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.
Governance, Urban Space, and Global Modernity
Edited by Diane Singerman
Governance, Urban Space, and Global ModernityEdited by Diane Singerman
This cross-disciplinary, ethnographic, contextualized, and empirical volume—with an updated introduction to take account of the dramatic events of early 2011—explores the meaning and significance of urban space, and maps the spatial inscription of power on the mega-city of Cairo. Suspicious of collective life and averse to power-sharing, Egyptian governance structures weaken but do not stop the public’s role in the remaking of their city. What happens to a city where neo-liberalism has scaled back public services and encouraged the privatization of public goods, while the vast majority cannot afford the effects of such policies? Who wins and loses in the “march to the modern and the global” as the government transforms urban spaces and markets in the name of growth, security, tourism, and modernity? How do Cairenes struggle with an ambiguous and vulnerable legal and bureaucratic environment when legality is a privilege affordable only to the few or the connected? This companion volume to Cairo Cosmopolitan further develops the central insights of the Cairo School of Urban Studies....read more
15 November 2011
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
Beyond the Exotic
Women’s Histories in Islamic Societies
Edited by Amira al-Azhary Sonbol
Women’s Histories in Islamic SocietiesEdited by Amira al-Azhary Sonbol
Most manifestations, research has accepted stereotypical images of Muslim women, treating their outward such as veiling, as passive and oppressive. Muslim women have been depicted as different, and by exoticizing (orientalizing) them—or Islamic society in general—“they” have been dealt with outside of general women’s history and regarded as having little to contribute to the writing of world history or to the life of their sisters worldwide. By approaching widely used sources with different questions and methodologies, and by using new or little-used research (with much primary research), this book redresses these deficiencies. Scholars revisit and reevaluate scripture and scriptural interpretation; church records involving non-Muslim women of the Arab world; archival court records dating from the present back to the Ottoman period; and the oral and material culture and its written record, including art and architecture, oral history, textbooks, Sufi practices, and the politics of dress. By deconstructing the past, these scholars offer fresh perspectives on women’s roles and aspirations in Middle East societies. Contributors: Diane Apostolos-Cappadona, Sheila S. Blair, Randi Deguilhem, Mamoun Fandy, Richard Freeland, Fatima Zohra Guechi, Nelly Hanna, Howayda al-Harithy, Mervat F. Hatem, Bernard Heyberger, Valerie J. Hoffman, Haifaa Khalafallah, Ramadan al-Khowli, Patricia Mihaly Nabti, Lisa Pollard, Mona Russell, Elyse Semerdjian, Selçuk Aksin Somel, Amira El-Azhary Sonbol, Denise A. Spellberg, Barbara Freyer Stowasser, Judith E. Tucker, Fariba Zarinebaf, Madeline Zilfi....read more
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.