This week we finished Leo Africanus and read an article by Mohammed Bamyeh called “Global Affinities Beyond the State: Lessons from the Historical Structures of Muslim Society,” as well as an article from the Economist title “A Special Report on the Arab World.” At the conclusion of Leo Africanus, Hasan marries a Grenadian woman at the request of the Cardinal. A new Pope takes lead of the Roman Catholic church in Rome who is more conservative and instates new laws such as demanding men to be clean shaven and condemning art as a sin. Hasan lead an opposition against the pope and was imprisoned for distributing propaganda against the pope. Eventually the pope was poisoned and the Cardinal who requested Hasan and his wife together took the papalship, letting Hasan out of prison. From there, Hasan reunited with his family and planned to relocate to Tunis. So after 40 years of traveling which made him the famous man we know today, he settled down and relaxed with his family for the rest of his life. I think this can be interpreted as a cultural thing, but I think it is also a timeless feeling and doesn’t have any cultural borders. It’s also a personal feeling. But I like how he finds most satisfaction staying in one place with his loved ones.
I found the articles on the Middle East very interesting. The article from the Economist discussed the recent stagnation in Arab politics and predicted a non-violent revolution in the near future. Arab society has been progressing in recent years and modernizing. News is being less restricted and more accurate, popular websites like Facebook and Youtube are being more popularly used, and education is spreading. Bamyeh’s article discusses the three principles of the Muslim world according to Bamyeh: partial control, free movement, and cultural heteroglossia. Bamyeh attempts to apply these old principles of the Muslim world to the current day globalization there. He states that in order for these principles to function properly, no authorities can impose orthodoxies on the people. He also says that the authoritarian states in the modern Middle East would not be a possibility if the Islamic system was not affected by Western colonists. I enjoyed both these articles. It was great to hear about globalization happening right now as opposed to previous world systems, and it was particularly interesting to connect this trend with previous systems.