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Hasan, A. N. M. A. (1931) Western Influences in the Arabic Literature of Egypt and Syria Between 1820 and 1879. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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The French invasion of Egypt and Syria in 1798 marks the dawn of the Renascence of Arabic literature and the infiltration into it of western influences. Of the three obvious sources of these influences, French, Italian and English, the first predominates. French influence in Egypt was disseminated by numerous agencies. The first virile agency was the French invasion. The enthusiasm of the Viceroy Muhammad Ali for French culture created new agencies, such as the educational missions, the technical schools, the School of Languages and the translation bureau. These agencies produced their full effect in the reign of Ismail Pasha and out of them grew indigenous agencies, vis., journalism, the Jamiyat al-Maarif, the Dar al-Ulum and the embryonic nationalist party, which combined to speed up westernization. The most prominent exponents of the renascence in Egypt were Rifaah Bey, Abu Soud, Saleh Majdi Bey, All Mubarak Pasha, Abdallah Pasha Fikri and Othman Jalal. In Syria other agencies operated. French political propaganda, the activities of French and American missionaries and the ecclisiastical connection of native Christians with Rome combined to create a new atmosphere. The writings of Roshaid ad-Dahdah, Rizqallah Hassun and others introduced new element and the learned coterie which Cornelius Van Dyck formed with Shaikj Yusuf al-Asir, Butrus al-Bustani and Nasif al-Yaziji gave a vigorous impulse to the new literary movements. But even more substantial and effective was the contribution of the Syrian Ahmad Faris Shidyaq whose conversion to Islam was followed by an active literary and Journalistic career at Constantinople. His Journal, Al Jawaib with its press focussed the best productions of the Arab mind, past and present. In the final chapter the effect of these influences on Arabic literary style is discussed.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2020 17:14

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