Gabes, the Oasis of the World: Its Gulf, its Population, its History, its Men
المرزوقي، محمد. قابس جنة الدنيا: غابتها، خليجها، مدينتها، سكانها، تاريخها، رجالها. القاهرة: مكتبة الخانجي ،١٩٦٢، ٣٠٩ص.

Marzuqi, Muhammad. Qabis, Jannat al-Dunya: Ghabatuha, Khalijuha, Madinatuha, Sukkanuha, Tarikhuha, Rijaluha. Cairo: Maktabat al-Khanji, 1962, 309pp.


Gabes, the Oasis of the World: its Gulf, its Population, its History, its Men

قابس جنة الدنيا: غابتها، خليجها، مدينتها، سكانها، تاريخها، رجالها

This book comprises six main sections, the first of which describes the famous oasis of Gabes and the variety of trees and products found therein. The second section focuses on the gulf of the oasis which gives the city a strategic geographical location. Part three depicts the major historical monuments in the city, most of which have been destroyed, such as the Citadel and al-‘Arusain Palace. The fourth section deals with the city’s population, highlighting their origins and habits; while the fifth examines the various political developments witnessed by Gabes and the most important governors who ruled it. Finally, the writer mentions in part six some renowned Gabesian scholars, poets, and mystics such as the Prophet’s companion Abu Lubabah al-Ansari. However, he only refers to men, overlooking the role of women in the scientific, literary, and political Gabesian life. 

In addition to showing the importance of Gabes, this book provides a general account of Tunisian history. Therefore, it could be used as a reference by historians and travellers. Moreover, the author does not only focus on the positive aspects, but also highlights issues such as access to drinking water and the negligence towards the city’s landmarks. The author has not always used historical evidence and has based much of this research on data he gathered himself.

Readers should note that this book was written in the late fifties, and some of the statistics and information provided here are no longer valid. For instance, the town of Gbilli, which was part of Gabes, is today an independent province. 

Meriam Ben Amor 

Ben Amor, Meriam. “English abstract of 'Gabes, the Oasis of the World: its Gulf, its Population, its History, its Men'". Translated by Meriam Ben Amor. In Cities as Built and Lived Environments: Scholarship from Muslim Contexts, 1875 to 2011, by Aptin Khanbaghi. 105. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2014.
Muslim Civilisations Abstracts - The Aga Khan University
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