In the Eyes of Some Britons

Aleppo, a cosmopolitan city

Authored by: Mohammad Sakhnini

Routledge Handbook on Middle East Cities

Print publication date:  June  2019
Online publication date:  June  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138650749
eBook ISBN: 9781315625164
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315625164-2

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Abstract

In examining the accounts of several British travellers who visited Aleppo during the eighteenth century, the study shows how – through their entanglement with people from different cultures and religions – their identities were steeped in the world of others with no mention or recollection in their diaries or letters that Islam and Muslims were their enemies. Aleppo was perceived as a multicultural, multireligious city in which Europeans were men of riches and influence but were also free to pursue their cultural practices and religious beliefs. The study emphasises that the cosmopolitan practices of the Enlightenment, such as tolerance and improvement, were pursued not only in grand European cities such as Paris, Edinburgh and London but also in Aleppo.

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