Chapter

Transferring the New Civilization to the Islamic Peoples

emseddin Sami Frashri

in Modernist Islam, 1840-1940

Published in print September 2002 | ISBN: 9780195154672
Published online November 2007 |
 Transferring the New Civilization to the Islamic Peoples

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emseddin Sami Frashri (Albania-Turkey, 18501904) was a leading Ottoman intellectual, journalist, and linguist. One of seven children in a prominent Albanian family, he learned European languages at a Greek high school and Middle Eastern languages from special lessons at Islamic schools. Following graduation, he worked for the governor of Ioannina, and then the press bureau of the Sublime Porte in Istanbul. At the same time, he published his own articles and plays, which resulted in his banishment through appointment as editor of the official gazette of Tripoli, in North Africa. The following year, he was granted an imperial pardon and returned to newspaper work in Istanbul. emseddin Sami was the author of the first modern geographical and historical dictionary of the Ottoman Empire, and many other lexicons. He also established a series called the Pocket Library to publish short essays for the general public. It seems that he suppressed his more radical opinions in these pamphletson the Islamic roots of European civilization, for example, and the veiling of women. Furthermore, his attempt to translate the Qur'an into Turkish was frustrated by the authorities, and he was compelled to destroy the parts he had completed. Meanwhile, his newspaper articles including the one translated herewere outspoken in promoting positivism and modernization. These publications, along with his participation in Albanian cultural activities, caused the government to treat emseddin Sami as suspect. Although he was appointed to official positions, he was asked to conduct his studies at home and lived his last years under virtual house arrest.1

Chapter.  2041 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture ; Islam

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