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The Barber of Damascus – Nouveau Literacy in the Eighteenth-Century Ottoman Levant - Stanford Scholarship Online
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The Barber of Damascus: Nouveau Literacy in the Eighteenth-Century Ottoman Levant

Dana Sajdi


This book is about a barber, Shihāb al-Dīn Aḥmad Ibn Budayr (fl. 1761), who shaved and coiffed, and probably circumcised and healed, in Damascus in the eighteenth century. The barber wrote a history book, a chronicle of the events that took place in his city during his lifetime. Examining the “life and work” of Ibn Budayr, the book uncovers the emergence of a larger trend of history writing by unusual authors—people outside the learned establishment—and identifies a new phenomenon: nouveau literacy. In addition to offering a microhistory of the barber and his work, this book discusses the soci ... More

Keywords: Shihāb al-Dīn Aḥmad Ibn Budayr, Barber, Damascus, contemporary chronicle, nouveau literacy, microhistory, Muḥamad Sa`īd al-Qāsimī, al-Nahḍa (Arab Renaissance)

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2013 Print ISBN-13: 9780804785327
Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: January 2014 DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804785327.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Dana Sajdi, author