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SOUND MINDS IN SOUND BODIES: TRANSNATIONAL PHILANTHROPY AND PATRIOTIC MASCULINITY IN AL-NADI AL-HOMSI AND SYRIAN BRAZIL, 1920–32

  • Author(s): Fahrenthold, Stacy
  • et al.
Abstract

AbstractEstablished in 1920, al-Nadi al-Homsi in São Paulo, Brazil was a young men's club devoted to Syrian patriotic activism and culture in the Americanmahjar(diaspora). Founded by a transnational network of intellectuals from Homs, the fraternity committed itself to what it saw as a crucial aspect of Syrian national independence under Amir Faysal: the development of a political middle class and a masculine patriotic culture. Al-Nadi al-Homsi directed this project at Syrian youth, opening orphanages, libraries, and schools in both Syria and in Brazil. In these spaces, men and boys congregated to celebrate a polite male culture centered on secular philanthropy, popular education, and corporeal discipline through sports. This article argues that during the 1920s and 1930s, al-Nadi al-Homsi's politics of benevolence was part of a larger social milieu that drew analogies between strong Syrian minds and bodies and a sovereign, independent Syrian homeland.

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