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Routes and RealmsThe Power of Place in the Early Islamic World$
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Zayde Antrim

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199913879

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199913879.001.0001

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Home as Homeland

Home as Homeland

(p.11) 1 Home as Homeland
Routes and Realms

Zayde Antrim

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that the works most centrally occupied with crafting home as a category of belonging in the discourse of place were Arabic literary anthologies from the world of adab dedicated to the theme of homesickness (al-ḥanīn ilā l-awṭān). In order to associate the idea of home with land, they adopt the term waṭan, or “homeland,” as their organizing principle and elaborate on it with a lexicon of other terms designating some form of territoriality. In so doing, they represent homes as land-based categories of belonging that provided physical, social, material, political, or spiritual nurture. This idea of homeland was both geographically and conceptually flexible and allowed a wide variety of people to use attachment to land as a means of petitioning a prince, winning a patron, or expressing religious or political loyalty.

Keywords:   home, homeland, Adab, Waṭan, al-ḥanīn ilā l-awṭān, literary anthologies, Arabic, territoriality, land, belonging

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