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Of Sand or SoilGenealogy and Tribal Belonging in Saudi Arabia$
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Nadav Samin

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780691164441

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691164441.001.0001

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Ḥamad al-Jāsir: A Life in Context

Ḥamad al-Jāsir: A Life in Context

(p.19) Chapter One Ḥamad al-Jāsir: A Life in Context
Of Sand or Soil

Nadav Samin

Princeton University Press

This chapter discusses the twentieth-century history of Saudi Arabia through the biography of Hamad al-Jāsir. More than any other single person, al-Jāsir was responsible for shaping the modern genealogical culture of Saudi Arabia. The chapter examines al-Jāsir's life from his birth in 1909 in a central Arabian village to the beginnings of his genealogical project in the 1970s. It considers al-Jāsir's sometimes tumultuous relationship with his patrons in the Wahhabi religious establishment, his contributions to the development of the Saudi press and public culture, and his views on Arabia's bedouin populations and on the Arabic language. It also explores al-Jāsir's turn toward scholarship and the documenting of Saudi lineages in the last third of his life.

Keywords:   twentieth-century history, Saudi Arabia, biography, Hamad al-Jāsir, genealogical culture, Wahhabi religious establishment, Saudi press, public culture, Arabic language, Saudi lineages

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