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Interview with Sa’ida Jarallah

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Read the excerpt on this page of an oral history interview taken by Professor Ellen Fleischmann. In it, Sa’ida Jarallah, one of the first Palestinian Muslim women to study abroad, discusses her life, especially the social and cultural aspects of growing up as a young woman in the 1930s.

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Islamic Empire: Official Document, Jewish Marriage Contract

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Within the context of patriarchal societies, women are dependent upon their male relatives to look out for their best interests. In both Jewish and Muslim marriages, contracts have traditionally been drawn up, illustrating that a marriage is as much a familial contract as a union between two people. In Fatimid Cairo, Jewish families took great pains to draw up ketubbot, or marriage contracts,... Read More »

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Islamic Empire: Poem, Abbasid-era

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The Abbasid period is known as a time during which women’s public roles became more restricted in the Muslim population (umma). With the conquest of Sasanian and Byzantine lands, Arabs incorporated ideals of cloistering females and eliminating them from political life, with many ramifications in women’s daily lives. Moreover, strong patriarchal urges already ran through Arabian society, as the... Read More »

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Islamic Empire: Religious Text, Confederation Sura

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This Sura (or chapter) of the Qur’an, known as al-Ahzab, or the “Confederation,” is known for its many verses extolling modesty in women, as well as detailing aspects of ideal marriage. Because of its references directly to the wives of the Prophet Muhammad, there has been controversy over whether or not the restrictions it places on women’s movement in the public sphere are to be universally... Read More »

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Islamic Empire: Religious Text, Marriage Customs

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The Hadith, or ways of the Prophet Muhammad, were collected upon his death from those who were close to him in life. Known as the Companions, these people played a key role in filling in the sayings and practices of Muhammad and his behaviors, recording them for future generations. Many of the key Companions to relay Hadith were Muhammad’s wives, particularly ‘A’isha bint Abu Bakr. In this... Read More »

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Islamic Empire: Religious Text, Women Sura

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This Sura (or chapter) of the Qur’an, known as al-Nisa’, or “Women,” details a variety of legal rights and restrictions for Muslims in the realm of marriage, inheritance, and other male-female relationships. Containing verses on polygamy, property maintenance, and child custody, it is one of the foundation chapters for the development of sharia, or Islamic law, vis-à-vis women’s legal rights,... Read More »

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Italian Mother and Baby

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"Italian Mother and Baby" appeared in Jacob Riis's How the Other Half Lives: Studies among the Tenements of New York (1890). This image captures the misery of urban poverty as well as the tenacity of life. It is infused with unmistakable sentimentalism and symbolism. This forlorn mother with her swaddled baby is evocative of Mary and of many paintings of "Madonna and Child." The hat... Read More »

Detail of a photograph titled "General view of Granada incarceration camp" show rows of internment housing facilities

Japanese Incarceration Camps Sites

Review
One of the richest sites on this topic is the Denshō Website, which documents the lives of internees through text, photographs, maps, and video interviews with survivors.
A woman dressed in a kimono and hair in Japanese style sits in a room playing a shamisen. A tray with a tea set and a tobacco tray are placed next to her, and a screen is placed at her back.

Japanese Old Photographs in Bakumatsu-Meiji Period

Review
The site will be useful to instructors looking to add visual sources to enliven a discussion of Japanese history at this critical moment in which Japan confronted the threat of Western imperialism and embarked on its own urgent project of modernization.
Thumbnail photo of a woman speaking with a banner in the background

Jewish Women's Archive

Review
The Jewish Women’s Archive (JWA), a national non-profit organization, seeks to collect and promote the 'extraordinary stories of Jewish women.'

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