Based on both academic research and the author’s own personal experiences and impressions, this delightful and informative book examines the underlying causes of some of the more disturbing social, political, economic, and cultural phenomena that characterize Egyptian society in modern times. Through a fascinating and often highly entertaining examination of issues ranging from the middle class, religious fanaticism, and attitudes to the West and Western culture, to the Egyptian institution of the summer holiday by the sea and the performing arts and entertainment, Amin posits that social mobility after the 1952 Revolution changed the customs and habits, moral and material values, and patterns of consumption and investment of the aspiring classes. This insightful book will prove a thought-provoking read for those concerned with emerging economies, international development, and privatization, and will intrigue anyone with an interest in the social history of Egypt.
Whatever Happened to the Egyptians?
Changes in Egyptian Society across Half a Century
1 March 2001
For sale worldwide
GALAL AMIN is emeritus professor of economics at the American University in Cairo. He is the author of 'Egypt in the Era of Hosni Mubarak' (AUC Press, 2012), 'Whatever Happened to the Egyptians?' (AUC Press, 2000), 'Whatever Else Happened to the Egyptians?' (AUC Press, 2004), and 'The Illusion of Progress in the Arab World' (AUC Press, 2006). In 2010, he received the Sultan Bin Al Owais Cultural Foundation Award in recognition of his contributions to economics, politics, community and culture.
Regime Power in Egypt and Syria
Regime Power in Egypt and SyriaJoshua Stacher
Notwithstanding the 2011 Arab Spring, autocratic continuity—not wide-ranging political change—remains the hallmark of the region’s upheaval. Contrasting Egypt and Syria, Joshua Stacher examines how executive power is structured in each country to show how these preexisting power configurations shaped the uprisings and, in turn, the outcomes. Even as Mubarak was forced to relinquish the Egyptian presidency, military generals from the regime were charged with leading the transition. The course of the Syrian uprising reveals a key difference: the decentralized character of Syrian politics. Political structures, elite alliances, state institutions, and governing practices are seldom swept away entirely—even following successful revolutions—so it is vital to examine the various contexts for regime survival. Elections, protests, and political struggles will continue to define the region in the coming years. Examining the lead-up to the Egyptian and Syrian uprisings helps us unlock the complexity behind the protests and transitions....read more
A Convergence of Civilizations
The Transformation of Muslim Societies around the World
Yousef Courbage Emmanuel Todd
The Transformation of Muslim Societies around the WorldYousef Courbage
Leaving aside the media’s sound and fury on the conflict between the west and the Islamic world, measured analysis shows another reality taking shape: rapprochement between these two civilizations, benefiting from a universal movement with roots in the Enlightenment. The historical and geographical sweep of this book discredits the notion of a specific Islamic demography. The range of fertility among Muslim women, for example, is as varied as religious behavior among Muslims in general. Whether agnostics, fundamentalist Salafis, or al-Qaeda activists, Muslims are a diverse group that prove the variety and individuality of Islam. Youssef Courbage and Emmanuel Todd consider different degrees of literacy, patriarchy, and defensive reactions among minority Muslim populations, underscoring the spread of massive secularization throughout the Arab and Muslim world. Sensitive to demographic variables and their reflection of personal and social truths, Courbage and Todd upend a dangerous meme: that we live in a fractured world close to crisis, struggling with an epidemic of closed cultures and minds made different by religion....read more
1 map, 8 graphs, 10 tables
Beyond the Victim
The Politics and Ethics of Empowering Cairo’s Street Children
The Politics and Ethics of Empowering Cairo’s Street ChildrenKamal Fahmi
Street children—abandoned or runaway children living on their own—can be found in cities all over the world, and their numbers are growing despite numerous international programs aimed at helping them. All too frequently, these children are viewed solely as victims or deviants to be rescued and rehabilitated. In Beyond the Victim, sociologist Kamal Fahmi draws on eight years of fieldwork with street children in Cairo to portray them in a much different—and empowering—light. Fahmi argues that, far from being mere victims or deviants, these children, in running away from alienating home lives and finding relative freedom in the street, are capable of actively defining their situations in their own terms. They are able to challenge the roles assigned to children, make judgments, and develop a network of niches and resources in a teeming metropolis such as Cairo. Fahmi suggests that social workers and others need to respect the agency the children display in changing their own lives. In addition to collective advocacy with and on behalf of street children, social workers should empower them by encouraging their voluntary participation in non-formal educational activities....read more
13 illus. incl. 5 in color
Connected in Cairo
Growing Up Cosmopolitan in the Modern Middle East
Mark Allen Peterson
Growing Up Cosmopolitan in the Modern Middle EastMark Allen Peterson
For members of Cairo’s upper classes, cosmopolitanism is a form of social capital, deployed whenever they acquire or consume transnational commodities, or goods that are linked in the popular imagination to other, more ‘modern’ places. In a series of carefully contextualized case studies—of Arabic children’s magazines, Pokémon, private schools and popular films, coffee shops and fast-food restaurants—Mark Allen Peterson describes the social practices that create class identities. He traces these processes from childhood into adulthood, examining how taste and style intersect with a changing educational system and economic liberalization. Peterson reveals how uneasy many cosmopolitan Cairenes are with their new global identities, and describes their efforts to root themselves in the local through religious, nationalist, or linguistic practices....read more
7 b/w illus.