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El-Sayed El-Aswad

El-Sayed El-Aswad
Anthropologist

PhD in Anthropology, University of Michigan Ann Arbor

About

187
Publications
164,070
Reads
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317
Citations
Citations since 2016
69 Research Items
238 Citations
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Introduction
Professor el-Aswad received his doctorate in anthropology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He has taught at Wayne State University (USA), Tanta University (Egypt), Bahrain University and United Arab Emirates University. He served as Chairperson of the Sociology Departments at both the UAEU and Tanta University and the Editor of Horizons in Humanities and Social Sciences: He has published widely in both Arabic and English. He has been awarded fellowships from various institutions.
Additional affiliations
August 2008 - August 2017
United Arab Emirates University
Position
  • Professor
Description
  • Professor, retired
Education
August 1981 - August 1988
University of Michigan
Field of study
  • Anthropology

Publications

Publications (187)
Article
Full-text available
This article does not claim that all Egyptian children view the world identically, but rather confirms certain significant underlying principles upon which their worldviews are constructed. The polarities of local-Global North and South are reconstituted through children’s narratives into flexible and positive attitudes implicit in their activities...
Article
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This paper discusses the role played by religion in Egyptian mind and culture.
Article
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This article relates to a previous paper entitled “Egyptian Cosmology and the Grand Canyon” published by Tabsir on September 1, 2007. I revisited the Grand Canyon in October this year (2021) to have a closer look that might help with rethinking earlier views. In this present thesis I aspire to shed more light on the obfuscated issue of ancient Egyp...
Article
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This article examines the images of the Arabian Gulf before and after the establishment of the Trucial States, presently the United Arab Emirates, in order to understand how such images have been constructed to change the culture of the region. Oriental images of the Arabian Gulf, reflecting the relationship between the Orient (Arab/Islam) and the...
Chapter
Islamophobia is a fundamental human rights abuse and violation of human dignity that must be challenged. Countering Islamophobia and defending human rights in North America depend on multiple agencies including governments, political parties, think tanks, NGOs, and advocacy organizations. Despite the vigorous activities in combating Islamophobia or...
Chapter
This chapter is based on ethnographic material from ‘the field’ as well as academic research from the ‘library.’ It is also constructed with research methods well propagated in Quality-of-life studies, anthropology, sociology, social psychology, economics, and media studies. These research methods allowed for the collection and synthesis of data ab...
Chapter
Three overarching threads woven throughout this monograph are discussed and include: (1) identifying and understanding the outcomes (outputs) resulting from the manufacture and organized dissemination of Islamophobia regionally and globally, (2) identifying economic-political, religious, cultural and media drivers (inputs) behind the spread of Isla...
Chapter
This chapter sheds some light on the history of the physical and emotional antagonism targeted at Muslims in North America. Islamophobia refers to a multilayered history of fear and hatred of Muslims in the West, in general, and North America in particular. Religious and political exclusions across minorities and ethnic divides are discussed. Speci...
Chapter
Frequent exposures to biased media depictions tend to cause viewers to accept such depictions as an accurate reflection of reality. The challenge for policymakers is to engage media outlets to mitigate Islamophobia either by imposing regulations that restrict freedom of expression or by adopting a competitive marketplace of ideas, guaranteeing both...
Chapter
Many educational institutions and schools in North America produce and reproduce structural anti-Muslim racism, impacting the academic achievement and overall well-being of individuals in Muslim communities. Ignorance about Islamic cultures constitutes a major cause of the phenomenon of Islamophobia. Educational policies planned and implemented in...
Chapter
This chapter investigates the impact of Islamophobia on the economic-political, religious and social well-being of Muslims residing in North America by employing a quality-of-life approach. Islamophobia underpins the dissemination of anti-Muslim ideologies that have resulted in negative quality of life outcomes for Muslims residing in North America...
Chapter
This chapter addresses the relationship between Islamophobia and its religious and cultural drivers in North America. Religious and cultural drivers of Islamophobia, particularly those pertaining to far-right and conservative faith groups such as evangelical Protestants who are particularly vocal in expressing anti-Muslim rhetoric, are in violation...
Chapter
This chapter aims to investigate the underlying media drivers of Islamophobia in North America by focusing on how Islam and Muslims in North America are viewed through western media. Muslim communities in North America have been targeted and marginalized by mediated Islamophobia. The involvement of Islamophobes across media outlets and platforms ha...
Chapter
This chapter, applying notions of market supply and demand, analyzes the economic and political drivers of governments, political parties, political leadership, and far-right, extremist groups who have targeted Muslim minorities, immigrants and refugees in North America. While it is hard to disentangle anti-Islam prejudice from general anti-immigra...
Presentation
The significance of religion and sanctity in a materialistically oriented and globally dominant and changing world has been a nexus of current debates in anthropological circles particularly those dealing with well-being and health issues. Islam follows an integrated approach to well-being that embraces physical, psychological, social and spiritual...
Book
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Presents a critical and cross-cultural review of the discourses and trends of Islamophobia in North America This book puts together grounded research on the discourses that counter Islamophobic tropes in North America. Dealing with an important and urgent issue of human rights, it explores how public policies, new conceptualizations, and social mov...
Chapter
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The objective of this chapter is to provide critical insight into Dale Eickelman’s contribution to the anthropology of Islam in general and the anthropology of the Middle East in particular. I look at the underlying themes of Eickelman’s scholarly work on knowledge, power, hierarchy, forms of authority such as the sacred and the mundane, ways of kn...
Conference Paper
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This paper discusses Dale Eickelman's scholarly themes and approaches that have had an immense impact on the anthropology of Islam. Although studies that deal with Islamic political thought and movements in Muslim countries are extensive, Eickelman's contribution has provided insights from ethnographic, historical and cross-cultural perspectives, f...
Article
Globalization and international media are potent contributors to the rise of the Islamist global jihad. Among others, a substantial component of globalization is the widespread circulation of digital technologies of communication connecting people all over the world through electronic forms of information. Over the past three decades, "virtual jiha...
Article
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This is a review book of Dramas of Nationhood: The Politics of Television in Egypt by Lila Abu-Lughod. The book addresses Egyptian television programs and melodramas of the 1980s and 1990s focusing on two sets of viewers, rural women and domestic workers from rural backgrounds, in Cairo. Interviews also focuses on a more elite population that inclu...
Article
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Digital technologies have become increasingly worldwide and effective means of obtaining, safeguarding, promoting and exchanging significant elements of intangible cultural heritage. By applying qualitative and quantitative approaches, this research has investigated the impact of digital technologies on the transformation and promotion of Emirati i...
Presentation
Full-text available
The significance of religion and sanctity in a materialistically oriented and globally dominant and changing world has been a nexus of current debates in anthropological circles particularly those dealing with well-being and health issues. Islam follows an integrated approach to well-being that embraces physical, psychological, social and spiritual...
Article
Full-text available
The significance of religion and concepts of al‐ghaib (the invisible and unknowable) and sanctity in a materialistically oriented and globally dominant and changing world has been a nexus of current debates in Orthodox Islam. The concept of al‐ghaib is a fundamental principle in Islamic theology; however, it has a profound impact on Muslim’s daily...
Article
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The Arabic word, al-ghaib, indicating what is simultaneously absent, unknowable, and invisible, is one of the core concepts in Muslim worldviews. There are extensive orthodox exegeses of al-ghaib made by the "ulama or religious scholars that go beyond the scope of this study which focuses on ordinary Muslims" views and daily lives. This paper asser...
Article
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This is a book review of "Love, Sex and Desire in Modern Egypt: Navigating the Margins of Respectability" by L.L Wynn. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 2018. 248 pp. (paperback). $29.95. ISBN: 978‐1477317075.
Article
Full-text available
This book addresses an understudied topic concerning the place that sharia now occupies in the modern corporate workplace in Malaysia.
Chapter
Analysts have written copiously on ways to counteract radical Islam and Islamist militancy. Current public policy and counterterrorism strategies regarding Islamic militancy have focused mostly on short-term public safety, or what marketers may view as “supply-side” strategies. These are strategies designed to dismantle the marketing organization o...
Chapter
In this introductory chapter, we expose the reader to a quality-of-life model that addresses the drivers of Jihadist terrorism and deduce counterterrorism programs directly from our understanding of these drivers. Specifically, we provide suggestive evidence to show increased incidence of Jihadist terrorism is mostly motivated by increased negative...
Chapter
This chapter focuses on cultural and religious factors related to the rise of the Islamist jihadist movement. We make the distinction between the Islamic worldview and ideology and place much of jihadist beliefs that motivate terrorist action in the category of ideology. We discuss the cultural drivers of jihadism couched in the context of religiou...
Chapter
Are the political actions of authoritarian regimes—tribal and exclusionary—in the MENA region associated with Islamist jihadist terrorist actions? This is the question we will be addressing in this chapter. We do this by describing the history of authoritarian regimes of Libya, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Sudan and jihadist terrorist inci...
Chapter
This chapter summarizes the MENA region’s rich social, political, cultural, and religious history and brings that history up to the present. The purpose of this summary is to demonstrate that the region’s contemporary history of Islamist jihadism and terrorism is rooted in socio-political forces that have been at play for many centuries, and indeed...
Chapter
In this chapter we discuss counterterrorism strategies focusing on the demand side of the terrorism market. We do so by focusing of drivers of market demand: culture, religion, economy, politics, globalization, and media. We propose specific counterterrorism strategies that are directly deduced from our analysis of the drivers of market demand.
Chapter
This chapter discusses five major themes in this chapter directly related to globalization, the media, and their effects on the rise jihadist terrorism in the last 4–5 decades. These themes are (1) globalization and the breakdown of the welfare state; (2) globalization, consumerism, and postmodernism; (3) negative media portrayals of Islam and Musl...
Chapter
The Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) has been one of the most economically dynamic in the world. The region’s rate of economic expansion, due primarily to its rich oil and well-established human capital reserves, has been among the most robust of the world’s 19 major subregions. And this historical pattern persists into the current period...
Book
Full-text available
About this book This book focuses on the drivers of Jihadist terrorism and explains how a better understanding of these drivers can lead to more effective counterterrorism policies all over the world. It builds on results of the extensive body of quality of life studies to document the historical, geo-political, economic, religious, cultural and me...
Article
Full-text available
Islam is the world's fastest growing religion and its societies are among the most influential worldwide. But that has been case for more than 5,000 years given that the ancient peoples of the countries of the MENA region and, in recent centuries, following the death of the prophet in 632 of the Common Era. What became known as "Arabs" in recent ce...
Article
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Drawing on an interdisciplinary approach embracing anthropology, semiology and media studies as well as on fieldwork, the author aims at understanding popular saints as material media that organize social relations between Christians and Muslims in Egypt. However, the author contends that her ethnographic study is not concerned with the comparative...
Article
This is a book review showing that the book views theology to embrace multiple dimensions including, for example, belief, doctrine, ethics, sanctity, spirituality, mysticism, devotional practices, and religious propensities. Within this context, the book addresses theology as being “Muslim” rather than “Islamic” so as to underscore human activity o...
Chapter
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This chapter discusses in broad terms the successes, challenges, quality of life, and overall human development experienced by the Middle East and North African (MENA) region from comparatively ancient to modern times. The chapter provides a rationale for identifying 21 countries as comprising the MENA region as well as for focusing on six selected...
Chapter
This chapter investigates the staging of the drivers of well-being and social-public policies in the region of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). This study provides an assessment of the roles of economic and non-economic drivers related to health, education, economy, and technology in shaping policy priorities and the policy options availabl...
Chapter
The thrust of this chapter is to designate a holistic construct using interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches. In addition to scholarly literature, the study uses information collected from the world’s largest data collection agencies to analyze a variety of objective and subjective indicators of well-being in the MENA region.
Chapter
This chapter provides a concise yet essential conclusion highlighting the main findings of the monograph pertaining to quality of life and policy issues among Middle East and North African countries. These findings are addressed by focusing on central points with specific reference to cross-cultural inquiry, historical perspective, progression and...
Chapter
For analytic and comparative purposes, this chapter focuses on quality of life and well-being issues in selected countries of the Middle East and North Africa, namely Egypt, Iran, Israel, Tunisia, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates. The study utilizes multiple objective and subjective outcome indicators to assess multiple dimensions of well-being...
Article
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This s review of Young Muslim America: Faith, Community, and Belonging (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018). The review shows that the book contributes to both Muslim American studies and identity scholarship as it tackles the identities, views, and roles of young Muslims, particularly those belonging to the second and subsequent generations of...
Poster
Full-text available
This book addresses the challenges threatening the quality of life (QOL) and well-being of people living in the MENA region. It focuses on both internal / local and external / global drivers impacting their well-being particularly in the domains of economy, health, and education. Additionally, it presents a critical analysis to help readers underst...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Participation", real or mystical, is used in this paper as an analytical concept in the study of the relationship between "agency" and practices/rituals dealing with traditional medicine in the Middle East. The paper proposes that "participation" creates a sense of agency, an aspect of conscious experience that indicates the feeling of control over...
Article
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This is an appropriate and welcome scholarly endeavor that focuses on the very complex and challenging topic of modern Muslim theology. Martin Nguyen, introduces himself as an adherent to the faith of Islam, criticizing classical Islamic theology as being more intellectual and academic than practical as well as being more appropriate for experts or...
Book
Full-text available
This book addresses the challenges threatening the quality of life and well-being of people living in the MENA region. It focuses on both internal / local and external / global drivers impacting their well-being particularly in the domains of economy, health, and education. Additionally, it presents a critical analysis to help readers understand th...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Despite the spread of Western medicine worldwide and despite the view of Orthodox Islamists and Salafists of healing rituals as un-Islamic innovation (bid’a), the traditional healing rituals and exorcism are still practiced in Muslim societies especially among folk people. This study examines cultural and social factors surrounding traditional heal...
Conference Paper
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The Arab World has received considerable attention by scholars and the media since the global and regional events of September 11, 2001, the financial crisis of 2008 and the Arab Spring of 2011. This research contributes to the scholarship of both quality of life and human well-being and the inquiry of the development and current status of social a...
Research
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Welcome to Volume 2 Issue 2 of Horizons in Humanities and Social Sciences: An International Referred Journal (HHSS, published by the CHSS, UAEU). In the 1980s, the Journal of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences was established at the United Arab Emirates University. Since its inauguration in 2015 as a free open access online journal, the...
Conference Paper
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The paper applies phenomenological insights through which the exegeses of cosmic and psychic energies in Islamic tradition can be systematically addressed. It discusses how the soul (rūḥ) is depicted as a divine secret (sirr ilāhī) made of the light of God (qabas min nūr Allah), while the self (nafs) is equated with conscious and unconscious energi...
Chapter
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Conference Paper
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Various types of architecture reflect the rapid cultural and social change in both the public and private spheres of a particular society. The scholarly literature addressing the relationship between traditional culture and vernacular architecture in the Emirates society is scant. This is an ethnographic inquiry that treats the vernacular dwelling...
Conference Paper
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Based on the author's teaching and administrative experiences as well as previous ethnographic studies dealing with education in Arab and Arab Gulf regions this comparative inquiry focuses on three countries: Bahrain, Egypt and United Arab Emirates. This study presents a cross-cultural understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of their educatio...
Chapter
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Over the past five decades, Muslim nations have been challenged by several political elements including, for example, political Islam being influenced by many fundamentalist ideologies. Certain boundaries between religion and state have been crossed to develop particular power oriented ideologies, secular or religious, serving specific groups with...
Article
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The study proposes that there are several kinds of cybercrime encompassing malicious activities targeting technology, such as hacking and malware. Hacking, for example, is the action of obtaining illegal access to computers, mobile phones, servers or websites attacking individuals, companies, organizations or government bodies. The majority of hack...
Article
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Architecture is an important indicator of the rapid social and cultural change in both the public and private domains of Emirati society. Studies that examine social and spatial organization patterns of traditional architecture are scant. This inquiry discusses cultural and social assumptions as well as the social values that explain the symbolic a...
Conference Paper
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The literature addressing the evolution of philanthropy, social responsibility and the culture of giving in the United Arab Emirates through civic engagement at societal, institutional, and individual levels is scant. There is a lack of both theoretical and empirical work in this important area of the culture of the UAE. This paper contributes to b...
Conference Paper
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This study addresses the cultural and political predicaments facing Muslim countries, focusing on the global and local factors behind these predicaments. Globally, Islamophobia and related stereotypes of Muslims in both Western scholarship and media are an offensive and unacceptable to affront human values. Locally, over the past five decades, poli...
Article
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The literature concerning the development of philanthropy , volunteerism and the culture of giving in the United Arab Emirates through civic engagement at societal, institutional, and individual levels is limited. There is a lack of both theoretical and empirical work in this important area of the culture of the UAE. This paper contributes to both...
Article
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This is book review he book, of Arab Occidentalism: Images of America in the Middle East (Eid Mohamed).The book focuses on images of America as viewed by Arab writers, media reporters, journalists and filmmakers mainly after the tragic events of 9/11.
Article
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Article
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The history of the annual birthday celebration (mawlid or mulid) of revered persons in Muslim communities goes back to the early period of Islam when Muslims started holding sessions in which poetry and songs were composed to celebrate the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. Presently, Muslims worldwide celebrate the birthday of the Prophet (mawlid a...
Conference Paper
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This paper aims at showing the debate concerning the reliability of dreams as a source of information about the identity and its symbolic transformations. Dreams are not merely products of social imagination, but serve to produce new imagination or imaginative worldviews. This inquiry examines how the Emirates society is continually inventing its o...
Conference Paper
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This paper seeks to trace changes in the images of Emiratis before and after the discovery of oil and the establishment of their state. The study tackles serious questions concerning images of indigenous cultures and tribal-nomadic identities produced by Orientalism. It also discusses the emergence of images of a modern, globalized, and rapidly cha...
Article
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The scholarship of metaphor as an analytical concept in the study of Arab society, in general, and Arab women, in particular, is woefully scarce. Based on ethnographic research in Egypt and United Arab Emirates, this paper discusses how culturally shared metaphors used by Arab women in their everyday lives reveal important cosmological and social f...
Conference Paper
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Intangible heritage is invisible and therefore more difficult to discern than tangible heritage. Intangible heritage, basically immaterial, is incapable of being perceived by all senses except for hearing. This paper examines how invisible-intangible heritage including folk genres such as greetings, proverbs, stories and beliefs among other forms o...
Article
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This is review of Religion and Folk Cosmology (in Arabic)
Presentation
Full-text available
Intangible heritage is invisible and therefore more difficult to discern than tangible heritage. Intangible heritage, basically immaterial, is incapable of being perceived by all senses except for hearing. This paper examines how invisible-intangible heritage including folk genres such as greetings, proverbs, stories and beliefs among other forms o...
Article
Full-text available
The objective of this article is to explain the emergence of a new mediated heritage-social sphere and the articulation of a contemporary Emirati identity that transforms traditional oral heritage into an innovative form of electronic folk heritage. The literature addressing changes in folk heritage caused by the flourishing of new media, as well a...
Article
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produce incivility because participants resort to ad hominem attacks instead of offering reasoned arguments for their policy positions. Analysts have expressed suspicions that some groups may be stalking social media sites in order to silence opponents through incivility. Some studies see social media as having little influence on elections or poli...
Book
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El-Aswad, PhD United Arab Emirates University Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates The Middle East and Islam have received considerable attention by scholars and media, especially after the global and regional events of September 11, 2001 and the Arab Spring of 2011. This present monograph, edited by Mohammed M. Aman and Mary Jo Aman, is a timely and integ...
Article
Full-text available
El-Aswad, PhD United Arab Emirates University Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates The Middle East and Islam have received considerable attention by scholars and media especially after the global and regional events of September 11, 2001 and the Arab Spring of 2011. This present monograph, edited by Mohammed M. Aman and Mary Jo Aman, is a timely and integr...
Article
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Chapter
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Conference Paper
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The comparative study of religious rituals and theatrical performances including folk theater in Muslim communities is scant. This paper explores performative culture ethnographically and cross-culturally as a key concept for thinking about the different trajectories of religion in contemporary Muslim societies. More specifically, this study addres...
Article
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This article endeavors to trace changes in the images of the Muslim of the Orient, a product of Orientalism, to contemporary images of the Muslim post 9/11, marking a transition from classical Orientalism to a new Orientalism or Islamism. The study demonstrates how most Western scholarship and media, through the construction of so-called Islamophob...
Article
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Projects (6)
Project
This not my issue only, I feel we all responsible for that kind of project. I am sure we come across poor and needy almost every day. This project would remind you; there are lots of people around us in the battle of poverty. Help them out as much as WE can. You can share your experiences under this project as well. You can share your peer-reviewed or non-peer-reviewed articles and even pictures under this project. This is a kind of awareness of poverty type exercise. May Allah (God) bless you all.
Project
The project aims to understand key drivers of well-being in the MENA region. It also seek to help policy makers target public services in effective manners and guide national and regional authorities in implementing social policies adequately and productively toward advancing people’s lives.
Project
What distinguishes this project from contemporary project/ books on worldviews is its concern with the ethnography of the worldviews of different societies. Worldview is based on assumptions concerning the structure of the universe. It includes the society as well as the human and nonhuman beings and forces, both perceptible and imperceptible, that constitute the integrated parts of the universe or cosmos (el-Aswad 2002, 2). Worldview is comparable to “Weltanschauung,” “meaning system,” “patterns of thought,” “perceptual framework,” “cognitive orientation,” (el-Aswad 2012) or what Charles Taylor (2004, 249) calls “social imaginary,” where the focus is on the way ordinary people imagine their social world. People’s worldviews are treated not as an ideological system but as a system of meanings generated and enacted in different courses of public and private scenarios dealing with seen and unseen domains of local communities. Worldview is concerned with people’s place in the universe, setting boundaries between nature and culture on the one hand and the local and global on the other. Worldview, embodied in the practices and discourses of large groups of ordinary people, reveals inner meaning systems made of assumptions and images in accordance with which the universe, including the society and person, is constructed. The project critiques literature that imposes Western worldviews or ideologies on other societies’ worldviews. The project proposes that the use of the term “worldview” rather than exclusively “religion,” may augment dialogue and enlarge the circles of perspectives that complement, contrast, or go beyond religious beliefs per se. El-Aswad, el- (1990). The Concept of 'World View' in Anthropological Writings (with English abstract) The National Review of Social Sciences, Cairo, 27 (1): 9-54. ______, (1993). Socialization and the Construction of World Views of the Child: Comparative Study Between a Gulf Society and a Rural Egyptian Society, Dirasat (Studies). Sharjah, U.A.E.: Emirates Writers and Literates Union. vol. 6: 7-30. ______, (1996). World Views in the Folk Literature of the Emirates Society (with English abstract), al Ma’thurat al Sha‘biyyah (Folklore), Qatar, October 11 (41): 77-96. ______, (2002). Religion and Folk Cosmology: Scenarios of the Visible and Invisible in Rural Egypt. Westport, CT: Praeger Press. ______, (2012). Muslim Worldviews and Everyday Lives. Lanham, MD: AltaMira Press, Rowman & Littlefield Publisher. ______, (2014). Patience in Sunni Muslim Worldviews.” Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion, Vol 1: 1318-1321. Springer ______, (2015). “Islamic Worldview and Islamist Ideology: The Predicament of Sanctity and Power”. 114th American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting: Nov. 18-22. Denver, CO, USA. ______, (2017). Empathy and Emerging Worldviews. In Encyclopaedia of Psychology and Religion, David A. Leeming (ed.). Springer Verlag GmbH Germany. Taylor, Charles. (2004). Modern Social Imaginaries. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.