Beirut 2011, 196 pp., german text
Due to the Ottoman conquest of Egypt and Syria, the main center of administration and political power in the Arab lands shifted from Cairo to Istanbul. The necessity of travel to the new metropolis for all kinds of official requests led to the emergence of a whole genre of travel literature, which was related to career advancement.
Ralf Elger presents in this study a thorough and detailed introduction into the development of the genre from the 16th to the 18th century, its literary and descriptive value, and the uses of prose and poetry in the description of places and people.
Ralf Elger is professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at Halle University.