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A Season in Mecca: Narrative of a Pilgrimage

3.05  ·  Rating details ·  60 ratings  ·  10 reviews
An unforgettable report on one man's hajj--the sacred rite that brings millions of Muslims to Mecca every year

In 1999, the Moroccan scholar Abdellah Hammoudi, trained in Paris and teaching in America, decided to go on the pilgrimage to Mecca. He wanted to observe the hajj as an anthropologist but also to experience it as an ordinary pilgrim, and to write about it for both
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published January 10th 2006 by Hill and Wang (first published January 7th 2005)
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Hammoudi is an anthropologist, a Moroccan by birth and a professor at Princeton. By his own admission a nominal Muslim, he undertakes the complex and confusing process of making the pilgrimage to Mecca both to assess it from an anthropological point of view and to see what impact it has on his faith. I was interested in both.

If you are hoping for a travelogue of a journey to Mecca and back, you’d be disappointed. If you are hoping for an anthropological treatise, you’ll also be frustrated. This
قصي بن خليفة
ظننته كتاباً يحكي رحلة الحج كما تدعي نبذة الغلاف الخلفي وقلت لا بأس ببعض الخواطر هنا وهناك. ولكني لم أجد رحلة وإنما مقتطفات متفرقة عنها. وجل الكتاب هو خواطر الكاتب في هذه الفترة عن الحج والإسلام والمسلمين وعندما ركبت بحر الخواطر غرقت فيها ولم أفهم شيئاً. قد أجد له عذراً في كون الكتاب مُتَرجَم وكثير من الأفكار العميقة والعواطف تضيع في الترجمة
مقدمة فلسفية مملة جداً كدت خلالها أترك الكتاب ! وليتني فعلت
الفصول الأولى أفضل من الأخيرة حيث وصف الكاتب جانباً من إجراءات التحضير للحج وسخر من الممارسات
Huthaifa Alomari
Aug 20, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

الأسلوب ركيك....الترجمة سيئة...الكتاب فيه إساءة للإسلام والمسلمين
Not recommended at all
Jun 07, 2014 rated it liked it
The description of navigating the Moroccan kleptocracy to get one of the visas allotted to the county is an example of Hammoudi's excellent narrative capability. Other highlights are his descriptions of the intimidating preparatory classes, the shopping sprees, an animal sacrifice, the oversold buses with the blaring religious tapes, the people he meets, the failings of tour operators and the pilgrims' reactions to them and the petty bureaucracy he encountered upon trying to leave Saudi Arabia.

Jan 06, 2008 rated it liked it
In 1999 Princeton anthropologist Abdellah Hammoudi undertook the hajj. During the pilgrimage he record his thoughts and experiences and later crafted them into this rather curious work. Hammoudi shifts fitfully between recording events, pondering religion through an anthropological lens, and deep personal introspection. The book is worth reading just for Hammoudi's day-by-day descriptions of the life on the hajj. He conveys how piety, materialism, awe, and chaos intermix to make the hajj unlike ...more
Ayman Fadel
Aug 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: islam
I'm writing this review knowing that I'm not going to do the book justice. The number one reason is that I'm far too removed from academia now and far too pressed for time to be able to follow closely and read and reread each passage. The second reason is that I read the first 141 pages more than a year ago. When I put this book up on, to my surprise it was immediately requested. I'm too cheap to buy a book and not finish it before giving it away, so I finished the book this ...more
Kamil Kopacewicz
Jul 16, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: na-biurku
Bazując na podstawie polskiego wydania, w moich oczach książka zawiera wiele cennych informacji, nie do uzyskania nigdzie indziej. Jednakże jest okropnie napisana, pełna antropologiczno-socjologicznych wywodów, które do nikąd nie prowadzą i niewiele znaczą. Proszę nie rozumieć mnie źle, antropologia jest jedną z moich ulubionych gałęzi nauki, ale niestety nie jestem w stanie znieść długich stron bełkotu, który wcale naukowy nie jest.
Mimo wszystko doceniam wyjątkowe spojrzenie autora i jego
رجاء Rajaâ
من أين أبدأ ؟
من تذبذب الكاتب بين المغربي المسلم المتمرد بشكل أو بآخر على هذين الصفتين وبين الأنثروبولوجي المتثاقف مع الرؤية الفردانية الأمريكية ؟
أم من نعته لذبح اضحية العيد بجريمة قتل، دون أن يخجل من أكله لحم الدجاج مع الحجاج في المدينة ومكة ؟
أم من صواب تساءله حول إغفال الدور الهاجري الأساسي في الأسرة، موضوع حكاية الحج ؟
أم من صفحات كاملة من التحليل الغامض أو على الأقل المستعصي ؟...
في نظري، هذا كتاب يستحق القراءة ويتطلب موازاته بالتامل والنقد المتعدد الاتجاهات.. أي تجاه المقروء، وتجاه الذات،
Ayoub Radil
Nov 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
موضوع شيق و شائك
و استفدت شخصيا من أسلوب الأنثروبولوجي الذي لا ينسى أنه جزء من الموضوع
فكثير من الباحثين الأنثروبولوجيين ينظرون نظرة فوقية أو يحاولون نفي كيانهم و وجودهم من دراستهم
لكن عبد الله حمودي تناول نظرته للخارج من الداخل.
و عموما الرحلة شيقة و لا تستطيع الانقطاع عن القراءة خصوصا أنك تبدأ معه من الرحلة المخزنية
داخل بيروقراطية المقاطعات إلى أن تزور معه المدينة و مكة و ترى من خلال حروف قلمه
مظاهر التأسلُم و الإسلام و تتضح معالم عجيبة قد تشاطره النظرة نفسها و قد تراها مختلفة.
Dec 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: those interested in Islam, those about to undertake the Hajj,
Recommended to sam by: Hilly Geertz
This text is in a serious engagement with the ongoing debate over what constitutes ethnographic writing.
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Abdellah Hammoudi was Professor at the Mohammed V University in Rabat, Morocco, and the first holder of the Faisal Visiting Professorship at Princeton. He was the founding director of the Institute for the Transregional Study of the Contemporary Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia. Professor Hammoudi has done extensive work on the ethno-history of his native Morocco, fieldwork in Morocco, ...more