The issue of regional connections and cooperation among the rural population in different parts of Palestine at the end of the nineteenth century has thus far not received adequate attention. This article presents case-studies of several villages in the sub-district of Gaza, which submitted joint petitions about common concerns to the Grand Vizier in Istanbul. It examines the significance of these petitions and discusses their characteristics, uniqueness, and historical context. It then moves on to discuss other forms of regional cooperation and nuclei of regional identification among the rural population, which in part had previous roots, and explores their repercussions for the development of regional identity alongside more commonly known identities concomitantly held by Palestine's population at the time. The submission of joint petitions to Istanbul, it is argued, was one of the key manifestations of a tendency toward greater regionalism in some regions of Palestine at the end of the nineteenth century, an occurrence which was less likely to happen prior to the Tanzimat reforms. While the literature has primarily focused on the activity of the urban educated circles in the process of regionalization, this article presents a unique bottom-up perspective that underscores the everyday experiences, practices and mechanisms of cooperation in a rural region which is rarely investigated.
- Late-nineteenth-century Palestine
- Regional identity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Sociology and Political Science
- Economics and Econometrics