Another PhD thesis by a Libyan student has come to our attention, this time in the field of musicology. It can be accessed online at the following link.
Abstract: “The goal of this thesis is to study in particular the repertoire of Tripolitanian traditional song at the core of the Libyan musical tradition with a method that brings to light both the melodic and rhythmic models which characterize this singing as well as the compositional structures which they exemplify. Specific attention is given to the evolution / acculturation of Tripolitanian traditional song.”
Warmest congratulations to Najah Benmoftah, who has just completed her Ph.D. at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris with the following thesis:
Benmoftah, Najah. Des ligateurs de cause: étude contrastive entre le français parlé à Paris et l’arabe parlé à Tripoli (Libye). Propriétés syntaxiques et fonctionnements pragmatico-discursifs. Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3 (2016).
Abstract: This contrastive linguistic thesis describes and contrasts the syntactic properties and the pragmatic-discursive function of parce que in spoken French in the seventh district of Paris and some of its Arabic equivalents in spoken Arabic of Tripoli (Libya) : liʔǝnna, ʕlēxāṭǝṛ , māhu and biḥkum.
Regarding the spoken Arabic of Tripoli, these ligators may belong to two different grammatical classes : they may be conjunctional ligators and / or prepositional ligatorrs. It depends on their degree of grammaticalization. While liʔanna and māhu are conjunctional ligators that introduce causal clauses organized around verbal or non-verbal predicates, ʕlēxāṭǝṛ and biḥkum can be used as prepositional ligators and introduce circumstantial complements or be grammaticalized as conjunctional ligators and introduce causal clause.
In addition, these ligators can occupy a canonical position when the ligator follows a main clause and introduces a causal clause, or a non-canonical position for which there are two cases : either the utterance begins with the causal which is introduced by the ligator of cause and is followed by the main clause, or the utterance begins with the main clause which is followed by the causal not introduced by a ligator of cause ; the latter is found at the end of the causal and closing the utterance. From a pragmatic point of view, changing the order of the constituents when ligators and causal clauses are not in canonical position allows the focalization of the causal clause.
Unlike the spoken Arabic of Tripoli, the examination of the Corpus “Français Parlé Parisien des années 2000 (CFPP2000)” shows that parce que is conjunctional ligator. It introduces a causal clause organized around verbal predicate, rarely non-verbal. parce que can occupy a canonical position when the ligator follows a main clause and introduces a causal clause, and a non-canonical position when parce que follows “c’est” and introduces a causal clause. However, it can not be postponed and it does not accept either suffix. When parce que introduces several causal clauses, it may be taken but in reduced form “que”, giving a series of “que”. In addition, from a pragmatic point of view, when the utterance begins with “c’est parce que” this structure allows to focalisation of the causal clause.
A topic of renewed relevance amidst increasing partisanship, resurfacing of old loyalties, and neo-colonial interests by Western nations is treated in this contribution by Libyan historian Ali Ahmida to a special issue on North African revolutions: “Libya, Social Origins of Dictatorship, and the Challenge for Democracy.” Journal of the Middle East and Africa 3 (2012), 70–81.
The abstract is as follows:
This article analyzes the 2011 revolution in Libya by focusing on three elements: the Qaddafi regime’s failure to address the question of political reform and its subsequent alienation of important elite groups within the country; the impact of demography, urbaniza- tion, and global social media on the progress of the revolution; and the success of an enterprising revolutionary leadership within Libya that was able to obtain critical diplomatic and military sup- port from the United Nations, the Arab League, and NATO. The main thesis of this article is that the regime’s inability to make serious political reforms appropriate to changes occurring in the economy, education, and society eventually led to conflict between a dynamic social structure and a rigid political system that was unable to meet the demands and grievances of new social forces, especially unemployed youth. The gap between the Libyan youth and the ruling elite undermined the gains achieved by the regime during the 1970s and eventually led to the formation of an alie- nated revolutionary coalition. Had Muammar Qaddafi responded with openness to the calls for reform and not overreacted to the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, the urban elite in Libya might have been placated and the violent rebellion might have been avoided.
Ahmida, Ali (ed.) 2009. Bridges Across the Sahara: Social, Economic and Cultural Impact of the Trans-Sahara Trade During the 19th and 20th Centuries. Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
“The objective of this edited book is to rethink the history of colonial and nationalist categories and analyses of modern Africa through an integration and examination of the African Saharan trade as bridges that link the North, Central, and West regions of Africa. Firstly, it offers a critique of the colonial, postcolonial and nationalist historiographies, and also of current western scholarship on northern and Saharan Africa especially Middle East Studies and African Studies Associations. Secondly, it provides an alternative narrative of the forgotten histories of the Sahara trade as linkages between the North and the South of the Sahara. The Sahara desert was seldom a barrier separating the northern, middle and western parts of the continent….”
“Introduction. Neither a Divide nor an Empty Space: The Sahara as a Bridge” by Ali Abdullatif Ahmida
“Trans Saharan Trade in Arabic Sources until the 16th Century: A Study of Means of Transactions” by Ahmed Elyas
“The Organization of Caravan Trade in Nineteenth and Twentieth-Century Western Africa” by Ghislaine Lydon
“The Sociocultural and Economic Exchange between the Augila Oasis and the Cyrenaican Bedouin in Libya’s Eastern Sahara: A Centuries-long Symbiotic Relationship” by John P. Mason
“Redeemed Lives in the Trans-Saharan Migrations of the Nineteenth Century” by Terence Walz
“Strategic Aspects of the Shrinking Trans-Saharan Trade in Eastern Libya: Revisiting the Italian Occupation of al-Jaghbub, 1925-26” by Fred H. Lawson
“Weapons and “smugglers” throughout Western Sahara: From the Anti-colonial Resistance to the First World War” by Francesco Correale
“Camels as Trading Goods: The Transition from a Beast of Burden to a Commodity in the Trans-Saharan Trade between Chad and Libya” by Meike Meerpohl
“Ibrahim Al-Koni’s Atlas of the Sahara” by Elliot Colla
Amal Obeidi, Political Culture in Libya. Routledge: London (2001).
Political Culture in Libya appeared in 2001 as a welcome contribution to Libyan political studies. Few empirical studies of Arab countries have dealt with political culture and political socialisation or focused on people’s beliefs, values, and attitudes towards the government or political leaders, mainly because the regimes have been reluctant to allow opinion to be tested. The significance of this book is that it assesses the influence of state ideology on the new generation of Libyans, and examines their political culture. Reviews are here, here, and here.
Amal Obeidi is Associate Professor of Comparative Politics in the Department of Political Science, University of Benghazi, Libya. She served as Dean of Faculty of Economics at the University of Benghazi in 1999-2001 and as head of Department of Political Science in 2006-2008. In her research she mainly focuses on security, especially in the Mediterranean; gender issues; and public policies. Besides the book shown here, her publications include “Security Policies in Libya” (Geneva Center for Security Studies 2004); “The Political Elites in Libya since 1969” (in: Libya since 1969. Qadhafi’s Revolution Revisited, London 2011); “The Impact of the Revolution and the Transitional Period on Women’s Empowerment Policies in Libya” (Beirut 2013); and “From Forced Reconciliation to Recognition: The Abu Salim Case in Historical Perspective” (Leiden 2013).
Hana S. El-Gallal, Islam and the West: The Limits of Freedom of Religion. Peter Lang: Berlin (2014).
From the publisher’s blurb: “Religious Intolerance is on the rise. Debating religious freedom often means debating “West” versus “Islam”. This book challenges crucial stereotypes around this issue. It explores the scope of the right to freedom of religion in the International Treaties and Declarations and investigates why this right creates misunderstandings and misconceptions that often lead to intolerance and discrimination in countries of various political, social, and cultural backgrounds. Islam and the West attempts to find reasons for the rise of religious intolerance. The author looks at the limitation of the religious symbols law in France and the anti-terrorism measures in the USA; she discusses also Religious minorities and Apostasy in Saudia Arabia and Egypt. Furthermore, she calls for extending the scope, asking questions such as: How do societies deal with different religions and beliefs? How could and do they find ways of reconciling their conflicting demands while protecting human worth? How can universal values be found and established?”
Hana S. El-Gallal is a professor at the University of Benghazi, Libya, where she teaches International Law and is the head of the Cultural Committee in the Faculty of Law. She is member of the Libyan National Council of Human Rights and the founder and President of the Libyan Centre for Development and Human Rights. She obtained her PhD in Law from Bern University, Switzerland.