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Arab Women in the Middle Ages: Private Lives and Public Roles
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Arab Women in the Middle Ages: Private Lives and Public Roles (Hardback)

£35.00
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Synopsis

Regardless of social rank and religion, whether Christian, Jew, or Muslim, Arab women in the middle ages played an important role in the functioning of society. This book is a journey into their daily lives, their private spaces and public roles. First the reader is introduced into the women's sanctuaries, their homes and what occurs within its realm - marriage and contraception, childbirth and childcare, culinary traditions, body and beauty rituals - providing an insight into the rights and rituals prevalent among the different communities of the time. But women were also very present in the public arena and made important contributions in the fields of scholarship and the affairs of state. A number of them were benefactresses, poets, calligraphers, teachers and sales women. Others were singing girls, professional mourners, bath-attendants and prostitutes. How these women managed their daily affairs, both personal and professional, defined their roles in the wider spheres of society. Drawing from the Islamic traditions, as well as legal documents, historical sources and popular chronicles of the time, this book offers an informative study.

Shirley Guthrie was educated at the Universities of Aberdeen and Edinburgh and has travelled widely in the Middle East. Since receiving her doctorate in Islamic painting in 1992, she has continued to research illustrated Arabic manuscripts. Her first book, Arab Social Life in the Middle Ages, An Illustrated Study is also published by Saqi Books.

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