Dr. Malek Sharif (American University of Beirut)
Tuesday, 11. November 2014, 19:00-21:00
Discussant: Till Grallert (OIB research associate)
In his book “Imperial norms and local realities” (published as volume 105 of the OIB’s series Beiruter Texte und Studien), Malek Sharif revises and rejects the widely held assumption that the municipal institution of the Ottoman Tanzimat period was imposed on the provinces by the central authorities of the Empire. This study provides a differentiated picture of the Beirut municipality, achieved through the careful perusal of the consecutive Ottoman laws, in addition to a variety of other contemporary sources including the local press, Ottoman almanacs, memoirs, Western consular correspondence, travelogues and Ottoman archival material. Special attention is given to the formative years of a number of municipal institutions in Syria which so far had been overlooked. The detailed examination of primary sources has revealed that the municipal institutions in Syria were not established only in the 1870s, as has been a common view among historians, but a whole decade earlier. As Sharif shows convincingly, the history of the municipality of Beirut is more nuanced than hitherto assumed.
Malek Sharif holds a PhD in Ottoman History/Turkic Studies from the Free University of Berlin. He was a post doctoral fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin and the Fritz Thyssen Foundation to conduct research in Istanbul on the parliamentary and municipal history of the Ottoman Empire. From 2008 until 2014 he was visiting assistant professor and lecturer at the American University of Beirut.
He is coeditor of The First Ottoman Experiment in democracy, 2010. His fields of research and published articles are on migration, health care, WWI and the first parliament in the Ottoman Empire.
Find us on Google Maps