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Divertissements et loisirs dans les sociétés urbaines à l’époque moderne et contemporaine

 | 
Robert Beck
, 
Anna Madœuf

II - Formes et usages du temps et de l’espace

Diversion and Pleasure in Damascus During the Ottoman Period

Abdul-Karim Rafeq

Texte intégral

  • 1 Ahmad al-Budayri al-Hallaq, Hawadith Dimashq al-Yawmiyya, 1154-1175 A.H./1741-1762 A.D., edited by (...)
  • 2 Mikha’il al-Dimashqi, Tarikh Hawadith al-Sham wa-Lubnan, 1197-1257 A.H./1782-1842 A.D., edited by (...)
  • 3 Budayri, 49-50, 56, 92.

1Amid political and social turmoil, oppression, profiteering, recurrent natural calamities and abuse of Islamic and Ottoman laws by rulers and laymen alike, what sort of diversions and pleasures, one might ask, did the Syrian people engage in? Local chroniclers and foreign travelers who described the misery of the people also described the types of pleasures they engaged in. The cumulative effect of oppression is that it widened the gap between the rulers and the ruled and perverted the people’s sense of tolerance. When, for example, a judge faithfully administered the law in Damascus in 1743, the people rose against him and brought about his deposition1. In another case from the late 1820s, the Damascenes rose against their governor because of his excessive justice2. Pious individuals who were appalled at the prevailing immorality, lawlessness, profiteering and poverty in 18th century Damascus committed suicide to protest against these practices3.

2European travelers described the misery of the local population in Syria. The French traveler Volney, who visited Egypt and Syria in 1781 to 1783, for example, left a detailed description of the misery of the local population. He wrote:

  • 4 Constantine François Chasseboeuf, Comte de Volney, Voyage en Égypte et en Syrie, edited by Jean Ga (...)

« Il est encore dans l’extérieur des Orientaux un caractère qui fixe l’attention d’un observateur ; c’est leur air grave et flegmatique dans tous ce qu’ils font et dans tout ce qu’ils disent : au lieu de ce visage ouvert et gai que chez nous l’on porte ou l’on affecte, ils ont un visage sérieux, austère ou mélancolique ; rarement ils rient ; et l’enjouement de nos Français leurs paraît un accès de dèlire. S’ils parlent, c’est sans empressement, sans geste, sans passion ; ils écoutent sans interrompre ; ils gardent le silence des journées entières, et ils ne se piquent point d’entretenir la conversation ; s’ils marchent, c’est posément et pour affaires, et ils ne conçoivent rien à notre turbulence et à nos promenades en long et en large ; toujours assis, ils passent des journées entières, rêvant, les jambes croisées, la pipe à la bouche, presque sans changer d’attitude ; on dirait que le mouvement leur est pénible, et que, semblables aux Indiens, ils regardent l’inaction comme un des élément du bonheur »4.

3Under these distressful circumstances, the people engaged in their traditional pleasures trying to make the best of their times. Most of their pleasures were of a collective nature spread across gender, age group, religious community, profession or social class.

  • 5 John Bowring, Report on the Commercial Statistics of Syria (London: William Clowes and Sons, 1840) (...)

4Middle Eastern society is traditionally a male-dominated society. Women enjoyed the domestic life of their residences and engaged in a few collective gatherings outside their homes. The men had the public spaces at their disposal. In an official report about the statistics of Syria in 1840 prepared by John Bowring for Britain’s Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Palmerston and the two houses of parliament, Bowring mentions that the amusements of the laboring classes in Syria were of a simple and tranquil kind. As respects the men, their amusement was confined to smoking in the open air; whilst a visit to the bath was the usual recreation of the females, who at other times women pass their lives in domestic occupations, or assisted their husbands in their labors5.

HOME AND NEIGHBORHOOD PLEASURES

5Almost every house in Syria had a courtyard which contained a pool and fruit-trees. Children played under the eyes of their parents. Europeans who visited Damascus were overtaken by the beauty of its houses from the inside. D’Arvieux in 1660, Maundrell in 1697, Pococke in 1743, Lamartine in 1833 and de Vogué in 1872, among others, described the beauty of the inner section of the Damascene house. Chevallier D’Arvieux, who visited Damascus in 1660, described its houses as:

  • 6 Laurent d’Arvieux, Mémoires du Chevalier d’Arvieux, par le R. P. Jean-Baptiste Labat, 6 tomes (Par (...)

« …sont que de terre la plupart. Elles paraissent peu au dehors ; mais les dedans sont toute autre chose. Les appartements sont grands et bien aménagés, ils sont propres, bien meublés, lambrissés, plafonnés et peints à la mode du pays. L’or et l’azur n’y sont pas épargnés. Il y a très peu de ces maisons qui n’ait une fontaine pour son ornement et sa commodité »6.

6Forty years later, Henry Maundrell the Anglican chaplain for the English merchants of the Levant Company established in Aleppo in 1581, visited Damascus on April 25, 1697 and described its houses as follows:

  • 7 Henry Maundrell, Journey from Aleppo to Jerusalem at Easter, A.D. 1697 (London: Richard Edwards, 1 (...)

«The streets here are narrow, as is usual in hot countries, and the houses are all built, on the outside, of no better a material than either sun-burnt brick, or Flemish wall, daubed over in as course a manner as can be seen in the vilest cottages… In the inside, the houses discover a very different face from what you see without. Here you find generally a large square court, beautified with variety of fragrant trees, and marble fountains, and compassed around with splendid apartments and duans»7.

7The rest of the houses, Maundrell was told, resembled the same description.

8Nothing in fact had changed over the centuries in the structure of the houses and their function as centers for family social life. Later descriptions demonstrate this reality. The French author Lamartine, for example, on a visit to Damascus in April 1833, when Syria was under the Egyptian rule of Muhammad ‘Ali Pasha, noted in the Armenian quarter of Damascus that « Les maisons sont construites de boue ; elles sont percées, sur la rue, de quelques petites et rares fenêtres grilles… ». Upon entering the houses of Armenian merchants, Lamartine:

  • 8 Alphonse de Lamartine, Voyage en Orient, 2 tomes (Paris : Hachette, 1855-1856), 3-4.

« a été frappé de la richesse et de l’élégance de ces habitations à l’intérieur. Après avoir passé la porte et franchi un corridor obscur, on se trouve dans une cour ornée de superbes fontaines jaillisantes en marbre, et ombragées d’un ou de deux sycomores, ou de saules de Perse… Les femmes et les enfants y sont ordinairement accroupis ou étendus, occupés des différents travaux du ménage… le maître de la maison a toujours un de ces salons pour lui seul ; c’est là qu’il reçoit les étrangers »8.

9Despite increasing European influence in Syria under Egyptian rule (1831-1840) and later, the house remained the core of family social life. According to the French traveler de Vogué who visited Damascus in 1872:

  • 9 Le Viscomte Eugène-Melchior de Vogué, Syrie, Palestine, Mont Athos, Voyage au pays du passé, Paris (...)

« Le grand attrait et la grande originalité de Damas, le seul côté de la ville qui puisse défier sans péril les caprices de l’imagination, ce sont les intérieurs des maisons. Extérieurement, je l’ai dit, toutes les habitations se ressemblent par une pauvreté égale. On y pénètre par quelque porte basse, par quelque couloir borgne et timide ; les gens de ce pays, les Chrétiens et les Juifs surtout, sont payé pour nourrir toutes les craintes et cacher leurs richesses sous une enveloppe misérable, comme dans nos ghettos du Moyen-Age. En franchissant le seuil, on ne sait jamais si l’on tombera dans une cabane ou dans un palais. La disposition intérieure de ces habitations est à peu près la même partout : une cour rectangulaire, pavée de marbre, avec un bassin d’eau vive au milieu ; des orangers, des citronniers, des grenadiers, sortent des dalles précieuses, ombragent la vasque limpide et emplissent la cour du parfum de leurs fleurs et de l’éclat de leurs fruits. Tout autour règnent des galeries ou des appartements de plain-pied, sur un des côtés, le sélamlik, salon de parade, parqueté, dallé de marbre, ou simplement tapissé de nattes, partagé en deux par un degré qui exhausse la moitié honorable de la pièce… Dans ces grands appartements, isolés par leurs cours du bruit de la rue, protégés contre l’été par leurs arbres, leurs fontaines, leurs pavés, tout est fraîcheur, silence et plaisir des yeux »9.

10Such lavish houses usually belonged to rich people and were inhabited by extended families, employing servants, to help in their maintenance. The houses of the poorer classes also had a courtyard with trees and a pool of water of modest structure where the children could play during the day and the family enjoyed its summer evenings in the open.

11Families also went on picnics to neighboring gardens. Occasionally women went alone on picnics with women relatives or friends to enjoy privacy. Men also went with other men on their own. The English traveler Pococke who visited Damascus in 1737 spoke highly of the natural beauty of Damascus neighborhoods. He wrote:

  • 10 Richard Pococke, A Description of the East and Some Other Countries, 2 vols., London: W. Bowyer, 1 (...)

«Damascus is famous likewise for its gardens; and whatever is beautiful in them is chiefly owing to the great command there is of water; they afford a very fine prospect from a height at a small distance, on account of the great variety of trees that are there; and it is certain they are the most beautiful of any of these parts. In these gardens the people often spend the whole day, and there are always some to be let for that purpose, in which the guests are at liberty to eat what fruit they please, and those who have houses in their gardens frequently retire to them for two or three days in the summer»10.

12One of the major pleasures for women was to go periodically to the public bath where they met with friends and neighbors. Almost every neighborhood had a public bath. The bath had a time for men and a time for women. The time for men usually began in the early hours of the morning and ended about noon. This arrangement was to allow the men to go to work early during the day The time for women took place in the early afternoon until the early hours of the evening. Women usually spent more time than men in the public bath. The bath for women was a social occasion where they met with women neighbors and friends. Male children up to the age of seven or eight were allowed into the public bath in the company of their mothers. Older children went to the public bath with their fathers.

13Women’s primary pleasure, however, was their participation in wedding ceremonies, especially when the bride was one of their family. They spent weeks, even months, preparing for this occasion, tailoring clothes, and learning songs.

  • 11 Mikhai’il Breik, Tarikh al-Sham, 1720-1782, edited by Qustantin al-Basha (Harisa (Lebanon): Matba’ (...)

14Christian and Jewish women engaged in the same social activities practiced by Muslim women. However, during periods of religious tolerance, such as happened in Damascus during the rule of As’ad Pasha al-‘Azm (1743-1757) and under Egyptian rule (1831-1840), Christian women engaged in social practices that went far beyond the acceptable social norms. Feeling liberated under the rule of As’ad Pash al-‘Azm, Christian women drank wine and smoked tobacco openly on their picnics. This drew much criticism from the contemporary Damascene Greek Orthodox priest Mikha’il Breik who chronicled the events of Damascus at the time. Breik accused the Christian women most of whom were from his own church of departing from the accepted social practices by openly drinking wine and smoking tobacco. Breik was also critical of Christian women wearing green clothing because green was restricted to the Prophet Muhammad and his descendants (Ashraf)11. The Muslims who could establish their descent from the Prophet were privileged to wear green turbans and carry the title of sharif or sayyid, which means of honorable descent. Women also had these privileges.

15Young children usually played in the courtyards of their homes under the eyes of their parents. Older children were allowed to play outside the house, usually on the neighboring street or in a nearby public square. Most neighborhoods had dead-end alleys which made it safer for children to play without being exposed themselves to the dangers of passing traffic or strangers.

  • 12 See for examples Abdul-Karim Rafeq, «The Social and Economic Structure of Bab al-Musalla (al-Midan (...)
  • 13 Ahmad Hilmi al-‘Allaf, Dimashq fi Matli’ al-Qarn al-‘Ishrin, edited by ‘Ali Nu’aysa (Damascus: Dar (...)

16Extended families very often lived in the same house to maintain the solidarity of the family, contribute to its expenses and help in raising their children12. One of the pleasures of grandparents was to take care of their grand children, watch them grow, and tell them stories which they always kept in their memory. In spacious homes, children did a lot of activities which increased their alertness and promoted competitiveness among them. A popular game for children inside the house was for one child to hide and for the rest to look for him. Outside the house, adult children played a variety of games13.

  • 14 See for Examples: Muhammad al-Amin al-Muhibbi, Khulasat al-Athar fi A’yan al-Qarn al-Hadi ‘Ashar, (...)

17Men had their own social spaces and pleasures. A well-to-do Muslim who owned a spacious house would receive visitors in the public section of the house, known as salamlik, as opposed to the private section reserved for the family known as haramlik, meaning forbidden to strangers. Men also went with friends on picnics to neighboring gardens. The Damascene biographical dictionaries during the Ottoman period abound with information about religious scholars (‘ulama) meeting in salamliks and going on picnics. The ‘ulama who met in those places usually spent their time reading verses from the Qur’an, quoting sayings of the Prophet (hadith) and reciting poetry. Several ‘ulama smoked opium and tobacco during their pastime. A few of them enjoyed having young men in their company whom they admired for their beauty, singing or other services. The Damascus biographical dictionaries abound with information about these relationships which were met with criticism by the conservative scholars14.

WEDDINGS AND PUBLIC CEREMONIES

  • 15 See examples in Muhammad Ibn Kannan, Yawmiyyat Shamiyya, 1111-1143 A.H./1699-1740 A.D., edited by (...)
  • 16 Budayri, p. 37; Abdul-Karim Rafeq, The Province of Damascus, 1723-1783, paperback edition (Beirut: (...)

18Women’s participation in weddings was a private affair. Men’s participation was more public and included holding processions, dancing with swords and shields in front of the bridegroom on the night of the wedding, serving food and drinks to the guests and distributing money to the poor. If a son or a daughter of a notable were married, the festivities would be enormous to emphasize the social and political prestige of the family15. The treasurer of Damascus, for example, staged public celebrations for seven days in May 1743 on the occasion of the marriage of his daughter. The celebrations were preceded by a ceremony for the heads of the sufi orders in Damascus. The sufis were associated with the guilds and the troops and by inviting them the treasurer aimed at winning the favor of these influential groups. Each day of the seven days was assigned to a specific social group. The governor of Damascus was entertained on the first day, the religious officials on the second, Islamic scholars on the third, merchants on the fourth, Christians and Jews on the fifth, peasants on the sixth, and prostitutes on the seventh day. The guests were offered gifts of gold and silver16. The invitation of prostitutes by a state treasurer seems odd in a Muslim society and state, but it indicates the importance of the prostitutes and their large number at the time and also their close relationship especially with the mercenary troops who protected them. Prostitution usually thrives on poverty and political and social anarchy. When the governor of Damascus As’ad Pasha al-‘Azm was approached by the Damascenes in the 1740s to put an end to prostitution in the city, after prostitutes walked in procession on the streets, and he declined to act. His rationale was that the prostitutes would appeal to God against him and that God would accept their appeal and act against him. A popular belief at the time considered prostitutes weak creatures who bear the sins of humanity. Their appeal to God, therefore, would be granted. The governor seems to have been afraid of alienating the troops who enjoyed the company of prostitutes. Prostitutes also paid taxes and their expulsion would have affected the treasury.

  • 17 Budayri, p. 38.

19The treasurer’s celebrations occurred one week after the governor had publicly celebrated the circumcision of his son. Damascus was decorated for seven days on the occasion, and the children of poor people were circumcised free and given money and clothing17. Such festivities which were not uncommon occupied the people of the city who took part as actors, viewers and beneficiaries, for days.

20Public rejoicings and decorations of the city for other purposes were ordered by the state for three or seven days on a number of occasions. Rejoicings were initially ordered to celebrate Ottoman victories on the battlefield. When victories became rare, rejoicings were still frequently ordered to celebrate the accession of a new sultan to the throne or the birth of royal babies. The birthday of the Prophet Muhammad was also a major occasion for public ceremonies in Damascus.

NEIGHBORHOOD AND PROFESSIONAL CELEBRATIONS

21The youths of residential quarters and craftsmen belonging to professional organizations, such as guilds, staged collective celebrations on a number of occasions. The youths of a certain quarter, for example, would assemble under the headship of a leader from among their ranks known as shaykh al-shabab (chief of the youths). They often paraded on the streets of Damascus to celebrate a social occasion, to compete with youths from other quarters, or merely to express their militancy in defiance of the government. Such parades attracted large crowds and frequently ended up with clashes among the contending parties.

  • 18 Ilyas ‘Abduh Bek al-Qoudsi, «Nubdha Ta’rikiyya fi’l-Hiraf al-Dimashqiyya», in Actes du VIème Congr (...)

22Professionals had their own collective celebrations. When a craftsman in the guild was promoted from one professional rank to the next, celebrations known as shadd (binding the candidate with a silk or cotton belt) were staged to mark the occasion. An honorary person known as shaykh al-mashayikh (supreme head of the guilds) presided over the ceremonies. In the guilds that were composed of members belonging to different religious communities, such as the guilds of butchers and druggists composed solely of Muslims and Jews, or the guild of tailors that included Muslim, Christian and Jewish members, the shadd ceremony was accompanied by religious rituals in accordance with the religion of the promoted member. If the member was a Muslim, the fatiha (the first sura (chapter) of the Qur’an) was read, for a Christian, the Lord’s prayer was recited, and for a Jew the Ten Commandments were read18. Moreover, when the head (shaykh) of the guild was elected by the members of the guild and the election was legalized in the court the shaykh al-mashayikh would receive the elected head amid celebrations and provide him with advice.

23The market served as a social space for both the merchants and the customers. Traditionally, each market was assigned to a special commodity, such as the market of silk cloth, of soap, or of ropes, etc. Each of these markets carried the name of the commodity it marketed. The rationale behind having specialized markets was for the head (shaykh) of the market to monitor the quality of the goods on display, fix their prices and collect taxes from each shopkeeper according to the size of his business.

24Neighborliness in the market place promoted a special relationship among merchants and between them and the customers who would go back to the same shop not necessarily to buy but to renew social connections. Tea and coffee would be served to the customers to persuade them to buy. When no customers were in sight, the merchants would engage in conversation with each other. In the main markets, shops opened and closed at about the same time for security reasons. After work hours were over, merchants met again in coffeehouses. It was always a delight for people who were not pressed by time to frequent the old markets and spend part of the day chatting, bargaining, sipping tea or coffee and not necessarily buying.

25At times of trouble and unrest, craftsmen, like the members of other compact organizations, would band together to defend their interests. On several occasions, they paraded on the streets, with other militias, carrying arms in self defense.

26In addition to the streets that served as public spaces for parades and celebrations, the mosques and their surroundings attracted crowds on religious occasions. News from Istanbul announcing major decrees was relayed to the people by public criers on the streets, from the minarets of mosques, or from the headquarters (saraya) of the governor. If the news were joyful, people would fire into the air to declare their joy. Such firing was known as shanik (an Arabic corruption of the Turkish word enlik)?

THE PILGRIMAGE AS DIVERSION

27The annual departure of the pilgrim caravan from Damascus to the Hijaz was an occasion for public ceremonies. Numbering roughly between fifteen to twenty thousand pilgrims from Syria, Anatolia, the Balkans and Persia, spent time in Damascus preparing for their journey, renting camels to carry them, buying food and selling the products they brought with them. The departure of the caravan was marked with public celebrations. A magnificent procession led by the commander of the caravan took place. The governor of Damascus headed the procession after he was appointed commander of the pilgrim caravan in 1708. He appeared accompanied by the Mahmil (a richly-decorated litter representing the authority of the Ottoman Sultan in his capacity as Protector of the Two Holy Sanctuaries, Mecca and Medina), the sanjaq (standard or étendard), and a number of élite troops. To ensure a good view of the procession within Damascus, people rented window overlooking the procession road and jammed sidewalks. Foreigners also enjoyed the spectacle. The abbot Giovanni Mariti, who visited Damascus in the 1760s, gave a vivid description of the departure of the pilgrim caravan. He wrote:

  • 19 L’Abbé Giovanni Mariti, Voyages dans l’Isle de Chypre, La Syrie et la Palestine, 2 tomes, traduit (...)

« La marche, donc, de cette caravane de Damas est ouverte par quarante delis ou soldats, montés à cheval, et tenant chacun à la main une petite bannière de soie verte, rouge ou jaune. Ils sont suivis de trois compagnies de Segmens, autres gens de guerre, et d’un pareil nombre de Spahis, troupe de cavalerie. Vient en troisième lieu un bataillon de soldats Barbaresques, qu’on nomme Magrabins, piétons destinés à la garde de six pièces de canons de campagne. Une escouade de la garnison de Damas, armée en mailles de fer, marche à la suite, accompagnée de deux détachements de Janissaires, cavalerie, que commande l’Aga en personne… Trois queues de cheval suspendues à des javelines, annoncent la présence du Bacha… Parait après le mahmal, grand étendard de soie noire que porte un chameau superbe, orné de la manière la plus bizarre, avec des plumes, des sonnettes et des colliers de diverses couleurs. Ce mahmal est entouré de plusieurs franges d’or, et bordé en paillettes de même matière, en considération de l’Alcoran qu’il doit envelopper. Il est recouvert d’un riche tapis, que le Grand-Seigneur envoie au tombeau du Prophète, à la place de l’ancien qu’on rapporte chaque année : ornement précieux, et vénérable dans l’esprit d’un Turc, qui ne balanceroit pas de le préférer au premier trésor du monde. Le chameau, qui une fois a été honoré de cette charge, est dispensé à l’avenir de porter aucun fardeau »19.

28After an absence of about three months in the Hijaz, the pilgrim caravan returned to Damascus amid festivities welcoming the returning pilgrims. The return was usually heralded by the arrival of a messenger dispatched by the commander of the caravan to announce that the pilgrims on their way back were safe from Bedouin attacks and any natural calamities. The pilgrims more anxious to be back made their entry about one week before the Mahmil and the commander. Their houses would be decorated and festivities staged for several days.

  • 20 Abdul-Karim Rafeq, «Damascus and the Pilgrim Caravan,» in Modernity and Culture: From the Mediterr (...)

29When the Turkish and Balkan pilgrims took to sea travel in the nineteenth century, especially after the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, when the sea route be came cheaper and safer, Damascus lost the material benefits of hosting a huge number of pilgrims. It also lost many of the annual festivities and much of the glamour that accompanied the pilgrimage20.

SUFISM AS DIVERSION

30Overwhelmed by social ills and natural calamities, such as earthquakes and plagues, and exposed to oppression and injustice, some people found consolation in indulging in sufism which preaches withdrawal and denial of worldly pleasures. The devotional practices in which sufis engaged not only satisfied their religious duties but also constituted their major pastime.

  • 21 Muhibbi, I, 389-390.

31Many Damascenes, mostly men, belonged to sufi (mystical) tariqas (paths leading to God) which were institutionalized as orders or brotherhoods, each of which had a head (shaykh), a convent (zawiya) for retreat and a set of practices. Sufi practices varied according to the type of the order, the social milieu from which its members were recruited, and the nature of their work. Most religious scholars, according to biographical dictionaries, belonged to one or more of the sufi orders. All sufis, however, engaged in dhikr (repetition of God’s name) in their rituals. A sufi resident in Aleppo of the Khalwatiyya order, for example, is reported to have had more than one-hundred thousand followers (muridun). Every winter he and some of his followers would meet for three days in a sufi retreat (khulwa), where they only ate bread and drank coffee while engaging in dhikr and prayer21.

  • 22 Ibn Kannan, 117-118.

32The heads of popular sufi orders, like the Taghlabiyya, practiced the dawsa, a very popular although cruel sufi practice. The dawsa was performed by the head of the order who on horseback tread over the bodies of his followers who lay prostrate on the ground with their faces down. A dawsa took place in Damascus in 1707 near the official residence of the governor who ordered it to curry favor with the people. The head of the Taghlabiyya Order performed the dawsa with fanfares amid a large crowd that gathered at the scene22. Pleasing as it was to many, the dawsa had inherent dangers which were difficult to assess. Complaints by participants who suffered from injuries during the dawsa were not reported for fear of antagonizing the shaykh and losing his patronage. Popular Sufi shaykhs also performed other extreme practices such as piercing the tongue, lips or flesh of a follower with a skewer without causing him pain, or so they believed.

  • 23 Ibn Kannan, p. 462.
  • 24 Budayri, 73, 89-90.

33When performing their practices in public, the sufi orders usually attracted large crowds. The sufis only had to display colorful flags, rattle the tambourines (mazhar) and chant the name of Allah (God) to attract the people23. Such public ceremonies were frequent and popular. When, for instance, locusts devoured crops in the Damascus region in the 1740s, the sufi orders were the first to take to the street urging people to put out water obtained from a special far-away source which would attract a certain bird, Samarmar, that devours locusts24. These attempts to combat locusts were a complete failure. The only practical way to do away with locusts was to collect them and bury them as the Damascenes eventually did. However, the attempt by the Sufis to do away with the locusts in their own way coupled with the simplistic beliefs of the common people helped in keeping the people busy and hopeful.

34When Wahhabism emerged in the Arabian Peninsula in the eighteenth century it directed its bitter criticism at the sufi orders accusing them of deviating from true Islam. Wahhabism attacked the veneration of sufi saints and condemned visitation to their shrines. It declared that there should be no intercessor between God and the believer, not even the Prophet Muhammad himself. Muslim scholars in Syria in the second half of the nineteenth century under the influence of Wahhabism called for a return to the purity of early Islam when it was under the rule of Arab ancestors (Salaf). Sufism declined in Syria in the face of Salafism. The pleasures connected to it also declined.

THE COFFEEHOUSE AS A MAJOR CENTER FOR PASTIME

  • 25 Abdul-Karim Rafeq, «The Socioeconomic and Political Implications of the Introduction of Coffee int (...)
  • 26 Bernard Lewis, The Middle East: A Brief History of the Last 2,000 Years (New York: Simon and Schus (...)

35The introduction of coffee from the Yemen into Syria early in the 16th century created a new social space, the coffeehouse. The coffee plant was brought from Ethiopia to Yemen in the fourteenth or the fifteenth century where it found a suitable terrain and climate to grow. Sufis were the first to consume coffee in the Yemen because it helped them stay awake to perform their religious duties. Coffee drinking soon spread into Mecca and was carried from there into Syria early in the sixteenth century with the Damascus pilgrim caravan25. The coffeehouses soon spread into Istanbul. Two Syrians are reported to have introduced coffee to Istanbul and opened the first coffeehouse there during the rule of Sultan Sulayman the Magnificent (1520-1566)26. Yemeni coffee was exported by sea to Egypt, the Ottoman Empire and Europe through the Yemeni seaport of Mukha. The current word Mokka used for an expensive brand of coffee is a corruption of the word Mukha.

  • 27 Uriel Heyd, Ottoman Documents on Palestine, 1552-1615 (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1960), 160-161
  • 28 Muhibbi, IV, p. 339.

36The Ottoman authorities initially banned the drinking of coffee and coffeehouses because of their association with unruly persons and immoral behavior. The Ottoman judge of Damascus, for instance, banned the drinking of coffee in 1546. An order from the Ottoman sultan to the judge of Jerusalem in 1565 ordering him to close the five coffeehouses newly established there mentions that they had become the meeting-place of rascals and ungodly people who day and night did not cease to act wickedly and mischievously, thus keeping the Muslims from pious devotion and divine worship27. As late as 1623, the Ottoman authorities still attempted to ban the drinking of coffee and the smoking of tobacco28. However, despite continuing bans on coffee-drinking by the Ottoman State, this beverage soon spread throughout the Ottoman Empire.

  • 29 Edited by Muhammad Ahmad Dahman (Damascus, 1334/1924-1925).

37Coffee drinkers usually smoked tobacco in coffeehouses. Tobacco was introduced into Syria in the seventeenth century and was initially banned by the state. In the first quarter of the eighteenth century, the Syrian Hanafi jurist and Sufi Shaykh ‘Abd al-Ghani al-Nabulsi legalized the smoking of tobacco, as did the top jurists in Istanbul and Cairo at about the same time. Nabulsi issued a fatwa (legal opinion) legalizing smoking tobacco which he developed into a monograph entitled al-Sulh bayna al-ikhwan fi hukm ibahat aldukhkhan (Peace among friends regarding the legalization of smoking)29. Nabulsi was pragmatic in his approach to tobacco smoking. His rationale was that smoking is like food, if it hurts a person he should not smoke, but if it does not hurt him he can smoke.

  • 30 Muhibbi, III, 332-334.

38Prior to tobacco smoking, opium had been smoked in Syria for long periods. Muslim scholars, according to the Syrian biographical dictionaries, were among the consumers of opium. A Muslim Shafi’i scholar Muhammad al-Zuhayri, for instance, who was a preacher in the Mu’allaq Mosque in Damascus and a teaching assistant in the famous Damascene Shafi’i school al-Shamiyya al-Barraniyya around the middle of the seventeenth century was addicted to opium, according to biographer Muhibbi30. Opium smoking was an individual practice which brought ecstasy to the smoker and induced a state of contemplative union with God, or so the religious ‘ulama addicted to opium believed.

  • 31 Pococke, p. 125.
  • 32 Muhibbi, IV, p. 98.
  • 33 Damascus, Center for Historical Documentation (Archives), Majlis Shura al-Sham al-‘Ali, 1260-1261 (...)
  • 34 Majlis, folio 365.

39Wine, banned in Islam, was consumed illegally in some coffeehouses in Damascus. The wine about Damascus, according to English traveler Pococke in 1737, «is strong and good, generally of the colour of Burgundy; and they have plenty of all sorts of provisions excellent in their kind, and fruits in the greatest perfection»31. The coffeehouses that served wine were referred to as coffee taverns. In 1764, for example, the governor of Aleppo ordered the closure of the coffee taverns because the rabble and the lawless gathered there drinking wine32. Under Egyptian rule in Syria, wine taverns were allowed to function in the Christian and the Jewish quarters. Their owners were non-Muslims and protégés of European consuls. In July 1845, Jewish residents in the Jewish quarter in Damascus objected to the authorities about a wine tavern (khammara) which functioned day and night in their quarter causing many problems to them. The authorities ordered its closure even though those who operated it were protégés of European consuls33. The coffeehouses established near the citadel to cater for troops were also closed because they served wine. Their owners appealed to the authorities in August 1845 to allow them to reopen their coffeehouses because they were about to go bankrupt. The owners acquired Greek citizenship to protect their interests. The Greek consul in Damascus intervened on their behalf and pledged himself as guarantor for their good behavior. The authorities then agreed to the reopening of their coffeehouses34.

  • 35 Rafeq, «The Socioeconomic and Political Implications of the Introduction of Coffee into Syria», 13 (...)

40When coffee drinking was officially allowed and coffeehouses were established in Damascus, several guilds emerged dealing with the roasting and selling of coffee and the ownership and running of coffeehouses. Other guilds were also established for producing and marketing tobacco. The rapid grouth of roasting places for coffee in Damascus during the eighteenth century attests to the widespread use of coffee as a popular beverage served to people in their spare time and during social events. Most of the roasting places were located near the citadel, where troops were stationed, and also next to the saraya, the seat of the governor. They also spread in key markets where large numbers of people gathered. Soldiers were the owners of most of the roasting places and of the coffeehouses which suggests that big money was involved in the widespread use of coffee35.

  • 36 André Raymond, Artisans et Commerçants au Caire au xviiie siècle, 2 tomes, Damas, Institut Françai (...)

41The spread of coffee drinking in the Ottoman Empire and Europe alerted the European colonial powers to the importance of the coffee trade. The British, the French and the Dutch took the coffee plant from the Yemen to their colonies. By the first quarter of the eighteenth century, colonial coffee was exported to the Middle East and elsewhere. But colonial coffee could not compete with Yemeni coffee in the excellence of its taste and its use for preparing bitter coffee which was in great demand for social occasions in the urban centers and by the Bedouin in the desert. However, because colonial coffee was cheap and available, it soon dominated the markets of the Middle East36.

  • 37 Nu’man al-Qasatli, al-Rawda al-Ghanna’ fi Dimashq al-Fayha’ (Beirut, 1879), new edition (Beirut: D (...)

42Becoming the major social space for the leisure time of the male population, coffeehouses soon spread all over Damascus. In the 1870s, for example, Damascus had over 110 coffeehouses compared to 58 public baths and 153 mosques37. The total number of public establishments in Damascus at the time was 596. The number of coffeehouses thus constitutes 18.46 percent of all the public establishments.

43The coffeehouses as places for recreation and pastime attracted the attention of the European travelers who visited Syria. Richard Pococke, who visited Damascus in the summer of 1737, for example, commented on the coffeehouses in Damascus as being:

«remarkably pleasant; many of them are large rooms, and the ceiling of them are supported with rows of pillars, round which they have their sopha’s; there is generally a court behind them with a basin of water, and a fountain in the middle, and the seats round the courts are either shaded with trees, or covered over. One in particular on the Barrady which runs through the city, has an island behind it, planted with trees, and the place is accommodated in a very convenient manner, which renders it one of the most delightful places one can imagine in the midst of a great city; in these coffeehouses they have concerts of musick at certain hours every day, and in some, a person paid by the house tells at a fixed hour Arabian stories in a very graceful manner, and with much eloquence» Pococke also says that coffeehouses are «where all idle people, strangers and others, who are not of the first rank, pass their leisure hours». He concludes by saying: «I spent my time very agreeably in Damascus, passing my leisure hours in the coffee houses and commonly taking my repast in them».

  • 38 Pococke, vol., 2, 122-126.

44Pococke’s overall judgment on the Damascenes is that they were much addicted to pleasure and loved to pass their time in a lazy indolent manner38.

  • 39 Budayri, 34, 95.
  • 40 Na’um Bakhkhash, Akhbar Halab, 3 vols., edited by Father Yusuf Qoshaqji (Aleppo: Matba’at al-41 Ih (...)

45The contemporary Damascene chronicler Budayri, who wrote about the same time as Pococke, mentions three Jewish musicians who arrived in Damascus from Aleppo in 1747. The musicians showed much expertise in playing music in coffeehouses39. Aleppo at the time had a substantial Jewish community which made of Aleppo a major center for Jewish music. As in Damascus, Jewish musicians in Aleppo performed in coffeehouses as well as at private parties40.

  • 41 Budayri, p. 24.

46Budayri also confirms Pococke’s observation about storytellers operating in coffeehouses. He refers in the events of February 1743 to the death of his mentor, a story teller (hakawati), who recited the stories of the Arabian black hero ‘Antar in coffeehouses, despite the fact that he did not read nor write41. Storytellers in coffeehouses nowadays are a rarity. Their craft is dying. The sons of hakawatis do not want to continue in the tradition of their fathers

  • 42 Lamartine, p. 10.

47Lamartine noted during his visit to Damascus in April 1833 that with the exception of the mosque the coffeehouse was the only place for the Damascenes to communicate with each other. What also attracted his attention was «une foule, aussi nombreuse que celle des galeries du Palais-Royal, circule tout le jour dans le bazar ». He also saw a few distinguished persons (agas) heading with their followers and servants « qui marchent silencieusement derrière eux, et portent leurs pipes et leur narguilé ; ils vont s’asseoir, une partie du jour, sur les divans extérieurs de cafés bâtis au bord des ruisseaux qui traversent la ville »42.

48The french traveler De Vogué, who visited Damascus in November 1872, gives a vivid description of the crowd filling the coffeehouses in the month of Ramadan. He says:

  • 43 De Vogué, p. 83-84.

« le soir, nous suivons la foule dans les cafés, où elle se presse pendant les nuits de Ramadan. Ce sont de larges salles sous des voûtes écrasées… Tous aspirent silencieusement le calioun, composé de deux tiges de roseau emmanchées à angle aigu dans un œuf de métal ou de bois noir, et l’arrosent d’innombrables tasses de café. Les amateurs de spectacle suivent les faits et gestes cyniques, commentés par des plaisanteries risquées, de plusieurs karagheuz installés aux angles de la salle, les mélomanes écoutent un orchestre uniformement composé d’une darbouka, d’une espèce de rebec et d’une série de cordes tendues sur une table de bois, qui recommence éternellement l’unique mélopée arabe ; des chanteurs l’accompagnent avec ces gammes de tête dont les Orientaux ont le secret, et racontent sur le rythme mélancolique les amours, les combats, les drames du désert »43.

49Karakoz (karagheuz) shows consist of puppets moved from behind by an actor and are projected on a screen lit by a lamp. The puppets move through strings, and the actor tells stories of love and adventure by moving the puppets. Karakoz shows are difficult to come across today except perhaps in the month of Ramadan when Muslims fast during the day and entertain themselves at night. Like the storytellers, Karakoz shows operate in select coffeehouses mostly for a special clientele.

50The Dutch traveler Nijeholt, who visited Damascus in the summer of 1868, described what he called « Les cafés du peuple » which had more natural settings than the closed caffeehouses and seem to have been located in the suburban neighborhoods. His description of the coffeehouses clientele goes as follows:

  • 44 T. M. Chevallier Lucklama A. Nijeholt, Voyage en Russie, au Caucase et en Perse, dans la Mésopotam (...)

« Accroupi ou couché sur son tapis, à l’ombre d’un arbre, au bord d’un bassin, le Damasquin hume son café, boit sa limonade à petites gorgées, et fume son narghilèh posément, nonchalamment, échangeant de temps à autre quelques paroles avec ses voisins. Les discussions, les disputes sont réservées pour les promenades de bazar ; au café, c’est le triomphe et la volupté du farniente »44.

  • 45 Muhammad Sa’id al-Qasimi, Jamal al-Din al-Qasimi and Khalil; al-‘Azm, Qamus al-Sina’at al-Shamiyya(...)

51Under the impact of Europe, coffeehouses in Damascus introduced European-style amusements towards the end of the nineteenth century. A tricker (muza’bir), often a European, would appear in certain coffeehouses at an advertised time, and perform tricks intended to puzzle people and win their admiration. The crowd attending the show included respectable religious scholars and writers who sat in the front row to gain a better view. All were puzzled by the unexplainable tricks45.

  • 46 al-Qasimi, 470-471.

52A theatre was established in Damascus in 1878. A group of men and women performed plays about love or the life of kings and princes. Within six years, the theatre had become so popular that working people spent much of their earnings on attending its plays. Families and parents complained to the Ottoman authorities in Damascus about the distraction and loss of money caused to those who attended the theatre. The authorities responded and shut down the theatre. To compensate for its closure, groups of Armenians and Greeks, consisting of men and women, came to Damascus for short periods and were employed in coffeehouses as performers, dancers and entertainers. Clowns and singers were employed by rich people in Damascus to entertain their guests on special occasions, such as weddings. Egyptian performers came to Damascus in the early twentieth century and presented Arabic plays which attracted a lot of people46.

  • 47 Elizabeth Thompson, Colonial Citizens, Republicans Rights, Paternal Privileges, and Gender in Fren (...)

53Cinemas were introduced into Syria on a large scale under the French mandate (1920-1946). Silent films were popular in the 1920s. Talking films soon followed in the 1930s. Conservative Muslim clerics opposed women going to the movies. In the 1930s the radio was introduced into coffeehouses making them more appealing to the people47.

BEDOUIN DIVERSIONS AND PLEASURES

  • 48 M. de la Roque, Voyage dans la Palestine, Fait par Ordre du Roi Louis XIV, (Amsterdam, chez Steenh (...)

54The pleasures and diversions of the Bedouin who live outside the urban centers were consistent with their nomadic way of life. A good description of the ways the Bedouin spent their pastime is given by French traveler De La Roque who traveled to Palestine in 1688 by order of King Louis XIV. De La Roque devoted a whole chapter to the pastime of the Bedouin to which he gave the title: Des Plaisirs et des divertissements que prennent les Arabes48. The term « Arabes » (‘Arab, A’rab or ‘Urban) was and still is used for the Bedouin. De la Roque wrote:

« Les Arabes ne sont pas dans un état, ni dans des lieux, à pouvoir jouir des plaisirs qu’on trouve ordinairement dans les villes. Ils s’en font un très particulier de vivre à la campagne, et d’y mener une vie libre et sans grand embarras ; ils y trouvent du repos et de la douceur, exempts d’ambition et d’envie de changer jamais d’état.
Les hommes passent leur temps à monter à cheval, pour se promener d’un village à l’autre, ils prennent garde à leur bétail ; ils vont à la chasse au sanglier, qu’ils tuent à coup de lance ; ils forcent les lièvres et les gazelles, avec de grands lévriers qu’ils nourrissent soigneusement pour cela ; ils ont des oiseaux de proie dressés pour la perdrix, et ceux qui sont accoûtumés à tirer, tuent aussi les autres oiseaux à coups de fusil, mais il y en a très peu qui s’en servent parmi eux.
Ils se visitent les uns les autres, et passent des journées entières à prendre du tabac et du café, et à s’entretenir des affaires du temps, et de toutes les histoires qu’ils savent : comme ils sont naturellement fort sérieux, ces sortes de conversation sont leurs divertissemens les plus ordinaires. Ils parlent de la guerre, de leurs courses, de ce qui leur est arrivé pendant leur vie, et de ce qu’ils ont entendu dire à leurs pères, lesquels leur ont laissé les traditions de leurs Ancêtres ; ils n’ont presque point de livres, et ne s’amusent point à lire. Ils ne connaissent ni cartes, ni dés, et rien de tout ce qui peut exciter quelque passion, n’est en usage parmi eux : ils ne jouent ni argent, ni meubles, ils se contentent de voir l’évènement de la perte ou du gain. Les jeux des échecs, ceux de Dames, et du Manqala sont les seuls auquels ils se divertissent.
Ce Manqala est composé d’une table de bois ; où il y a douze creux faits comme les coupes d’une petite balance, dans chacun desquels ils mettent six petites pierres, ou autant de sèves, ou de coquilles. Les deux joueurs visent successivement chacun un trou, et ils font le tour du Manqala en mettant une pierre à chacun des autres creux, et lorsque la dernière forme un nombre pair avec celles qui s’y trouvent, on prend toutes les pierres ; et celui qui en a davantage à la fin du jeu, a gagné la partie.
Ils montent à cheval avec l’Emir, et s’exercent au jeu des Geriddes, ou des Roseaux dont nous avons déjà parlé. Ils s’accoûtument par cet exercice à se tenir bien à cheval, et ils dressent leurs chevaux par le même moyen, à l’usage qu’ils ont accoûtumé d’en faire.
Les divertissemens des femmes ne consistent qu’à se visiter, à causer ensemble, à chanter, et à faire le ménage de la maison. Elles n’ont point l’usage de la musique ; elles chantent naturellement d’un ton uni, assez lent et langoureux, avec de grandes pauses, et des reprises en même temps ; leurs instruments sont des violons, des tambours, des tambours de basque et de cliquettes, ils en mettent aux deux mains en dansant. Ces cliquettes sont deux petites pièces de bois bien dur, comme de l’ébène ou du buis, rondes et longues comme deux petits cervelas : elles en tiennent une pièce avec le pouce, et l’autre avec le reste des doigts ; elles les choquent en serrant la main avec tant d’adresse, qu’elles leur font faire le même effet que font nos castagnettes : c’est avec cela et avec le tambour de basque qu’elles marquent la cadence. Les tambours sont d’une pièce de bois creusée, et de la grandeur d’une cullière à pot, le manche en est fort long, et il n’y a ordinairement que deux ou trois cordes d’airain, ou de boyau, sur lesquelles elles forment toutes sortes de tons ; les violons sont carrés, et le dessus est de parchemin, ils n’ont qu’une seule corde de crin pareille à celui de l’archet ; le manche en est fort long, ces poils au reste frottés avec de la résine, font un son assez lugubre et sombre. Ils ont encore des flûtes de bois et de roseaux ; les premières sont à peu près comme les nôtres ; celles de roseaux sont fort longues, et leur son se forme en soufflant à l’embouchure, d’une manière que la moitié du vent entre dans la flûte, et l’autre moitié passe par dehors. Ils accordent fort bien tous ces instruments ensemble, et ils s’en servent chez le Prince, et dans toutes les occasions où les Arabes se réjouissent.
Les hommes, et les femmes en général, ne dansent point en public, ils croient cet exercice malhonnête ; il y a cependant des gens parmi eux qui en font métier, et qui vont danser partout où l’on veut pour de l’argent. Ces danseurs n’ont point de pas reglés, et dansent moins des pieds, que des mains, et de tout le reste du corps, l’oreille les conduit, et toute leur manière de danser ne consiste qu’en gestes, en contorsions, et en minauderies burlesques, toujours en jouant des cliquettes ».

55With the spread of urbanization and education, the Bedouin were eventually integrated into urban societies. They soon turned to the types of diversions and pleasures that dominated urban life.

Notes

1 Ahmad al-Budayri al-Hallaq, Hawadith Dimashq al-Yawmiyya, 1154-1175 A.H./1741-1762 A.D., edited by Ahmad ‘Izzat ‘Abd al-Karim (Cairo: al-Jam’iyya al-Misriyya li’l-Dirasat al-Tarikhiyya, 1959), p. 132.

2 Mikha’il al-Dimashqi, Tarikh Hawadith al-Sham wa-Lubnan, 1197-1257 A.H./1782-1842 A.D., edited by Luwis Ma’luf (Beirut: 1912), p. 49.

3 Budayri, 49-50, 56, 92.

4 Constantine François Chasseboeuf, Comte de Volney, Voyage en Égypte et en Syrie, edited by Jean Gaulmier (Paris-The Hague, 1959), p. 400.

5 John Bowring, Report on the Commercial Statistics of Syria (London: William Clowes and Sons, 1840), reprinted by Arno Press, New York, 1973, p. 111.

6 Laurent d’Arvieux, Mémoires du Chevalier d’Arvieux, par le R. P. Jean-Baptiste Labat, 6 tomes (Paris : Charles Jean-Baptiste Delespine le Fils, 1735), tome 2, Chapitre XXVI, p. 447.

7 Henry Maundrell, Journey from Aleppo to Jerusalem at Easter, A.D. 1697 (London: Richard Edwards, 1819), 168-169.

8 Alphonse de Lamartine, Voyage en Orient, 2 tomes (Paris : Hachette, 1855-1856), 3-4.

9 Le Viscomte Eugène-Melchior de Vogué, Syrie, Palestine, Mont Athos, Voyage au pays du passé, Paris, Plon, 1922, 77-79.

10 Richard Pococke, A Description of the East and Some Other Countries, 2 vols., London: W. Bowyer, 1743-1745, vol. 2, 123-124.

11 Mikhai’il Breik, Tarikh al-Sham, 1720-1782, edited by Qustantin al-Basha (Harisa (Lebanon): Matba’at al-Qiddis Bulus, 1930), 62-63.

12 See for examples Abdul-Karim Rafeq, «The Social and Economic Structure of Bab al-Musalla (al-Midan), Damascus, 1825-1875», in Arab Civilization, Challenges and Responses: Studies in Honor of Constantine Zurayk, edited by George N. Atiyeh and Ibrahim M. Oweiss (New York: Suny, 1988), 272-311; see also Brigitte Marino, Le Faubourg du Midan à Damas à l’Époque Ottomane: Espace Urbain, Société et Habitat Damas, Institut Français, 1997.

13 Ahmad Hilmi al-‘Allaf, Dimashq fi Matli’ al-Qarn al-‘Ishrin, edited by ‘Ali Nu’aysa (Damascus: Dar Dimashq, 1983), 334-335, 374-381.

14 See for Examples: Muhammad al-Amin al-Muhibbi, Khulasat al-Athar fi A’yan al-Qarn al-Hadi ‘Ashar, 4 vols., (Cairo: al-Matba’a al-Wahbiyya, 1284 A.H.), several reprints have been made with the same page numbers, see II, p. 9, III, 244,249, 321, 334.

15 See examples in Muhammad Ibn Kannan, Yawmiyyat Shamiyya, 1111-1143 A.H./1699-1740 A.D., edited by Akram ‘Ulabi (Damascus: Dar al-Tabba’, no date), 223, 290, 468.

16 Budayri, p. 37; Abdul-Karim Rafeq, The Province of Damascus, 1723-1783, paperback edition (Beirut: Khayats, 1970), 151-152.

17 Budayri, p. 38.

18 Ilyas ‘Abduh Bek al-Qoudsi, «Nubdha Ta’rikiyya fi’l-Hiraf al-Dimashqiyya», in Actes du VIème Congrès des Orientalistes, ed. Carlo Landberg (Leiden, 1885), 15-30 ; Adul-Karim Rafeq, «Craft Organization, Work Ethics and the Strains of Change in Ottoman Syria» Journal of the American Oriental Society, 111.3 (1991), 495-511.

19 L’Abbé Giovanni Mariti, Voyages dans l’Isle de Chypre, La Syrie et la Palestine, 2 tomes, traduit de l’Italien (Paris, Belin, 1791), t.2, 101-102; see also Abdul-Karim Rafeq, « Le Mahmal en route pour la Mecque » in Damas: Miroir Brisé d’un Orient Arabe, dirigé par Anne-Marie Bianquis avec la collaboration d’Élizabeth Picard (Paris, Autrement, n°65, Janvier, 1993), 49-57.

20 Abdul-Karim Rafeq, «Damascus and the Pilgrim Caravan,» in Modernity and Culture: From the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean, edited by Leila Tarazi Fawaz and C.A. Bayly (New York: Columbia University Press, 2002), 13-143.

21 Muhibbi, I, 389-390.

22 Ibn Kannan, 117-118.

23 Ibn Kannan, p. 462.

24 Budayri, 73, 89-90.

25 Abdul-Karim Rafeq, «The Socioeconomic and Political Implications of the Introduction of Coffee into Syria, 16th-18th Centuries», in Le Commerce du Café avant l’Ère des Plantations Coloniales, édité par Michel Tuchscherer (Le Caire, Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale, 2001), 127-142.

26 Bernard Lewis, The Middle East: A Brief History of the Last 2,000 Years (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1997, 8, 162; see also Ralph Hattox, Coffee and Coffeehouses: The Origins of a Social Beverage in the Medieval Near East (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 19991), 24, 28, 81-82.

27 Uriel Heyd, Ottoman Documents on Palestine, 1552-1615 (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1960), 160-161.

28 Muhibbi, IV, p. 339.

29 Edited by Muhammad Ahmad Dahman (Damascus, 1334/1924-1925).

30 Muhibbi, III, 332-334.

31 Pococke, p. 125.

32 Muhibbi, IV, p. 98.

33 Damascus, Center for Historical Documentation (Archives), Majlis Shura al-Sham al-‘Ali, 1260-1261 A.H., see folio 334.

34 Majlis, folio 365.

35 Rafeq, «The Socioeconomic and Political Implications of the Introduction of Coffee into Syria», 134-137.

36 André Raymond, Artisans et Commerçants au Caire au xviiie siècle, 2 tomes, Damas, Institut Français, 1973-1974, t.1, p.156.

37 Nu’man al-Qasatli, al-Rawda al-Ghanna’ fi Dimashq al-Fayha’ (Beirut, 1879), new edition (Beirut: Dar al-Ra’id al-‘Arabi, 1982), 105, 111.

38 Pococke, vol., 2, 122-126.

39 Budayri, 34, 95.

40 Na’um Bakhkhash, Akhbar Halab, 3 vols., edited by Father Yusuf Qoshaqji (Aleppo: Matba’at al-41 Ihsan, 2000), vol.2, p. 288.

41 Budayri, p. 24.

42 Lamartine, p. 10.

43 De Vogué, p. 83-84.

44 T. M. Chevallier Lucklama A. Nijeholt, Voyage en Russie, au Caucase et en Perse, dans la Mésopotamie, le Kurdistan, la Syrie, la Palestine et la Turquie, executé pendant les années 1865, 1866, 1867 et 1868, 4 tomes (Paris : Arthus Bertrand et Amsterdam : C. L. Van Langenhuysen, 1872-1875), vol. IV, p. 549.

45 Muhammad Sa’id al-Qasimi, Jamal al-Din al-Qasimi and Khalil; al-‘Azm, Qamus al-Sina’at al-Shamiyya, edited by Zafer al-Qasimi (Damascus: Dar Tlas, 1988), 434-435, 449-450.

46 al-Qasimi, 470-471.

47 Elizabeth Thompson, Colonial Citizens, Republicans Rights, Paternal Privileges, and Gender in French Syria and Lebanon (New York : Columbia University Press, 1999), 97-108, 181.

48 M. de la Roque, Voyage dans la Palestine, Fait par Ordre du Roi Louis XIV, (Amsterdam, chez Steenhower et Uytwrf Libraires, 1718), 243-247.

Auteur

College of William and Mary of Williamsburg, Virginia

© Presses universitaires François-Rabelais, 2005

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