Awal Centre Publishes New Edition of “Tribe and State in Bahrain”
2016-12-14 - 4:17 am
Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Awal Centre for Studies and Documentation is exhibiting its special edition of the famous "Tribe and State in Bahrain" by the Lebanese scholar Fuad Khuri at its pavilion at the Beirut International Book Fair. This book remained at the top of the list of reference writings about Bahrain's political and social history for 36 years.
The new edition of the book was issued by Awal Centre this year and revised by specialized researchers to be made available for all readers. The centre published in this edition an Arabic translation of the chapter about the author's fieldwork experience in Bahrain in the 1970s, which was included in his autobiography "An Invitation to Laughter" that was published in English after the author's demise in 2003 and was translated by Bahrain Mirror into Arabic this year as well.
There is no research publication, Phd thesis (either Arabic or English), analytical article or study about Bahrain that hasn't referred to this book that is considered to be the most renowned scientific reference about modern history in Bahrain. The book is classified among the political and social studies. It was published in English in 1980 by Chicago University and translated to Arabic in 1983 by the Beirut Arab Development Institute.
The late Fuad Khuri visited Bahrain between 1974 and 1975 to conduct a field study and came out with this book that is still banned in Bahrain to date.
Khuri talked in his memoirs "An Invitation to Laughter" with enthusiasm and passion about his obsession while waiting for the feedback of Bahrainis on his book "Tribe and State" and how happy he felt about the controversy it caused. He said when the government prevented the translation of the book in Bahrain, he arranged a visit through the American University and called the Minister of Information and Al Khalifa Sheikhs, yet none of them answered him. The closest he got to an answer was: "The book contained things and things", thus the writer could not find a better title for the chapter, in which he talked about the book and how it was banned, than "Open Secrets: Discussable but not Publishable."
Khuri (1935-2003), who is considered one of the most prominent Arab political and social scholars, is a Lebanese anthropologist and researcher. He acquired his Phd degree in social anthropology from the University of Oregon in the United States. He worked as a professor in the American University of Beirut and a number of international universities.
"Tribe and State" was distinguished by the approach adopted by Khuri in his study of the precise aspects of Bahraini society that even included fish farms and analysis of the names and spoken language as well as the roots of social and economic developments in Bahrain.
The book tackles the lives of population groups in Bahrain, their culture, relations, history and social and political situations. Besides being a documentary, the book is an analytical and critical study of the political and social reality in Bahrain and its developments during the 19th and 20th centuries.
Among the important topics that the book discusses: the tribal rule and organization of its economy through tribal councils and religious courts, colonial intervention and the rise of bureaucracy, the institution and development of specialized offices, oil and socioeconomic transformation, semi-political institutions: funeral homes and clubs, mourning processions and what they reflect, organized protests and popular movements and the legitimacy of authority: the establishment and dissolution of the parliament, the rise of new groups and so on.
According to the centre's introduction, the author studies this unusual relation that was established between the ancient Bahraini villages of the indigenous Bahrainis and the modern cities that were established by the invading tribes the end of the 18th century.
Awal centre said that the aim behind publishing "Tribe and State" 32 years after its first edition was issued, is not adding a number to the list of book editions, but providing the opportunity for re-reading the book attentively and giving the information therein a modernized aspect after all these years.
Awal Centre for Studies and Documentation said that it edited the historical errors, typos and language mistakes in the book and clarified the inaccurate statistics, terms, incidents, sites and names.
The book is available at:
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