Adam Mestyan; Upgrade?: Power and Sound during Ramadan and ‘Id al-Fitr in the Nineteenth-Century Ottoman Arab Provinces. Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 1 August 2017; 37 (2): 262–279. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/1089201x-4132893
This essay focuses on the month of Ramadan and its end celebration, ‘Id al-Fitr, the Festival of Breaking the Fast, in the Ottoman Arab provinces in the second half of the nineteenth century. What was the effect of new technologies and urbanization on these Muslim practices in their relationship to politics and the new public spaces? Building on recent scholarship, Mestyan argues that these were reconstituted as part of symbolic politics and served as a test period for using new technologies to synchronize collective action. He explores this process by historicizing the relationship between power and sound during Ramadan.