Talk:Southern Syria

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Ottoman Province[edit]

Actually, Palestine formed part of the Vilayet of Beirut....not Damascus.

That changed in the 19th century AnonMoos 07:26, 30 September 2005 (UTC)
Yes but Palestine was part of the Vilayet of Sidon prior to Beirut NOT Damascus. John Ball 11:00 10 Oct 2005.
The Ottomans were constantly changing their administrative structure, but I'm flipping through the multivolume scholarly "Encyclopedia of Islam", and it's rather clear that the southern half of Palestine (including Jerusalem) was under Damascus during most of the period of Ottoman rule -- including the 19th century prior to 1874 (when the Sanjaq of Jerusalem was elevated to the status of an autonomous Sanjak, not part of any Vilayet), excluding the years in the 1830's when it was under Egyptian rule.
From article "al-Sham": Before the end of the 10th/16th century, Syria had become divided into three great pashaliks: 1) Damascus, comprising ten Sanjaqs or prefectures, the chief of which were Jerusalem, Gaza, Nablus, Sidon, and Beirut 2) Tripoli 3) Aleppo... In the following century, the pashalik of Sidon was created to include Lebanon... After 1864, Syria was divided between two Vilayets: Aleppo and Damascus. In 1888, Beirut was made a separate Vilayet.
The article "al-Kuds" contains historical references which make it clear that Jerusalem was part of the province of Damascus in 1808, 1821, and 1825.
The article "Filastin" says: During the 16th century, Palestine consisted of the Sanjaqs of Gaza, Jerusalem, Nablus, Lajjūn, and Safad, all forming part of the Eyālet of Damascus... About 1660, a new province distinct from Shām was created, named Sidon and including the liwās of Safad and al-Lajjūn.
Even though the NORTHERN (not southern) part of Palestine was fairly frequently part of a province based in Lebanon (during the period when such a pashalik or vilayet existed, which it didn't during most of the 19th century prior to 1888), this is not really relevant to your attempted point -- since Sidon and Beirut were considered to be just as much part of Bilad-ush-Sham بلاد الشام or "greater Syria" as Damascus was... AnonMoos 17:12, 11 October 2005 (UTC)
The Ottomans conquered Syria in 1516. All of Bilad al Sham was part of the Vilayet (earlier Eyalet) of Damascus until 1660 when the Vilayet of Sidon was created. This Vilayet consisted of the Palestinian Sanjaks of Jerusalem, Nablus & Acre. In 1864 the Vilayet of Damascus was reorganised as the Vilayet of Syria. At this time, of the 3 Palestinian Sanjaks, Jerusalem returned to the Vilayet of Syria(Damascus) from Sidon before becoming an Independent Sanjak in 1874. The other Sanjaks of Acre and Nablus remained within Sidon before becoming part of Beirut in the final reorganisation in 1888. My sources for this are: Kamal Salibi: A House of Many Mansions, which has a long discussion of the history of the political geography of the area and Rashid Khalidi: Palestinian Identity which also looks closely at Palestine in the Ottoman period.
When you refer to the Sanjaks in Palestine, you refer to the ones which existed in the 16C, why? The point you're, presumably, attempting to make regards the 19C. John Ball 10:26 14 Oct 2005.
You imply that there was a first-order administrative subdivision (pashalik, eyalet, vilayet, whatever) based in Lebanon continuously from 1660 to the end of the Ottoman empire, but there wasn't -- during most of the second half of the eighteenth century, and the whole of the 19th century prior to 1888, all of Palestine would have been under Damascus (except after 1874, when Jerusalem and the south was elevated to an independent Sanjaq). Not that this makes the slightest difference for you, since according to 19th century ideas, Sidon and Beirut were just as much part of Syria as Damascus. AnonMoos 05:55, 14 October 2005 (UTC)
This was simply not the case. The Vilayet of Sidon was established in 1660. It is simply not the case that all of Palestine was administered from Damascus until 1874. Nor was there a concept of 'Syria' that was in common usage in the Middle East in the 19C. I strongly suggest you read some accurate history. Most of what you've written is accurate and informative, it's just not a definition of 'Southern Syria'. It belongs in an article about Bilad al Sham. John Ball 10:22 17 Oct 2005.
Then why does the multivolume scholarly Encyclopedia of Islam say otherwise? What do you know that its authors don't? And Bilad-ush-Sham was the Arabic-speaking Muslim way of referring to Syria before about 1870 (and in many cases also after 1870). AnonMoos 15:37, 18 October 2005 (UTC)
Bilad al Sham is broadly equivalent to the western concept of Historical Syria. The two are not exactly the same. The term is not restricted to Muslims.

John Ball 15:43 20 Oct 2005.

John Ball's edits[edit]

In the Ottoman period, Southern Syria was a geographical term, not particularly a "political position", so your edits are mostly not helpful. AnonMoos 07:26, 30 September 2005 (UTC)

Incorrect. The concept of Syria was not revived until the late 19C. Southern Syria WAS a political position that lasted from 1918 - 1920. John Ball 11:05 10 Oct 2005.
Whatever, dude: The Arabic term Suriya سوريا wasn't much used by Arabic-speaking Muslims before ca. 1870 (though it was used by Arabic speaking Christians), but the Arabic term Bilad-ush-sham بلاد الشام (which is also translated into English as "Syria") has been used by Arab Muslims all along, continuously for the last 1300 years or more -- and during the Ottoman period until the end of the 19th century, Muslim inhabitants of the general Palestine/Canaan/Israel region would have more often thought of themselves as residents of Bilad-ush-Sham than as residents of Filastin. Furthermore, "Greater Syria" ideology started before 1918 and lasted until long after 1920 (though 1918-1920 was the period of its highest hopes). If you don't know any Arabic, then please don't mess up these pages by dogmatizing about subjects concerning which you are basically ignorant. AnonMoos 17:19, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
Who rattled your cage? Arab Christians had an earlier idea of Syria, that's true. There is a way to settle this: you provide evidence that Palestine was referred to as 'Southern Syria' by natives of the land and by the Ottoman authorities, because, thus far, all you have is assertion. It is not I who is is you 'dude'. You assert points without backing them up. I am well aware that Bilad al Sham is equivalent to Syria and don't need you to 'inform' me. John Ball 10:30 Oct 14 2005.
Why is it that I think you're lying? Could it be that you haven't shown the slightest knowledge of the Arabic language up to this point? As for my "cage" (as you choose to call it), I get annoyed with your actions because you dogmatize from your position of ignorance, and closed-mindedly refuse to acknowledge any facts whatsoever. AnonMoos 06:06, 14 October 2005 (UTC)
Knowledge of the Arabic language is irrelevent in this case. Knowledge of history is. It is you who present historically inaccurate information from a dogmatic point of view. You were the first to mention 'Palestinian identity' and I think this is where your interest begins....for some political reason you want to label Palestine as something else. Well, you can shove your politically motivated re-writing of history to suit a political agenda. Such things should not belong here.
Knowledge of the Arabic language isn't necessarily absolutely essential, but it could have prevented you from stumbling into some blunders... AnonMoos 15:37, 18 October 2005 (UTC)
I also know that by the end of the 19C and certainly in the early part of the 20C prior to WWI there was a growing Palestinian identity among the Arab inhabitants. So, over to you, time to come up with the evidence: tell us who by, when, where, why and how Palestine was referred to as Southern Syria. John Ball 10:30 Oct 14 2005.
Whatever -- I think it's rather up to you to demonstrate that "Southern Syria" was only ever used as a purely political term, and was never at any time used as a simple geographical term (without an overt political motivation). Please don't mutilate this article again. AnonMoos 06:06, 14 October 2005 (UTC)
You seem not to understand what's required here. I have demonstrated that 'Southern Syria' was both a political position and a newspaper which advocated that position. You have NOT demonstrated that it was a alternative geographical term for Palestine. Now is your chance to do so. Let's make it easy for you, just fill in the blanks:

Who referred to Palestine as 'Southern Syria'?[edit]

When did they refer to Palestine as 'Southern Syria'?[edit]

Why did they refer to Palestine as 'Southern Syria'?[edit]

Examples of Palestine referred to as 'Southern Syria'.[edit]

John Ball 10:37 17 Oct 2005.

Please keep this article on the version that refers to it as the name of a newspaper, AnonMoos. Stop reverting to your version. Yuber(talk) 18:28, 20 November 2005 (UTC)
Actually, "my" version is in basic substance the version that existed before either myself or Johnny appeared on the scene. I'm perfectly willing and ready to cooperate with him on this article -- as soon as he stops pushing the rather nonsensical assertion that "Arabs didn't have any concept of Syria before WW1". I notice that you didn't contribute anything other than the rather dubious capitalization of the Arabic definite article. AnonMoos 02:53, 21 November 2005 (UTC)
Can you actually source your version? Much of it seems to be unsourced. Arabic-speaking Christians used "Souriyya" but Muslims didn't? At least for now you need to find a source that says it's an alternative name. By the way, Bilad Ash-Sham means to lands of the north, not lands of the "left". Yuber(talk) 03:03, 21 November 2005 (UTC)
Whatever -- at least "my" version (if you want to call it such) doesn't include obvious nonsense such as the claim that Arabs NEVER considered Palestine to be part of "Syria" unless they were plotting and scheming on behalf of Feisal of the Hejaz! In any case, I have the personal assurances Yusuf B Gursey (an expert in historical Arabic linguistics) that the word Suriya was included in the Arabic Bible, and familiar to Arabic-speaking Christians on that account, but that most Arabic-speaking Muslims living there would not have had much reason to encounter until it came into use in Ottoman administrative terminology about 1870. And any source will tell you that Palestine is part of "Bilad-al-Sham". In any case, left is the ETYMOLOGY of the meaning of "Sham" -- I explained in detail how the meaning "left" gives rise to the meaning "north". AnonMoos 03:53, 21 November 2005 (UTC)
If you read "my" version, I don't make the claim that 'Arabs NEVER considered Palestine to be part of "Syria" unless they were plotting and scheming on behalf of Feisal of the Hejaz!' I really don't appreciate 'straw man' arguments. What is at issue is whether Palestine was ever referred to as 'Southern Syria' except in the 1918-20 period and then as a political expression and the name of a newspaper which espoused that position. Thus far, no evidence has been presented to support this contention. Incidentally, the term Suriyya was used by Arab geographers of the 10C to describe the area of the middle Orontes (Nahr al Asi) around the cities of Homs and Hama rather than the whole of 'historical Syria'. I want to expand this article to include quotes from the newspaper that illustrate the politics involved, but this appears pointless with a troll like AnonMoos around. Sorry todays edit was mine, I just neglected to sign in. John Ball 14:18 28 Nov 2005.
It's nice that you're retreating from your previous rigid dogmatic inflexible insistence on your position that Arabs had no concept of Syria before WW1, and that no Arab ever used the phrase "southern Syria" in any circumstances whatsoever except exclusively and solely as a part of Greater Syrian nationalist political machinations -- however, as long as you insist on using a dull meat-cleaver to hack away and amputate large sections of the article (instead of working to improve them in detail), then it's hard to see how any fruitful collaboration will be possible. AnonMoos 01:26, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
There's no retreat on my part. I simply refute your inaccurate interpretation of my views. The issue at hand is EVIDENCE of Palestine being referred to as Southern Syria. Thus far, you have failed to produce anything beyond assertion. There is no evidence of Palestine being referred to as Southern Syria prior to 1918 and little after 1920. If there is, then you will have little difficulty in providing the evidence.....will you? And, rest assured, I have no intention of collaborating with you, I understand very well the political subtext behind your trolling.

John Ball 11:50 30 November 2005.

Southern Syria was an alternative name for Palestine in the Ottoman Empire. <needs source> The Arabic word suriyya (سوريا, "official" spelling سورية) wasn't much used by Arabic-speaking Muslims before about 1870 (though it had been used by Arabic-speaking Christians earlier). <needs source>

Wonder about Kazziha source[edit]

We have "Southern Syria .... is a term that refers to the southern part of the Syria region, roughly corresponding to the Southern Levant and more specifically mostly referring chronologically to the southern part of Ottoman Syria provinces." sourced to "Kazziha, Walid. The Social History of the Southern Syria (Trans-Jordan) in the 19th and Early 20th Century. Beirut Arab University. 1972."

I don't have immediate access to that book, but I wonder why the text cited to it appears to contradict the title of the book. What does the book say and what is the page number? Zerotalk 11:33, 5 April 2016 (UTC)
I cited the source not for the whole sentence, but for the second part. Will fix it.GreyShark (dibra) 20:40, 5 April 2016 (UTC)

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