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2014

Issue . 60
P. 92
Features
A Farcical Moment? Nabulsi Exceptionalism and the 1908 Ottoman Revolution
ABSTRACT

Throughout the twentieth century and most

of the nineteenth, the city of Nablus (“Little

Damascus,” as coined by Maqdisi) evoked

images of soap, knafeh, and tolerance of

homosexuality. It was also a region of

sporadic rebellions by its surrounding

peasantry. The epitaph Jabal al-Nar, “the

Mountain of Fire” (acquired during the 1936

Revolt), has become synonymous with the

city of Nablus and its history, evoking the

1834 rebellion of Qasim al-Ahmad against

the Egyptian armies of Ibrahim Pasha as

well as a series of revolts that punctuated

the Ottoman, Mandate, and Israeli periods

after that.1 Ahmad’s peasant rebellion is

often seen, with some exaggeration, as a

turning point in the formation of Palestinian

nationalism and a separatist Palestinian

identity.