Cotton made the fortune of the Fuuda family, Egyptian landed gentry with peasant origins, during the second part of the nineteenth century. This story, narrated and photographed by a family member who has researched and documented various aspects of her own history, goes well beyond the family photo album to become an attempt to convey how cotton, as the main catalyst and creator of wealth, produced by the beginning of the twentieth century two entirely separate worlds: one privileged and free, the other surviving at a level of bare subsistence, and indentured. The construction of lavish mansions in the Nile Delta countryside and the landowners’ adoption of European lifestyles are juxtaposed visually with the former laborers’ camp of the permanent workers, which became a village (‘izba), and then an urbanized settlement. The story is retold from the perspective of both the landowners and the former workers who were tied to the ‘izba. The book includes family photo albums, photographs of political campaigns and of banquets in the countryside, documents and accounting books, modern portraits of the peasants, and pictures of daily life in the village today. This is a story that fuses the personal and emotional with the scholar’s detached ethnographic reporting—a truly fascinating, informative, and colorful view of life on both sides of a uniquely Egyptian socio-economic institution, and a vanished world: the cotton estate.
The Cotton Plantation Remembered
An Egyptian Family Story
15 December 2013
200 color illus.
For sale worldwide
Also available by this author
The Private Collection of Sherwet ShafeiMona Abaza
With Collector’s Notes bySherwet Shafei
This sumptuous full-color volume retraces the highlights of the country’s twentieth-century art world through the private collection of one of Cairo’s most reputable private gallery owners. The 200 color reproductions of paintings from Sherwet Shafei’s collection represent works from very early pioneers such as Mahmoud Saïd and Ragheb Ayad to later figures such as Hamed Nada and Youssef Sida. In a comprehensive introduction that examines the life and career of Sherwet Shafei and her pivotal role in promoting and creating a market for modern Egyptian art, the author also addresses the tendencies of emerging art collectors in Egypt’s “blossoming” market, the burdens of forgery, and the impact of globalization on the art industry. This book serves as a repository of Egyptian cultural heritage by offering a rare viewing of a valuable collection that has yet to be displayed in its entirety....read more
1 February 2011
200 color illus.
Caliph of Cairo
Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, 996–1021
Paul E. Walker
Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, 996–1021Paul E. Walker
One night in the year 411/1021, the powerful ruler of the Fatimid empire, al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, rode out of the southern gates of Cairo and was never seen again. Was the caliph murdered, or could he have decided to abandon his royal life, wandering off to live alone and anonymous? Whatever the truth, the fact was that al-Hakim had literally vanished into the desert. Yet al-Hakim, though shrouded in mystery, has never been forgotten. To the Druze, he was (and is) God, and his disappearance merely indicated his reversion to non-human form. For Ismailis, al-Hakim was the sixteenth imam, descended from the Prophet, and infallible. Jews and Christians, by contrast, long remembered him as their persecutor, who ordered the destruction of many of their synagogues and churches. Using all the tools of modern scholarship, Paul Walker offers the most balanced and engaging biography yet to be published of this endlessly fascinating individual. To some, al-Hakim was God incarnate, to others an infallible imam, to still others he was a capricious tyrant. This book examines myth and fact, document and opinion, to present the most complete and detailed history yet written of the life and times of one of the medieval Islamic world’s most controversial figures....read more
15 December 2012
Coptic Identity and Ayyubid Politics in Egypt, 1218–1250
Kurt J. Werthmuller
Using the life and writings of Cyril III Ibn Laqlaq, 75th patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church, along with a variety of Christian and Muslim chroniclers, this study explores the identity and context of the Christian community of Egypt and its relations with the leadership of the Ayyubid dynasty in the early thirteenth century. Kurt Werthmuller introduces new scholarship that illuminates the varied relationships between medieval Christians of Egypt and their Muslim neighbors. Demonstrating that the Coptic community was neither passive nor static, the author discusses the active role played by the Copts in the formation and evolution of their own identity within the wider political and societal context of this period. In particular, he examines the boundaries between Copts and the wider Egyptian society in the Ayyubid period in three “in-between spaces”: patriarchal authority, religious conversion, and monasticism....read more
1 July 2010
8 color illus.
A History of Egypt
From Earliest Times to the Present
From Earliest Times to the PresentJason Thompson
This cohesive account of Egypt’s millennia-long past offers readers a sure guide through the sometimes labyrinthine corridors of Egypt’s past, from the mysterious predynastic kingdoms to the nation-state of the twenty-first century. The author addresses central scholarly issues such as how Egyptian history can be treated as a whole and how the west has shaped prevailing images of it, both through direct contact and through the lens of western scholarship. Drawing on current historical scholarship as well as his own research, Jason Thompson has written a remarkable work of synthesis and concision, offering students, travelers, and general readers alike an engaging one-volume narrative of the extraordinarily long course of human history by the Nile. This updated paperback edition contains new material on the 25 January Revolution and the fall of the Mubarak regime....read more
80 b/w illus.
The City Victorious
The City VictoriousMax Rodenbeck
After 5,000 years of continuous habitation, Cairo remains the greatest metropolis in its quarter of the globe. The seat of pharaohs and sultans, the prize of conquerors from Alexander to Napoleon, the city has never stopped reinventing itself. ‘The Victorious’ is what the Arabs called Cairo, and the indomitable spirit of the place still merits the name. Max Rodenbeck’s richly textured biography combines a sweeping timescale with a keen eye for telling detail. It traces the life of Cairo from birth—the ancient Egyptians believed Creation itself took place there—through the heights of medieval splendor, and on to the present day. Modern Cairo is a place of stark contrasts. Skyscrapers abut ancient tombs and genteel colonial mansions. Pulled between the cultural poles of Paris and Mecca, the city’s population struggles under a double load as they cope with the burden of an incomparably rich past as well as the challenges of the future. Cairo: The City Victorious is a cultural excavation of one of the world’s great cities. Fusing the excitement of travel with the stimulation of history, it is an epic, resonant work....read more