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In The Name Of Fatimah: Staging The Emancipation Of The Hadhramis In The Netherlands East Indies

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Chapter Summary

This chapter dwells upon the drama Fatimah that was staged at the third congress of the Persatoean Arab Indonesia (PAI), the Union of Indonesian Arabs, in 1938. Fatimah, the second drama to be performed at a congress of the PAI, was written in Malay by H. Bafagih, who also wrote the earlier play. The play, which consisted of eight acts of various lengths, was written at the request of the General Board of PAI. The drama Fatimah has played an important role in bringing to an end the relative isolation of the Hadhramis in the Netherlands East Indies. Through exposing its internal social problems publicly on stage, the emancipation of this inward-looking minority was promoted in unique way. The content of the play, with its explicitly informative and educational tenor, brought into focus the relationship between conservatives and progressives, a divide which largely mirrored the division between wulaiti and muwallad.

Keywords: Fatimah; Hadhramis; internal social problems; Netherlands East Indies; Persatoean Arab Indonesia (PAI)

10.1163/ej.9789004172319.i-300.82
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