In Egypt, the landowning class first arose in the early part of the nineteenth century from land grants given to extended family members and friends of the ruler Muhammad ‘Ali. From the subsequent development of capitalism, a class of large landowners emerged and began to defend their interests, both economic and political. In two seminal Arabic works published in the 1970s, Raouf Abbas and Assem El–Dessouky traced the formation of this class, exploring the multiple factors that influenced the rise and power of landowners. Combined into one volume and translated into English for the first time, this book offers a comprehensive analysis of landownership and its effects on Egyptian society. The authors draw from extensive archival sources, successfully integrating in their work the competing forces of the state, the landlords, and the peasants. By moving beyond much of the familiar scholarship on landholders, this book presents a new interpretation of Egyptian politics and society.
Until their recent demolition, the colorful mud-brick hamlets of al-Qurna village, situated among the Noble Tombs of the Theban Necropolis on the Luxor West Bank, were home to a vibrant community. Inhabiting a place of intensive Egyptological research for over two centuries, it was inevitable that Qurnawis should become part of the history of Egyptology and the development of archaeological practice in the Theban Necropolis. But they have mostly been regarded as laborers for the excavation teams or dealers in the illicit antiquities trade. The modern people inhabiting the ancient burial grounds have themselves rarely been considered. By demonstrating the multiplicity of economic activities that are carried out in al-Qurna, this study counters the villagers’ stereotypical representation as tomb robbers, and restores an understanding of who they are as people living their lives in the shadow of valued cultural heritage.
The Arab media is in the midst of a revolution. The outcome will shape questions of war and peace in the Middle East; of political and societal reform; and of relations between the west and the Arab World. Drawing on the first broad, cross-border survey of Arab journalists, first-person interviews with scores of reporters and editors, and his three decades’ experience reporting from the Middle East, Lawrence Pintak examines how Arab journalists see themselves and their mission at this critical time in the evolution of the Arab media. He explores how, in a diverse Arab media landscape expressing myriad opinions, journalists are still under siege as governments fight a rear-guard action to manage the message. This innovative book breaks through the stereotypes about Arab journalists to reveal the fascinating and complex reality and what it means for the rest of the world.
This research explores the journeys of migration and desire of Egyptian migrant workers, men and women, who were professionals in Egypt during the 1990s and migrated to occupy low-wage/low-status employment positions in New York City’s service sector. It focuses on their migration stories and histories, their experiences of contradictory class mobility, their production of households and families, as well as their racialization in the post-9/11 era. Cairo Papers in Social Science 30/3.
More than twenty years have passed since Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization concluded the Oslo Accords, or Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements for Palestine. It was declared “a political breakthrough of immense importance.” Israel officially accepted the PLO as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, and the PLO recognized the right of Israel to exist. Critical views were voiced at the time about how the self-government established under the leadership of Yasser Arafat created a Palestinian-administered Israeli occupation, rather than paving the way towards an independent Palestinian state with substantial economic funding from the international community. Through a number of essays written by renowned scholars and practitioners, the years since the Oslo Accords are scrutinized from a wide range of perspectives. Did the agreement have a reasonable chance of success? What went wrong, causing the treaty to derail and delay a real, workable solution? What are the recommendations today to show a way forward for the Israelis and the Palestinians?
Twenty years have passed since Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization concluded the Oslo Accords, or Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements for Palestine. It was declared “a political breakthrough of immense importance.” Israel officially accepted the PLO as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, and the PLO recognized the right of Israel to exist. Critical views were voiced at the time about how the self-government established under the leadership of Yasser Arafat created a Palestinian-administered Israeli occupation, rather than paving the way towards an independent Palestinian state with substantial economic funding from the international community. Through a number of essays written by renowned scholars and practitioners, the two decades since the Oslo Accords are scrutinized from a wide range of perspectives. Did the agreement have a reasonable chance of success? What went wrong, causing the treaty to derail and delay a real, workable solution? What are the recommendations today to show a way forward for the Israelis and the Palestinians?
Egypt is a country of its people. What has been the effect on its inhabitants of the 2011 revolution and subsequent developments? In 2013, a conference held under the auspices of Cairo Papers in Social Science examined this issue from the points of view of anthropologists, historians, political scientists, psychologists, and urban planners. The papers collected here reveal the strategies that various actors employed in this situation. Contributors: Ellis Goldberg, David Sims, Yasmine Ahmed, Deena Abdelmonem, Dina Makram-Ebeid, Clement Henry, Sandrine Gamblin, Hans Christian Korsholm Nielsen, Zeinab Abul-Magd
As the 25 January Revolution got under way and grew from strength to strength, six young Egyptian photographers found themselves following and documenting the events in different parts of Cairo, and converging—as the demonstrations converged—on what became the focal point of the revolution, Tahrir Square. Between them they photographed many of the unprecedented and startling events around the city and in the square, from the early battles of the protesters against heavily armed security forces, through the attacks by paid thugs on camel and horseback, and the peaceful occupation of Tahrir Square, to the victory celebrations and the inspiring clean-up afterward. Together in this stunning visual record they present the days of the revolution in sequence, from tear gas to tears of joy, picturing a story of determination and courage that inspired the world.
In this volume of Cairo Papers in Social Science, researcher Solava Ibrahim explores the relationship between poverty reduction, local administration, and empowerment in Egypt. Examining the link between poverty, participation, and local administration in three governorates—Alexandria, Kafr al-Sheikh, and Assiut—Ibrahim argues that an inadequate system of local administration in Egypt discourages participation, thus hindering sustainable poverty reduction. Comparing the incidence of poverty, the Human Development Index, and level of participation in the three regions, Ibrahim’s research reveals a reversed relationship between poverty and electoral participation. Additionally, the sharp decline in female representation in local councils indicates their failure to empower the poorest segments of society, including women. Acknowledging the vicious circle of bad administration in Egypt, the study analyzes some previous attempts to achieve sustainable poverty reduction, and concludes with a number of recommendations for improvement as a way to encourage empowerment and reduce poverty in Egypt.
The recent revolution in Egypt has shaken the Arab world to its roots. This is not the first time that the world turns its gaze to Egypt, however. A half century ago, Egypt under Nasser became the putative leader of the Arab world and a beacon for all developing nations. Yet during the decades prior to the 2011 revolution, it was ruled by a sclerotic regime plagued by nepotism and corruption, and its economy declined into near shambles. Here, Steven Cook explains how this parlous state of affairs came to be, why the revolution occurred, and where Egypt might be headed next. In a sweeping account of Egypt in the modern era, he incisively chronicles all of the nation’s central historical episodes: the decline of British rule, the rise of Nasser, Egypt’s decision to make peace with Israel, the assassination of Sadat, the emergence of the Muslim Brotherhood, and—finally—the demonstrations that convulsed Tahrir Square and overthrew an entrenched regime.
The great cities of the Middle East and North Africa have long attracted the attention and interest of historians. With the discovery and wider use over the last few decades of the Islamic court records and Ottoman administrative documents, our knowledge of Middle Eastern cities between the seventeenth and early twentieth centuries has vastly expanded. Drawing upon a treasure trove of documents and using a variety of methodologies, the contributors succeed in providing a significant overview of the ways in which Middle Eastern cities can be studied, as well as an excellent introduction to current literature in the field, affording us a foundational volume that enriches our understanding of society in the late Ottoman and colonial periods. Contributors: Edmund Burke III, Leila Fawaz, Bernard Hourcade, Robert Ilbert, Dina Rizk Khoury, Gudrun Krämer, Abdul-Karim Rafeq, Sarah D. Shields, Peter Sluglett, Sami Zubaida.
This unique interdisciplinary collective project is the culmination of research and translation work conducted by AUC students of different cultural and linguistic backgrounds who continue to witness Egypt’s ongoing revolution. This historic event has produced an unprecedented proliferation of political and cultural documents and materials, whether written, oral, or visual. Given their range, different linguistic registers, and referential worlds, these documents present a great challenge to any translator. The contributors to this volume have selectively translated chants, banners, jokes, poems, and interviews, as well as presidential speeches and military communiqués. Their practical translation work is informed by the cultural turn in translation studies and the nuanced role of the translator as negotiator between texts and cultures. The chapters focus on the relationship between translation and semiotics, issues of fidelity and equivalence, creative transformation and rewriting, and the issue of target readership. This mature collective project is in many ways a reenactment of the new infectious revolutionary spirit in Egypt today. “Samia Mehrez and her young colleagues offer a magnificent testimony to the revolution in imagination, signalling the dawn of a new era. A must-read for anyone wanting to grapple with the multiple meanings of Egypt’s unfolding politics.” —Michael Burawoy, UC Berkeley
Beginning with an examination of medieval Islamic fundamentalist movements such as Kharjism, Ibadism, Hanbalism, and Wahhabism, Sayed Khatab looks at the similarities and differences between them and present organizations such as al-Qa‘ida. It may be surprising that many of the radical narratives embraced by modern groups have not emerged recently. Identifying these roots can lead to a better understanding of al-Qa‘ida’s theological and intellectual narratives, and how they effectively indoctrinate youths and attract many of them to violent acts of terrorism. The book then focuses on al-Qa‘ida’s theology, ideology, and tactics; the geographic contours and implications of al-Qa‘ida’s political strategy in relation to the western and eastern countries which are considered enemy states; the impending clash of cultures; and the ideological war within al-Qa‘ida. Innovative in its concept, examining political Islamic thought from a historical to a contemporary perspective, Islamic Fundamentalism generates new understanding of the many complexities of political Islam, and the role of violence and terrorism.
This collection of essays builds on presentations and debates that were part of Cairo Papers 19th Annual Symposium, “Sights of Knowledge: Debates about Visual Production in the Middle East,” held in spring 2010. It also integrates commissioned contributions by other authors to reflect the wide scope of visual productions and engagements with and about the Middle East. Of special significance is a paper that deals with the 25 January Revolution and the visual productions and effects thereof. How was the revolution experienced through the visual production of everyday life on the square? And how and what forms of visual engagements allow us to tell different façades of experiences and demands that occasioned the revolution? Cairo Papers in Social Science 31:3/4
Current estimates indicate the presence of anywhere between 20,000 and 250,000 Sudanese refugees in Egypt. The great discrepancy in figures, a result of contradictory new reports, is an important demonstration of the way the refugee situation in Cairo is perceived by various interest groups, many of whom continue to underestimate the problems faced by the Sudanese community in Egypt. This collection of oral narratives gives voice to the everyday lives and unique struggles of a small group of refugees displaced to Egypt, in an attempt to identify their problems frequently overlooked by the media. Compiled through a series of interviews conducted by students at the American University in Cairo, the narratives are complemented by a short history of Sudanese refugees in Egypt and a theoretical study of racism against the Sudanese in the country.
The first of two issues that contain a collection of papers delivered at the Cairo Papers 20th Anniversary Symposium. This volume covers political and economic issues. Contributors include: Ali E. Hillal Dessouki, John Westley, Galal Amin, Ibrahim Awad, Paul Sullivan, Mostafa Kamel al-Sayyid, Andrew Tabler, Ann McLennan Smith, and Charles Perreault.
This book moves beyond superficial generalizations about Cairo as a chaotic metropolis in the developing world into an analysis of the ways the city’s eighteen million inhabitants have, in the face of a largely neglectful government, built and shaped their own city. Using a wealth of recent studies on Greater Cairo and a deep reading of informal urban processes, the city and its recent history are portrayed and mapped: the huge, spontaneous neighborhoods; housing; traffic and transport; city government; and its people and their enterprises. The book argues that understanding a city such as Cairo is not a daunting task as long as pre-conceived notions are discarded and care is taken to apprehend available information and to assess it with a critical eye. In the case of Cairo, this approach leads to a conclusion that the city can be considered a kind of success story, in spite of everything.
Wahhabism is often understood as a radical version of Islam responsible for inspiring and motivating Islamic terrorism. Western Imaginings: The Intellectual Contest to Define Wahhabism is an inquiry into how Wahhabism has been understood and represented by Western intellectuals, particularly those belonging to the neo-conservative and liberal traditions. In contrast to the existing literature that treats Wahhabism as a historical phenomenon or a monolithic theological ideology, a literature often written by authors keen to promote geopolitical interests or with ideological axes to grind, Davis’s work considers Wahhabism as a discursive construct crafted and popularized by a Western intellectual elite. This comprehensive study speaks to how and why Western intellectuals have chosen to represent Wahhabism in specific ways, ranging from an analysis of the particular rhetorical techniques employed by these intellectuals to a consideration of the religious and political beliefs that inspire and motivate their decisions. Western Imaginings is aimed at students of political philosophy, intellectual traditions, and sociology; media and policy professionals; and anyone interested in how Islamic doctrines like Wahhabism have been represented in an international context framed by a heightened anxiety about radical Islam.
Galal Amin Translated byDavid Wilmsen Illustrations bySamir Abd al-Ghani
At the time of the Egyptian Revolution in 1952, the population of Egypt was around 22 million. At the end of 2002, it stood at 69 million, and was growing at a rate of 1.33 million a year. What happens to a society that grows so quickly, when the habitable and cultivable land of the country is strictly limited? After the success of Whatever Happened to the Egyptians?, Galal Amin now takes a further bemused look at the changes that have taken place in Egyptian society over the past half century, this time considering the disruptions brought about by the surge in population. Basing his arguments on both academic research and his own personal experiences and impressions, and employing the same light humor and keen sense of empathy as in his earlier work, the author discusses how runaway population growth has not only profound effects on many aspects of society—from love and fashion to telephones, the supermarket, and religion—but also predictable effects on the economy.