Thamarāt al Funūn

Thamarāt al Funūn (Arabic: Fruit of the Arts) was a Lebanese biweekly that was published between 1875 and 1908 in Beirut. It was one of the significant publications and the sole media outlet of the Lebanese Muslims during that period.[1]

Thamarāt al Funūn
TypeBiweekly newspaper
Founder(s)Jamʿiyyat al-Funun
Founded20 April 1875
Ceased publication20 November 1908
OCLC number809953261

History and profileEdit

Thamarāt al Funūn was launched in 1875, and the first issue appeared on 20 April 1875.[2][3] The founding owner of the biweekly was Jamʿiyyat al-Funun (Arabic: Society of the Arts) led by Saad al Din Hamada.[4][5] When the society was closed, Abdel Qader Qabbani bought the biweekly.[4] He was also one of the editors-in-chief of the paper which was a supporter of the Ottoman Empire.[1] Another editor-in-chief was Yusuf Al Asir who also edited Lisan Al Hal.[6] Al Asir attempt to produce a synthesis between the East and West in Thamarāt al Funūn.[7]

The headquarters of Thamarāt al Funūn was in Beirut,[8] but it was also circulated in Hijaz, Arabia.[9] The paper ended publication in 1908,[4][10] and the last issue was dated 20 November 1908.[8]

Contributors and contentEdit

In addition to Muslim contributors some significant Christian authors also published articles in Thamarāt al Funūn, including Adib Ishaq and Yaqub Sarruf.[1] Frequent topics featured in Thamarāt al Funūn were women's status[10] and education which were presented in a unique manner.[2] However, from the 1890s the biweekly adopted a conservative Islamist approach and frequently featured the writings of the leading conservative figures such as Mohammad Abduh and Ahmad Tabbara.[1][11] The latter replaced Abd al Qadir al Qabbani as the editor-in-chief in 1898.[1]

Thamarāt al Funūn initially produced news based on the translations of the telegraph messages sent by the major news agencies such as Reuters and Havas.[11] The paper was subject to censorship exerted by the Ottomans.[12] For instance, the biweekly published news on the deaths of leading statesmen of the period such as French President Sadi Carnot, Qajar ruler Nasir al Din Shah and Italian King Umberto who were all assassinated without using the word assassination.[12]


Donald J. Cioeta's PhD thesis, Thamarat al funun, Syria's first Islamic newspaper, 1875-1908, provides an analysis of the paper which was completed at the University of Chicago in 1979.[13]


  1. ^ a b c d e Mohammad Magout. "Secularity in the Syro-Lebanese Press in the 19th Century". Leipzig University. Retrieved 15 March 2021.
  2. ^ a b Susanna Ferguson (Spring 2018). ""A Fever for an Education": Pedagogical Thought and Social transformation in Beirut and Mount Lebanon, 1861-1914" (PDF). Arab Studies Journal. XXVI (1): 63.
  3. ^ "Thamarāt al-funūn". Center for Research Libraries.
  4. ^ a b c Toufoul Abou-Hodeib (August 2011). "Taste and class in late Ottoman Beirut". International Journal of Middle East Studies. 43 (3): 475–492. doi:10.1017/S0020743811000626.
  5. ^ Caesar A. Farah (2010). Arabs and Ottomans. Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press. p. 54. ISBN 9781617190896.
  6. ^ "Tributes to al-Shaykh Yūsuf al-Asir" (PDF). Louaize, Lebanon: Notre Dame University. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 December 2021. Retrieved 15 March 2021.
  7. ^ Aida Ali Najjar (1975). The Arabic Press and Nationalism in Palestine, 1920-1948 (PhD thesis). Syracuse University. p. 12. ISBN 9781083851468. ProQuest 288060869.
  8. ^ a b "A Chronology of the 19th-century Periodicals in Arabic". Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient. Retrieved 18 August 2022.
  9. ^ William Ochsenwald (1984). Religion, Society and the State in Arabia: The Hijaz under Ottoman control, 1840-1908. Columbus, OH: The Ohio State University Press. p. 79. ISBN 0814203663.
  10. ^ a b Fruma Zachs; Sharon Halevi (2014). Gendering Culture in Greater Syria: Intellectuals and Ideology in the Late Ottoman Period. London; New York: I. B. Taurus. p. 36. ISBN 978-0-85772-559-2.
  11. ^ a b Stephen Sheehi (2005). "Arabic Literary-Scientific Journals: Precedence for Globalization and the Creation of Modernity". Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East. 25 (2): 443. doi:10.1215/1089201X-25-2-439.
  12. ^ a b Donald J. Cioeta (May 1979). "Ottoman Censorship in Lebanon and Syria, 1876-1908". International Journal of Middle East Studies. 10 (2): 175. doi:10.1017/S0020743800034759.
  13. ^ "Thamarat al funun, Syria's first Islamic newspaper, 1875-1908". The University of Chicago. Retrieved 12 June 2022.