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Büssow | Safi

Damascus Affairs

Egyptian Rule in Syria through the Eyes of an Anonymous Damascene Chronicler, 1831-1841

Translation and Parallel Edition of Two Manuscripts by Johann Büssow, Khaled Safi, In Collaboration with Sarah Büssow-Schmitz

Ergon,  2013, 384 Pages

ISBN 978-3-89913-906-8

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The work is part of the series Kultur, Recht und Politik in muslimischen Gesellschaften (Volume 26)
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englischThe anonymous Arabic chronicle presented in this book offers a captivating account of a decisive decade in modern Middle Eastern history. It covers, among other events, the Egyptian invasion of Syria in 1831 and a number of popular uprisings, and includes a first-hand account of the so-called 'Damascus Affair' of 1840, when Jewish citizens of Damascus were put on trial for ritual murder. The study highlights that the chronicle not only provides evidence for historical facts, but also documents the ways Arab inhabitants of the Levant discussed the social and political realities of their time. Two different versions of the text have been preserved and both are likely to have been intended for public reading in coffeehouses and literary salons. The variations between them show how the text was revised to take into account the expectations of various readers and listeners. The English part of the book contains an extensive introduction and a translation of the chronicle, together with a chronology, a biographical appendix, maps and a glossary. The Arabic part comprises an edition of the two versions of the chronicle in synoptic form.