlaoui said...

أهلا مارك... كتاب "صورة الأرض" موجود في مكتبة جامعة بنسلفانيا و لكنه في مكتبتي الآن... و لكن ربما تجده في "المكتبة الحرة" (free library) في فيلادلفيا أيضا

 
At 4:53 AM, Blogger Eman said...

عمري ما كنت اعرف ان في كلمه ذي دهقنه دي فى العربي

جميل اوي قوه معناها

 

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