Arabic in the Service of Regeneration of Jews. The participation of Jews in Arabic Press and Journalism in the 19th and 20th Centuries

Snir, Reuven (2006) Arabic in the Service of Regeneration of Jews. The participation of Jews in Arabic Press and Journalism in the 19th and 20th Centuries. Acta Orientalia, 59 (3). pp. 283-323. ISSN 0001-6446

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The first periodical publications carrying news written by and for Arabs appeared during the first part of the 19th century. The major developments in the field of non-governmental Arabic press occurred, however, only during the second half of that century. That was also the time when Jews started to take an active part in founding, editing, and writing for Arabic newspapers, periodicals, and professional journals in various parts of the Arab world. First it included newspapers and periodicals in Judeo-Arabic dialects and only later in standard Arabic language. The main centres of journalistic activity by Jews in the Arab world were Baghdad, Cairo, Beirut, Alexandria, Damascus and Tunis. Newspapers founded by Jews were mostly ephemeral, however, there were also periodicals that prospered for decades. There was a connection between the involvement of Arab Jews in canonical Arab culture and the development of the Arabic-Jewish press and journalism: wherever Jews tried to integrate politically, socially and culturally into society (Iraq, to a lesser extent in Egypt, Lebanon and Syria) there were always active Jewish owners of Arabic newspapers and periodicals as well as editors and journalists writing in standard literary Arabic. But wherever Jews showed no significant interest in the canonical Arabic cultural activities of their society (e.g. North Africa), only periodicals in Judeo-Arabic dialects written in Hebrew letters are to be found (in addition to newspapers in other languages). Jewish newspapers published in both Judeo-Arabic dialects and standard Arabic had generally one main aim in common: promoting modernisation of Jewish life in Arab societies and encouraging Jews to become acquainted with the achievements of Western civilisation. After the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, there has been a sharp decline in Arabic journalism by Jews; in fact we are currently witnessing the demise of Arab-Jewish culture. A tradition that started more than fifteen hundred years ago is vanishing before our eyes.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: D History General and Old World / történelem > D0 History (General) / történelem általában
P Language and Literature / nyelvészet és irodalom > PI Oriental languages and literatures / keleti nyelvek és irodalmak
Depositing User: xKatalin xBarta
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2017 10:24
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2017 10:24

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