Home as Homeland

Zayde Antrim

in Routes and Realms

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199913879
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199980178 | DOI:
Home as Homeland

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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

Chapter.  9749 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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