Physical, sensory, and mental impairments can influence an individual’s status in society as much as the more familiar categories of gender, class, religion, race, and ethnicity. This was especially true of the Ottoman Arab world, where being judged able or disabled impacted every aspect of a person’s life, including performance of religious ritual, marriage, job opportunities, and the ability to buy and sell property. Disability in the Ottoman Arab World, 1500-1800 is the first book-length historical study of blindness, deafness, intersex, and madness in the Middle East and North Africa from the perspective of disability. Unlike previous scholarly works that examine disability as discussed in religious texts such as the Qur’an and the Hadith, this study focuses on representations and experiences of impairments across a wide range of sources, including chronicles, biographical dictionaries, medicine, and legal texts. Buy it on Amazon

Publication Details

Disability in the Ottoman Arab World, 1500–1800
Scalenghe, Sara
University of Cambridge / Cambridge University Press
Publish Date
April 2016
Scalenghe, Sara, Disability in the Ottoman Arab World, 1500–1800 (University of Cambridge / Cambridge University Press, April 2016).