Constructing Ottoman Beneficence: An Imperial Soup Kitchen in Jerusalem

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SUNY Press, May 9, 2002 - History - 240 pages
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Ottoman charitable endowments (waqf) constituted an enduring monument to imperial beneficence and were important instruments of policy. One type of endowment, the public soup kitchen (>imaret) served travelers, scholars, pious mystics, and local indigents alike. Constructing Ottoman Beneficence examines the political, social, and cultural context for founding these public kitchens. It challenges long-held notions about the nature of endowments and explores for the first time how Ottoman modes of beneficence provide an important paradigm for understanding universal questions about the nature of charitable giving.

A typical and well-documented example was the >imaret of Has|s|eki Hurrem Sultan, wife of Sultan Su¬leyman I, in Jerusalem. The >imaret operated at the confluence of imperial endowment practices and Ottoman food supply policies, while also exemplifying the role of imperial women as benefactors. Through its operations, the >imaret linked imperial Ottoman and local Palestinian interests, integrating urban and rural economies.
  

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Contents

Devote the fruits to pious purposes
15
What is a waqf?
17
The roots of waqf?
22
Why found a waqf?
25
The Ottomans
32
A Bowl of Soup and a Loaf of Bread
39
The written record
44
Institutions of the endowment
46
Getting started
105
Tax arrears and firewood
108
Food for all
112
Building a bath
117
Dealing in grain
121
Adding to the endowment
125
Feeding Power
131
Provisioning
132

Endowed properties
48
Personnel
54
Soup
58
Why Jerusalem?
65
Ladies Bountiful
71
HurremHelena
73
Beneficence and women in Islamic history
81
The Byzantine factor
83
TurcoMongol heritage
86
The Ottomans
88
The Gender of Beneficence
93
Serving Soup in Jerusalem
99
On management
104
Istanbul and Topkapi Palace
133
Provincial towns
136
The army on campaign
138
Janissaries
140
On the word imaret
143
PreOttoman precedents
145
An Ottoman institution
152
Practicing Beneficence
159
Notes
171
Bibliography
207
Index
229
Copyright

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Page 223 - Jerusalem Explored; being a Description of the Ancient and Modern City, with upwards of One Hundred Illustrations, consisting of Views, Ground-plans, and Sections. By Dr. Ermete Pierotti, Doctor of Mathematics, Architect-Engineer to His Excellency Soorraya Pasha of Jerusalem, and Architect of the Holy Land.
Page xi - This research was supported by The Israel Science Foundation founded by the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities.

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About the author (2002)

Amy Singer teaches in the Department of Middle Eastern and African History, Tel Aviv University. She is the author of Palestinian Peasants and Ottoman Officials: Rural Administration Around Sixteenth-Century Jerusalem.

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