Over the last two centuries, the French dimension of Arab history has loomed large. The Arab world equally has played a major role in recent French history. Franco-Arab Encounters treats the many aspects of this interaction, tracing not just the political, but also the cultural, social, and intellectual. Twenty authors present these “encounters" in seven sections covering the Arab world, from Morocco to Saudi Arabia, over the past two hundred years. The book is dedicated to the memory of David C. Gordon, a pioneer and leader in this field of scholarship, who taught history at AUB from 1949 to 1955 and 1958 to 1975.
This publication contains the proceedings of a 2007 conference organized by the Center for Arab and Middle East Studies (CAMES) at the American University of Beirut and the Center for Antiochene Studies at the University of Balamand. It is divided into two parts comprising two respective chronological eras, reflecting the intention of the conference to pursue a dual and comparative focus with the hope of throwing fresh light on both eras – the early Islamic period, from the Islamic conquests of Syria until the fall of the Umayyad dynasty (632–750), and the period of Byzantine reconquest of Syria (969–1084).