Al-Nahda (Arabic: النهضة / ALA-LC: an-Nahḍah; Arabic for "awakening" or "renaissance") was a cultural renaissance that began in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in Egypt, then later moving to Ottoman-ruled Arabic-speaking regions including Lebanon, Syria and others. It is often regarded as a period of intellectual modernization and reform.
The Nahda is seen as connected to the cultural shock brought on by Napoleon's invasion of Egypt in 1798, and the reformist drive of subsequent rulers such as Muhammad Ali. The Egyptian nahda was articulated in purely Egyptian terms, and its participants were mostly Egyptians, and Cairo was undoubtedly the geographical center of the movement. But al-Nahda was also felt in neighboring Arab capitals, notably Beirut and Damascus. The shared language of Arabic-speaking nations ensured that the accomplishments of the movement could be quickly picked up by intellectuals in Arab countries.
In the Ottoman-ruled Arabic regions, major influence and motive were the 19th century tanzimat reforms of the Ottoman Empire, which brought a constitutional order to Ottoman politics and engendered a new political class, and later the Young Turk Revolution which allowed proliferation of press and other publications.
Arab Christians play important role in Al-Nahda, as the fact that Christians were the educated elite and the bourgeois class, they have a significant impact in politices and economic and culture.
Read more about Al-Nahda: Rifa'a Rafi' El-Tahtawi
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