Monday, October 23, 2006

And you, what are you doing here?

LRB | Michael Gilsenan : And you, what are you doing here?: "A Season in Mecca: Narrative of a Pilgrimage by Abdellah Hammoudi ed. Pascale Ghazaleh · Polity, 293 pp, £12.99"

"As a steam rather than a sailing ship, the Jeddah was itself a small part of the transformations which affected the calculations of economy, means of transport and time that Muslim pilgrims (then usually referred to by the British as ‘Muhammadans’) from the Malay Archipelago and elsewhere had to make in the later 19th century. Land and sea transport changed rapidly. The length of voyages shortened dramatically. Caravan traffic lost its dominant place in Africa and the Middle East. ‘The pilgrimage’ was being modernised.

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