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A Taste for HomeThe Modern Middle Class in Ottoman Beirut$
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Toufoul Abou-Hodeib

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780804799799

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804799799.001.0001

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Beirut, City of the Levant

Beirut, City of the Levant

(p.1) Chapter 1 Beirut, City of the Levant
A Taste for Home

Toufoul Abou-Hodeib

Stanford University Press

This chapter introduces the concept of domesticity and sets the general historical background for the rest of the book. Looking at how new ideas on Ottoman urban management in Istanbul and foreign investments in infrastructure helped transform Beirut from a sleepy harbor town to major entrepôt, the chapter also foregrounds how the emergence of a middle class shaped life in the city. It explores the various characteristics of the middle class and places it in the context of the nahda, the late-nineteenth, early-twentieth century vibrant intellectual and cultural production in Arabic. It also investigates how the middle class spread across the city's new neighborhoods. Finally, the chapter closes with an overview of the archival sources used in the book.

Keywords:   Beirut, port city, nahda, tanzimat, Ottoman reforms, urban modernity, urban governance, urbanization

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