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Multiple Intellectual Engagements?

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AbstractThis article sketches the trajectories of Arab intellectual thought over the first seven decades of the last century through readings in the careers of three intellectuals. My choice of the Lebanese-Palestinian resident of Egypt Mayy Ziyādah (d. 1941), the Egyptian Tāhā Husayn (d. 1973), and the Iraqi Azīz al-Sayyid Jāsim (d. 1991) rests on the premise that only through explorations into cultural encounters and visions of each intellectual’s career and mission can we come to an understanding of thought as a communicative endeavor. Commitment emerges as an intellectual stance formed and informed by educational background and cultural milieu; while testifying at the same time to an irreducibly individual disposition, faithful to a personal unconscious.

Affiliations: 1: American University of Sharjah, URL:


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