All the versions of this article: [English] [français]

by Vincent Battesti

 Original title: Loisirs
in Bénédicte Florin, Anna Madœuf, Olivier Sanmartin, Roman Stadnicki & Florence Troin (dirs), Abécédaire de la ville au Maghreb et au Moyen-Orient, Tours, Presses universitaires François-Rabelais collection Villes & Territoires, 2020, p. 200-203.
ISBN: 978-2-86906-750-9
Publishing house website:
PDF File:

 In a few words:

The definition of “leisure” is rarely specified in scholarly writings. Its modern meaning as a space of usually free time left by the occupations and constraints of everyday life (work and sleep mainly) has, moreover, no perfect equivalent in Arabic. Nevertheless, the urban populations of the Maghreb and the Middle East make use of these free spaces of time, despite the frequent pluriactivity as a strategy for economic survival. The question is not what these leisure activities are, but what is done with them; these activities (leisure by metonymy) vary with territories and social and gender categories.

In the same book, see also my contributions:
 Festivals & Celebrations - Cities in the Maghreb and the Middle East,
 Restaurants - Cities in the Maghreb and the Middle East.