Category Archives: Seminars

New Perspectives for Jerusalem’s Late Ottoman and Mandate Social History

by Falestin Naili

The round-table entitled “New Perspectives for Jerusalem’s Late Ottoman and Mandate Social History: Sources and Resources in Jordan” was held on the 24th of November 2014 at the Ifpo Amman. Supported by the Ifpo and the ERC-financed research project “Opening Jerusalem Archives: For a Connected History of ‘Citadinité’ in the Holy City (1840-1940)”, this round-table was conceived and organised by Falestin Naili, research associate at the Ifpo Amman and member of the ERC project. It brought together four members of the ERC project with their colleagues of the University of Jordan in order to present and discuss their respective research in relationship to the ERC project’s aim of overcoming the segmented historiography of Jerusalem by opening and interconnecting the city’s archives and laying the framework for an urban history approach to Jerusalem.

The round-table was welcomed by Vanessa Guéno (Ifpo Amman), who underlined that the Ifpo is currently relaunching the Ottoman studies and who emphasized the possibilities of future synergies between the Open Jerusalem Project and Ifpo Research Programs.

Vincent Lemire, executive director of the ERC Open-Jerusalem Project, briefly presented the scope, the scientific framework and the global schedule of the ERC project (2014-2019). He underlined the importance of Jordan’s archival sources and institutional actors dealing with Jerusalem’s history. Hence, he explained that the ERC project team was eager to meet their colleagues from the Center for Manuscripts and Documents and the Committee for the History of the Bilad Al Sham of the University of Jordan in Amman.

In her presentation entitled “Jerusalem, Amman, Beirut and beyond: moving from the Jerusalem municipal archives to the collective memory of Ottoman Jerusalem in search of citadinité (urban citizenship)”, Falestin Naili presented the first results of her analysis of the Arabic minutes of Ottoman Jerusalem’s municipal council for the period from 1892 – 1917, which account for about 45% of this rare primary source. These hand-written minutes document the decisions and announcements of the council (founded several years before the Ottoman Provincial Law on Municipalities of 1877) and offer a wealth of information and many glimpses of daily life issues in Jerusalem. About two-thirds of the members of the municipal council were elected and one third were ex officio members. Muslims, Christians and Jews were among the members and the Ottoman government chose the mayor among the elected members. After a short digression into the material and palaeographic aspects of the minutes, Falestin Naili gave examples of the issues dealt with in the municipal minutes, emphasizing that revenue-generating activities were an important preoccupation of this urban institution spearheading Jerusalem’s development of modern infrastructures and services. As an interconfessional interethnic urban institution interacting directly with the citizens and the imperial authorities, the municipality was probably the most important mediating structure for Jerusalem’s urban society, translating imperial impulses into local activities and relaying local realities and initiatives back to Istanbul. This new picture of Jerusalem’s society at the end of the Ottoman period should be complemented by several other sources, such as court registers, local press, imperial documents and, last but not least, autobiographical writings and collective memory narratives from this period.

Yasemin Avci, Associate Professor at the University of Pamukkale and member of the ERC team, presented her analysis of the Ottoman language minutes (about 55% of the total text) of Jerusalem’s municipal council for the period from 1892 – 1917 and their link with the imperial level of governmentin a paper entitled “Jerusalem Municipal Archives and Istanbul Imperial Archives: how to interconnect the two levels”. She explained that the resolutions of the municipal council are in a rough draft format, since they were for the internal use of the council itself. Nonetheless, they could occasionally be inspected by central government authorities. She then placed the municipal council back into the new governmental structure created as a result of the Tanzimat reforms, which signified the development of a legal authoritarian regime in the Ottoman Empire. Within the pyramidal structure extending from Istanbul to the provinces and sanjaks, the municipal council was at the bottom as a means of connecting urban administration to the imperial center. Although the objective of the creation of municipalities was not democratic, the municipal councils could at times nuance, circumvent and even subvert imperial intentions in their desire to assert varying degrees of autonomy.

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Abdul-Hameed Al-Kayyali, associated researcher at Ifpo Amman and member of the ERC project, presented the first results of his ongoing research on Jerusalem’s Hebrew press in a paper entitled “The Hebrew newspaper Ha-Zvi: a mirror of Jerusalem’s public affairs at the turn of the century”. The Hebrew press, and in particular Ha-Zvi (later called Ha-Or) for the period between 1840 and 1940 (available online www.jpress.org.il) provides some specific information which cannot be found in the minutes of the Jerusalem municipal council, such as the names of candidates for municipal elections. Furthermore, they provide many detailed accounts of daily life (schools, hospitals, transport, water etc.) in Jerusalem, mainly from the perspective of the city’s Jewish inhabitants. The work on Ha-Zvi is relatively easier than that on other newspapers, since (as a publication directed by Eliezer Ben Yehuda, the «father» of Modern Hebrew) it contains a simpler Hebrew with less Talmudic and Yiddish terms than other newspapers of that period.

Nufan Al Sawariah, Professor in the History Department of the University of Jordan, presented a paper entitled “Water and its resources in Jerusalem: The Registers of Jerusalem’s mahkame shar‘iyya as a source of study”. He emphasized that the sijill shar ‘i has to be considered as an important mirror of life in Jerusalem, reflecting a large number of people’s everyday preoccupations. One of the most important daily life issues in Jerusalem was the regular cutting of water which sometimes even amounted to a complete halt. The sijillat contain many details about the extent of people’s suffering due to lack of water and about the efforts of the imperial and local government to resolve these problems. The registers also contain much information about the water infrastructure in and around Jerusalem, including public fountains, reservoirs and aqueducts, which were regularly supervised and repaired by government employees.

Abla Muhtadi, who is a researcher at the Center for Manuscripts and Documents of the University of Jordan, offered a rare insider perspective on the sijillat mahkame shar‘iyya in her presentation entitled “Jerusalem’s court registers as a source for social history”. In fact, although the prerogatives of the shari‘a courts diminished as a result of the reforms of the judiciary system in the second half of the 19th century, these courts remain an extremely valuable source on the daily life of Jerusalemites. Even after the separation of civil courts according to confession, Christians and Jews at times opted for appearing in front of the qadi instead of turning to the courts of their confessional group. The sijillat contain much information about the holders of public offices, about teachers and schools, shops, restaurants, hospitals and hotels, to name just a few categories of public spaces. In Abla Muhtadi’s words, the sijillat are the “living memory” of the city and its inhabitants, providing the texture of daily life.

The discussions in English and Arabic were stimulating and full of promising perspectives for further connections between different local archives, namely the court registers and the local press in Arabic, Hebrew and Ottoman. Mahmoud Yazbak (Professor of History, University of Haifa) who attended the round-table, offered much valuable advice based on his own work on the sijillat for Haifa and Jaffa and urged the participants to pay special attention to continuities between the period preceding the Tanzimat and the actual reform period. Vanessa Guéno shared her insights about the effects of the judiciary reforms from her work on Ottoman Homs. All the participants agreed that a larger event should be organised next year at the Center for Manuscripts and Documents, whose Director Mohammed Adnan Al Bakhit, has expressed his wish to host such an event.

Photo: two excerpts from the municipal minutes of 1910 (1326 hijri),
the first one being a public bid for meat for the municipal hospital,
the second an announcement of a public sale of tax-farming rights
according to the iltizam system

Archival Training Workshop at the National Archives of France

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Open Jerusalem research team will attend a training session at the National Archives of France next week (4-6 December). This three-day workshop will represent the first step of a long-lasting and fruitful partnership between the NAF and Open Jerusalem that will bring some archivists to work in Jerusalem’s archives.
Open Jerusalem aims to unlock the modern history of the Holy City through archives. Therefore, the importance of a deep understanding and knowledge of archival management principles, concepts and practices is crucial for OJ researchers.
We will report our Paris activities on our social network channels (facebook, twitter and google+). Follow us!

Read the full programme here

Round-Table Workshop: New Perspectives for Jerusalem’s Social History

testatasemIFPO

ERC Funded Project

Opening Jerusalem’s Archives:

for a Connected History of ‘Citadinité’

in the Holy City (1840-1940)

Programme for round-table workshop

New Perspectives for Jerusalem’s Late Ottoman

and Mandate Social History:

Sources and Resources in Jordan”

Monday the 24th of November from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm

at the Institut français du Proche-Orient (IFPO) in Amman

9:30 am
Word of welcome by Vanessa Guéno
Opening remarks by Falestin Naili and Vincent Lemire

9:45 am
“Jerusalem, Amman, Beirut and beyond: moving from the Jerusalem municipal archives to the collective memory of Ottoman Jerusalem in search of citadinité (urban citizenship)”
Falestin Naili

10:15 am
“Jerusalem Municipal Archives and Istanbul Imperial Archives: how to interconnect the two levels”
Yasemin Avci

10:45 am
“The Hebrew newspaper Ha-Zvi: a mirror of Jerusalem’s public affairs at the turn of the century”
Abdul-Hameed Al Kayyali

11:15 – 11:40 Coffee break

11:45 am
“Water and its Sources in Jerusalem in the Ottoman period”
Nufan Al Sawariah

12:15 pm
“Jerusalem’s court registers as a source for social history”
Abla Muhtadi

12:45 pm
Synthesis and closing remarks
Mohammed Adnan Al Bakhit

Download the pdf announcement

Opening “Open Jerusalem”. Notes from OJ team workshop

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Open Jerusalem core team workshop just concluded few days ago. It was the first opportunity for the whole team to meet up, and therefore it represented an extremely important moment of exchange.

We shared our academic, work and personal experiences. We also formulated questions, methodologies and expectations concerning the study of Jerusalem citadinité we aim to deepen during the next 5 years in the frame of the ERC project.

We organized some internal and external channels of study and communication (i.e. chronologies, biographies, dictionaries, translations, spatial and archival maps, website, social networks).

worshopWe clearly formulated the elements of strenghts and weakness of our project and team.

We scheduled future meetings, particularly:

– November seminar in Amman (program coming soon here)

– December training session at the French National Archives

– January trip to Istanbul in order to work in the Imperial Ottoman Archives

This three-day workshop was full of meetings, thoughts, questions, emotions, and dreams. We hope to constantly improve in this collaborative way of working.

Seminar Announcement, 27-29 September 2014

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The core team of Open Jerusalem is going to meet up altogether for the very first time! We are really excited to start a new phase of our project.

Here you can find our strictly scheduled seminar program:

Sat 27, 1st day: team building

Sun 28, 2nd day: scientific framework

Mon 29, 3rd day: timetable of future development

We will report day by day some results of every session. So please follow us here on our new blog.

It’s time to launch our new social network channels: facebook page and twitter account. You are more than welcome in visiting us in our virtual space. Feel free to give back to us your comments and feedbacks by email.

Seminar Announcement, 18 June 2014

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PROGRAM

  • 9:00:  welcome
  • 9:15:  Vincent  Lemire  (Université Paris-Est): « Open Jerusalem Project : a first assessment after 5 months »
  • 9:30:  Falestin  Naïli  (IFPO  Amman):  «The  Ottoman  municipality  of  Jerusalem:  how  to reconstruct  the  history  of  a  forgotten  urban  institution».

–> Please click here to read her text

  • 10:00:  Merav  Mack (CRFJ)  «The  Survey  of  Archives  in  Jerusalem:  toward  a  completion».

–> Please click here to read her presentation

  • 10:30:  Pierre-­Yves  Saunier  (Université  de  Laval  -­  Québec):  «Jusqu’où  ouvrir  Jérusalem? Curiosités,  questions  et  apostilles   sur  le  projet  Open  Jerusalem»

–> Please click here to read his text

  • 11:30:  discussion

 

Photo: An Ottoman map of the Mutasarrifate of Jerusalem, from 1882-83 (1300 AH), from the Sâlnâme-yi vilâyet-i Sûriye 1300 AH. From the Hathi Trust

 

 

Seminar Announcement, 7 May 2014

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PROGRAM

  • 15:00: Vincent  Lemire (UPEM):  «Which internal / external communication for the Open Jerusalem Project?»
  • 15:30:  Elena  Astafieva  (CNRS):  «The  Russian  Presence  in  Palestine:  Political,  Religious  and Cultural  aspects,  1840-1920»

–> Please click here to read her presentation

  • 16:00:  Marie-­Alpais  Torcheboeuf  (Ecole  nationale  des  Chartes):  «Les  archives  de  l’Ecole biblique  et  archéologique  de  Jérusalem:  présentation  du  premier  inventaire»

–> Please click here to read her text

  • 16:30:  coffee  break
  • 17:00:  Yann  Potin  (Archives  de  France):  «Regard  d’un archiviste  sur  le  projet  Open Jerusalem»

–> Please click here to read his text

  • 17:30:  Merav  Mack (CRFJ): works  in  progress

–> Please click here to read her presentation

–> Please click here to read her second presentation

  • 18:00:  Discussion

 

Photo: The Mosque of Al-Aksa, Jerusalem between ca. 1890 and ca. 1900, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington

Seminar Announcement, 8 April 2014

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PROGRAM

  • 14:00: Vincent  Lemire: «Jerusalem is not (only) in Jerusalem : a transnational project between local and global»
  • 14:30:  Prof.  Yaron  Ben‐Naeh (Professor, HUJI): «Where  did  the  Sephardim  Disappear?»
  • 15:00:  Stéphane  Ancel  (Hiob  Ludolf  Centre  for  Ethiopian  Studies,  Hambourg): «The  Ethiopian  Orthodox  Church  in  Jerusalem  and  its  Archives»

–> Please click here to read his text

  • 15:30:  coffee  break
  • 16:00:  Leyla  Dakhli  (CR-CNRS,  IREMAM):  «Imperial  multilingualism  and  national  translations?  Understanding  the  Ottoman  linguistic  practices»
  • 16:30:  Flavia  Ruani  (EPHE): «The  Syriac  Orthodox  Community  in  Jerusalem  and  its archives»

–> Please click here to read her text

  • 17:00:  Merav  Mack (CRFJ): works  in  progress  (last  visits, contacts,  finalization  of  the  questionnaire…)
  • 17:30:  Discussion

 

Photo: General view, Jerusalem between ca. 1890 and ca. 1900, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington

Seminar Announcement, 20 March 2014

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PROGRAM

  • 15:00:  welcome
  • 15:30:  Vincent  Lemire:  «Under the Canopy: How to move in a documentary archipelago?»
  • 16:00:  Michelle  Campos  (ZMO  ‐  Zentrum  Moderner  Orient,  Berlin):  «‘Unmixing’  the  Holy City:  Civic  Disintegration  and  Urban  Segregation  in  Mandatory  Jerusalem»
  • 16:45:  Angelos  Dalachanis  (IREMAM,  Aix‐en-­Provence):  «From Suez  to  Jérusalem: studying  urban  and  social  history  through  the  Greek  archives»

–> Please click here to read his text

  • 17:30:  Merav  Mack (CRFJ):  works  in  progress  (last visits,  Christ  Church  Archives,  Sephardi  Community  Archives,  Questionnaire…)
  • 18:00:  Falestin  Naïli  (IFPO,  member  of  Open-­Jerusalem  Team):  works  in  progress  (Minutes  of Ottoman  municipality  1892‐1915,  Jerusalem  Archives  in  Amman…)
  • 18:30:  Discussion   (Discussant:  Roberto  Mazza,  Western  Illinois  University)

Seminar Announcement, 11 February 2014

Des archives municipales ottomanes (1892-1912)

aux archives citadines de Jérusalem (1840-1940)

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PROGRAM

  • 9:00 : welcome
  • 9:30: Vincent Lemire, introduction : «Le projet archives municipales (2010-2013), une préfiguration du projet Open Jerusalem (2014-2019)?»
  • 10:00: Falestin Naïli (IFPO Amman, member of Open Jerusalem Team) : «Jerusalem, Amman, Beirut and beyond: moving from the Jerusalem municipal archives to the collective memory of Ottoman Jerusalem in search of citadinité»

–> Please click here to read her text

–>  Please click here to read her presentation

  • 10:30: Yasemin Avci (Pamukkale Univ., member of Open Jerusalem Team): «Jerusalem Municipal Archives and Istanbul Imperial Archives in Osmänle: How to interconnect the two levels?»

–> Please click here to read her text

–> Please click here to read her presentation

  • 11:00: Merav Mack (CRFJ): «Open Jerusalem Survey: New Questionnaire and First Results»
  • 11:30: Discussion

Seminar Announcement, 29 November 2013

 Ouvrir les archives de Jérusalem:

pour une histoire connectée de la citadinité dans la ville sainte (1840/1940)

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PROGRAM

  • 9:00: welcome
  • 9:30: Vincent Lemire (Université Paris Est Marne la Vallée): introduction: “Où sont les archives citadines de Jérusalem? Premiers jalons d’une recherche en cours”
  • 10:00: Merav Mack (CRFJ): “The Jerusalems Archives and Libraries Survey (2007) and the Open-Jerusalem Project (2014-2019): similarities and differences”
  • 10:30: Roberto Mazza (Western Illinois University): “To Unlock the Holy City: Questions, Themes and Sources to Rediscover the Late Ottoman and Early British Jerusalem”
  • 11:00: Maria Chiara Rioli (Ecole normale supérieure de Pise): “Les archives de l’Eglise latine de Jérusalem sont-elles des archives citadines ?”
  • 11:30: discussion

 

Photo: Nebi Musa festival outside of the Damascus Gate (between 1898 and 1917), Jerusalem,  American Colony (Jerusalem). Photo Dept.