Rapid and uneven change to the fabric of rural life is widespread in modern Middle Eastern countries. Modernisation, usually in the Western model, has often brought major improvements in agricultural technology, education and public health but has also had the effect of weakening the traditional rural economy of many villages and encouraging their growing dependence on external sources of income, most notably oil remittances. This collection of research on the Middle Eastern village looks at the impact on rural life and environment of such factors as the mass exodus of labour to urban centres, emigration, immigration, environmental change and the changing role of women in rural communities – particularly the wives of migrant workers who have to fill a new role in the family structure. State-sponsored agrarian policies have weakened the power of traditional landed interests and together with labour migration have provoked new tension and inequalities in rural society. The book makes clear that the pattern of change has been highly uneven and has served to heterogenise the countryside. As the oil states enter a period of recession and the likelihood of substantial return migration increases, rural communities will need to make further major adjustments and the book examines the tensions this new development is likely to produce.
First published in 1987.
Introduction Richard Lawless. 1. Environmental Changes and Village Societies West of the White Nile: Central Sudan Anthony Trilsbach 2. Migration and Modernisation in Rural Turkey Brian Beeley 3. The Socialist Villages of Algeria Keith Sutton 4. Labour Migration and the Transformation of a Village Economy: A Case Study from North-West Jordan Ian Seccombe 5. Diffusion and Acceptance of Modern Schooling in Rural Jordan Lars Wahlin 6. An Explosive Vote of Change in Khabura, Oman: Immigrants Fill the Labour Vacuum Roderic Dutton 7. Expectations and Reality in the Modernisation of Two Iranian Villages Nico Kielstra 8. Zaio Transformed: Two Decades of Change in North-West Morocco David Seddon 9. Egyptian Migration and Peasant Wives Elizabeth Taylor 10. Labour Migration and Key Aspects of Its Economic and Social Impact on a Yemen Highland Community Shelagh Weir