Tourism in the Middle East: Continuity, Change and Transformation

Edited by: Rami Farouk Daher

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Channel View Publications
Number of pages:
210mm x 148mm

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This edited volume on tourism in the Middle East embodies a multi-discursive approach to the study of tourism in the region offering not only different perspectives but qualifying local knowledge and realities. The book re-examines the discourse of tourism within geopolitical contemporary regional realities. The book re-conceptualizes tourism as a discourse linked to heritage and identity construction, national and global economies, and development of local communities. Alternatively, a new discursive approach to the understanding of tourism emerges out of invigorating and stimulating latent regional realities and the social histories of various towns, villages, and cultural landscapes within the contested and politically-charged region of the Middle East. The book investigates issues of national identity, authenticity, definition of heritage, representation of cultures and regions, community & tourism development, urban tourism, heritage conservation & tourism, and tourism related investments through a new vision for the region that transcends current geopolitics or national and formal historiographies.

This collection is the first really penetrating analysis of tourism in the contemporary Middle East. It covers a variety of appropriate topics, including investment, post-colonialism, neo-colonialism, gentrification, stratification, exploitation, representation, and virtual tourism, in chapters written by a range of Middle Eastern, European and American authorities. However, it is the leadership and guidance of the editor Rami Daher, a well-known Jordanian architect, academic and hands on critical public intellectual that gives the book its thrust. Daher does not hold back in his critical analyses of international and national power relations in Middle Eastern tourism developments, strongly motivated by his respect of the creativity of all classes and historical periods, whether they are popular tourism targets or not, all underpinned by his own love for the people of Jordan and Palestine. This is absolutely the most important book on tourism and the Middle East ever written to date.

Nelson Graburn, a professor of Anthropology, University of California - Berkeley.

This edited volume provides an important new collection of papers concerning tourism in a region which contains a unique blend of a cultural heritage that is perceived as truly international and a group of recently created states that are still creating images that seek to incorporate this heritage while introducing modernity. At times it seems as if more recent popular culture is forgotten in this process. Combined with those tensions is a highly politically charged situation and, in many of the countries, a need to generate hard currency and employment. Tourism in the Middle East is also an excellent example of relationships between the developing and developed worlds, affecting not only economics but unequal relationships and the commodification of culture. It is therefore surprising that there has not been more previous academic interest covering this topic in the Middle East and the wide variety of papers in this volume makes a timely contribution to filling this gap.

Bill Finlayson is the Director of the Council of British Research in the Levant in Amman, Jordan.

The title is useful for students and researchers who are interested to work on the Middle East especially because of the detailed reference list in each chapter. It is handy for the entrepreneurs and practitioners too who can pick up examples and ideas like the reinvention of soap factory 'SAIDA' in Jordan (p. 20). The notes at the end of the chapters are helpful and well conceived which make the otherwise difficult reading, and understanding, easy. The images that have been given are sharp, clear and definitely an asset to the title.

Rami Daher previously taught architecture at Jordan University of Science & Technology and is currently teaching at the American University of Beirut (AUB); and practises architecture and heritage management through a private consultancy: TURATH, in Amman, Jordan. Daher is interested in research related to politics and dynamics of place and heritage conservation, tourism, and urban regeneration. Daher is also a Visiting Research Fellow at the Center for Tourism and Cultural Change at Sheffield Hallam University, UK. Daher has been awarded several research grants such as the Social Science Research Council and Fulbright. Daher has worked as a consultant for several heritage management and urban regeneration projects throughout Jordan and abroad.

1. Reconceptualizing Tourism in the Middle East: Place, Heritage, Mobility & Competitiveness - Rami Farouk Daher
2. A Historiography of Tourism in Cairo: A Spatial Perspective - Noha Nasser
3. From One Globalization to Another: In Search for the Seeds of Modern Tourism in the Levant, A Western Perspective - Xavier Guillot
4. Digital Spatial Representations: New Communication Processes & 'Middle Eastern' UNESCO World Heritage Sites Online - Scott McLeod
5. Visitors, Visions and Veils: The Portrayal of the Arab World in Tourism Advertising - Saba Al Mahadin and Peter Burns
6. The 'Islamic' City and Tourism: Managing Conservation and Tourism in Traditional Neighbourhoods - Aylin Orbasli
7. Development of Community Based Tourism in Oman: Challenges and Opportunities - Birgit Mershen
8. From Hajj to Hedonism? Paradoxes of Developing Tourism in Saudi Arabia - Peter Burns
9. Touristic Development in Sinai, Egypt: Bedouin, Visitors, and Government Interaction - David Homa
10. Tourism, Heritage, and Urban Transformations in Jordan & Lebanon: Emerging Actors & Global-Local Juxtapositions - Rami Farouk Daher
11. Tourism and Power Relations in Jordan: Contested Discourses and Semiotic Shifts - Salam Al Mahadin

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