Sarah Irving

I do things with words, mainly English and Arabic

New review: Jean-Pierre Filiu’s history of Gaza

Electronic Intifada, 28th October 2014

Gaza was a key strategic point, the last source of water before the Sinai, from the perspective of armies and merchants heading from the Levant to Egypt. As such, it was a prize in tussles between empires from the Assyrians and Egyptians down to the sixteenth-century Ottomans.
But, as Filiu notes, many of the artistic and architectural remains of these civilizations are no longer in Gaza. Like the area itself, they have fallen victim to imperial ambitions and are now to be found in museums in present-day Israel, Turkey or Europe.
Readers accustomed to thinking of Gaza only in terms of the Islamic faith may be surprised to find that it was significant in the evolution of early Christianity. And a millennium later, a controversial rabbi called Nathan of Gaza was a key figure in the Shabbati Zvi messianic movement which swept through Eastern Judaism.

The full article is here.

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