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The Mufaddaliyat V2: Translation and Notes: An Anthology of Ancient Arabian Odes (1918)
The Mufaddaliyat V2: Translation and Notes: An Anthology of Ancient Arabian Odes (1918)
par Al-Mufaddal Son of Muhammad
Edition : Broché
Prix : EUR 27,55

5.0 étoiles sur 5 A classic, thankfully reprinted., 14 juin 2016
Achat vérifié(De quoi s'agit-il ?)
Almost as good as the original I used in the university library for the details, and definitely easier to handle.
This is a must have for anyone who love pre-islamic poetry : do try to get your hands on the Arabic version, and enjoy this great attempt at translating these impossible and weird verses from another world and age into English ... The footnotes and scholarship of Lyall are a great shortcut for who doesn't have the time to go through all the Arabic commentaries of these poems.
It also might interest anyone looking for ancient non-western cultural and literature traces, without necessarily mastering the original language.


Secrets of the Sands
Secrets of the Sands
par Leona Wisoker
Edition : Broché

5.0 étoiles sur 5 Good surprise, 14 juin 2016
Achat vérifié(De quoi s'agit-il ?)
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : Secrets of the Sands (Broché)
Good surprise. Desert fantasy that avoids the traditional pitfalls of orientalism (such as the Brett's Demon Cycle). Editing job not so great, and the story and characters would definitely gain at getting more descriptions and fleshing out, but overall, great start. Let's see if the following books are as good or better ...


Through the Language Glass: Why The World Looks Different In Other Languages
Through the Language Glass: Why The World Looks Different In Other Languages
par Guy Deutscher
Edition : Broché

4.0 étoiles sur 5 Interesting, 14 septembre 2015
Achat vérifié(De quoi s'agit-il ?)
Light and informative read about a question all language learners ask themselves at some point : to what extent does the language influence your thinking. The answer is neither "a lot" nore "not at all", but it's interesting to discover it has been a polemic question for a while now ...


Heaven on Earth: A Journey Through Shari'a Law
Heaven on Earth: A Journey Through Shari'a Law
par Sadakat Kadri
Edition : Relié

5.0 étoiles sur 5 Very good, 19 août 2015
Achat vérifié(De quoi s'agit-il ?)
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : Heaven on Earth: A Journey Through Shari'a Law (Relié)
Very good overview of what is and what is not the "sharia" for those who don't really know what is it about. Basically it has been everything and anything according to time and place, but this book does a good job of getting an idea of it all, in a non-academical way.
Good writing style with touches of humour here and there, the first part is a historical overview, the second part a geographical one of what sharia evolved, most often in a sad and worrying manner, into in some of the modern so called "islamic" countries.

Here are two excerpts among the many I hightlighted :
"The Qur'an allows for the excecutions in just two situations - neither of them mandatory. At the time of the Abbasid caliphate's foundation, traditions of judicial restraint were so ingrained that scholars would weep in court rather than judge in God's name. Over the next millenium, Islamic legal systems were consistently and significantly less violent than their European counterparts, and ordinary Muslims were incomparably more likely to seek advice about the shari'a than to demand its enforcement. The truly remarkable fact is that hardliners have managed in the space of less than forty years to make that history seem surprising - and that they have associated the shari'a in many people's minds with some of the deadliest legal systems on the planet" (p.216)

And, about the fears of sharia implementations in Europe : "No Muslim immigrant ever came to the United Kingdom excepting to find an Islamic theocracy, whereas many of them came to escape it". (p.258)


The Bedouin
The Bedouin
par Shirley Kay
Edition : Relié

4.0 étoiles sur 5 Good, 18 août 2015
Achat vérifié(De quoi s'agit-il ?)
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : The Bedouin (Relié)
Good introduction to the basics of bedouin life and its recent changes (even though the book is a bit old, it still applies). Though no specific location is always given, most of the time bedouins from Syria, Jordan and the Peninsula are concerned.


Impossible Journey: Two Against the Sahara
Impossible Journey: Two Against the Sahara
par Michael Asher
Edition : Broché

5.0 étoiles sur 5 Aussi bien que les autres livres de M. Asher, 18 août 2015
Achat vérifié(De quoi s'agit-il ?)
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : Impossible Journey: Two Against the Sahara (Broché)
Incroyable voyage d'ouest en est du Sahara dans les années 70 à dos de chameau par l'auteur et sa femme, à peine mariés. Voyage virtuellement impossible de nos jours de par la situation politique des pays traversés (qui n'était pourtant pas toujours rose à l'époque non plus). Ce livre offre un coup d'oeil sur des lieux à une époque précise, et un portrait intéressant des personnages rencontrés au cours de ces longs mois.


The Arab Gulf States: Beyond Oil and Islam
The Arab Gulf States: Beyond Oil and Islam
par Sean Foley
Edition : Broché
Prix : EUR 24,91

5.0 étoiles sur 5 Très bon, 18 août 2015
Achat vérifié(De quoi s'agit-il ?)
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : The Arab Gulf States: Beyond Oil and Islam (Broché)
Divisé en plusieurs chapitres avec différentes thématiques, livre assez complet sur les pays arabe du Golfe de nos jours (et leur histoire au 20eme siècle). Language académique mais pas trop abscond.


Atlantis of the Sands
Atlantis of the Sands
par Sir Ranulph Fiennes
Edition : Broché

4.0 étoiles sur 5 Great adventure, 24 juillet 2015
Achat vérifié(De quoi s'agit-il ?)
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : Atlantis of the Sands (Broché)
Or I should say "great realistic adventure". The author retells here how he managed to organise an expedition whose goal was finding Ubar, or "Iram of the columns", a mythical place mentionned in the Quran and other old texts. The fact that they find it is obviously good, but all the difficulties, and the time it took to put up such and expedition between the first idea and the actual search (around 20 years), the great people he met along the way, the country he makes us discover (the not very well known Sultanate of Oman) is just as great, if not the main interest of the book.
The good writing style makes it all the more enjoyable ...


Muhammad and the Golden Bough: Reconstructing Arabian Myth
Muhammad and the Golden Bough: Reconstructing Arabian Myth
par Jaroslav Stetkevych
Edition : Broché
Prix : EUR 18,43

5.0 étoiles sur 5 Great academic study on pre-islamic arabian myth, 24 juillet 2015
Achat vérifié(De quoi s'agit-il ?)
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : Muhammad and the Golden Bough: Reconstructing Arabian Myth (Broché)
It is a bit tough at time as a read though it is shorter than expected, and it is full of references. It is a must for anyone interested in mythology, and how myths a related to others, and to history and actual facts, how they resonate in different cultures and how they can be interpreted.
The author focuses on the Golden Bough retrieved by the prophet Muhammad durng one of his travels, and he (the authors) links and compare this symbol and the story attached to it in islamic lore with all the myths he can find, including the few arabian myths that have survived under an islamic veneer, and different stories in the Bible.


A Most Masculine State: Gender, Politics and Religion in Saudi Arabia
A Most Masculine State: Gender, Politics and Religion in Saudi Arabia
par Madawi Al-Rasheed
Edition : Broché
Prix : EUR 28,67

4.0 étoiles sur 5 One of the best ..., 11 juillet 2015
Achat vérifié(De quoi s'agit-il ?)
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : A Most Masculine State: Gender, Politics and Religion in Saudi Arabia (Broché)
... Books you can read on Saudi Arabia, I guess. Informative, it shows the complexities of a nation building its nationalist sentiment on a very particular (and radical) brand of islam, and how traditions and history comes in mixing everything up to get a situation where women are invisible, as much as they are used as symbols for nation-building. For a country subject to so many clichés and crazy news, this is a great and critical study of its modern days.


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