Culture and Customs of Egypt Molefi Kete Asante

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Copyright 2002. Greenwood Publishing Group. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except fair uses permitted under U.S. or applicable copyright law.

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Copyright 2002. Greenwood Publishing Group. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except fair uses permitted under U.S. or applicable copyright law.

CultureandCustomsofEgypt

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RecentTitlesinCultureandCustomsofAfricaCultureandCustomsofNigeria ToyinFalola CultureandCustomsofSomalia MohamedDiriyeAbdullahi CultureandCustomsoftheCongo TshilemalemaMukenge CultureandCustomsofGhana StevenJ.SalmandToyinFalola

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Copyright 2002. Greenwood Publishing Group. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except fair uses permitted under U.S. or applicable copyright law.

CultureandCustomsofEgyptMolefiKeteAsante CultureandCustomsofAfrica ToyinFalola,SeriesEditor

GREENWOODPRESS Westport,ConnecticutLondon

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Copyright 2002. Greenwood Publishing Group. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except fair uses permitted under U.S. or applicable copyright law.

LibraryofCongressCataloginginPublicationData Asante,MolefiK.,1942 CultureandcustomsofEgypt/MolefiKeteAsante. p.cm(CultureandcustomsofAfrica,ISSN15308367) Includesbibliographicalreferencesandindex. ISBN0313317402(alk.paper) 1.EgyptSociallifeandcustoms.I.Title.II.Series. DT70.A832002 962dc212002021620 BritishLibraryCataloguinginPublicationDataisavailable. Copyright2002byMolefiKeteAsante Allrightsreserved.Noportionofthisbookmaybe reproduced,byanyprocessortechnique,withoutthe expresswrittenconsentofthepublisher. LibraryofCongressCatalogCardNumber:2002021620 ISBN:0313317402 ISSN:15308367 Firstpublishedin2002 GreenwoodPress,88PostRoadWest,Westport,CT06881 AnimprintofGreenwoodPublishingGroup,Inc. www.greenwood.com PrintedintheUnitedStatesofAmerica Thepaperusedinthisbookcomplieswiththe PermanentPaperStandardissuedbytheNational InformationStandardsOrganization(Z39.481984). 10987654321

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Copyright 2002. Greenwood Publishing Group. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except fair uses permitted under U.S. or applicable copyright law.

Contents SeriesForewordbyToyinFalola Preface Chronology 1 Land,People,andHistoricalOverview 2 Government,Economy,Education,andTourism 3 ReligionandWorldview 4 ArchitectureandArt 5 SocialCustomsandLifestyles 6 TheMediaandCinema 7 Literature,thePerformingArts,andMusic Glossary Bibliography Index 157 161 165 1 39 63 77 95 117 129 vii ix xi

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Thispageintentionallyleftblank.

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Copyright 2002. Greenwood Publishing Group. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except fair uses permitted under U.S. or applicable copyright law.

SeriesForewordAFRICAisavastcontinent,thesecondlargest,afterAsia.ItisfourtimesthesizeoftheUnitedStates,excludingAlaska.Itisthecradleofhumancivilization.A diversecontinent,Africahasmorethanfiftycountrieswithapopulationofover700millionpeoplewhospeakover1,000languages.Ecologicalandculturaldifferences varyfromoneregiontoanother.Asanoldcontinent,Africaisoneoftherichestincultureandcustoms,anditscontributionstoworldcivilizationareimpressiveindeed. Africansregardcultureasessentialtotheirlivesandfuturedevelopment.Cultureembodiestheirphilosophy,worldview,behaviorpatterns,arts,andinstitutions.The booksinthisseriesintendtocapturethecomprehensivenessofAfricancultureandcustoms,dwellingonsuchimportantaspectsasreligion,worldview,literature, media,art,housing,architecture,cuisine,traditionaldress,gender,marriage,family,lifestyles,socialcustoms,music,anddance. Theusesanddefinitionsofculturevary,reflectingitsprestigiousassociationwithcivilizationandsocialstatus,itsrestrictiontoattitudeandbehavior,its globalization,andthedebatessurroundingissuesoftradition,modernity,andpostmodernity.Theparticipatingauthorshavechosenacomprehensivemeaningofculture whilenotignoringthealternativeusesoftheterm. Eachvolumeintheseriesfocusesonasinglecountry,andtheformatisuniform.Thefirstchapterpresentsahistoricaloverview,inadditiontoinformationon geography,economy,andpolitics.Eachvolumethenproceedstoexaminethevariousaspectsofcultureandcustoms.Theserieshighlights

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Pageviii themechanismsforthetransmissionoftraditionandcultureacrossgenerations:thesignificanceoforality,traditions,kinshiprites,andfamilypropertydistributionthe riseofprintcultureandtheimpactofeducationalinstitutions.Theseriesalsoexplorestheintersectionsbetweenlocal,regional,national,andglobalbasesforidentity andsocialrelations.Whilethevolumesareorganizednationally,theypayattentiontoethnicityandlanguagegroupsandthelinksbetweenAfricaandthewiderworld. Thebooksintheseriescapturetheelementsofcontinuityandchangeincultureandcustoms.Customisnotrepresentedasstaticorasamuseumartifact,butasa dynamicphenomenon.Furthermore,theauthorsrecognizethecurrentchallengestotraditionalwisdom,whichincludegenderrelationsthenegotiationoflocalidentities inrelationtothestatethesignificanceofstrugglesforpoweratnationalandlocallevelsandtheirimpactonculturaltraditionsandcommunitybasedformsofauthority andthetensionsbetweenagrarianandindustrial/manufacturing/oilbasedeconomicmodesofproduction. Africaisacontinentofgreatchanges,instigatedmainlybyAfricansbutalsothroughinfluencesfromothercontinents.Theriseofyouthculture,thepenetrationofthe globalmedia,andthechallengestogenerationalstabilityaresomeofthecomponentsofmodernchangesexploredintheseries.Thewaysinwhichtraditional(non Westernandnonimitative)Africanculturalformscontinuetosurviveandthrive,thatis,howtheyhavetakenadvantageofthemarketsystemtoenhancetheirinfluence andreproductionalsoreceiveattention. Throughthebooksinthisseries,readerscanseetheirownculturesinadifferentperspective,understandthehabitsofAfricans,andeducatethemselvesaboutthe customsandculturesofothercountriesandpeople.Thehopeisthatthereaderswillcometorespecttheculturesofothersandseethemnotasinferiororsuperiorto theirs,butmerelyasdifferent.AfricahasalwaysbeenimportanttoEuropeandtheUnitedStates,essentiallyasasourceoflabor,rawmaterials,andmarkets.Blacks areinEuropeandtheAmericasaspartoftheAfricandiaspora,amigrationthattookplaceprimarilyduetotheslavetrade.RecentAfricanmigrantsincreasinglyswell theirnumberandvisibility.Itisimportanttounderstandthehistoryofthediasporaandthenewermigrants,aswellastherootsofthecultureandcustomsoftheplaces fromwheretheycome.Itisequallyimportanttounderstandothersinordertobeabletointeractsuccessfullyinaworldthatkeepsshrinking.Theaccessiblenatureof thebooksinthisserieswillcontributetothisunderstandingandenhancethequalityofhumaninteractioninanewmillennium. ToyinFalola FrancesHigginbothomNalleCentennialProfessorofHistory TheUniversityofTexasatAustin

Copyright 2002. Greenwood Publishing Group. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except fair uses permitted under U.S. or applicable copyright law.

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Copyright 2002. Greenwood Publishing Group. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except fair uses permitted under U.S. or applicable copyright law.

PrefaceEGYPTisunequaledforitslonghistory,monuments,andantiquities.Itswondershaveattractedvisitorsformanycenturiesanditsirresistiblesourcesofwisdomand knowledgehaveinspiredhundredsofthousandsofancientandcontemporarystudents.WhenHerodotus,theGreekhistorian,wrotein450B.C.abouttheincredible sightsandrevelationsofthelandthatwasancientevenwhenhesawit,histreatisebecamefamousasoneofthefirsthistoriesintheworld. TowriteabookonmodernEgyptmeansthatoneisalwayswritingwiththethoughtofancientEgyptinthebackgroundsovastisthetapestryofitsrichhistorythat almosteveryinstanceofthepresenthistoryisaffectedbythepreviousexperiencesontheland.YetmodernEgyptisnotthesameasancientEgypt.Muchliketheface ofmodernAmerica,Egypthaschangedinthecompositionofitspeople,thereligionofitspeople,andmanyoftheculturalartifactsoftheland.However,underneath thefacadeofchangesthatonecanobserveareattitudesandbehaviorsthatharkbacktothedaysofthepharaohs. MyobjectiveinthisbookistoprovidethereaderwithanaccessibleportraitofthecontemporarynationofEgypt.Itshistorythroughtheageshasbeenwrittenand rewrittenbymanycommentators,scholars,andstudents.ThelandtheArabsgavethenameMisrwascalledbytheGreeksEgyptthatis,Aguptosbutwas referredtobytheancientAfricansasKemet,theBlackCountry.TheyreferredtoitasthegiftoftheNileandastheTwoLands:UpperEgyptandLowerEgypt. SometimestheycalleditTaMerimeaningthebelovedland.Todaythecountryisthemostpopulous

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Pagex nationintheArabculturalspherealthoughitislocatedontheAfricancontinent.ItisthesecondmostpopulousnationofAfrica,afterNigeria.Asanationatthe crossroads,Egyptisacosmopolitansocietywithmanyculturalcurrentsinitsmodernsocialandpoliticalstructure.Whilethisistrue,Arabiccultureisthedominant presenceinthemodernera.

Copyright 2002. Greenwood Publishing Group. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except fair uses permitted under U.S. or applicable copyright law.

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Chronology639641 C.E. 658750 750868 868905 905935 935969 ArabarmiesarrivedinEgyptfromArabiaandSyriaattherequestofEgyptianswhosoughttheirsupportinoustingtheRomans.GeneralElAssforces helpedtothrowofftheRomansbutquicklyconsolidatedhisholdonthecountry. UmmayadPeriodwhentherulingIslamicclasswasauthorizedfromDamascus,Syria. AbbasidPeriodwhentherulingIslamicclasswasdirectedfromBaghdad.TheAbbasidsclaimeddescentfromAbbas,theuncleoftheProphetMuhammad. TulunidPeriodproducedtwomajorfigures,AhmadTulunandKhumarayhAhmad,whoseauthoritystretchedfromCairotoCilicia. Abbasids,SecondPeriod,thereassertionoftheBaghdadruleandtheexpansionofIslam. IkshidscametopowerandcontrolledbothEgyptandSyria.

9691171 FatimidleaderstracedtheirancestrytoFatimah,thedaughteroftheProphetMuhammad,andembracedtheShiadoctrine. 11711250 AyyubidPeriod,whichwasdominatedbySalahadDinwhoreignedfortwentyfouryears.Hespenteightyearsof

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hisreigninCairoduringwhichtimeheestablishedschools,builthospitals,andimprovedtheinfrastructureofthecity.HeintroducedslaveryofEuropeansinto EgyptbybringingMamluk(owned)CircassiansandTurksfromtheBlackSearegion. BahriMamluksweregreatpatronsofarchitectureandwereresponsibleforbuildinghugefortressesandmosques. CircassianMamlukscameintopowerin1382andimmediatelytriedtoconsolidatetheirpoweroverthecountry.TheCircassiansleviedheavytaxesonthe populationtofinancewarsagainsttheMongolsinSyria. OttomanTurksestablishedtheircontroloverthecountryandsentPashawatfromIstanbultoruleoverEgypt. TheFrenchExpeditionenteredthecountryunderNapoleonBonapartetointroduceFrenchrule.DominicVivantDenondirectedtherecordingofEgyptian antiquitiesandmonumentsresultingintheencyclopedicDescriptionofEgypt. OttomanRulerestoredwiththeaidandinfluenceofGreatBritain. MuhammadAliPasha,theAlbanianconqueror,rulesEgyptwithanironfistandcreatesnewinstitutions. AbbasI,thegrandsonofMuhammadAli,becameking.Hisleadershipwasinconsistent.Heclosedschools,stoppedbuildingroadsandrailways,andstoppedthe movestowardindustrialdevelopmentbegununderMuhammadAli. SaidPashasucceedstothethroneandreversedmanyofhisfatherspoliciesandsetabouttodeveloptheinfrastructuremuchlikehisgreatgrandfatherhad done.HeinitiatedthebuildingoftheSuezCanal. IsmailPashawasproclaimedOttomanviceroyonthedeathofhisuncle.Hewasconsideredaprogressiveleader,andcompletedthebuildingoftheSuezCanal in1869.TheruleofKhediveIsmailwasprogressive.Hecontinuedtobuildthecivilinfrastructureandtheindustrialfactories. TewfikPasha,IsmailPashasson,waspressuredtohandoverfinancialmanagementofthenationtoGreatBritain.

1250 1382 1382 1517 1517 1798 1798 1801 1801 1805 1805 1848 1848 1854 1854 1863 1863 1879 1879 1892

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Inresponse,thenationalistsforcedhimtoappointtheirleaderAhmedOrabiasMinisterofWar.TheEnglishreactiontothismoveonthepartofthe nationalistswasswift,brutal,anddecisive.TheydefeatedOrabisarmyatTelElKabirandshelledbothAlexandriaandIsmailiyya.

18921952 BritishOccupationandpuppetrulers.AllleadersofthenationafterTewfikwereunderthecontroloftheBritishgovernmentuntilthe1952revolution. 18921914 AbbasHilmiPasha(AbbasII)wasapuppetoftheBritishgovernmentwhotriedtoleadanindependentpath.HewasthesonofTewfikbutquicklysoughtto makeEgyptindependentofEuropeaninfluence.HewasdethronedbytheBritishin1914. 19141917 HusseinKamelwasmadekingwithBritishsupport.ThiswasadifficultperiodforEgyptbecauseoftheunrestamongthepopulationowingtothe overlordshipoftheBritish.Kamelwasunabletocontrolthepeople. 19171936 FouadIwasmadekingwiththeblessingsoftheBritish.Soonafter,apowerstrugglebrokeoutbetweenthekingandthepeople.TheWafdPartysucceeded inamassingalargefollowingamongtheordinaryEgyptians. 19361952 FaroukI,thesonofFouadI,ascendedthethrone.Hewasgreetedwithenthusiasmbecausethepeoplewereimpressedthathewasthefirstruler,andthe onlydescendantoftheAlbaniandynastyofMuhammadAliPasha,tospeakfluentArabic. 19521970 GamalAbdelNasserbecomesthefirstArabtoruleEgyptsincetheconquestofthecountry.KnownastheFatheroftheNation,heisresponsiblefor buildingtheAswanHighDam. 19701981 AnwarSadatsucceededNasserandmovedEgyptintoapeaceagreementwithIsrael.Consideredoneofthegreatstatespersonsoftheera,Sadatsoughtto breakoutoftheoldpatternofhatredbetweenArabsandJews. 1981 Present HosniMuhammadMubarak,asPresidentofEgypt,hasruledthecountrylongerthananycontemporaryleader.Hehasbroughtrelativestabilityand prosperitytothecountryaswellasexpandededucationalopportunities.

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EgyptOverviewMap

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1 Land,People,andHistoricalOverviewEGYPToccupies1,001,450squaremilesinthenortheastquadrantoftheAfricancontinent.ItisaboutthreetimesthesizeofthestateofNewMexicointheUnited States.EgyptisthesecondmostpopulousnationinAfrica,afterNigeria.Itisacountrydefinedbyalong,powerfulriverthestoriedNileflowingsouthtonorth. ThereareancientrivertownsliningitsbanksaswellasneweronesbuiltsincetheharnessingoftheriverbytheAswanHighDam. Withnearly1,865milesofcoastlinealongtheMediterraneanandRedseas,Egyptplaysavitalroleininternationaltradefortheregion.Furthermore,ithasalong landborderthatadjoinsfourcountries:791mileswithSudantothesouth,715mileswithLibyatothewest,and165mileswithIsraelandthePalestinianAuthoritys GazaStriptotheeast. Egyptisacountryofextremelyfertilesoil.Manyvarietiesoffruitsandvegetablesgrowintherichalluvialsoil,alegacyofthemillenniaofinundationsthathavemade thecountryonevastgardenalongtheNile.Ofcourse,thevastmajorityofthelandareaisinthedesert.Thus,Egyptcouldbedefinedasadesertpenetratedbyariver. ThehistoryofEgyptisascomplexasitisintriguingthemodernhistoryisalmostasrivetingastheancienthistory.Egyptsmodernhistoryisalongnarrativeof political,social,andculturalexperiencesinanarrowvalleyinthemiddleofadesert.Thepeoplewhohaveconqueredeveryinchoffertilesoilalongthebanksofthe Nileandmadehistoryinasuccessionofpoliticalrealitiesaretobecreditedwithbringingadeeplyancientsocietyintothemodernera.

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Sailboat(felucca)ontheNile

THELANDEgyptisessentiallytwolands,astheancientnameTawyemphasizes.1Ontheonehanditisahot,drydesert,andontheotherhand,averdant,fertile,greenstripof landthatisborderedbytheDamiettaRiverontheeastside,theRosettaRiveronthewestsidemakingthedelta,andcarryingthemightyriverNiletothe MediterraneanSea.Thus,onemightsaythattheterrainofEgyptisavastdesertplateaubisectedbytheNileValley.TotheeastoftheNileisthemountainousEastern (Arabian)Desert,tothewestistheWestern(Libyan)Desert,whichisflatterandwhoseQattaraDepressionisconsideredtheboundaryofthegreatSaharaDesert.To thenortheast,EgypthastheSinaiPeninsulawheretheterrainissplitbetweenflatsanddeserttothenorthandhighmountainstothesouth.ThehighestpointinEgypt, GebelKatrina(Mt.Katherine)at8,654high,islocatedinthisregion.Likeothernations,Egypthasestablishedmaritimelegalboundaries:24nauticalmilesofa contiguouszone,anexclusiveeconomiczoneof200nauticalmiles,andaterritorialseaclaimof12nauticalmiles.Egyptalsohasacontinentalshelfclaimof656feetin depthorthedepthofexploitation.

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HilltopvillageoverlookingtheNile

HeightofMajorMountainsKatrina AbuRemail OmShoumer Moussa AbualHassan AlSebaie

8,654ft 8,607ft 8,482ft 7,492ft 5,110ft 4,866ft

TheclimateinEgyptisuniformlyhot.Thesummersaredryandhotandthewintersaremoderateandcanbehotinthesouth.Actually,manyEgyptiansliketogoto Aswanduringthewinterbecauseoftheheat.Thevastdesertplateau,interruptedbytheNileRiver,isusuallythoughtofastwodeserts:theEasternDesertandthe WesternDesert,whichisactuallyapartoftheSaharaDesert. Thecountryisamiracleoflanduse.Only3percentofthelandisarableandtherearenoforestsorwoodlandsnorsignificantmeadowsandpastures.Perhaps2 percentofthelandisusedforpermanentcropsandyetthecountryhasbeenabletosupportitselfwithfoodcrops.

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Oasis

Naturalresourcesaremainlyironore,phosphates,manganese,limestone,gypsum,talc,asbestos,lead,zinc,naturalgas,andpetroleum.Oneofthehotspotsofthe internationalpoliticalsceneistheboundarydisputebetweenEgyptandSudan.TheadministrativeborderwithSudandoesnotcoincidewiththeinternationalboundary creatinganareacalledtheHalaibTriangle,nearly7,946squaremilesofbarrenlandthatsomeexpertsclaimmaycontainminerals.2 AmongtheissuesthathavebeendiscussedbythehighgovernmentofficialsofEgyptaretheenvironmentalcrisesthatarerapidlydevelopingthroughoutthecountry. Forexample,thereissomeconcernthatoilpollutionisthreateningthecoralreefs,marinehabitats,andtouristbeaches.Buttherearealsoproblemswithrapid urbanization,particularlyaroundCairo,wherescarceagriculturallandsarebeinglosttoapartmentcomplexes.Furthermore,thereisthemajorissueoftheincreasing levelsofsaltinthesoilfounddownstreamfromtheAswanHighDam.Thisistheresultofthedam(khazaan)preventingthenaturalflowoftopsoilfromtheUpperNile region,somethingthathadhappenedformillionsofyearspriortotheconstructionofthedam.Withanincreasingpopulationandanintensiveuseofthearableland, thereissomefearthatwaterpollutionfromagriculturalpesticidescouldbecomeaprobleminthefuture.Pollutantssuchasrawsewageandindustrialeffluents

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Page5 couldeventuallyspoiltheonlyfreshwaterresourceofthecountry:theNile.AllalongtheNile,thelargeindustrialcentersareusingtheriverfordrinkingwater,sewage, andagriculture.WiththepossibilitythatEthiopiaandSudan,asnowplanned,willcreatenewdamsontheNileclosertotheheadwaters,theEgyptianportionofthe Nilewillbeevenmorethreatenedbypollution. Inadditiontothesemanmadehazards,therearesomenaturalhazardssuchasperiodicdroughts,flashfloodscausedbyinfrequentrains,landslides,volcanicactivity, andthehot,fierce,drywindstormcalledkhamsinthatoccursinthespring.Therearealsosandstorms(disturbancesthatcauseblindingsandtoswirlsothatonecannot seemorethantenfeetahead),andduststormsthatresultinfinesandordustenteringeverycreviceofhomesandbusinesses.Butthekhamsinisahotanddrywind thatcanburntheskinitislikeopeningthedoorofanovenandfeelingtheheatagainstonesskin.Duringtheperiodofthehotanddrywindspeopletrytoremainin theirhomesasmuchaspossible.Thosehomesthatarebuiltofmudandadobetendtohavecoolerinteriorsthanthosemadeofsyntheticmaterials. EgyptcontrolstheSinaiPeninsula,theonlylandbridgebetweenAfricaandAsia.ItalsooperatestheSuezCanal,theshortestlinkbetweentheMediterraneanSea portsandtheIndianOceanportsinAfricaandAsia.ThegeopoliticalpositionofEgyptisimportantasanationthatdealswiththeissuesofsouthwestAsiaaswellas withNorthAfrica.Furthermore,sinceEgyptisthelargestandmostimportantcountryintheArabworld,itisthecenterofArabicculture.Someofthemajor institutionsoftheArabicworldarelocatedinCairoandotherEgyptiancities. EgyptisalsoamajorplayerinthepoliticsoftheAfricancontinentbecauseofitsintegralrelationshipwiththegeographicandpoliticalissuesofthecontinentand becauseofitslonginvolvementintheaffairsofthecontinent.FromtheearlydaysofthepoliticalandculturalrelationshipbetweenGamalAbdelNasserofEgypt, KwameNkrumahofGhana,andHaileSelassieofEthiopia,EgypthasalwaysplayedanimportantroleintheOrganizationofAfricanUnity.Thereare,however,some EgyptianswhowouldliketoconsiderEgyptapartoftheMiddleEastinsteadofapartofAfrica.Theyareusuallyinfluencedbytheculturalrelationshipsbetweenthe ArabpeopleoftheregionandplacelittlevalueinthegeographicallocationofEgyptoritshistoricalrelationshiptootherAfricancultureslongbeforethedominationof Arabicculture.ItislikeMexicosayingthatithasacloserrelationshipwithSpainthanitdoesitsNorthAmericanneighbors,suchastheUnitedStatesandCanada, becauseofculturalties.Thus,EgyptcansometimesappeartohaveasplitpersonalitybetweenitsAfricanhistoryandlocationanditsArabcultureandreligion.

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ManholdingancientAnkhsymbol

THEPEOPLEThepopulationofEgyptisestimatedtobe90millionby2005.In1960,itwas28million.Thegrowthratehasbeenincreasingeachyearcurrently,thereare29births forevery1,000people.Atbirth,thereisanaveragelifeexpectancyof61years:femaleshavealifeexpectancyof63years,andmaleshavealifeexpectancyof59 years.Itisestimatedthatthetotalfertilityrateofwomenis3.67children.However,thebirthrateisexpectedtofall.Thecountrysplannersareseekingabirthrateof 1.6percentby2015.Atthepresenttimeabout36percentofthepopulationisbelowtheageoffourteen.Around97percentoftheEgyptianpeopleliveintheNile ValleyandDelta.PeoplearemovingtotheurbancentersofCairoandAlexandria,aswellasothers,atanincreasingratebecauseanestimated47percentofEgypts economicandsocialestablishmentsareintheCairoandAlexandriapoliticalregions,whichhost23percentofthelaborforce.Asof2001,44percentofthe populationlivedinurbanareas. TheEgyptianpopulationiscomprisedofpeoplewhoseancestryreachesbacktotheancientEgyptians,Arabs,Turks,Bedouins,Berbers,Nubians,Armenians, Albanians,Italians,French,andGreeks.AllofthesepeoplehavehadanimpactonthemakingofmodernEgypt.ThereligionofthepeopleismainlySunniMuslim.(A SunniMuslimisonewhobelievesincustomary

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Page7 succession.)Literacyisabout48percentforEgyptiansovertheageof15.Maleliteracyisabouttwicethatoffemales. Thelaborforceiscomprisedofnearly20millionpeople,with36percentofthemworkinginthegovernmentandpublicsectorincludingthearmedforces,34 percentinagriculture,andabout20percentinserviceandmanufacturingenterprises.SincetherearenearlythreemillionEgyptiansworkingintheGulfArabStatesand SaudiArabia,thereisashortageofskilledlaborforthedevelopingindustriesofthecountry.

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TheEgyptianNationalityToday,tosaythatoneisanEgyptianmeanssomethingtotallydifferentthanitdidinancienttimes.DuringthereignofRamsesII,itmeantthatapersonhadacertain phenotypeandperhapsgenotype.ItcouldfurtherbedeterminedthatifthepersonwereanEgyptian,thenheorshespoketheEgyptianlanguage,whichwascalledthe DivineSpeech.AllancientEgyptiansbelievedinacosmology,asetofvalues,andaclusterofideasthatmadethemEgyptianratherthanEthiopianorGreek.Thiswas themodeloftheEgyptianknownthroughouthistory. However,themoderntermEgyptiandoesnotrefertoaparticulargenotype,phenotype,orlanguageratheritisanationalitycomprisedofmanydifferentpeople whoparticipateinonegeneralArabizedculture.ThisistrueevenifamoderndayEgyptianisactuallyadescendantofAlexandrineGreeksorAswanNubians.In reality,tobeEgyptianislikebeingAmericanitisanideanotnecessarilytiedtoanyparticularphenotypeorgenotypebut,rather,toonescitizenship.Tosomedegree, EgyptiansofArabdescent,thatis,withoriginsinArabia,havetakenthetermEgyptiantorefertothemratherthantotheoriginalEgyptianstock,whichisprimarily nowcapturedintheNubianandCopticgroups. GivenallthecomplexityofbeingEgyptian,onemightthinkthatthereisnocommongroundtothenationality.Thiswouldbeamistake.Egyptians,ofallshadesand descents,areratherproudtobecalledEgyptian.Overthecenturiesthepeoplehavebeenmolded,especiallyduringthemodernera,bytheIslamicreligionintoone commonpeople.WhileitisstilltruethatonecanfindnumerousheritagesamongthediversepopulationsofEgyptians,itisafactthattheArabcultureasdefinedbythe religionofIslamisthedominantdefinerofmanners,protocol,etiquette,attitudes,andbehaviors.Thus,themoderncultureofEgyptispredominantlyinfluencedby Islam,butthereisevidenceoftherichtraditionsoftheNubian,Greek,Turk,andAlbanianpeopleaswell.Addtothismixturethepoliticalandculturalstrandsofthe British,Mamluk(EgyptianmilitaryclassthatoccupiedtheSultanate

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Page8 from1250to1517),andFrenchrulersovertheyears,andthecomplexityofEgyptsmodernnationalcompositionisevengreater.Copyright 2002. Greenwood Publishing Group. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except fair uses permitted under U.S. or applicable copyright law.

TheNubianHeritageNubiansareanancientpeople,perhapstheoldestpeopleoftheNileValleyinEgypttoretainadefinitesenseoftheirownculture.Unlikethepeoplewhoreferto themselvesasEgyptians,theNubianshavesoughttoremainasunmixedaspossibletotheextentthattheyspeaktheirownlanguagesandhaveoftenrefusedtohave themwrittendown. ThelegacyoftheNubiansisextensive.Infact,theNubiansaremodernEgyptsmostauthenticremindersoftheancientEgyptianwaysofagriculture,including planting,harvesting,andfoodpreparation.Inaddition,theNubianshavemaintainedtheclosestaffiliationwiththeancientEgyptianwayofhouseconstruction.When oneseestheNubianhousesofmodernEgypt,oneislookingbackintotimeatthewaytheearlyEgyptiansconstructedtheirhomesoutofthemudandstrawtheyfound alongthebanksoftheNile.IthasbeennotedthatthemodernNubianshadnocontractors,engineers,orarchitectstohelpthem.Iftheymanaged,itwasmainly becausetheyhadretainedatechniqueforroofinginmudbrick,usingvaultsanddomes,whichhadbeenpasseddowntothemfromtheirforefathers,theAncient Egyptians(HassanFathy,ElHakimin1999,p.4).OfcoursetheNubiansmaynothavehadtrainedengineersorcontractorsbuttheyhadtheknowledgeoftheir ancientpast. ModernEgyptianslooktotheNubiansforinspirationandspirituality.TheyfrequentlyspeakoftheNubiansinthesamewaytheancientGreeksspokeofthem,as thestraightestofmen.TheybelievethattheNubiansrepresenttheoldesttraditionsoftheNileValleyasdemonstratedintheirrituals,theirarchitecture,andtheir homes.TherearethreemaingroupsofNubiansinEgypt:theKanuz,Mahas,andMatoki.3EventodaytheNubiansofElephantineIslandintheNileRivernearAswan telloftheirmemoriesoftheancientdays.AdayinthelifeoftheNubianonElephantinebeginsbeforethesunrises.Theearlymorningprayersareamustforthedevout MuslimNubians.MostNubiansnowconsiderthemselvesIslamic,althoughthereareafewwhoholdtotheChristianbeliefsthatexistedpriortotheMuslims conquest.Stillothersrefertothemselvesastraditionalists,believingintheancientgodsofNubia. WiththeconstructionoftheAswanHighDambeguninJune1964andcompletedin1968andtheimminentfloodingoftheNubianhomeland,thelastofthe NubianpeoplewereforcedtoleavetheareathatextendedsouthalongthebanksoftheNilefromAswaninthenorthtotheSudanese

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Page9 bordernearly290milessouth.Itisestimatedthat150,000NubianswererelocatednorthofAswanbetweenthecitiesofEsnaandKomOmbo.Acrosstheborderin Sudan,NubianswererelocatedtothebanksoftheAtbaraRiver,morethan600milesfromwheretheylived. ThecreationoftheAswanHighDamchangedtheentiregeographyoftheNubianhomeland.Arableland,longcultivatedfordatepalmsusedforexport,wasnow beneaththehugeLakeNasserwithasurfaceareaof2,317squaremiles.NubianshavebeenaffectedbyeveryoneofthedamsbuiltalongtheNile.Between1899and 1902,theBritishbuiltadamafewmilesupstreamfromAswan.Ataheightof100feet,thisdamcreatedalakethatfloodedtheNileValleyfor140milesandraised thewaterlevelofwhathadbeentheriverfrom285feetto348feet,permanentlywipingouttheareaoftheNubianKanuzpeople.Ofcourse,thischangeinthe geographyhadenormouseffectsontheNubianpeople.Theyhadtomovetoareasnorthorsouthoftheirancienthomeland.Thegovernmentofthedayhadlittle sympathyforthem.Infact,theBritishbuiltthedam,andthegovernment,largelyundertheinfluenceoftheBritish,agreedafterproteststoassistandcompensatethe Nubiansfortheirlands. Therewerethreeproposals.ThefirstwastoallotgovernmentlandnorthofAswan.ThedislocatedNubianswouldhavetopurchasethisland.Second,the governmentwouldsurveyandappraiselandsthatcouldbereclaimedfromthedesertfortheNubians.Thepeoplecouldreceivethisdrainedandirrigatedlandforlittle ornothing.Third,theNubianscouldreceiveacashindemnitytoavalueofnomorethan50percentoftheoriginalvalueofthelandsflooded.Someofthepeoplewho losttheirhomesandfertilelandstotheearlydamanditsenhancementinthe1930sdidnotreceivetheircompensationuntil1964,thirtyoneyearsaftertheclaimhad beenmadeandmanyyearsaftersomeoftheolderfamilymembershaddied(ElHakim1993,9). Duringthe1960sthegovernmentprovidedpumpsandirrigationassistancefortheNubians,whohadlargelylosttheiragriculturallivelihoodbecauseoftheflooding oftheirdatepalmgroves.Thepeoplehadbeenimpoverishedbythefirstdamandwerefurtherimpoverishedwhentheablebodiedyoungmenlefttheruralareasfor AswaninsearchofworkaftertheAswanHighDamwasbuilt.Althoughthepeoplewererelocated,manyofthemendecidedtoleavetheirwivesathomeinthe resettlementcampsinordertomakemoneyworkinginthecities. TheNubianshavebeencharacterizedasarefinedanddignifiedpeople,thepossessorsofanancientculturewithsocialtraditions,customsandlanguagesdistinct fromtherestofEgypt(ElHakim1993,10).TheyhavedistinctcustomsandtraditionsbecausetheyarenotArabs.Theirhistoryin

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Page10 EgyptpredatesthatofthelargelyArabpopulationofpresentdayEgyptandgoesbacktothedaysofpharaonicEgypt.InonesensethebuildingoftheAswanHigh DamendedthenarrativelifeoftheNubianpeople.Theyhadbeendislocated,relocated,andtheirhistorydisruptedandinterruptedbyanumberofEgyptian governments. Today,theconditionoftheNubianswholivenorthofAswanisimprovingeconomicallyastheyenterthetouristindustryinnumerouscapacities.Theyarestarsailors andhavenearlymonopolizedthemotorizedboatandsailboat(feluccas)businessontheNileRiveratAswan.Somevillagesaremoreprosperousthanothersowingto theirproximitytothelargenumbersoftouristswhovisitthecountryeachyear.Othersareekingoutalivingraisingtomatoes,corn,millet,andclaybeans.Onegetsthe impressionthatNubiawillliveon,buttherichheritageofthecultureintemples,tombs,andtheoldvillagesareforeverburiedbeneathoneofthelargestmanmadelakes intheworld.

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TheGreekPresenceWhenAlexandertheMacedonian(theGreat)conqueredEgyptin332B.C.E.,helefthisgeneralPtolemyinchargeofthenewlywonterritory.Subsequentgenerations ofPtolemysdescendantswentalongwaytowardmakingtheareaaroundAlexandriaGreekincharacter.Alexandriahadbeenfoundedonthesiteoftheancienttown ofRakoda,sometimeswrittenRhacotis,andincreasinglytookonaGreekcharacter.AtonetimeAlexandria,althoughinAfrica,wascalledthegreatestoftheGreek cities.IthadbeenmadethatwaybythegatheringofmenandwomenfromtheGreekworldtostudyandengageincommerce.Aportcity,Alexandriabecametheears andeyesoftheGreekstotheworkandactivitiesoftheAfricans,butitwasalsothecitythroughwhichmanyideasfromtheAfricaninteriorreachedthewiderworldof EuropeandAsia. TherelationshipbetweenancientEgyptandancientGreeceisveryclose.Egypt,ofcourse,wasoldbeforetherewasaGreece.However,soonafterHomerwrote theIliad,historyrecordsthatmanyGreeks,includingthefirstGreekphilosophersThales,Isocrates,andPythagorasstudiedinEgypt.Nevertheless,theGreeks weredestinedtoconquerEgyptand,intheirconquest,tomakeAlexandriaafamousMediterraneancity. OneencountersthepresenceofGreeceinmodernEgyptinthecityofAlexandriaaswellasintheartisticandculturallifeofthecountry.FromtheCoptic languageancientEgyptianwrittenwithGreekcharacterstomanyinfluencesondrama,painting,andmusic,Greecefindsitswayintothemodernconsciousnessof Egypt.

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Page11

GENERALHISTORYCopyright 2002. Greenwood Publishing Group. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except fair uses permitted under U.S. or applicable copyright law.

NonationhasaslongacontinuoushistoryasEgypt.AwritercouldveryeasilystartadiscussionofitshistoryfromtheunitingoftheTwoLandsbyKingMenes around3100B.C.E.andendin2500B.C.E.atthebuildingofthegreatpyramidsandyouwouldhavecoveredmoretimethanithasbeenfromColumbusfirstvoyage totheNewWorldtothepresenttime.TheobjectiveofthisworkisthecultureandcustomsofmodernEgypt.ButwhatisthemeaningofmodernEgyptgivenitslong history? SomewritershavedeclaredthatthemostsignificantdateinEgyptianhistorysincethefallofthepharaohsis641C.E.ThiswasthedatewhentheArabs consolidatedtheirconquestofthecountry.AfterthedeathoftheProphetMuhammad,thefollowersofIslamleftArabiaandwentintomanyneighboringcountrieswith thewordsoftheprophet.TheywereabletoconquerEgyptwithlittleopposition,graftingontothefundamentalAfricanidentityofEgyptanArabcharacterandthe Arabiclanguage.EgyptwastobebroughtintotheIslamicsphereoftheworld. PriortothecomingoftheArabs,thenativeinhabitantsofthecountryhadbeenAfricans,mainlyofBedouinandNubianstock,andGreekChristianCopts,using theirownlanguageasalegacyoftheancientEgyptianlanguage.TheGreekshadsettledinEgyptinnumbersaftertheMacedonianconquestin332B.C.E.Theyhad initiallyadoptedtheEgyptianreligionbutbecametheleadersofthenewChristianideologywhenitfirstappearedinAlexandria.TheGreekslaterresistedIslamasa faithandArabicasaculture.However,itwouldnotbelongbeforethecountrywouldbecompletelydominatedbytheArabicculturebroughttothelandfromArabia byGeneralElAsandthosewhofollowedhim. ThereareseveralsignificantperiodsinmodernEgyptianhistory.OurdiscussionofEgyptiancultureandcustomsmustbeginwiththeFatimidPeriodin969C.E. AftertheFatimidPeriod,thereareseveralproperdivisionsofthehistoryofthecountryinthemodernage.Eachonewillbediscussedasacontributiontothepresent dayEgypt.ItistheIslamicculturethathasmademodernEgyptianhistory,andonecannotunderstandthecountrywithoutaproperappreciationoftheemergenceof thatcultureinthelivesofthepeople(seealsoChapter3,ReligionandWorldview).TheBirthofMuhammad Inabouttheyear570C.E.,achildwhowouldbenamedMuhammadwasborntoafamilybelongingtoaclanofQuraysh,therulinggroupofMecca,acityinthe HijazregionofnorthwesternArabia.Muhammadwouldbethe

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Page12 founderofIslam,andhisfollowerswouldhaveagreatinfluenceonEgypt.MeccawastheoriginalsiteofanancientshrinecalledtheKabbah.Becauseofthemany merchantsfromEthiopia,Kemet,Greece,andByzantine,ithadbecomeoneoftheprincipalcitiesofsouthwestAsia. Muhammadsfather,AbdelAllahibnAbdelalMuttalib,diedbeforethechildwasborn.Hismother,Aminah,diedwhenhewassixyearsold.Theorphanedchild wasconsignedtothecareofhisgrandfatherwhoheadedtheHashimclan.Soonafterthedeathofhisgrandfather,MuhammadwassenttohisUncleAbuTalib,who senthim,aswascustomary,tolivewithaBedouinfamilyfortwoyears.ThiscustomwasfollowedbythenoblefamiliesofMecca,Medina,Tayif,andothertownsof theHijazsothattheyoungboycouldundergohardshipsandlearnsuffering.HemasteredthelanguageoftheArabs,whoconsideredtheirlanguagetheirproudest contribution.HesharedandenduredthelessonsoftheenvironmentwiththeArabswholivedintentsinthedeserts.Hesoonappreciatedthequalityoftheirlives. Whenhewasinhistwenties,MuhammadenteredtheserviceofawidownamedKhadijahasamerchant,activelytradingwithcaravans.Soonhemarriedherand theyhadtwosons,bothofwhomdied.Theythenhadfourdaughters. DuringthisperiodMuhammadtraveledwidely.Bythetimehewasinhisfortieshehaddecidedtomeditateandreflectonthewaysofmen.Hewouldgotoacave onMountHira,outsideofMecca,tomeditate.OnedayashesatinthecaveheheardavoicethattoldhimthevoicebelongedtothearchangelGabrielandaskedhim torecitethefollowingwords:InthenameofthyLordwhocreatedmanfromaclotofblood.ThreetimesMuhammadsaidno,andeachtimehesaidnothevoice wouldrepeattheinstructions.Finally,herecitedthewordsthatbecamethefirstfiveversesoftheninetysixthchapter,orsura,oftheQuran(thesacredtextof Islam)proclaimingthatGodisthecreatorandsourceofhumansandallknowledge. TheseexperiencestaughtMuhammadthathehadtopreach.HestartedwithhisfamilyandthenproclaimedthewordstothemerchantsoftheQurayshclan.Some acceptedhiswordsandfollowedhimothersrejectedhiswordsandopposedhismessage.Theoppositionservedtomakehimsharpenhisarguments,andhebecame agreatdebateragainstpaganism.ThebeliefoftheunityofGodwassupremeinhisteaching.BecausetheQuranrejectedpolytheismandemphasizedmoral obligations,itrepresentedaseriouschallengetothepeopleofMecca. AfterMuhammadhadpreachedforabouttenyears,theoppositionwasreadytodobodilyharmtohimandhisfollowers.Hesentsomeofhisfollowerstothe countryofEthiopiawheretheywerereceivedandprotectedbytheChristiankingofthatland.SoontheenemiesofMuhammadcame

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Page13 afterhim.WhilehesentsomeofhisfollowersaheadtoMedina,hestayedbackuntiltheplottokillhimandhisclosestfriend,AbuBakr,becamequiteclear.Hethen lefthiscousin,Ali,inhisbedandjourneyedwithAbuBakrtowardMedinatocatchupwiththeotheremigrants.Theystoppedinacave.Aspiderspunitswebacross theentrytothecave,andwhenthepursuerssawthatthewebwasunbroken,theyceasedsearchingforMuhammadandAbuBakr.TheythensetoutforMedinaand werewelcomedbyathrongoffollowers.ThisperiodwascalledtheHegira,orFlighttoMedina.Itisthisdateinthefallof622C.E.thatisusuallygivenasthedate forthebeginningofIslam.TheHegirawasnotaflightbutacarefullyplannedmigrationthatmarksthebeginningofIslamandadecisivebreakwiththepast.Thosewho madethetripfromMeccatoMedinawerecalledtheMuhajirun(theemigrants),whilethosewhohelpedinMedinawerecalledtheAnsar(helpers).

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TheFatimidPeriod,9691171ThenameFatimidisderivedfromthefactthattheleadersofthisperiodtracetheiroriginstoFatimahazZahra,thedaughteroftheProphetMuhammad,andher husband,AliibnAbuTalib.TheFatimidDynastyembracedtheShia(PartisansofAli)doctrinesthatrejectedthefirstthreecaliphs(asuccessorofMuhammad)of IslamAbuBakr,Omar,andUthmanbelievingthattheyhadusurpedthelegitimatesuccessionfromAli. Initially,theShiawereloyalMuslimswhojustquestionedthefactthatAlihadbeenbypassedforleadership.However,whenAliandhissonsHassanand Husseinwereassassinated,thedivisionhardenedandtheShiaDynastyseparateditselffromtheSunnicaliphateandestablishedtheirowncaliphate.Theconquestof Egyptin969C.E.gavetheShiaanimportantcenterforextendingtheirdominationovertherestofnorthernAfrica.Theyofferedthepossibilityofamahdi(an infallibleruler).ThemahdiwasnottobeareturnofAli,butonewhowouldbringtoIslamarestorationofhopeandoptimismattheendofthetenthcentury.Visions ofthemahdiandexpressionsofhiscomingtotheworldweresimilartotheChristianideaofthereturnofJesusChrist.Therewasananticipationthatanewbeginning wouldarrivewhentheinfalliblerulerappearedtothefaithful. TheShiitesestablishedtheirpoliticalseatinthenewimperialcapitalalQahira(Cairo)whichmeanstheTriumphant.Theybuiltlavishpalacesandbeautifultemples insidethewallsofthecity.Inaddition,theyestablishedtheAlAzharMosqueanditsuniversitythatistheoldestexistinginstitutionofhigherlearning.SotheFatimids mustbeconsideredtheartisticandintellectualinnovatorsintheemergentEgyptofmoderntimes. HowtheFatimids,descendantsofAliandFatimah(thereforeFatimid),

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Page14 couldcreateadynastyaftertheincrediblehistoryofintrigueanddissimulationthathadalreadyoccurredintheIslamicworldisitselfastoryworthyofretellingbecause itisattheheartofwhatmakesEgyptsoappealingtoday.Theycameatatimeinthehistoryofthecountrywhenthepeopleawaitedleadershipthatwouldbringstability andprogress,twoelementsessentialformodernity. Obaidallah,amanofPersianextraction,andostensiblythegreatgrandsonofIsmailPasha,himselfadescendantofAliandFatimah,isthekeypersonalityintherise ofShia,butheisnotthemanresponsiblefortheadvancementofShiafaith.ThiscreditgoestoanotherPersiannamedalShia(theShiiteMuslimbelievesinAlis successiontoMuhammed)forhisenthusiasmandfaithinthecause.Hewasoneofthegreatestpropagandistsofalltimes.AlShialivedduringthetimewhenthere werenonewspapers,notelevision,andnoInternet,buttherewastheannualhajj(pilgrimage)toMecca.Hundredsofthousandsofpilgrimscamefromalloverthe worldtoMeccaeveryyearastheirsacredhajj.WhereelsecouldonefindsomanypeopledevotedtothecauseofIslam?Whereelsecouldonefindpeoplewho wouldknowthestoryofthedaughteroftheprophet,Fatimahandherhusband,Ali? AlShiafoundthepilgrimswhohadsufferedgreatlytomakethecostlyjourneytoMeccareadytohearthewordsthathespoke.Hewasquitesuccessfulwithsome groupsofBerbersfromAlgeriawhoinvitedhimtoreturnwiththemtoAlgeriatoteachtheQuran.Whentheyreachedtheirruggedmountainregiontheyelectedhim leaderofthegroup.AlShiawasthespiritualleaderaswellasthemilitaryandpoliticalheadofavigorousbandofBerbers.Oncehehadestablishedhispresence stronglyinAlgeria,hesentforObaidallah.ReachingTripoli,ObaidallahwascapturedandimprisonedbytheorthodoxdynastyrulingTunisia.Butthreeyearslaterhe wasrescuedbythemilitarycunningofalShia.OnAugust26,909,alShiapresentedObaidallahtoavastcrowdofwarriorsastheanticipatedmahdi.Thepricehe wastopayforintroducinghisfriendastheinfalliblerulerwashisowndeathtwoyearslater.AlShiacouldnotremainthemajorandpreeminentteacherofIslam amongtheBerbersifObaidallahwasindeedthemahdi.SoonafiercerivalrybeganbetweenthetwoPersians,whichresultedinObaidallahemergingasthemost authoritativevoiceofIslam.Hethensetaboutriddinghimselfofrivals,andalShiawaskilled. AnewcitywaslaidoutonapromontoryofeasternTunisiaandnamedMahdia.SomescholarsbelievethatitwastobethemodelforthenewcapitalofEgyptonce theShiitescapturedthecountry.TalkoftheconquestofEgyptwasintense.Preparationsforthetakingofthecountrywentonformonths.ItisbelievedthataJewish converttoIslam,YakubibnKillis,hadalottodowiththeconquestofEgypt.Hewasabletogiveprecisefactsaboutthe

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Page15 conditionsinsideEgypttotheleadersinTunisia.AlthoughtheFatimidshadattackedEgyptonseveraloccasionsandin914theirfleethadcapturedAlexandria,they werenotyetreadytotaketheentirecountry.IbnKillistoldtheleadersinTunisiathatmanypeopleinsideEgyptwerelookingforadescendantofAlitobring deliverancetothem.BythistimeIslamhadrootsinEgyptthatwentbacktotheseventhcenturyC.E.ManyfollowersofthereligionhadcometobelievethatFatimah andAbuwerethetruecarriersoftheProphetMuhammadslegacy,andthereforetheybelievedintheShiitedoctrine.Whatwasneededwasamahdi,andthe Fatimidswouldgivethemwhattheyasked. AlMoizz,theFatimidleader,putanarmyof100,000menatthedisposalofaconvertedGreeknamedGohar.LeavingTunisiainFebruary969,helandedin Alexandriaandoccupiedthecity.ByJuly,GoharsFatimidarmyhadreachedGiza.Theywereaidedbythefactthataplaguehaddevastatedmuchofthearmyof Egypt,whohadlostnearlyhalfamillionpeople.Whenthebattlestarted,thecityofCairothrewitselfonthemercyofthemilitaryleader.Hegavethecitycomplete amnestyandforbadehissoldierstoloot.SoonheinvitedalMoizztoenterhisnewcity.WhenhecametoCairo,alMuizzpreachedasermonattheAlAzhar Mosqueasanindicationofhisnewpositionasspiritualleader.Hesupervisedconstruction,paidhissoldierswell,andcreatedashipbuildingindustry.AlMoizz changedthenameofalMansuriyatoalQahiraorCairo.ItisfromthistimeandbecauseofthisfactthatweareabletosaythatmodernEgyptbeginsin969withthe Fatimids. ThefactthatthepeopledidnothavetopaytaxestoIraqbuttotheirowncaliphsmadealotofsensetotheEgyptians.Theirmoneyremainedinthecountry.When alMoizzdiedafterabouttwoyears,hissonalAzizcametopower.AlAzizruledfrom975to990.Withallthattheyweredoing,theFatimidswerenotableto convincethecountrytobecomeShia.TheoldMuslimskepttotheSunnitraditionbelievinginthelineageofAbuBakr,theProphetsuncle.Butthelongtermeffectof theinabilityoftheFatimidstoconvertthecountrytoShiameantthatEgyptwasestrangedfromtheeasternpartoftheIslamicworldwheremostpeoplefoundthe caliphateofBaghdadthelegitimateauthorityoftheMuslimpeople.YetinfifteenyearstheFatimidshadmadeCairothemostimportantcityintheIslamicworld indeed,inthetenthcenturythismeantthemostimportantcityintheworld. Furthermore,thenationofEgyptprosperedundertheleadershipoftheFatimids.TheopeningofthecountrytotheWestcreatedopportunitiesthathadnotexisted beforeforcommercialandculturalinteraction.ThiswasnotthefirsttimethatEuropeansandMuslimshadmet,butitwasprobablythefirsttimethattheyhadmetwith arespectforeachother.However,thefactthattheFatimidscouldnottrusttheirfellowMuslimsmeantthattheyturned

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Page16 moretowardJews,Copts,Greeks,andArmeniansforserviceintheiradministration.Theywere,likesomanyrulersofEgyptbeforeandafter,aninsurgentgroupwho broughtforeignerswhohadnoorganicrelationshipwiththepeopleintothebodypoliticofthecountry.Thus,theyoftenkepttheirowncounsel,defyingtherigid prohibitionsofotherMuslims,enjoyingfeastingandwinedrinkingofferedbytheChristianmonks.Theyruledthecountryfromadistance,remainingbehindtheirwalls untiltheruleofCaliphalHakim,thedemented. AlAzizssonbyaGreekconcubine,thesisterofthetwoGreekOrthodoxbishops,wasbornalHakimonAugust14,985.AlAzizdiedwhentheyoungboywas eleven.Givenatutor,Burjuwan,aSlav,theyoungalHakimwassoongiventheeloquentname,alHakimbiAmrihAllah(hewhorulesatthecommandofGod). WithalHakimskingship,theFatimidssoondeclined.Hebeganhisrulebybuildingalovelymosqueandoccasionallyleavingthepalacetominglewiththepeople. Soon,however,hebecameatyrant,rulingwithsomethingofaninsanecaprice.Hekilledthosewhomhedislikedandmadedecreesthatindicatedhisdementedstate. BythetimehewasfifteenhehadmurderedBurjuwan.Hemadeitacrimepunishablebydeathforanyonetoworkduringtheday.Hisnocturnalinterestswere reflectedintheestablishmentofacouncilforthenight.However,hesoontiredofthecouncilandmadehiscontroloverthecityandthestatetheonlydictatethat mattered.Hisentouragedreadedhisvoice,hispresence,andhisactions.InadditiontomurderingBurjuwan,hekilledseveralministersofstate.Believingthatwomen shouldstayindoorstwentyfourhoursadayandthinkingthatwithoutshoestheywouldnotbeabletowalkonthemanurestrewnstreetsofCairo,alHakimprohibited themanufactureofwomenshoes.Inaddition,hebannedtheconsumptionofmolokhiya(aspinachlikevegetable),whichwasastapleoftheEgyptiandiet. AlHakimisoneofthemostcomplexpersonalitiesinmodernEgyptianhistory.HepersecutedalltypesofpeopleandhumiliatedArabmerchantsinthemarketsbut lefthismostviciousattacksfortheChristiancommunity,eventhoughhismotheranduncleswereChristians.Infact,Coptswereplacedundermanyindignities,such ashavingtowearaheavycrossiftheywenttoapublicbath.In1010,aspartofhismaniaagainstChristians,hefirsthadthechurchoftheHolySepulcherinJerusalem destroyedandthengavethecustodyoftheHolyPlacestotheGreekChurchofhismotherinsteadoftheLatinorRomanChurchofwesternEurope(Stewart1996, 68).Actually,inaremotewaythisactionwasapretextfortheFirstCrusadelaterinthecentury.ChristiansintheWestwouldgiveuptheirearthlypossessionstojoin longandarduousadventurestotheEasttorescuetheholyplacesfromtheEasternChurchortheMuslims. WhilealHakimsruledidnotbringaboutanywholesaleconversionto

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Page17 Shia,hedidcreate,intheintersticesbetweeninsanityandprudence,anatmosphereforintellectualdiscussionwithintheregime.TheHouseofSciencethathe establishedforlearnedmentodiscussallmannerofsubjectsbecameoneofthefreestplacesofknowledgeintheworldatthetime.Hislibrary,anintellectualarsenal, wasthegreatestcollectionofmanuscriptsinArabicatthetimeandanobservatory,meticulouslybuiltwithequipmentdesignedforscientificresearch,wasthe precursortomoremoderntechnologiesinobservatories.Thus,thisstrange,brutal,andmadruler,whoseShiitetheoriesdidnotflyinEgypt,broughttheintellectual discussionstoanewlevel. TwoPersiansHamzahandalDurzimigratedtoCairobecauseoftheintellectualdebatesaboutthereligionandbeganpreachingthedivinityofalHakim.When agroupoftheirfollowersenteredamosqueanddemandedthattheorthodoxMuslimjudgereadatextthatbeganwiththeBismillahInthenameofalHakimbillah, themerciful,thecompassionateinsteadofthenormalInthenameofAllah,themerciful,thecompassionatethefaithfulcouldnottakeitanylonger.Theytook stonesandkilledthethreeShiitesonthespot.AlHakim,inamurderousrage,sentNubian,Turkish,andBerbertroopsintothecitytodestroytheshopsofArab merchantswhomheaccusedofpromotingthedisrespectforhisrule. AlHakimsreignendedmysteriously.HerodehisfavoritemulenamedtheMoonupintotheMokattamhillsoneeveningandvanished.Themulewasfoundbut alHakimwasneverfound.ManypeoplebelievedthathehadbeenmurderedbybanditsfromtheCityoftheDead,thelargecemeteryoutsidethepalacewalls. In1047,whenthePersianscholarNasirKhosramvisitedCairo,thecaliphinpowerwasalMostansir,thegrandsonofalHakim.HismotherwasablackEgyptian, andalthoughhisfatherwasofPersianGreekancestry,alMostansirwasapartisantotheEgyptiansocialandpoliticalorder.AccordingtoNasir,alMostansirs governmentwouldbeplaguedbydisturbancesbetweentheAfricanbornblackandEuropeanbornwhiteguardsinthepalace.AlMostansirspreferencefortheblack guardscreatedanunstablesituationinhiscourt,whichdidnotabateforseveralyears.YetalMostansirpresidedoverthegreatestperiodinFatimidhistoryinEgypt. Themarketswerefullofvegetablesandthestreetswerebustlingwithactivity.Indeed,theaccountofNasirbringsalivethecityandstateduringtheeleventhcentury. Heclaimsthatshopkeepersdidnothavetolocktheirshopsandnoonewoulddaretosteal.AlMostansirhadanimpressivearmy,comprisedoftroopsfromNubia, Ethiopia,Turkey,Persia,Arabia,andtheSlavlands.FatimidEgyptatthistimewasthemostexcellentsymbolofIslam.SoonafteralMostansir,theFatimidrulewould seeasteepdecline. Evenso,theFatimidscontinuedtoruleEgyptfor150yearsuntilthe

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Page18 SeljukSultanNureddinsentanexpeditiontooverthrowtheFatimids.HisnephewSalahadDinalAyyubicapturedAlexandriaandsetthestagefortheAyyubid Dynasty.Copyright 2002. Greenwood Publishing Group. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except fair uses permitted under U.S. or applicable copyright law.

TheAyyubidRule,11711250SalahadDinalAyyubi(Saladin)becametheEgyptianleaderafterthedeathofthelastFatimidcaliphin1171.WhentheCrusadersenteredtheAfricancontinentand laidwastetopartsofCairo,SaladinbuiltfortificationsanderectedtheCitadel.HewasabletodefeattheChristianarmiesandtheirNubianallies.Hisreignis rememberedasoneofthemostimportantinthehistoryofEgyptbecauseofhishumilityandcourage,aswellashismilitaryandadministrativediscipline. Saladinreignedfortwentyfouryears.HespenteightyearsofhisreigninCairoduringwhichtimeheestablishedschools,builthospitals,andimprovedthe infrastructureofthecity.HeintroducedslaveryofEuropeansintoEgyptbybringingMamluk(owned)CircassiansandTurksfromtheBlackSearegion.Underhisrule theMamlukswereallowedtoownland,raisefamilies,andrisetoprominencewithinthesociety. In1193,Saladindiedandwassucceededbyhisbrother,alAdil,afteralongsuccessiondispute.WhenalAdildiedinSyriain1218,hewassucceededbyhisson andSaladinsnephew,alKamil,whofoughtbacktheFifthCrusade.HissuccessorwasSultanAyyubwhobroughtinmoreMamluksandmarriedaslavegirlnamed ShagaratadDurr.WhenAyyubdied,hiswifebecamethefirstwomantoruleEgyptsinceCleopatra.WhenShagaratsnewhusband,Aybak,decidedtotakea secondwife,shehadhimkilled.Soonthereaftershewasassassinated,andtheMamlukmilitarycommanderalMalikBaybarsassumedcontroloverEgyptandushered intheruleoftheMamluks.

TheMamlukPeriod,12501517AlMalikBaybarsI,aMamlukfromtheBlackSearegion,tookoverpowerinEgyptinthemidstofturmoil.However,hewasnotabletoestablishcomplete dominanceoverthecountrybecauseofthedissension.IntheaftermathofthemurderofShagaratadDurr,theheirsofBaybarswerekilledbyQalawun,another Mamlukmilitaryleader,whoconsolidatedhisruleonEgypt(seethenextsection). QalawunbecameagreatpatronofarchitectureandbuiltmanymosquesandotherbuildingsinCairo.Heestablishedpoliticalanddiplomaticrelationswithmany otherAfricannationsaswellaswithEuropeanandAsian

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Page19 countries.QalawunwassucceededbyhissonMuhammadanNasir,whoruledfornearlyfiftyyears(12941340).AnNasircontinuedhisfathersinterestinbuilding fortressesandmosques. UnderMuhammadanNasirtheMamlukarmiesdefeatedtheMongolsinSyria.ThedescendantsofanNasirwereneitherasastutenorascourageousashewas, andtheTurkishMamlukdynastygraduallylostpower.ItwassucceededbytheCircassianMamlukundertheleadershipofSultanBarquq.TheBurgiMamluk,asthey werecalledafterthegarrisonsetbeneaththeCitadelinCairo,campaignedagainsttheMongolstodrivethemoutofallMuslimlands. TheMamlukPeriodwasnottobewithoutitschallengesathome.Heavytaxationtopayformilitarycampaignscreatedunrestamongthepopulationanddebilitated theeconomy.TheplaguesweptthroughthecountryduringthereignofBarquqsson,Faraj.Thiswasadifficultperiodforthenation.NeverthelesstheMamluks attemptedtocontinuethecampaignsagainstMongolinterventioninSyria.SultanBarsbeybroughtaboutarevivalinEgyptsfortunes.Hesawthepotentialthreatfrom theOttomanTurksandestablishedgoodrelationswiththem. ThefortysixthMamluksultanwasQunsahalGhuriwhosawseveraldisasters.ThefirstwasthecollapseoftheeconomythathappenedbecausetheEuropeans startedroundingtheCapeofGoodHoperatherthanseeingCairoasthemajortradingcityintheAfricanandAsianworlds.SultanQunsahalGhuriwasfatally woundedinbattlewiththeOttomanTurksin1516.AyearlatertheOttomansdefeatedtheMamluksandpreparedthewayfortheirruleofEgypt.

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TheOttomanRule,15171798TheOttomanRuleofEgyptwasindirect.TheycontrolledthecountryfromIstanbulandsentPashawat,trainedinIstanbul,toruleEgypt.Sincethecountryhadalarge numberofpeopleofTurkishheritage,includingtheremnantsoftheSeljukTurks,andanoverwhelminglyIslamicculture,itwaseasytogovern.Thousandsofslaves werebroughtintothecountryfromtheCaucasusasmercenarieswhoservedtheOttomangovernorsandmilitaryleaders.TheseCaucasusmercenarieswereusedto keepthemassesofEgyptiansundercontrol.Itwasaneffectivewayofmanagingthepopulationbutaveryineffectivesystemforcolonialadministration.Althoughthe OttomanTurkswerebrilliantmilitarystrategists,theyprovedtobepoorcolonialadministrators.ByleavingthedailyoperationstoPashawatandhisminionsmanyof whomhadlittleunderstandingoftheEgyptianpeopletheOttomansencouragedrebellion,unrest,anddisrespectfortheOttomanEmpire.

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Page20 Therewasneglectoftheinfrastructureandlittleattentiontothesocialneedsofthemasses.Ultimately,thedeteriorationinthesocialandpoliticalsituationpavedthe wayfortheFrenchinvasionof1798.Copyright 2002. Greenwood Publishing Group. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except fair uses permitted under U.S. or applicable copyright law.

TheEuropeanConquest,17981801BystrikingbeforetheBritish(theirrivals),theFrenchcouldestablishtheirtraderoutestoIndiathroughEgyptthus,NapoleonBonapartesarmycrushedtheMamluk armiesoftheOttomansatImbabuin1798.HisintentionwastocolonizeEgyptandcreateaFrenchspeakingsocietyinthecountry.Followingthepatternofother nationalandimperialpowers,theaimofNapoleonsarmywastostakeoutaclaimforFranceintheancientland.HeimmediatelyestablishedaFrenchadministration, takingoverfromtheOttomans,andimplementedmanypublicworkstowintheallegianceoftheEgyptianpeople,afewofwhombelievedthattheFrenchhadliberated themfromtheineptruleoftheOttomans.ThefactthatFrancetookadirecthandinrunningthecountrycleaningthestreets,creatingjobs,clearingblockedirrigation canals,andbuildingbridgesmadetheFrenchpopularamongsomecircles.NapoleonshowedrespectforIslamandtheQuranbutstillmostEgyptianswere suspicious.MuchliketheancientpilgrimageofAlexandertotheSiwaOasistoseektheoracleofAmenRa,NapoleongaveverbalservicetothegloriesofIslam hopingtowinthesupportofthepeople.However,hisvisionarydreamsweregrandiose.Hestated,Isawmyselffoundingareligion,marchingintoAsia,ridingan elephant,aturbanonmyheadandinmyhandthenewQuranthatIwouldhavecomposedtosuitmyneeds(Stewart1996,156). TheFrencheffortsatbringingtheiradministrationtothecountryweredoomedfromtheoutset.Thereweremanyobstacles,includingthethreatandactualityof internationalhostilitiesovertheinvasion.TheBritishRoyalNavy,underRearAdmiralHoratioNelson,destroyedtheFrenchfleetmooredatAbuQirBayin Alexandria,withinamonthafterithaddocked.Furthermore,thesultanoftheOttomanEmpire,fromhispalaceinIstanbul,threatenedtoengagetheFrenchinwar. UnderpressurefromhometoexplaintheFrenchinvasionandthepoliticaldangerstotheGrandArmy,NapoleonsecretlyreturnedtoFrance,leavinghisarmiesin Africa.Soonthereafter,Napoleonscommander,GeneralJeanBaptisteKleber,wasassassinatedbyaSyrian,SulimanalHalabi,whoimplicatedthreereligious leaders.Allfourwereexecutedthethreesheikhswerebeheaded,andalHalabiwasimpaled,afterhavinghisrightarmburnedoffwithhottar. GeneralJacquesFrancoisdeMenou,whoconvertedtoIslam,tookovertheleadershipoftheFrenchforcesanddeclaredthatEgyptwasnowaFrench

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Page21 protectorate.TheFrenchworkedfeverishlytocreateaclassofEgyptianswhowouldbeanelite,Westerntrainedindigenousgroup.Napoleonhadbeenastudentof ComtedeVolney,whoin1791wroteafamousbooktranslatedasRuins,oraSurveyoftheRevolutionofEmpireaboutthehistoryandpeopleofEgypt. Volneywrote:HowareweastonishedwhenwereflectthattotheraceofNegroes,atpresentourslaves,andtheobjectsofourextremecontempt,weoweour arts,sciences,andeventheveryuseofspeech,andwhenwerecollectthat,inthemidstofthosenationswhocallthemselvesthefriendsoflibertyandhumanity,the mostbarbarousofslaveriesisjustified(citedinCheikhAntaDiop1991,66).StewartcorrectlyassessedNapoleonsattitudewhenhewrote:Asadiscipleof Volney,Napoleonbelievedthatthenativebornmenofreligion,theulama,couldprovideabasisforsocialrevitalization(1996,160).Thiswasdonetominimizethe controloftheMamluks,awhiteEuropeanpeoplefromtheCaucasusandGeorgia,usedasmercenariesbytheOttomanTurks. ThediaryoftheAfricanwriterofSomaliorigin,AbdulRahmanalJabarti,agraduateofAlAzharUniversity,isthemosttellingportraitoftheinvasionandconquest ofCairobytheFrench.AlJabarticlaimsthattheEnglishhadwarnedthepeopleofAlexandriathattheFrenchwerebringingalargefleettoinvade,buttheEgyptians didnotbelievetheEnglishandtoldthemtoleavetheirshores(Stewart1996,156).TheEnglishleftandtendayslaterNapoleonsarmywasasthickaslocustsinthe city(ibid.).TheFrenchsoontookoverAlexandria,hoistedtheirflag,andmadeeveryonewearthetricolorsofred,blue,andwhiteasanindicationoftheFrench conquest.TheywouldsoonmoveontoCairo.AlJabarti,whowasinCairoduringtheentireepisode,describedtheshockwavethatranthroughoutthecitywhenit wasdiscoveredthattheFrenchhaddefeatedtheMamluksandBedouinsinAlexandriaandwasnowmovingtowardCairo.TheleadingemirsIbrahimBeyand MuradBeyreportedthisnewstoIstanbulinanefforttohavetheOttomans,therealrulersofEgypt,getinvolvedinthedefenseofthecountry.WhileMuradBey wastryingtoassemblealargearmytoholdbacktheFrench,aclandestinepamphletappearedinCairo,allegedlydistributedbyCopticChristians.Thepamphletbegan withtheBismillah: InthenameofGod,theMerciful,theCompassionate!OnbehalfoftheFrenchnation,foundedonlibertyandequality,Bonaparte,thegreatgeneral andcommanderinchiefoftheFrencharmy,proclaimstotheentirepopulationofEgyptthatforfartoolongtheemirswhorulethecountryhave insultedtheFrenchnationandoutrageditsmerchants.Thehouroftheirchastisementhasstruck.Forlongcenturiesthisriffraffofslavespurchasedin theCaucasusorGeorgiahavetyr

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Page22 annizedthemostbeautifulcountryintheworld.ButGod,MasteroftheUniverseandtheAllPowerful,hasdecreedthattheirreignshouldcease. PeopleofEgypt!YouhavebeentoldthatIhavecomeheretodestroyyourreligion.Itisalie.Dontbelieveit.SaytosuchliarsthatIamonlycome amongyoutoseizeyourrightsfromthehandsoftyrantsandrestorethemtoyouandthat,morethandotheMamluks,IadoreGodandrespecthis ProphetandtheQuran. OncetheFrenchhadroutedtheMamluksatImbaba,theymovedintothecityandtookoverthepalaceofMuhammadBeyalAlfi.Thepalacehadbeenbuilttheyear beforeatgreatexpense,butNapoleonwastednotimeinmovingintoit.Allseemedtogowell,theFrenchwereincharge,theycleanedthestreets,openedthecafes, builtirrigationcanals,andspentmoneyinthebazaar.However,theexpeditionaryforcewaitingintheshipsoffthecoastofEgyptwasasittingduck,cutofffromits supplysourcesanditshomebase.ItwouldnotbelongbeforetheFrenchwouldfindthissituationdangerousbecausetheBritishgovernmentwaslookingtomakea playonEgyptintheeyesoftheBritish,thefactthatFrancehadwontheracetoAlexandriadidnotmeanthatitwouldholdtheprizeforlong. OncetheBritishheardthenewsthattheFrenchhadoccupiedCairo,theymovedtoannihilatetheFrenchfleetintheMediterranean.RearAdmiralNelson,with technologicallysuperiorshipsandamuchbettertrainedgroupofsailors,begantheassaultontheFrenchvesselsontheeveningofAugust1,1798,andbynoonthe nextday,theBritishhaddemolishedtheFrenchnavyatAlexandria.TheBritishthenmovedintoAlexandriaandalongsidetheOttomans,whohaddeclaredwaron Napoleon,recapturedthecitiesofDamiettaandCairo.TheFrenchwereforcedtosurrenderwithouteverhavingcontrolledtheentirecountry. TheramificationsoftheFrenchinvasionweremanyforEgypt.ButtheprincipalissuewasthedeclineoftheIslamicworld.ThefactthattheOttomanEmpire,an Islamicone,couldnotpreventtheChristiannationsfromconqueringanationundertheinfluenceofIslamwasastunningdiscoveryfortheIslamicworld.Inmanyways theFrencharmyinvasionanditsinitialsuccessovertheMamlukforcesshatteredtheIslamicworldsconfidenceinitsabilitytofightofftheChristiannations.

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TheDynastyofMuhammadAliPasha,18011892TheEgyptiansocietyunderwentanenormousupheavalbecauseoftheFrenchinvasionanditssubsequentdefeatbytheBritish.Manypolitical

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Page23 strugglesensuedandintheinternalbattlesanAlbanianlieutenantintheOttomanarmy,MuhammadAli,becametheleaderofthemostpowerfulfaction.Hesucceeded indrivingtheBritishoutofEgyptandhewassoonelevatedtothepositionofKhedive(orViceroy)ofEgypt.Ofcourse,theBritishwouldreturnnearlyonehundred yearslater.Inthemeantime,MuhammadAlirealizedthathehadaproblemwiththelargenumbersofarmedMamluksinthecountry.AlthoughtheywereCircassianor Turk,andhe,Albanian,AlibelievedthattheEgyptianscouldnotbefreeunlesstheybrokethebackoftheMamlukmercenaries. Inaspectacularmanner,KhediveAliendedthepowerandinfluenceoftheMamluks.Inthesixthyearofhisrule,heinvited470ofthetopMamluksoldierstoa banquetattheCitadel.Whiletheywereenjoyingthemselves,hehadthemallkilled.ThemassacreoftheMamlukofficersendedtheirthreatandconsolidatedthe powerofthekhedive.OnceagaintheEgyptiansocietywasrockedbyamajoreventthatbroughtabouttransformationsofpowerandprestige.MuhammadAli,the Albanian,hadbecomethenewkeyfigureinthehistoryofEgypt.AllthewhiletheEgyptianpeoplewereservingasabackdroptothedramaticpoliticalstageoccupied bytheTurks,Circassians,andAlbanians. FromthedecisivemassacreoftheMamlukstotheendofhisrule(1848),MuhammadAliwasconsideredtheabsoluterulerofEgypt.Nominallyhewasunderthe authorityoftheOttomans,butIstanbulhadalmostnoeffectiverightsinEgyptduringthereignofMuhammadAli.HewasdedicatedtothemodernizationofEgyptand wentaboutbuildingroads,factories,canals,railways,andpublicbuildings.UsinghisinternationalexpertiseandthecontactsthathadbeenmadewithEuropeans,Ali broughtinEuropeanarchitectsandtechnicianstoassistintheconstructionofthecountry.HisaimwastomakeEgyptaregionalpower. OnceAlihadgottenthenationinvolvedinreinventingitself,hemovedtomakehisarmiespowerful.Eventually,Syria,Sudan,Greece,andtheArabianPeninsulafell underhiscontroluntil1839.WhilehepaidlipservicetotheOttomancaliphinIstanbul,heessentiallycontrolledalargepartoftheOttomanEmpirehimself.TheBritish, actingintheroleofinternationalpolice,triedtopreventAlifromextendinghispowertootherareasoftheregion.Britainactuallyforcedhimtorelinquishsomeofhis powertotheOttomansultan. WhenMuhammadAlidiedin1848,hisgrandson,Abbas,succeededhim.AbbasIsrulewasinconsistent.HeopenedEgypttofreetrade,liftingtariffsandmakingit possibleforEuropeannationstoentertheEgyptianmarket.However,heclosedschools,stoppedbuildingroadsandrailways,and

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Page24 stoppedthemovestowardindustrialdevelopment.WhereasMuhammadAlihadsetinmotiontheprocessofselfsufficiency,AbbasIeffectivelycalledahalttothat movement. ThesuccessorofAbbasIwashissonSaidPasha.Fortunately,SaidPashareversedmanyofhisfatherspoliciesandsetabouttodeveloptheinfrastructuremuch likehisgreatgrandfatherhaddone.HeinitiatedthebuildingoftheSuezCanal,whichwascompletedin1869byhissuccessor,andnephew,KhediveIsmail.Therule ofKhediveIsmailwasprogressive.Hecontinuedtobuildthecivilinfrastructureandtheindustrialfactories.Infact,heintroducedthetelegraphandpostalsystems, constructedmorecanalsandbridges,andoversawtheexpansionofthecottonindustrywhichhadbeeninitiatedunderMuhammadAliwhichflourishedasaresult oftheAmericanCivilWar,whichpreventedsoutherncottonproductionfromreachingtheworldmarket.

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TheBritishOccupation,18921947IsmailsexpansioncausedEgypttobeinheavyinternationaldebt.ThisweakenedthenationandleftitopenformoreBritishintervention.Aneconomiccrisiscaused thekhedivetoabdicatein1879andtheBritishwaitedinthewings.Itwouldnotbelongbeforetheirtimewouldcometorunthecountry.Butinthemeantime,Ismails son,TewfikPasha,wouldrunthecountryasatransitionfigure. TewfikPashawantedtoreformthecountryseconomy,andsoongaveoverthefinancialmanagementofthenationtoBritain.Nationalists,disappointedthatTewfik wouldhandoverthecontrolofthenationsfinancestoaChristiannation,forcedhimtoappointtheirleaderAhmedOrabiasMinisterofWar.TheEuropeanreaction tothismoveonthepartofthenationalistswasswift,brutal,anddecisive.TheydefeatedOrabisarmyatTelElKabirandshelledbothAlexandriaandIsmailia.Tewfik wassubsequentlynothingmorethanaBritishpuppet.OrabiwasexiledandMustafaKamilbecametheleaderofthenationalistmovement. TheBritishwastednotimeinturningEgyptintoabonafidecolony.EgyptwasmadedependentonBritishimportedgoods,andEgyptiancottonwasexportedtothe industrializedEuropeannationsasrawmaterial.Egyptianpeoplewereonceagainmadethevictimsofanoutsidepeople. WhenWorldWarIbrokeout,EgyptwasmadeformallyapartoftheBritishEmpire.TheOttomansultandeclaredhissupportfortheGermangovernment,andthis effectivelyendedanylegalauthoritythattheOttomanshadoverEgypt.ItwasnowaBritishsubjectbecauseEnglandwasatwarwithGermanyanditsallies.During WorldI,FouadI,thesixthsonof

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Page25 KhediveIsmail,wasmadeKhediveofEgypt.HisauthoritywasconstantlychallengedbyEgyptiannationalistswhousedthepopularresentmentofforeigndomination astheirmainissue. WhenSaadZaghlulbecametheleaderofthenationalistmovementin1918,hepresentedtheBritishwithademandforcompleteautonomyforEgypt.Itwas rejectedoutofhand.Zaghlulwasarrested,tried,anddeportedtoMalta.ThisledtoscoresofantiBritishriots.TheBritishwereforcedtobackdownonZaghluls persecution.By1922theBritishwerewillingtoendtheprotectorateandrecognizeEgyptsindependence,however,theyinsistedonmaintainingcontroloveressential governmentinstitutionsandtheSuezCanal.ThisallowedtheBritishtoeffectivelycontroltheactivitiesoftheEgyptianpeople.Sinceeconomiccontrolwasinthehands oftheBritish,allpoliticaldecisionshadtobesubmittedtotheBritishforapproval.Infact,FouadIwasmadeKingofEgyptinMarch1922withthepermissionofthe British.Butthiswastoproveadifficultandtroublesomedecision.TheBritishwereactiveintryingtoenlistintellectualstosupportthedecisionandsomeofthemdid. Othersinitiallyagreedtothechoiceandthendecidedtochartindependentpathways.SuchmayhavebeenthecaseofAhmadAmin. Aminwasbornin1886anddiedin1954.AsoneoftheleadingpoliticalthinkersduringEgyptsquestforapopulargovernment,AhmadAminsintellectualideas hadagreatinfluenceonthenatureofEgyptianparliamentarydemocracy.AstudentofEgyptsstruggleforpoliticalfreedomisforced,inmanyways,todealwiththe writingsofAhmadAminwhosecareermaybesaidtoembodyallofthecontradictionsofEgyptiansociety. Aminsliberalcredentialsandbeliefsindemocracywerewellknownduringhislife,yetheoftendoubtedthatthemassesofpeopleinEgyptcouldbelefttotheir ownjudgmentaboutpoliticalmatters.Hisconceptofpoliticalgovernancewasintenselymoralisticanddirected.Aminbothinfluencedandwasinfluencedbyhistimes. HewasthesonofawellrespectedsheikhofthealAzharcommunity,andhisearlychildhoodeducationwasquitetraditionalandreligious.Butduringhisearly manhoodhebegantosympathizewiththeviewsofmanyWesternintellectualsandsoontransferredhisallegiancefromthetraditionalvaluesofEgypttothoseofthe westernizingsegmentofsociety. WhenAhmadAminwenttostudyandthentoteachattheschoolforsharia(Muslimlaw)judges,hetriedtointroducetothefutureleadersideasoftheWestern thinkersalongwiththoseoftraditionalIslamicthinkers.TheethicalandsocialthoughtofmodernEuropewasakeyfactorinhisdevelopment,andhekeptclosecontact withfellowteacherswhohadstudiedinEnglandorFrance.AminwouldnotvisitEuropeuntilhewaswellpastforty

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Page26 yearsofage.By1926hehadmadehistransitiontotheWesternizingcadreofintellectualsinCairo.LargelyatthesuggestionoftheimmenselyinfluentialTahaHussein, heacceptedateachingjobattheUniversityofCairothat,atthetime,wascalledtheEgyptianUniversity.HetaughtArabicandIslamicliteraturethereuntilheretiredin 1946. AminbecameoneofthemostactiveEgyptianintellectuals,asortofoldmanofletters,untilhisdeathin1954.Fromthetimeofhisretirementin1946untilhisdeath, hewasactivelyinvolvedinwritingandeditingforthemagazinesandjournalsthatwerehavinganimpactonEgyptianlife.Hewastheelderstatesmanofintellectuals, havingwrittenaninfluentialandpopularhistoryofthefirstfourcenturiesofIslamicculture.Healsoengagedinsubmittingshortessaysandarticlestothepopular periodicalssuchasalHilalandtheliterarymagazinealRisala. OnecangathersomethingofAminsthoughtbyexamininghisopinionsonvarioustopics.OneofthemosttellingliberalpositionsinthewritingsofAminishisbelief intherightofunpopularopinionstobepresented.Butheisalsoastudentofparliamentarystyledemocracyandbelievesthattheinstitutionsofsuchademocracymust bepreserved.WhenTahaHusseinwasdismissedfromtheuniversityin1931,AhmadAminsupportedhiminthewritingofabookonpreIslamicpoetry.Tremendous conservativepressurewasbroughttobearontheuniversitytoreplaceHusseinfornotbowingtothedictatesofthegovernmentleaders.Alreadybytheearly1930s Aminhadfoundhiswaytotheliberalsideoftheissues.Hedidnotwanttoseepoliticsmeddlinginliterature.HewasfearfulthatshouldEgyptgiveupitsmonarchyit wouldhaveagovernmentthatwasrepublicinnameonlyandbasedinrealityintyrannyandsuppressionoffreedomofspeech. Althoughrecognizingallofthecomponentsofliberaldemocracyandgivinglipservicetothem,Aminscontradictionseemedtobeinthefactthathecouldhardly envisionaworldinwhichthemajorityofthepeoplewouldbegivencompletereignoverthegovernment.Inthatsense,hewantedtosupportthemonarchybutnota monarchybeholdentoanoutsidepower.Politicalleadership,accordingtoAmin,mustknowthecorrectgoalsandleadthepeopletowardthosegoals.Butneither Aminnoranyothernationalistleader,Westernorientedorotherwise,couldpreventBritainfrommakingitstragicandhistoricdecisiontobackFouadI. Apowerstruggleensuedbetweenthepeople,theking,andtheBritishintheyearsthatfollowedthecoronationofFouadI.TheWafdPartyhadthesupportofthe populationandtooktheleadershipincampaigningformorerightsandfreedoms.HavingcampaignedamongthepoormassesofCairoandotherregionsofthecountry, theWafdPartyfoundedbySaadZaghlul

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Page27 andledbytheautocraticMustafaanNahhasPashahadsucceededinamassingalargefollowingamongtheordinaryEgyptians. WhenFaroukI,thesonofFouadI,ascendedthethrone,hewasgreetedwithsomeenthusiasmbecausethepeoplewereimpressedthathewasthefirstruler,and theonlydescendantoftheAlbaniandynastyofMuhammadAliPashatospeakfluentArabic.PriortoKingFaroukI,theotherleadershadusedTurkishasthecourt language.Inaddition,thepopulationbelievedthatFaroukI,hadnationalistsympathiesandwantedtoshowtheirsupportforakingwhobelievedintherightsofthe people.Hecouldnot,however,defytheBritish.Hisweaknesswassoonevident,andtheyoungkingsignedanagreementwiththeBritish,calledtheAngloEgyptian Treaty(1936),whichostensiblyendedtheBritishoccupationbutgavethemtherighttoremainintheSuezCanal. AttheoutbreakofWorldWarII,theWafdPartysupportedtheAllieswiththeunderstandingthatwhenthewarwasover,Egyptwouldgainfullindependence. However,hatredoftheBritishinspiredmembersoftheclandestinealIkhwanalMuslimin(MuslimBrotherhood)tothrowtheirsupporttotheGermans.Therefore, Egyptwasthrustintotheforefrontofthewar,becomingamajorstrategicbaseofoperationsduringWorldWarII.CairoandAlexandriawereoverrunwithsoldiers, politicalexiles,spies,anddiplomats.ThedecisivebattleatElAlamein(November1942)inthedesertoutsideofAlexandriadefinedtheNorthAfricanCampaign. GeneralBernardMontgomerysEighthArmydrovebackGeneralFieldMarshalErwinRommelsAfrikaKorpsandtheAlliesclaimedallofNorthAfricaastheprize. ThedefeatofGermanyinNorthAfricawastobethebeginningoftheendfortheMuhammadAlidynastysupportedbytheBritishgovernment.KingFaroukI,a descendantoftheAlbanianAli,wasconsideredpopular,butinherentinhisrulewerethefesteringproblemsofrunningamonarchyoutoftouchwiththerealissuesof thepeople.FaroukIwasknowntobeuneducated,butwithaquickcharmandaneasymanner,buthewouldnotbethepersontoleadEgypttoindependence. Indeed,hehadaweaknessforsurroundinghimselfwithcorrectadvisersandthosewhoflatteredhim,eveninhisignorance.Bythelate1940s,therewererumorsof scandalsinhisprivatelife.Britainsoughttousehim,butinitssupportofhimitwasalsotrapped.Thus,therewasacorruptmonarchyandacorruptoccupation.Both thekingandtheoccupiershadtoleaveinorderforfreedomtocometoEgypt. Atthistime,politicaldiscontentwassurfacinginEgypt.Itwouldsoonboiloverandleavethecountrywithoutakingoranoccupier,but,instead,withanewleader. TheplayersweretheWafdPartyandtheMuslimBroth

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Page28 erhood,whichwasfoundedbyHasanalBanna,abrilliantorganizerandpreacher.Hecreatednationalconsciousnessbysettingupcells,battalions,youthgroups,and asecretapparatus.AlBannadeclaredtothealIkhwan,Youarenotabenevolentsociety,norapoliticalparty,noralocalorganizationhavinglimitedpurposes. Rather,youareanewsoulintheheartofthenationtogiveitlifebymeansoftheQuran(Hopwood1982,21). Islamwasthetotalityofeverything.Therewouldbenosociety,nopolitics,noinstitutionswithoutit.ThealIkhwanallowednosuchdistinctions.Tofurthertheir aims,thebrotherhoodusedinfiltration,propaganda,organization,andintimidation.Theyrationalizedtheinherentthreatsintheirmilitancybytheconceptofjihad (struggleagainstthosewhodidnotbelieveinIslam).TheydidnotshirkfromdeathormartyrdomiftheyfeltthatitwasforthecauseofIslam.Bythetimetheyreached theirpeakintheearly1950s,theyhadmorethantwothousandbranchesandhalfamillionmembers. AlongsidethealIkhwanwasanactivistgroupcalledtheMisralFatah(YoungEgypt),aconservative,rightwingorganizationthatwasfoundedbyAhmadHusain in1933andbecameapoliticalpartyin1938.TheorganizationcreatedaparamilitaryorganizationcalledtheGreenShirtsthathadasitspurposethepurgingofthe societyofCommunists,Europeaninfluences,andforeignprivileges.Inregardtoitsbattleagainsttheforeigninfluencesinthesociety,theMisralFatahwassimilarto thealIkhwan.TheybothwereardentlyagainsttheBritishoccupationandheldabeliefintheroleofEgyptastheleaderoftheIslamicworld. StudentsinthesocietywereoftendividedbetweentheWafdandthealIkhwan,withtheCommunistsjoiningtheWafdandtheMisralFatahjoiningthealIkhwan. Eachorganizationsoughttoenliststudentsintheirdrivetocreatearevolutionaryspirit.Thereislittlewonderwhy,between1945and1952,theEgyptiansocietywas onthevergeofexplosion.Thecountrylivedinterror.Speechwasrestrictedandthepresswasprohibitedfromprintingcertainstories.Inadditiontoallofthepolitical troubles,aterriblecholeraepidemicstruckthenationduringthetimethatitwasdiscoveringinternationalisolation.Theinternalpressuresofpoliticalagitation,student unrest,socialdisturbances,terrorism,andthreatswouldeventuallyleadtoanewsociety.ButitwouldcomeaboutnotsomuchbecauseofthealIkhwan,Misral Fatah,ortheirallies,butbecauseofaselect,secretivegroupofarmyofficerscallingthemselvesFreeOfficersCommittee. TheWafdPartycalledfortheimmediateindependenceofEgyptwiththeAlliesvictoryinthewar.ThepartyalsocalledforBritishtroopstoevacuateEgyptiansoil. TheBritishdidnotrespondtothisdemandwithanyspeed,andthus,EgyptianresentmentexplodedintoantiBritishriotsandstrikes.

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Page29 TheMuslimBrotherhoodinstigatedproteststhatmadetheBritishgovernancequitedifficultbecausealBannahadbuiltthebrotherhoodintoamightyforceduringthe waryears. TheMuslimBrotherhoodhadtakenapoliticalstandonthewarthatsaiditwasnotaboutMuslimsorEgyptbutaboutEuropeansandtheirattempttodivideupthe world.ThebrotherhooddidnotopenlyopposeEgyptiansupportfortheAlliesduringthewarbutactivelyagitatedagainsttheBritishafterthewar.Pressurefromthe WafdPartyandtheMuslimBrotherhoodfinallyforcedtheBritishoutofAlexandriaandtheCanalZonein1947. Israelwasestablishedin1948,andtheArabnationsinvadedthesameyeartoprotecttheArabpeopleofPalestineandtodefeatthenewlycreatedgovernmentof theJewishstate.ButthesmallerstateofIsraeldefeatedtheArabforcesandcreatedaseriouspoliticalsituationinEgypt.Agroupofyoungandidealisticleadersofthe armypreparedtotakethereinsofgovernmentandassertEgyptiandignity. Parliamentaryelectionswereheldin1952,andtheWafdPartywonthemajorityoftheseats.MustafaanNahhasPashawasmadeprimeminister.Oneofthefirst thingshedidwastorepealthe1936AngloEgyptianTreaty,whichgaveBritaintherighttoremainattheSuez.KingFaroukIdismissedtheprimeminister,andthe countryeruptedinrebellionsthathadtobeputdownbyforce.ItwasthiseventthatledtheFreeOfficersCommitteetostageacoupdetat.Theyseizedcontrolofthe governmentandforcedKingFaroukItoabdicate.GeneralNaguib,astheseniorofficer,becameprimeministerandcommanderofthearmedforces. However,therealpowerwastheninemanRevolutionaryCommandCouncil(RCC)undertheleadershipofColonelGamalAbdelNasser.TheRCCruled decisively.InmanyrespectsithadhundredsofyearsofbuiltupresentmentonitssideasitclearedthewayforanewregimeinEgypt.Itabolishedthemonarchyand allpoliticalparties,includingtheWafdParty.AyearlatertheRCCdeclaredtheEgyptianArabRepublic. AstheRCCbecameincreasinglymoreradical,itoffendedtheolderNaguibwhotriedtoplacesomecontrolsovertheyoungerofficers.Therewasasensethat NaguibretainedtoomuchoftheoldtraditionstobeusefulinadvancingtherightsofEgyptians.Therewasdissatisfactionwithhim,andthebickeringintheranksofthe juniorofficers,thosewhohadriskedeverythingtobringaboutchange,wouldleadtodistrustofNaguib.SoonNaguibwasplacedunderhousearrestandremoved frompowerin1954.Nasserwasmadeactingheadofstate,andin1956officiallyassumedthepresidencyoftherepublic.

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Page30

TheEraofGamalAbdelNasser,19521970Copyright 2002. Greenwood Publishing Group. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except fair uses permitted under U.S. or applicable copyright law.

GamalAbdelNasserwasadynamicleaderwholeftanindeliblemarkontheEgyptianandArabpeoples.HetransformedthewaytheEgyptiannationvieweditselfand attemptedtomoldthenationasbothanAfricannationandanArabnation.HejoinedtheOrganizationofAfricanUnityandhelpedtofoundtheOrganizationofArab Unity.BothorganizationsonegeographicandtheotherculturalweretoplayaroleintheemergingEgyptianethos. Nasserwasacharismaticpatriot,butultimatelyduringhisleadership,heimposedasocialiststyledictatorshiponthecountryinanattempttostifleunrestand protest.Inevitably,oppositionleaderswerejailed,persecuted,tortured,orexecuted.Nassersoughttomakehisgovernanceeasierbygettingridofallopposing parties.ThenowpowerfulMuslimBrotherhoodwasoutlawedanditsmembersimprisonedalthoughithadbeenoneofthemostimportantsupportersofthe1952 revolution.JournalistswhodisagreedwithNasserspolicieswereimprisoned.TheWafdParty,whichhadbeenabolished,triedtoreinventitself,andwasimmediately outlawed.Allthetimethiswashappening,NasserachievedunprecedentedpopularityintheArabworld. Therewereseveralconcretereasonsforhispopularity.HewasthefirstopenlyArableader,inhundredsofyearsinEgypt.Thecountryhadseenaprocessionof nonAfricanandnonArableaders,andtheriseofNasser,asanArabnationalistcommittedtoupliftingtheruralpoor,reverberatedthroughouttheland.Hesoughtto improvethelotofthemassesofpeasantswhofarmedthebanksoftheNileRiver.HecalledforpanArabunityinanefforttobringcoordinatedresponsestoregional crises.HisdriveforapanArabismincludedrecognizingthevariouscolorsofArabpeoples.Thus,manyblacksparticipatedinNassersrevolutionasArabs. Furthermore,hedramaticallynationalizedtheSuezCanalandstoodagainstBritishinvasionofEgyptianterritory.HisoutspokencriticismofIsraelbroughtaboutthe wrathoftheWesternworld,butEgyptthenfoundassistancefromtheSovietUnion.Buthispopularitywasmatchedontheothersidebyintensedislikebyhisenemies. Theysawhimasonewhowoulddisturbthevestedinterestsofhundredsofyearsofpower,andthus,hehadstrongopposition.Therewasbothferventadulationand intensehostilitytowardNasser. However,hesawhimselfasaunifieragainstWesternimperialism,andwhenhewasproclaimedprimeministerofthenewrepublicin1954,heconsolidatedhis policiesagainstforeignintervention.OneofhisfirstactswastheremovalofBritishtroopsfromtheSuezCanalzone.HesubsequentlydeportedthousandsofEgypts foreignresidentsandconfiscatedtheirpropertystatingthatithadbeengainedonthebacksoftheEgyptianpeople.

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Page31 WhatNasserexplainedtothepeoplewasthatinordertobuildademocratic,socialistandcooperativesocietyitwasnecessarytoremovethosewhowereseenas takingwealthwithoutgivingbacktothesociety.Thus,heinstitutedlandreformsandredistributionandexpandededucation.By1956hehadbecomepresidentof Egypt. NasserestablishedanalliancewithSyriaasadisplayofpanArabism.ThisattempttoformaunitedcountryofEgyptandSyriawasdoomedfromthebeginning becausethetwocountrieshadtwodifferenthistoriesanddifferentcustoms.Inaddition,itturnedoutthatNasserwasmoreofanEgyptiannationalistthanapan Arabist. Movingtoenhancehisinternationalcredentials,NasserhelpedformtheNonalignedMovement.AlongsideIndiasJawaharlalNehru,GhanasKwameNkrumah, YugoslaviasJosipBrozTito,andIndonesiasSukarno,NasserwasamajorinfluenceinchartingthecoursebetweentheWestandtheEast.Hebecameapower brokerinthedevelopingworld.ButhisinternationalismhelpedtocreateanimageofEgyptasanationonthemove.WhentheUnitedStatesandtheWesternnations refusedtogranthimfundstobuildtheAswanHighDam,NasserturnedtotheSovietUnion.ThedamwasamajorsuccessintransformingEgyptsagricultural developmentbypreventingtheannualfloodingthatwashedawaymillionsofacresoffarms.Italsoaddedabout15percentmorearablelandtothenation. TheSixDayWarin1967shatteredNasserspanArabdream.DefeatbyIsraelmeantthattheArabnationshadsufferedahumiliation,andNasser,asthemost outspokenArableader,hadlosthispoliticaledge.Hisrhetoricwaslikehotair.ThedefeatoftheEgyptianarmyandthelossoftheSinaiweregreatblowstothe prestigeofthecountry. Nasserofferedtoresign,butthepeople,outofrespectforhim,stagedmassivedemonstrationstoencouragehimtoremaininoffice.Hedidstayinofficeandruled untilhediedofaheartattackonSeptember1,1970.Asaleader,hehadbuiltapersonalmachine,apoliticalculturededicatedtohisvision,anddependentonhis leadership.Thispersonalizedleadershipstylemeantthatallpoliciesstemmedfromthepresidency.HewasmotivatedbyadeeploveforEgyptandarealconcernfor thewelfareofthepeople.ItislikelythathisregimewasabletosustainitselfthroughmanycrisesbecauseofthestrongbeliefthepeoplehadinNasser.Afterservingfor nearlyeighteenyearsasthecentralfigureintherevolution,Nassersdeathleftamajorgapinthepoliticallifeofthenation.

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TheRuleofAnwarSadat,19701981AnwarSadatwasoneoftheoriginalmembersoftheFreeOfficersCommitteewholedtherevolutionin1952.Heservedasaratherundistinguished

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Page32 vicepresidenttoGamalAbdelNasser.However,whenheassumedthepresidency,heimmediatelybegantodismantlemanyoftheharshpoliciesofhispredecessor. Infact,heexpelledtheSoviettechniciansthathadbeenbroughtintothecountrybyNasserwhentheAswanHighDamwasbeingbuilt.LikeNassersexpulsionof foreignresidents,SadatsexpulsionofSovietcitizensinJuly1972wasalsopopularwiththemasses,butitcreatedinternationalturmoilinthecontextoftheColdWar betweentheUnitedStatesandtheSovietUnion. UnderSadatsleadershipthereweremanydomesticandforeignpolicychanges.Hesoughttokeepliberalizationoftheinternalsocietyasaprioritybyincreasing education,speakingoutforwomensrights,andcurtailingthesecretpolice.Hedemandedthattheconfiscationofprivatepropertybestoppedandgavemorefreedom tothepress. Sadatprovedtobeanableleader.PerhapstheactionthatmadehimaherototheEgyptianpeoplewasthesurpriseattackontheIsraeliforcesintheSinaionthe JewishholidayofYomKippurduringtheMuslimholymonthofRamadanonOctober6,1973.ThisgaveSadatcredibilityandheearnedtherespectofhis countrymen.TheOctoberWardestroyedtheideaofIsraeliinvincibilitythathadgrownfromtheSixDayWar.Intheend,thewarwasfoughttoastalemate,butSadat stillemergedahero. MovesweremadetoliberalizethegovernmentandtheEgyptiansystem.Manypoliticalprisonersweregivenamnesty,thepresswasallowedtopublishwithmore freedom,andpoliticalpartieswereallowed.AnotheractionthatinstilledasenseofprideintheEgyptianpeoplewasthatSadatwasadevoutIslamist.Hereversedthe secularismthatwasimposedasasocialistsolutionandalignedhimselfwiththetraditionallyreligiousmiddleclasses.EstablishingapolicyhecalledInfitah(Open Door),Sadatencouragedforeigninvestmentsandthedevelopmentoftheprivatesector.Araboilmoneybegantoflowintothecountryandforeignaidincreasedas thenationsawanoutbreakofdemocracy. Sadatbecameanincreasinglyskillfulpoliticianandinternationalpersonality.Hewasknownfordramaticactions.WhentheInternationalMonetaryFund(IMF)put pressureonthecountrytostopgrantingfoodsubsidiesbecausetheyweredrainingthecountrysfinancialreserves,Sadatrespondedbystoppingthesubsidiesinone dayratherthaninagradualmanner.Foodpricesdoubledinoneday,whichledtomassiveriots,calledfoodriots,andforcedtheUnitedStatestoincreaseforeign aidaswellasforcedtheIMFtobackdownfromitscallfortheendtosubsidies.Thedebtofthecountrywasrescheduled,andSadatimmediatelyreinstalledthe subsidies. ThemostdramaticmovemadebySadatoccurredonNovember19,1977,

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Page33 whenhesuddenlytraveledtoJerusalemwithoverturesofpeacebetweenEgyptandIsrael.ThiswasconsideredabrilliantdiplomaticstrokeanditplacedSadatand EgyptintheinternationalspotlightandputpressureonIsrael.HisdaringmadehimahighlyrespectedleaderintheWestaswellastheArabchampionofdiplomacy. HegavetheEgyptiansanimageofcourageandvalortotheEuropeanandAmericanpeoples. OneofthehighpointsinmodernEgyptiandiplomacyoccurredwhenSadattooktheinitiativetogotoIsraelandmeetwiththeleadersofthatcountry.Ithasbeen recordedinvarioushistorybooksthatthebolddiplomaticactionbySadatwasoneofthemajorpoliticalmovesinhistory.AtatimewhennooneexpectedanyArab dominatednationtoofferahandtoIsraelfornegotiation,Sadatstruckamagnanimouschordintheheartsoftheworldspeoplesbydemonstratinghiswillingnessto trust. ThemeetingwithPrimeMinisterMenachemBeginandtheIsraeliKnessetwashistoricformanyreasons,buttheoverridingissuewasSadatsabilitytobelievethat theIsraeliswereinterestedinmakingpeace,notwar.Hehadshownhimselfawarrior,andnowhewasshowinghimselfapeacemaker.However,therewastroubleon thehomefront.SomeArabsbelievedthathehadbetrayedtheirtraditionalhostilitytowardIsraelandtheWestandhadreducedEgypttoapuppetoftheWest.Sadat didnotlikethesereferencesnordidhereallydeservethemsincehisonlycrimewastryingtobringpeacetotheregion.Nevertheless,thosewhohadwelcomedhis initiativesatfirstnowfeltthathehadsoldouttotheWest.Economicliberalizationmeantthattherichgotricherandthepoorgotpoorerbecausethosewhohad internationalcontactscoulddobusinesswherethosewhodidnothavesuchcontactswerelefttotheirowndevices.TheArabLeaguemoveditsofficefromCairoto TunisasaprotestagainstSadatsroleintheCampDavidAccords.EgypthadbecomethefirstArabnationtorecognizeIsrael,andforthisactionSadatand MenachemBeginreceivedtheNobelPeacePrize.ButtheactionisolatedSadatfrommanyotherArableaders. ThegroupsthatSadathaddefendedandsupportedbyunbanningthem,suchastheMuslimBrotherhoodandtheWafdParty,begantocriticizehim.Somecalled himasellouttoZionistinterests.Otherscalledforhisassassination.TheWesternmediaalsocriticizedhimbecausehetriedtorepresstheEgyptianswhowerenow callingforhisassassination.Intheend,Sadatwasleftwithfewmajorsupportersintheregion.InOctober1981whilewatchingamilitaryparade,hewasshotand killed.ThenationmournedbuttherewasnoneofthepassionateoutpouringforhimastherehadbeenatthedeathofNasser.YethistoryhasbeenquitekindtoAnwar Sadat,castinghimintheroleofthewiseelderbrotherwhounderstoodinherentlywhatwasneededtomovetheimpasseinthenegotiationswith

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Page34 Israelandactedtocapturethemomentinadecisivefashion,carvingoutforhimselfauniquepersona.Copyright 2002. Greenwood Publishing Group. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except fair uses permitted under U.S. or applicable copyright law.

TheTimeofHosniMuhammadMubarak,1981PresentHosniMuhammadMubarakservedasvicepresidentunderAnwarSadatfrom1974untilhisownascendancytothepresidencyonOctober13,1981.Hehasserved asheadofstatelongerthaneitherNasserorSadat.Mubarakwasbornin1928toanuppermiddleclassfamilyandhasamilitaryeducation.InEgypt,heattendedthe NationalMilitaryAcademyandtheAirForceAcademy,andintheSovietUnion,hestudiedattheFrunzeGeneralStaffAcademy. DuringthetimeofNasserandSadat,hewasaratherlowkeymilitarypersonality.HejoinedtheEgyptianAirForcein1950anditwasnineteenyearslaterthathe waselevatedtotherankofAirForceChiefofStaff.Heservedinthatcapacityuntil1972whenhewasmadeCommanderinChief.Inadditiontothatposthewasthe DeputyMinisterofWarandoneofSadatsclosestmilitaryadvisers.HewasmuchlikeSadat,amanofordinaryambitionandpersonality,withoutcharismaticoratory ordramaticflair,beforebecomingpresident.However,sinceascendingtothepresidency,MubarakhascontinuedthemorepopularpoliciesofSadat.Hehas consciouslypaidmoreattentiontothedailyadministrationofthecountryandhadshownlittleinclinationforthrustinghimselfintotheforefrontofArabpoliticsuntilthe 1990s.HehasbeenconcernedwiththetechnologicalandindustrialdevelopmentofEgyptmorethanwithestablishingastronginternationalpresence.Aspresidentof Egypt,MubarakisacceptedbysomeArabsasthenaturalleaderoftheArabworldbecauseheistheleaderofthelargestandmostimportantstateintheArabworld. ItshouldbepointedoutthatHosniMubaraktookoverEgyptinanorderlysuccessionwhenSadatwasassassinated.Hewaslaterapprovedoverwhelminglyina referendum.GivenhisattempttofollowsomeofthemoreliberalpoliciesofSadat,Mubarakhastriedtosuppressthefundamentalismthatfrequentlythreatensthe economyandthestabilityoftheEgyptiansociety.Hisprogramhasbeenoneofeconomicreforms,theincreaseofpoliticalfreedom,theexpansionoftherightsof women,theacceptanceoftheMuslimBrotherhoodintotheparliament,andmorefreedomforthepress.Internationally,Mubarakhastriedtobeneutralbetweenthe greatpowersandhassoughttoimproverelationshipsbetweenArabnations.Hewasreelectedin1987with97percentofthevotesinanelectionwithnoopposing candidates. MubarakhasachievedhisstaturebyresumingdiplomaticrelationshipswithArabnationsthathadbrokenoffrelationswhenSadatrecognizedIsrael,

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Page35 showingopennesstowardthePalestinians,andsupportingjournalisticopinionsandfreedoms.Atthebeginningofthe1990s,Egyptwasagainplayingamajorrolein regionalpolitics.UnderMubarak,in1990,EgyptsupportedKuwaitandSaudiArabiaagainstIraqintheGulfWar.Later,Egyptsent38,500troopstojoinwiththe UnitedStatesandaninternationalforcetodefeatthearmiesofIraqandforcethemtoleaveKuwait. DespitethekeeninsightsanddeftpoliticalmovesofMubarak,thecountryhasmanyproblemsowingtoitslongandcomplexpoliticalhistoryandexplosive populationgrowth.EgyptisoneofthefastestgrowingcountriesinAfrica,andthesocialserviceshavenotbeenabletokeepupwiththeincreaseinpopulation.Cairo alonehas20millionpeople.Itisoneofthefivelargestcitiesintheworldintermsofpopulation. Tourismhasbecomeoneofthebiggestforeignexchangeearnersforthecountry,butIslamicfundamentalistshavefrequentlydisruptedthetouristtradewithviolent actions.Mubarakhasinsistedthatthenationneedstheforeigncurrencythatcomesfromthetourists.Hehasenhancedthesecuritymeasuresaroundthemajortourist attractionstokeepthetouristssafe.TerrorismagainstforeignersismeantasaprotestagainstMubarakandisawaytodamagethegovernment.In1994,the governmentwasabletobreakthebackoftheterroristgroup,calledAlSaeed,inUpperEgypt,andtherewasarevivalofSaudiandGulfStatetourism.Nevertheless, theMubarakgovernmenthashadtobevigilanttomaintaindomesticpeace.Manyprogramstoincreasethelivingstandardsofthepeasantshavebeenintroduced. PresidentHosniMubarakwasreelectedin1993forathirdtermandthenonSeptember26,1999,hewasreelectedforanunprecedentedfourthsixyear presidentialterm.Hewonnearly94percentofthevotesinapopularreferendum.Assumingtheroleofaseniorstatesman,hewasactivelyinvolvedinthenegotiations betweenIsraelandthePalestinians,servingasaconfidant,prodder,andmediator.ThispositionplacedEgyptsquarelyonthestageofthelargestpoliticaldramaofthe NorthAfricaSouthwestAsia(NASA)regionoftheworld.MubarakhasbeeneagertopositionEgypttobecomeamajorplayerinthepoliticalevolutionofthe region.Infact,EgyptsoutlooktotherestofAfricahasbeenoneofrivalryinthenorthwithLibya,acountrythathasclearlyfocusedontherestofthecontinentof Africaasitsnaturaleconomicandpoliticalpartner.EgyptisamemberoftheCOMESA(CommonMarketforEasternandSouthernAfrica)andhasworkedtobring aboutfreetradeinAfrica.Inthepast,EgypthasbeentightlytiedtothedestinyofSudaninfact,manyEgyptiansseeSudanasanorganicpartofitsownNileValley. ThetwocountriesEgyptandSudanhavebeenunitedinthepastasonecountry,andunderMubarak,Egypttakesaninterestinthepoliticaldevelopmentsofthe country.TheroleofEgyptintheArabworldhasbeen

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Page36 importantsincethedaysoftheMuslimArabconquestunderGeneralElAsin639C.E.Withitsfocusonsolidifyingitsculturalandpoliticalleadershipinnortheast AfricaandtheArabworld,Egyptremainsthedominantplayerintheregion(EmergingEgypt2001,12). OneofthecomplaintsoftenheardbythosewhodonotliketheslowpaceofdemocracyinEgyptisthatMubarakistoocautious.Infact,HalaMostaphawas quotedassaying,Heisobsessedwithstability(TimeEurope,November27,2000,Vol.156,no.22).ThetruthofthematteristhatMubarakrecognizesthe dangerstohiseconomyandsocietyshouldthemilitantIslamistswanttocreatehavoc.Heissurethatthemassesofthepeoplewillsuffertherefore,hekeepsasteady handontheEgyptianshipofstate.Infact,theSeptember11,2001,terroristattacksonthePentagonandtheWorldTradeCenterintheUnitedStatessentshock wavesthroughtheEgyptianeconomy.Inmanyways,becauseEgyptisthelargesteconomyinnorthernAfricaandsouthwestAsiainadditiontobeingthemost importantMuslimcountryinthatpartoftheworld,itisalsoverysusceptibletohostilitiesinvolvingtheWest.WhenitwasdiscoveredthattheEgyptianJihadmightbe connectedtotheAlQaedaorganization,manyAmericanandEuropeantouristscancelledtheirvisitstoEgypt,causingbusinessearningstoplummet,withtheripple effectbeingfeltinsubsidiaryindustries.Thus,theaimofMubarakhasbeentobringhiscountryintoamoredemocraticerainwhichthepresenceofdifferentreligions wouldnotnecessarilycreatehostility.TheemergenceofMubarakssonGamalasaleaderoftheNationalDemocraticParty(NDP)willbringsomenewlifeintothe politicalpartyandpositionthepartyforfutureelections.Gamal,whoisthirtynine,mightevenbeapotentialsuccessortohisfather. Therearemanyissues,however,thatmustbeconfrontedbeforeEgyptistrulystabilized.Yetthestabilitythatexistsatthepresenttimeisthebestthathasexisted sincetherevolutionof1952.ThecountryunderMubarakisatpeacewithallofitsneighborsandhasbecomeoneoftheanchorsinthepoliticalandeconomic communityoftheregion.BecauseofthestrengthofMubarakspolicies,hisrelationshipwiththeSaudis,hisabilitytohandletheUnitedStates,andhisdeftnessin dealingwiththePalestinianquestion,Egypthastherespectofitsneighborsandhasbecometheleadingactorintheregionaldrama. ThetworemainingissuesthatmustbedealtwitharethePalestiniansandthefundamentalists.Oneisaninternationalpoliticalissueandtheotherisadomesticissue. ThegovernmentofMubarakhastriedtodefendArabrightswhilebeingamoderatorintheregion.Diplomatically,Egyptdefineditsrolein2000asthenursemaidof thepeaceprocessbetweentheArabsandIsraelis.PresidentMubarakhasbackedPalestinianAuthorityPresidentYasser

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Page37 Arafatpubliclyandthetwoconsultprivately.Inthisway,ArafathasreceivedmoralandeconomicsupportfromEgypt.MubarakhasencouragedArafattostandfirm onhisprinciplesofhumanrightsandjustice,yetheencourageshimtomakeconcessionswhennecessarytomaketheIsraelisfeelsafe.ThePalestinianproblemis MubaraksgreatestchallengeanditbecameincreasinglydifficultaftertheSeptember11,2001,terroristbombings. LeadingotherArabheadsofstateasthevoiceofmoderation,PresidentMubarakhascreatedaroleforhiscountryintheIsraeliPalestinianconflict.Hismediation wascreditedwithrestartingnegotiationsafterthesuspensionoftalksduetotheintifada,aperiodofPalestinianuprisingin19961999.Thediplomaticprestigeof EgypthasgrownunderMubaraktothepointwhereheislistenedtoandconsultedbyallofthemajorWesterngovernmentsbeforetheyactintheregion.TheEgyptian governmentgetsmorethan$2billioninaidannuallyfromtheUnitedStates.ItisoftensaidthatthemoneyisinexchangeforEgyptbeingthefirststateintheregionto makepeacewithIsrael.NooneintheWesternworldwantsEgyptseconomytocollapsebecauseofthedangerthiswouldbringtotheregion. PresidentMubarakhasvisitedWashingtononceayearforthepastfiveyears.HeisseekingtoreadyhiscountryforthetimewhentheoverallAmericanaidwillbe cutto$400million.AnumberofissueshaveemergedoverthelastfewyearsbetweentheUnitedStatesandEgypt,butnonehavederailedtherelationshipbetweenthe twonations.OneissuethatthreatenedtocreateproblemsfortherelationshipwasthecrashofEgyptAirsFlight990fromNewYorktoCairoinOctober1999. Americaninvestigatorsconcludedthatthecopilot,GamilalBatouty,mayhavedeliberatelycrashedtheplane.AfloodofprotestfromtheEgyptiangovernmentcaused thisissuetobeminimizedintheAmericanpress.MubarakiscreditedwithconvincingtheAmericanstodownplaythepossibilityofasuicideonthepartofalBatouty. Onthedomesticfront,PresidentMubarakhasbeenabletosubduethealIkhwanalMusliminandothergroupswithstrongpolicepressuretoensureastable society.Politically,hehasbeenabletoconvertmanyoppositionleaderstohisformofgovernmentor,atleast,alignthemwithhispolicies.Onlytheradical fundamentalistsremainoutsideofthePaxMubarak.WhenonethinksofthefactthatPresidentMubarakachievedlimitedagriculturalreformandprivatizationwithout anexplosionofunrestamongthepeasantsitisalmostmiraculous.Hislowkeyapproachtothepoliticalprocessnottoomuchrhetoricandflamboyancehasplayed exceptionallywellinmoderatingtheinfluencesinEgyptthatcouldhavecausedtrouble. TheWorldTradeCenterandPentagonattacksinNewYorkandWashingtonmadeanEgyptian,AymanalJawahiri(anassociateofOsamabin

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Page38 Laden),oftheIslamicJihadahouseholdname.ItisbelievedthatalJawahirisorganizationwascloselyrelatedtotheAlQaedaorganizationofOsamabinLaden.Copyright 2002. Greenwood Publishing Group. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except fair uses permitted under U.S. or applicable copyright law.

NOTES1.ForalongtimeitwasassumedthatthetermTawyreferredtotheconceptsofredandblacklandhoweverrecentscholarshiphastakenthistermtomean desertandfertile.ThisseemsmorelikelysincetheearthinEgyptisoftenredorbrown,butthevegetationalongtheriverbanksisgreenandverdant.Atone time,perhaps,itmayhavebeeneasytoarguetheblacksoilthesis,butthereisnoreasontodosonow. 2.EgyptassertsrightstotheHalaibTriangle,abarrenareaof7,946squaremilesunderpartialSudaneseadministrationthatisdefinedbyaboundarythatsupersedes thetreatyboundaryof1899. 3.AllthreeoftheNubiangroupsKanuz,Mahas,andMatokiareusuallyreferredtobythegeneralnameNubialthoughtheyhavedistinctlanguages.

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2 Government,Economy,Education,andTourismTHECIVILGOVERNMENTTHEEGYPTIONNATIONisdividedintothreebranches:theexecutive,thelegislative,andthejudiciary.Egyptisademocraticcountry.Ofthemorethan4,000 candidatesrunningforelectionduring1999inEgypt,444weremembersoftherulingNationalDemocraticParty(NDP),428werefromtheopposition,andthe remainderwereindependents.Thereissomebeliefthatshouldtheoppositionincreaseitsproportionofrepresentationintheparliamentthroughpersuasionorthe fractureoftheNDP,thecountrycouldbearepublicanversionofMoroccoorJordan,whereanonpartisanheadofstatepresidesoverapluralistic parliament(EmergingEgypt2001,17). Thepresidentofthenationistheheadofstateandtheleaderoftheexecutivebranch.Normally,thenominationofthepresidentismadebytheNationalAssembly andthecandidatewhoreceivestwothirdsofthevotesofthemembersisreferredtothenationforaplebiscite.HosniMubarakhasbeenoverwhelminglyelectedtothe presidencyinthelasttwoelections.However,theoppositionpartieshavemadeinroadsatalllevelsofthegovernment. Thegovernmentisthesupremeexecutiveandadministrativeinstrumentofthestate.Itismadeupoftheprimeministerandtheassemblymembers,someofwhom maybemembersofthelegislature.Thepresidentappointsandremovesgovernors. Judicialsupervisionofthe2000electioninEgyptwassupposedtoassurethenationofafairprocess.However,thepollwasmarredbysomeincidences

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Page40 ofviolence.Armedgroupspreventedsomevotersfromenjoyingtheprivilegeofvotinginsomesectionsofthecountry.Battleswithsomesecurityforcesoccurredin theworkingclassneighborhoodofShubraelKheima.Theelectionresultedinmoreoppositionpartymembersbeingelected,particularlytheIslamists.Theireighteen seatswerewonwhentheMuslimBrotherhoodplacedintensepressureonsomevoters.Ontheleft,theTagammuParty,theDemocraticNasseristParty,and independentNasserists,wonthirteenseats. Thejudiciaryisindependentasarethejudges,andinthematteroftheirdeliberations,opinions,andexperience,theyaresubjecttonootherauthorityexceptthelaw. TheultimatelawinEgyptisIslamiclaw.Ineveryrespect,Egyptisanationoflawandcivicresponsibility. ThenationalanthemofEgyptMyHomelandavoidsanystatementofreligioninstead,itconcentratesondutytohomelandandmentionstheNileanditsgiftsto humanityinagrandgestureofnationalnobility: Myhomeland,myhomeland,myhallowedland, Onlytoyou,ismydueheartyloveatcommand, Myhomeland,myhomeland,myhallowedland, Onlytoyouismydueheartyloveatcommand, Motherofthegreatancientland, Mysacredwishandholydemand, Allshouldlove,aweandcherishthee, GraciousisthyNiletohumanity, Noevilhandcanharmordoyouwrong, Solongasyourfreesonsarestrong, Myhomeland,myhomeland,myhallowedland, Onlytoyou,ismydueheartyloveatcommand. Thefirstnationalflagwasestablishedbyaroyaldecreein1923whenEgyptgainedconditionalindependencefromGreatBritainin1922.In1958,apresidential decreeestablishedanewflagfortheUnitedArabRepublic,whichcomprisedamergerofSyriaandEgypt.In1972,anewlawchangedthestyleoftheflagandadded agoldenhawktoreplacethestarsandfinallyin1984,thecurrentflagwascreatedreplacingthehawkwithagoldeneaglerepresentingtheeagleofSaladinofthe Crusades. ModernEgyptisdividedintofourteenregions.Eachregionhasagovernor.ThemajorregionshaveascapitalstheprincipalcitiesofEgypt.AncientEgypthad fortytwonomesorprovinces,however,sincethetimesofthepharaohs,Egypthasundergonemanyadministrativechangesreflectingthewishesofthegoverning authorities.Thepresentfourteenregionsappeartobeeasilygovernedunderthecurrentpoliticalclimate.

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FertilelandsirrigatedfromtheNileRiver

ECONOMYLikeothermoderneconomies,Egyptisnotwithoutitsproblemsandissues.Indiscussingthemoderndevelopmentsinthesociety,itisusefultorememberthatwater, urbanization,relocationofminoritypopulations,theAswanHighDam,tourism,andpoliticscontinuetodefinethequalityofEgyptianlife.Tounderstandhowthese issueshaveplayedoutandareplayingoutinthecontemporarysociety,itisnecessarytopresentsomegeneraldetails.

TheNileRiverTheNileRiverhasbeenoneofthetwoimportantfactorsinEgyptianhistoryfromtimeimmemorial,butduringthepastfortyyears,humanattemptstocontroltheriver haveproducednumerousadvantagesanddisadvantagesthatwillhavetobeconfrontedinfutureyears.Becauseofthecatastrophicfloodsthatdrownedtheland annuallyforthousandsofyears,theEgyptianshavealwayswantedawaytocontrolthewaterduringtheinundation.Severalsmalldamshadbeenbuiltalongtheriverin historictimes,butitwastheconstructionoftheAswanHighDam,oneofthemostdifficultandmassivepublicworksinhistory,thatwouldchangethewayEgyptlived itslifealongtheriver.

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Page42 AgricultureisamajorsectoroftheEgyptianeconomy.Irrigationisthelifebloodofagriculture.However,itwouldtakethecontroloftheNiletobringthemost advantageoussituationtothefarmers.TherehadbeennumerousattemptstousetheriverswatereffectivelyandefficientlypriortotheconstructionoftheAswanHigh Dam.ActuallyNilecontrolworkshadstartedin1843withthebuildingofElKanaterelKhairiyaBarrageattheapexoftheDeltawiththeideathatthewaterlevel wouldberaisedupstreamandthusenablethewatertoentertheDeltacanalsatthelowperiod.ThefirstAswandamwasbuiltin1902.Thatiswhythelastdamis calledtheAswanHighDam.Egypthasmorethan24,860milesofcanalsandwaterworks.Sincewaterisdistributedtothevariouscanalsaccordingtoarotation system,therearewateringandclosingdaysdependingontheseasonandzone.TwosystemsofdrainageoccurinEgypt:thefirstisbyfreeflowofgravitychannels drainingtowardtheseaorlakes,andthesecondisbyliftingthewater.

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TheAswanHighDamEgyptseemstodemandthemonumental.TheconstructionoftheAswanHighDamwasonemoreexampleoftheEgyptiansuperlative.Buildingthedamtookan enormousamountofresources.ThedamwasbuiltjustnorthoftheSudanesebordernearthefamouscityofAswan,fromwhichthedamtakesitsname. ItisalargerockfilleddamthatreceivestheworldslongestriverandcreatesthethirdlargestfreshwaterreservoirintheworldLakeNassernamedforthefirst presidentofthecountry.ThenameofthedaminArabicisSaddelAali.Itwasstartedin1952andittookeighteenyearstocomplete. AlwaysdependentontheNileforitslivelihood,EgyptwasalsoavictimoftheNilesannualinundationbeforethebuildingoftheAswanHighDam.Theannual floodsdepositedamilliontonsofnutrientrichsedimentthathelpedinagriculturalproduction.Thisprocessstartedmillionsofyearsago,predatingthefabledperiodof thepharaohs.By1889,thefirstAswandamwasbuilttokeepbackthefloods,butitprovedinsufficientbecausethewatersoftheNile,comingdownfromEthiopia andUganda,wouldalwaysoverpowertheshortdam.Itwasraisedin1912andthenagainin1933topreventthewaterfromfloodinghomesandfarmsintherich valley.However,by1946thedangertoEgyptwasrevealedwhenthewaterspeakedatthetopofthedam,eveninitsextension,andtheentirecountrywasfearful. OneofthefirstmajoractsoftheinterimRevolutionaryCommandCouncil(RCC)governmentwastomakeadecisiontobuildtheAswanHighDamaboutfour milesupstreamfromtheolddam.In1954,thegovernmentof

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Page43 EgyptrequestedloansfromtheWorldBanktopayforthecostofthedam,whicheventuallyapproachedUS$1billion.TheU.S.governmentwasoneofthefirstto agreetoloanEgyptmoneyfortheprojectbutwithdrewfromtheprojectforpoliticalreasonssoonafterannouncingthatitwouldsupportit.Thepoliticalreasonsgiven havetodowiththeEgyptianIsraeliconflict.However,Egyptwasnotdeterred.TwoyearslaterthegovernmentofPresidentGamalAbdelNassernationalizedthe SuezCanaltohelppayfortheconstructionofthedam.Israel,England,andFranceinvadedEgyptalmostimmediatelyandthissetupthestageforanEastWest conflictoverthedamproject. TheSovietUnionagreedtohelpEgyptbuildthedam,andtheofferwasaccepted.TheSovietUnionsentmoney,technicians,andmilitaryadviserstoenhancethe rapportbetweenthetwocountries.Theprojectwasanawesomeanddauntingone.Toconstructthedam,morethan100,000peoplewholivedaboveandbelowthe damhadtoberelocated.TheseweremainlyNubianswhohadlivedintheareasincetimeimmemorialandhadbuilttheirtemples,erectedtheirtombs,andprayedto theirancestorsinthequietofthedeserteveningsforthousandsofyears.Theywouldbeuprootedandmovedtomanyvillages.TheNubianEgyptianswouldbemoved aboutthirtymilestotheKomOmboarea.However,theNubianslivinginSudanwouldhavetobemovednearlyfourhundredmilesawayfromtheirnativelands. Inadditiontomovingpeople,thegovernmenthadtodecidewhattodoaboutmarveloustreasuresofart.Doyoufloodthemostsacredtemplesoftheancient world?WhatdoyoudowiththeTempleofAbuSimbelwhereRamsesIIhadbuilthisowntombandoneforhisfavoritewife,Nefertari?Theywerealsomoved. Thedamwasoneofthemostmassiveprojectseverundertakenbyhumans.Thematerialusedinthedamwouldequalaboutseventeenofthegreatpyramidsat Giza.GamalAbdelNasserdiedin1970knowingthathehadleftEgyptagreatgiftforitsfuture.ThebenefitstoEgyptaresignificant.Thedamcontrolstheannual floodsandpreventstheuntolddamagethatwouldoccuralongthefloodplain.Thereareseveralotherbenefitsforexamplethedamkeepsthewaterflowconsistent andtherebyimprovesthesailingandnavigation. Thedamwasconstructedtosolveoneproblembutintheprocessitcreatedanother.Seepageandevaporationaccountsforabout14percentlossoftheannual inputintothereservoir.ThesecondproblemisthatthesedimentsoftheNilehavebeenfillingthedam,thereforereducingitsreservoirandstoragecapacity.Farmers arenowrequiredtousefertilizertogetthesameyieldasbeforewhentheriverleftnutrientrichsediment.Accordingtosomereports,theshrimpcatchinthe MediterraneanSeahasbecomesmallerdue

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Page44 tothewaterflowchange.ErosionisoccurringaroundtheDeltaregionbecausethereisnoadditionalagglomerationofsedimenttokeeperosionatbay.Poordrainage ofthenewlyirrigatedlandsthathaveappearedalongtheriverhasaddedtotheincreasedsalinityofthewater.OveronehalfofEgyptsfarmlandsarenowratedas havingmediumtopoorsoilwhenoncethesoilwasconsideredoneoftherichestintheworld. Allisnotbad,however,sincethelakecreatedbythedamLakeNasserhasactuallycreatedmorelandforpeopletofarmonthaneverbefore.Thisisbecause ofthewaterstoredinthelake,whichisusedtoirrigatethelandaroundit.LakeNasserhascreatedahugefishingindustry,producingnearly100,000tonsoffishper year.Thus,theNileRiverandtheAswanHighDamarehandmaidensofthecontinuingdevelopmentofmodernEgypt.OnecouldnotimaginemodernEgyptwithout theAswanHighDamorsomethingequivalenttoit.

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MAJORCITIESOFEGYPT:URBANIZATIONANDTHECONTEMPORARYSOCIETYCairo:TheMotheroftheWorldCairoisoneoftheworldsmostexcitingcities.Itislarge,boisterous,andbusy,butthereareneighborhoodsthatarequietandbeautiful.ThecityofCairowasfounded onAugust5,969C.E.IthasbecomethelargestAfricanandArabcityintheworld.OutsideofitsboundariesarethegreatGizapyramids,ruinsoftheancientcityof Memphis(calledtheMiddleoftheUniverse),andtheholycityofOn(calledHeliopolisbytheGreeks).IthasbeenwrittenthatMemphisandHeliopolishadbeen flourishingathousandyearswhenAlexandervisitedthemtheirawewassopotentthattheconquerorpreferredtobuildhisEgyptiancapitalnotwherethepharaohs hadreignedbutonanislandjoinedtoGreecebytheseaandseparatedfromEgyptbyalake(Stewart1996,1).ButCairohasnotbeenawedbytheillustrioushistory thatsurroundsitbecausethecityitselfhasbeentheseatofsomeofthemosteventfulhappeningsonthecontinentofAfrica.Furthermore,duringtheMiddleAgesit wasthelargestcityinAfrica,andlargerthananycityinEuropeorAsia.Greatpublicbuildingswereerectedbymendedicatedtotradingbetweenthreecontinents: Africa,Europe,andAsia.Anyonelookingtoengageincommercewhetheritwasgold,incense,oroilshadtocomethroughthemerchantsofCairo,thatis,until VascodaGama,thePortuguesesailor,madeitaroundthecapeofAfricain1498.EuropehaddiscoveredthatonecouldreachtheEastanditsrichsourcesofspice withouthavingtopayCairoitscustomarytariffs.Evenso,Cairowould

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Cairocongestion

continuetoexerciseitsinfluenceinnortheastAfricaandsouthwestAsia.ThiswasunderscoredbythebuildingoftheSuezCanalin1869.Alongwiththecultivationof cotton,theopeningoftheSuezmadeEgyptimportantandCairo,asEgyptscapital,becameastrategiccityinglobalcommerce. Cairohasplayedtheroleofumaldunya(MotheroftheWorld)inmanyscenariosinmoderntimes.FromitspositionasthepulsepointoftheNile,locatedatthe southernapexoftheDeltaandthenorthernpointofthevalley,Cairodominatesthecommerceandwealthofabroadregion.ItistheguardianoftheEgyptian breadbasket,butitisalsothegreatestinlandportontheNile.Actually,itiswellknownthattheNileisaneasierrivertonavigatethanthefamedEuphrates.Cairo,near thesiteofthefarmoreancientcityofMemphisthatwaslocatedonthewestbankoftheriver,wasthegatewaytotheseaalbahrastheArabscametocallit. TheNileflowsthroughtheheartofCairo.Inmanyrespects,itisauniqueriver.Oneofthemostinterestingfactsabouttheriveristhatitsdominantwindsarefrom thenorthtothesouth,althoughthemostconstanttidesarefromthesouthtothenorth.MostmajorriversflowsouthwardbuttheNileflowsnorthward.Thus,ifa personwantedtotravelnorthward,heorsheonlyhadtolaunchavesselandbetakenbythetidesallthewaytotheMediterranean.Ontheotherhand,ifaperson wantedtotraveltothesouth,heorshecouldsimplyputupsailsandbedrivenallthewaytothesixth

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Sailboat(felucca)pilotntheNile

cataract(mistakenlyreferredtoasthefirst).OfcourseonlysincethetwentiethcenturyhastheNilebeencontrolledbydamsinUpperEgypt.Thedamsalloweda regulatedflowofthewaters.Ifithadnotbeenforthedamstheagelongdestructionofthehousesandfarmsalongtheriversbankswouldhavecontinued.Asitis,the peopleofEgyptknewthattheirlivelihooddependedonthegoodgracesofEthiopiaandtheCongoarea.AllEgyptiansbelievedthatthewatersoftheNilecamefrom springsintheMountainsoftheMoon(Stewart1996,9).AlthoughtheNilewasthemajoravenueforthemovementofgoods,itwasnottheonlyavenue.Infact, caravansacrosstheEasternDesertandcanalsovertotheRedSeawereoftenusedtotransportcommerce.TheyoftenbeganandendedinCairo.AstheMotherof theWorldinthemindsofitsinhabitants,thecitywasseenasthesourceofallthingsgoodinEgypt.Cairowastheendofthepastandthebeginningofthefutureinthe mindsofthosewhocreateditastheculturalcenterofEgypt. CairowasabeaconoflightshiningfromthejunctionofthenarrowNileValleywiththebroadflowingdeltaregion.SituatedatthecriticalpointalongtheNileRiver, Cairobecame,soonafteritsfounding,themostrecognizedcityinallofEgypt,althoughitwasnottheoldest. OneofthegreatmuseumsintheworldisintheheartofCairo.TheEgyptianMuseumwasfoundedin1858bytheFrenchmanAuguste

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EntrancetoEgyptianMuseumofAntiquities

FerdinandFrancoisMarietteatBulaq.Thepresentbuildingwaserectedin1902.Mariettediedin1881,andhissarcophaguswasplacedonthewestsideofthe museumsgardenin1904.EgyptologyinthenineteenthcenturyacceleratedtheneedforamuseumtoconservethefindingscomingoutofEgypt.Althoughthecountry losthundredsofthousandsofpiecesofancientworkstomuseumsaroundtheworld,theEgyptianMuseumstillretainsmorethan120,000pieces,makingitthe repositoryofthelargestcollectionofancientEgyptianworksintheworld(seealsoChapter4,ArchitectureandArt).

Alexandria:TheCityontheSeaAlexandriahascapturedtheimaginationsofmanygenerations.FromthesleepyvillageofRakoda(asitwascalledwhenAlexandertheMacedonian[theGreat] foundedit)toitsglorydaysastheleadingcityoftheworldduringtheGreekoccupationofEgypt,AlexandriahasremainedEgyptsmostoutwardlylookingcity.The GreekarchitectDinocratesdesignedandbuiltthecity(332331B.C.E.)toimmortalizeAlexandersname.Thecityintrigueditsearliestvisitors,bothinvitingthemand shuttingthemoutatthesametime.ItwasthesiteoftheancientLighthouse,oneoftheSevenWondersoftheAncientWorld,aswellastheGreatLibrary.Itsreligious historywasancientanditsrecentpastcolorfulwhentheGreekscametorule.

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Page48 AlexandrialiesnorthwestoftheNileDeltaandstretchesalonganarrowlandstripbetweentheMediterraneanSeaandLakeMariout.ItislinkedtoCairobytwo majorhighwaysandarailroadline.ThecityisborderedontheeastbyAbuQirandonthewestbyElAlameinandSidiAbdulRahman. OnJuly1,1798,whenNapoleonBonaparteandtheFrencharmyenteredAlexandria,ithadapopulationoflessthan10,000.Ithadoncebeenthesecondlargest cityintheworldbuthadshrunkinimportanceandpopulationbythetimetheFrenchinvaded.Alexandriaspopulationwasperhapscenteredaroundanareacalled Mansheya,aTurkishenclaveestablishedwhentheOttomanTurksinvadedEgypt.ThefivethousandFrenchsoldiersenteredthecitywithoutoppositionin1798. AlexandriawasatthecenterofthecontinuingstruggleforexternaldominanceofEgypt.MuhammadAli,theAlbanianappointedasrulerofEgyptbytheOttoman Turks,turnedthecountryintohisownprivateprovince.Infact,hegaveCleopatrasNeedlestotheUnitedStatesandBritain.However,duringthisperiod,theBritish intervenedofteninEgyptianaffairs.UnderthesuccessorsofAli,AlexandriacontinuedtogrowasacityandbythetimeoftheSuezCanalthecityhad94percentof thecountrysexports. In1882,AhmedOrabi,anEgyptiannationalist,ledarevoltagainsttheAlbanianTurkishdynasty.TheBritishintervenedbybombardingAlexandriafortwodays. TheBritishthenoccupiedthecityandsetthestageforaseventyyearoccupationofthecountry. Inthetwentiethcentury,thecitybecameEgyptssummercapital,andAlMontazahPalacewasdesignatedasthekingssummerresidence.Itwasalsothecity wheretheArabLeaguewasbornin1944.By1952,itwasthecitythatsawtheabdicationanddepartureofKingFaroukIforexileinItaly. ContemporaryAlexandriaisalargecitythatstretchesforfortyfivemilesalongtheMediterraneancoast.ItisEgyptsmostethnicallydiversecitywithold populationsofGreeks,Armenians,Syrians,Jews,Turks,Italians,Maltese,andLebanese.Thecityhasethnicneighborhoodswithnamesreflectingthevarious communities:theGreeknamesofBacos(Bacchus)andQuartierGrec(GreekQuarter)ArabnamessuchasShathy,SidiBishr,SidiGaherJewishnamessuchas Smousha,MenashaandmodernEuropeannamessuchasFlemingSchutz,Stanley,andLambruco.ThereisaprojectunderwaytorevivetheoldAlexandrialibrary.It willbecalledBibliothecaAlexandrinaandwillbebuiltonthesiteoftheoldCaesariumandPtolemaicPalace. ThecityisthehomeofAlexandriaUniversity,theArabInstituteofScienceandTechnology,UniversiteSenghor,andtheEasternMediterraneanOfficeofthe WorldHealthOrganization.ThishasmadeitacosmopolitancenterfortheeasternMediterraneanarea.Today,Alexandriastandsasone

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Luxorboys

ofthemostvisuallyattractivecitiesontheMediterraneanand,withitsrichhistoricalbackground,hasbecomeoneofthekeydestinationsforMediterraneantravelers.

LuxorMorehumanmonumentsarefoundinandoutsideofLuxorthananycityintheworld.Itisacitybuiltontourism,asmoreandmoretouristscompetetoseethe constructionsandcreationsoftheancients.Butitisacityofaverymodernpresence.Servedbyamajorairportandmorethanfivehundredriverboats,Luxoriseasily reachedandremainsoneoftheprincipaltouristdestinationsintheworld. BuiltontheancientsiteoftheNewKingdomcapitalWaset,modernLuxoristhegatewaytothememorabletemplesandtombsoftheValleyoftheKingsandthe ValleyoftheQueens. ModernLuxorremainsacityofgiftshops,hotels,andrestaurants,allconnectedtothehistoricalrolethecityhasplayedinworldhistory.Itisabustlingcitywith cars,buses,buggies,andtaxisracingtotaketouriststothevarioussites.

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TourboatdockedatAswan

AswanAswanisthegardencityofEgypt.ItislocatedatthehistoricalborderwithancientNubia.DuringthePharaonicPeriod,whenoneleftAswangoingsouthonewasin thecountryofthepeopleofTaSeti(LandoftheBow).Thus,AswanhasaspecialplaceinthehistoryofEgypt.ItwasthesourceoftheNileinthemindsofmany Egyptiansbecauseofthecataractsintheriver,butitwasalsothoughttobethehomeofthegods.Weknow,ofcourse,thatitwasthequarryforthestonesthatwere usedtobuildmanyofthemonumentsinlowerKemet.TheobeliskserectedatKarnakTempleoriginatedinthequarriesofAswan.Itwasquitecommonintheancient periodforhugestonestobefloateddowntheriverduringtheinundation.Therefore,Aswan(orSyene,asitwascalledthen)becamethecenterofthestonecarversof ancientEgypt. ModernAswanisabustlingcitywithalivelyanddynamicopenmarket,oneofthebestinAfrica.Inaddition,thereareoutstandingpublicbuildings,manyhotels, andpleasantneighborhoods.TheNubianMuseum(openedin1997)holdsoneofthelargestcollectionsofNubianartintheworld.Infact,itisunrivaledinEgyptin termsofitspresentationofartandculture.

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THESUEZCANALCopyright 2002. Greenwood Publishing Group. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except fair uses permitted under U.S. or applicable copyright law.

Sinceitscreation,theSuezCanalhasalwaysbeenatthecenterofcommerceandpoliticsinEgypt.Ithasbeenwrittenthat[i]tgavetheBritishtheexcuseforstaying onuntil1955andforattemptingtoreturnin1956.ItwasthebarriertheIsraelisreachedin1956and1967andthewaterwayacrosswhichthewarofattritionwas foughtin1969(Hopwood1982,133).TheSuezisoneofthekeycanalsintheworld,andthousandsofshipspassthroughiteachyear. ItwouldtaketheFreeOfficersCommitteerevolutiontochangethestatusoftheSuezCanal.In1952,aboardofthirtytwodirectorscontrolledthecanal.However, onlyfiveofthosedirectorswereEgyptians.ThiswasoneofthecomplaintsoftheEgyptianpeople.Theresource,whileimpactingontheEgyptianpeople,wasinthe handsofforeigners.TheycouldnotfeelasenseofnationalpridesincethecanalwaseffectivelyinthehandsofnonEgyptians.Thecanalwasathorninthesideof nationalconsciousness.ManypeopledidnotwanttoseeEgypthumiliatedbyallowingallthedecisionsatthecanaltobemadebynonEgyptians.In1956,President NassernationalizedthecanalafterfindingoutthatEgyptwasonlyreceiving7percentofthegrossfromtransitdues.NassersannouncementthatEgyptwouldreceive 100percentofthetransitduesandusethemoneytobuildtheAswanHighDamstunnedthosewhobelievedthatEgyptwouldnotbeabletorunitsownaffairs.Egypt wasdispensingwithallaspectsofitscolonialpast,anditdidnotneedtoberemindedofitbythecanal. Thecanalhasbeenrunquiteefficiently.However,itwasclosedin1956becauseofthewarandagainin1967duetoawar.Egyptianstookoverthefacilitiesand increasedthenumbersoftransits,improvedtheoperations,andwhentheIsraelisreachedtheEastBankinJune1967,thecanalwasblocked.Itremainedclosedto shippingwhenNasserdied,anditwouldtakePresidentSadatsresolvetogetitreopened.Egyptcouldnotaffordtolosethe100millionpoundsperyear. ThehistoryoftheSuezCanalislong.TherehadbeennumerousattemptstojointheMediterraneanandRedseassince1887B.C.E.whenSenursertIIIofthe TwelfthDynastyattemptedtodigacanaltomakeanavigablewaterwaybetweenthetwoseas.PsammetichusII,in609B.C.E.triedtorejointhetwowaterways withoutsuccess.ThePersiansalsotrieditandthenundertheGreekking,PtolemyII,itwasreopenedandthensuccessivelyreopenedbyTrajanandGeneralElAs. ThedreamofconnectingthetwowaterwayswithoutadetourthroughtheNile,ashadbeendonebefore,interestedalotofengineers.Butthestumblingblock seemedtobetheidea,fromsomewhere,thattheMediter

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Page52 raneanwas29.5feetbelowtheleveloftheRedSea.Thiswasdisproved,andin1854aconcessionwasgivenbySaidPashatoFerdinanddeLesseps.Acompany wasformed,andonApril22,1859,workwasbegunontheSuezCanal.Itwouldtaketenyears,untilNovember1869,beforeitwouldbefinished.Whenitwas finallycompleted,thecanalwas107.5mileslong,656feetwideatwaterlevel,anditsmaximumdraftforshipswouldbe37feet.Thespeedlimitforshipsis12.5miles perhour.

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EDUCATIONIntheWesternsense,moderneducationinEgyptprobablydatesbacktotheFrenchinvasionof17981799.NapoleonsarmynotonlydiscoveredtheRosettaStone thatwaslaterusedtobreakthecodeoftheancienthieroglyphics,buttheGrandArmyprovidedtheEgyptianleaderswiththeopportunitytocomparetheireducation withthatoftheoutsideworld.Asonehistoriannoted,Theoldculturewassubjectedtoaseveretestandinresponse,Egyptundertookaseriesofchangestomodify itstraditionalculture(Faksh1980,42).InmanywaystheNapoleonicchargeintothecountrywasaquickwakeupcall.ThefactofthematteristhatEgyptianshad beenruledbynonEgyptiansforhundredsofyearsandtheywereawareofsomeattitudesoftheoutsideworld.Whattheywerenotawareofmayhavebeenthe variouswaysinwhichtheoutsideworldorganizedculturalandeducationalinstitutions,butthiswouldchange. DuringtheruleofMuhammadAli(18051848),Egyptadoptedaneweducationalsystem,nottosupplantthereligioussystem,buttocomplementit.Thisnew systemwassecular,anditrivaledthereligiousonebutdidnotovertakeit.AliwantedEgypttopartakeofthefruitsoftheinternationalcommunitywithoutlosingitsown soulbytakingtherootsoftheWesternculture. Theoldreligioussystemhadservedthesocietywellattherudimentarylevelofprovidingwriting,reading,andarithmetictoabroadsectionofboysandmen. However,theaspiringeliteandtherulingpoliticianswantedmorefortheirchildren.Theysoughttointroduceasecularsystemthatwouldallowtheirchildrento competeontheinternationalstage.Inscienceandtechnologyandbusinessandart,theneweducationalelitesawalargeopeningforseculareducation. Themodernsystemhascoexistedwiththeoldreligioussystemtotheextentthatthesocietybearsthemarksofthedivision.Therearesomewhobelievethatthetwo systemshavepreventednationalintegrationandunification.Butthedualstructureofeducationhasallowedaculturalelitetoarisethathasaninterestincommerceand politics.Theyrepresenttheeco

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Childrensingingatschool

nomicenginethatmobilizesthesociety.However,thereligioussystemremainsattachedtothesacredinstitutions,andthemassesofpeopleacquiretheirknowledge fromthereligiousschools.ThereligiousschoolsarereferredtoastheAzharSystem.TheAzhargraduateshaveadifferentoutlookthansecularsystemgraduates. Manytimestheydonotagreeontheobjectivesofeducation.ItisclaimedthatsomeofthosewhoaretrainedintheAzharareusuallywellversedintheQuranbutare isolatedfromtheissuesofcontemporarysociety.OntheotherhandthesecularlyeducatedoftendonothaveArabicfluencyandcannottransmittheirlearning(Faksh 1980,43). Thesecularschoolsaredependentonaneducatedelite.Studentsareinstructedinphysics,law,science,andastronomy.Theydonothavetopayfees.In1944,fees wereabolishedinprimaryschools,andin1951theywerediscontinuedatthehighschoollevel.However,theexpansionofeducationhasbeensteadyduringthepast thirtyyears.Thishasbroughtmorepeopleintothesecularsystem.Atonetimemostofthestudentswhotookadvantageofthesecularsystemwereminorities,suchas Copts,Greeks,Jews,Italians,Syrians,andLebanese. Egyptiansocietyencourageseducation.AbouthalfofallEgyptiansareliterate:63.6percentofthemenand38.8percentofthewomen.In2001,primaryschool enrollmentapproached100percent,althoughonly7.3percentofthepopulationemergesfromtheeducationalsystemwithacollege

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Page54 degree(EmergingEgypt2001,11).Thereisabeliefthateducationisanintegralpartofthenationallife.Nonationcanactuallyadvanceifitdoesnothavealiterate public.Toappreciateliteratureyouhavetobeabletoreadhowever,onecanappreciatemusicandartwithoutliteracy.Yetliteracyisthekeytounderstandingwhat themajorthinkersofasocietyaresaying.Therefore,thegovernmenthasencouragededucationithasmadeaspecialefforttobringthejoysofliteracytotherural population.ThisdesireforaliteratepopulacehastakenanincreasinglylargerproportionoftheEgyptianbudget,butthegovernmenthasmaintaineditsforwardlooking positionthateducationwouldbringthepeoplegreaterbenefitsandmoredemocracy. UndertheMubarakregime,thegovernmenthascontinuedtoputemphasisoneducatingtheruralfolk.Schoolshavebeenbuiltinmostoftheruralvillagesandallof thesmalltownsinUpperEgypt.Theaimofthegovernmentsprojectineducationistocreateasaferandmoresecureenvironmentforpoliticalstabilityandeconomic prosperity.

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TOURISMVacationSitesEgypthasalwaysbeenadestinationforworldtravelers.TheancientGreekhistorianHerodotus,oneofthefirsttravelerstovisitEgyptandtowriteabouthistravels, cametotheNileValleyduringthefifthcenturyB.C.E.OtherpeoplefromoutsideofAfricafollowedhim,butitwouldbethemoderntravelerwhowoulddiscoverthe greatdiversityofEgyptsmoderncontributions.ItwasthebuildingoftheSuezCanalthatmadeEgyptadestinationforthoseinterestedinmoderntechnology.During the1960s,theAswanHighDamwouldonceagainthrustEgyptintotheforefrontasamoderndestinationoftechnologicalprowess.Butitsrecordofancient monumentsisimpressive,maybethemostimpressiveofanycountryintheworld. Tocatertothelargenumbersofvisitors,theEgyptiangovernmenthasencouragedthedevelopmentoftouristservices,includingmorethanfivethousandguides, hundredsoftourcompanies,andscoresofhotels.OnecandiscoveralmostanytypeofluxuryinEgyptfromfivestarhotelstoresortandclubhotelsonthebeaches. Scubadivinginsomeareashasbecomealargerevenueearnerfortheeconomy.ButEgyptremains,becauseofitsancientmonumentality,acountrysoughtoutby touristsinterestedinknowingwhatitwasliketoliveintheworldofthepharaohs.OfallthenationsintheworldEgyptdoesnotdisappointitsvisitorswithitsrichand variedhistoryofhumanactivity.BecausecontemporaryEgyptisamodernsociety

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PopularhotelonElephantineIsland

BeautifulgroundsoftheMenaHouseHotel

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ModernclubandrestaurantonthebankoftheNile

withanancientpast,thenumeroussitesfortourists,bothdomesticandinternational,beckontouristsofalleconomicandsocialbackgrounds.

NightlifeandEntertainmentThemajorcitiesofCairoandAlexandriaareamongthemostopencitiesintheworldintermsofnightclubs.Onecanusuallyfindseveralclubsthatremainopenfor mostofthenight.Typically,Egyptianswhoventureoutatnightforentertainmentdosoatlatehours,aroundtenoclockintheeveningorlater.Theclubs,therefore, mightstayopenuntilfiveorsixinthemorning.InAlexandria,themainclubsaretheCrazyHorse,theCrevette,theRoknElFerdous,theSheraton,the Dolphin,Discotheque,andtheAlexandria,amongothers. Cairo,ofcourse,hasfarmoreclubsthanAlexandriabecauseitis,indeed,theMotheroftheWorldandpeoplecomefromallovertheArabandAfricanworldto Cairobecauseofitsexcitement.Onecaneasilyfindclubs,restaurants,orcafeterias.ThereisnoreasonfortheEgyptiantoeverfeelthatheorshedoesnothave anywheretogooranyplacetovisit.Thecountryevenhasanumberofcasinos.ButitistheancientmonumentsandhistoricalsitesthatgiveevencontemporaryEgypt itsspecialplaceinthepopularimagination(seealsoChapter5,SocialCustomsandLifestyles).

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KioskofPhilaeTemple

AncientMonumentsTheancientmonumentsofEgyptconstituteaboutonethirdofsuchmonumentsintheworld(seealsoChapter4,ArchitectureandArt).VariousmovementsinEgypt havefoundtheancientmonumentsdifficulttoacceptsincetheyexistedpriortothedevelopmentofIslam.Duringthe1980s,manymonumentswereattackedasbeing pagan,heathen,andnonIslamic.ReligiouszealotssawthehistoricaltreasuresfromtheancientAfricancivilizationascontrarytoIslamandsoughttoorganizeagainst thepreservationofthesites.FortunatelyforEgyptandtheworld,thegovernmenthasfoughtagainstsuchradicalassaultsonthegreathumantreasuresintheNile Valley.Ithastakenitsroleasthecustodianofthemonumentswithseriousnessandhassoughttopunishthosewhowoulddestroythemonuments.

PyramidsThereareninetysixpyramidsinEgypt.TheGizaplateauhasthemostspectacularpyramidsofwhichKhufu,Khafre,andMenkaureareamongthemostbeautifulever built.Gizaliesabout6milesfromCairo. ThemostfamousstructureintheworldistheGreatPyramidofKhufuitwasbuiltbyKhufu(calledCheopsbytheGreeks),thesecondkingofthe

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StatueofRamsesIIatLuxorTempleUniversity

FourthDynasty.Itwaserectedaround2650B.C.E.Khufuspyramidstands449feethigh(originallyitstoodat479feet).Nearly2.5millionblocksofstonewere usedtobuildthepyramid.Itmeasures2,743squarefeetatitsbase.Whatismostastoundingaboutthepyramidisnotitssizebuttheprecisionwithwhichthe Egyptiansconstructedit.OnitseasternflankarethreesmallpyramidsdedicatedtoKhufuswives. ThePyramidofKhafrewasbuiltbyKhafre(calledChephrenbytheGreeks),thesecondsonofKhufuandthefourthkingoftheFourthDynasty.Thepyramidis 446feethighandislocatedsouthwestofKhufu.Retainingonitsupperpartssomeofthelimestonethathadoncecoveredtheentire

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TheGreatSphinxresplendent

pyramid,Khafregivesoneafairlygoodimpressionofwhatitmusthavelookedlikewiththeoutsidefinishonit.Itmeasures2,312squarefeetatitsbase.Thepyramid hastwoentrancesonthenorthside.KhafrehasanaccompanyingTempleoftheValley,amortuarytemple,wherereligiousriteswereperformedwhileembalmingthe kingsbody. Athirdpyramid,builtbyMenkaure(calledMycerinusbytheGreeks)whowasthesonofKhafreandthefifthkingoftheFourthDynastyissouthwestofKhafre.It ismuchsmallerthantheothers:203feettall.Itisdistinguishedfromtheothersbythefactthatitslowerpartretainstheoriginalgraniteslabcovering.Thepyramids weretombstopreservethebodiesofthedeadkingswho,itwasbelieved,weretoexperienceresurrectionandimmortality.Onecancelebratethebrilliantconceptions oftheancientEgyptianpeoplebyrecognizingthathundredsoftombsdotthelandscapeofEgyptasatestimonyofthepeoplesfaithinimmortality. AtGizaonecanalsoseethesolarboatsofKhufu.Thewoodenboats,meanttobeatthedisposalofthekingwhenhewentonhisjourneyofDayandNightwith theSunGodRaintheafterworld,werediscoveredontheeastandwestsidesoftheGreatPyramid.Ahugeboatwasfoundbehindthegreatslabsofstoneonthe southsideoftheGreatPyramid.Itismadeofcedarandisinverygoodcondition,theoars,ropes,andakioskforsittingwerealsorecovered.Theboat,whichisnow housedinaspecialmuseumatthesite,is143feetlong,withaprowof16feetandasternof23feet.

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TempleatAbuSimbel

ValleyoftheKingsNumeroustombsdotthedesertlandscapeoftheValleyoftheKings.TheyrepresentaveritablehistoryoftheNewKingdomandspeaktotheingenuityoftheancients increatingenormousmonumentstotheachievementsofthekingsandnoblemenoftheNewKingdom.ItwasherethatthetombofKingTutankhamenwasdiscovered in1922.ItwasalsointhisvalleythattheRamseshadtheirtombsconstructed.Thevalleyitselfisagraveyardforthemostfamousnamesinantiquity.

TempleofRamsesIIOneofthegreatestwondersofthemodernworldisanancientmonumentontheedgeofLakeNasseratAbuSimbel.ThemassivetempleofRamsesIIandthesmaller templeofNefertari,hiswife,representthecrowningachievementofconstructionduringtheNewKingdom.Here,onwhatisabarrenhilltop,barelysixhundredfeet fromwhereitwasfirstbuilt,sitsoneofthetreasuresoftheworld.ThetempleofRamsesIIatAbuSimbelhasnoequalinEgyptandcertainlynoneinanyotherpartof theworld.

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HistoricalChristianSitesCopyright 2002. Greenwood Publishing Group. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except fair uses permitted under U.S. or applicable copyright law.

AmongtheChristiansitesarethechurcheslocatedintheoldcityofCairo.TheprincipalonesareAlMuallaqahChurch(HangingChurch),whichdatesbacktothe fourthcenturytheChurchofAbuSergahtheChurchofSt.Barbara,foundedinthefifthcenturytheChurchofSt.Mina,builtinthesixthcenturytheChurchofAl Adra,datingtotheeighthcenturytheChurchoftheVirgininZaytountheChurchofMarieGuirgisandtheCathedralofSt.Mark,thesecondlargestchurchinAfrica. TheremainsofSt.Mark,thefirsttopreachChristianityinEgypt,wereremovedtothiscathedral.ThereisalsoTheVirginsTreewheretheVirginMaryissaidtohave restedwiththechildJesuswhentheycametoEgypt. EgypthasmanyotherChristiansitesofinterest.Therearenumerousshrinesinthedesertareasandintheoasis,particularlymonasteries,sinceEgyptwasoneofthe earliestsitesofmonks.HerealsowasthecenterofoneofthebiggestcontroversiesintheChristianchurch:thecrisisoverwhetherJesuswasmanorGod.Thisdebate ledtoaseriesofinternationalmeetings,includingtheCouncilofNiceain325C.E.

HistoricIslamicMonumentsTheIslamicsitesincludethousandsofmosques,soonlythemostfamouswillbementionedhere.ThefirstistheMosqueofAmrIbnAlAas,whowastheArableader whocametohelptheEgyptiansthrowofftheRomanlaw.ThereisalsotheMosqueofAhmedIbnTuloun,theAlAzharMosque,theMosqueandMadrassaofSultan Hassan,TheBlueMosque,theMosqueofalMuayyad,andtheAlabasterMosqueofMuhammadAli.Thereareotherbuildingsthatmightholdinterestforthe reader,suchastheFortressofSalahadDinalAyyubicalledSaladinintheWestandknownasTheCitadelandtheHouseofAlSeheimi.Itisalsopossibleto studythemosquesofEgyptasahistoryofthecountrysincethearrivaloftheArabsin639C.E.becausethemosquesconstitutethephysicalevidenceofconstruction, reconstruction,andactivityinvarioustownsandcitiesduringtheconquestofIslam.

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Thispageintentionallyleftblank.

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3 ReligionandWorldviewRELIGIONplaysamajorroleinthelifeoftheordinaryEgyptian.Fromthetimeonewakesinthemorninguntilonegoestosleepatnight,religionisapartofthe averageEgyptiansdailyritual.Infact,itisawayoflife.NothinginEgyptisuntouchedbyreligion.Thus,thepolitical,economic,andculturallifeofthepeopleis impactedandinfluencedbythereligiousoutlook.TheofficialreligionofEgyptisIslam.SoonaftertheestablishmentofthereligioninMecca,ArabsconqueredEgyptin 639C.E.andsetupthefirstmosquesinthecountry.1SincethattimeIslamhasbeenthemostdynamicreligioninEgypt,becomingthedominantwayoflifebarelyone hundredyearsaftertheconquest. ModernEgyptisessentiallymadeupoftheIslamicculturewithlimitedornoregardtotheancientreligionofthepharaohs.Althoughthereissomeofficialrecognition oftheancienthistory,itdoesnotfigureintheethicsormoralityofcontemporaryEgyptians.Asfarasthegovernmentisconcerned,theEgyptofthepharaohsisan iconicpartofthehistorythatcanbereferredto,used,andexploitedfortourists,butitisnotarealpartofthelivesofthemasses.Infact,theEgyptianpeopleseethe ancientmonumentsasadistractionfromthepietythatshouldbegiventoAllah. TheordinarypeopleofEgyptseetheirnationasareligiouscountry,althoughthereisagrowingsentimentforthecountrytobesecular,becominginonesense,more likeaWesternrepublic.IslamisthemajorreligioninEgypt,butfreedomofreligionistechnicallyprotectedbythegovernment.Since91percentofthepeopleare Muslims,only7percentareChristians,andfewerthan2percentarecategorizedasOther,itishardlyanydoubt

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MosqueofMohammadAli

thatthedominationoftheIslamicfaithisallencompassing.TheChristianslargelybelongtotheCopticOrthodoxChurch,althoughthereareafewChristiansfromother denominations.ThewordCoptcomesfromtheGreekAeguptosandappliestoChristiansoftheEgyptianChurch,whereastheEgyptianCatholicChurchholds associationwiththeRomanCatholicChurch.OnemightencounterthenamesEgyptianChurch,EgyptianCopticChurch,orEgyptianOrthodoxChurch,buttheyall referessentiallytothesamepeople.

HISTORYThefinaldefeatoftheRomanarmyunderthecommandofArmenianGeneralManuelbyArabGeneralElAsmarkedtheendofRomanruleandthebeginningofthe endfortheChristianreligioninEgypt.AlthoughCopticChristianshadassistedElAsinhiscampaignagainsttheRomans,whohadalsobeenviolentlyopposedtothe Christianreligion,theCoptsdidnotknowwhatawaitedChristianityattheconclusionoftheArabconquest.WhiletheCoptsthemselvesweresparedutterdestruction becauseoftheiraffiliationwiththeArabconquerors,ChristianityitselfasareligionwouldonlyexistafewmoreyearsbeforeIslambecamethestatereligion.Itshould bepointedoutthatElAscomplainedtothecaliphthattheCoptshadbeenmistreated

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Page65 bysomeofthecommandersalthoughtheyhadbeenalliesinthedefeatoftheRomans.HeorderedfullcompensationtobepaidtotheCoptsfortheirlosses(Butler 1902,488).ThesuppressionofManuelandtherecaptureofAlexandriabytheArabswereperhapsthedefinitivemomentsoftheestablishmentofIslamintheNile Valley. WhenElAshadconqueredAlexandriaforthelasttime,hewasorderedbythecaliphtoleavethecountryafteronlyonemonth.Thegovernanceofthecapitalcity ofEgyptwasturnedovertoAbdallahibnSaid.WhentheRomans,nineyearsaftertheconquest,triedtomountafleettoretakeEgypt,itwasalreadytoolate:the Arabshadbeguntomasterthesealanesaswell.TheArabfleetmettheRomansintheMediterraneanSeaandwiththeassistanceofamightystormdecimatedthe Romanarmy.ThisbrokeRomanpowertochallengethenewrulersofEgypt.WiththeexceptionofafewraidsonthecoastaltownsbyByzantinepirates,thecountry ofEgypt,atleastaroundtheDelta,wasunderthefullswayoftheMuslims. Thereligiousandsocialtransformationsthattookplaceasaresultoftheconquestwereremarkable.TherewasanalmostswiftdecayoftheGrecoRoman civilizationinEgyptaccompaniedbyaslowbutsteadygrowthofthereligionofIslam.InonesensethereligionofIslammustbeseenasoverlayingtheGrecoRoman culture,whichhadtriedtooverlaytheancientAfricancivilizationthatgavebirthtothePharaonicreligionandsociety.Islambanishedthetraditionalcultureofthe GreeksinEgyptCopticChristianitytotheconventsandmonasteriesofthedeserts. ItispossibletoseehowIslamandtheArabicculturespreadoverthecountryinthelate7thcenturybyexamininghowArabicfirstappearedincoins.Fromitsusein coinage,theArabiclanguagewasthenusedinpublicofficesandpublicdocuments,quicklyovertakingCopticandtotallydrivingouttheGreekinordinarycommon speech.ExceptforthefewGreekwordsthattookonanArabicformorremainuntilthisdayembeddedintheCopticlanguageGreekisessentiallydeadasalanguage inEgypt.

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ISLAMIslamcamewiththeconquerorsofEgyptandremainsthereligionofthevastmajorityoftheEgyptianpeopletoday.Itisareligionthatisbasedontheprincipleslaid downbyitsfirstandonlyprophet,Muhammad.

TheProphetMuhammadMuhammadwasborninMeccaaround570C.E.AtthistimeMeccawasgaininginpopularityasacitywithexperiencedcaravanleaders.Meccansgot

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Page66 permissionfrompowerfulkingdomssuchasAbyssinia,Byzantium,andPersiaforthecaravanstotraversetheirterritoriesandtotransactbusinesswiththosecountries aswell.MeccansmademoneywhentheyprovidedescortstoforeignerspassingthroughArabia.Whilenotinterestedmuchintheartofwriting,Meccanscultivated artssuchaspoetry,oratory,andspokendiscourses. Thesocialrelationshipsbetweenwomenandmenwerenottyrannical.Womenweregenerallywelltreatedandhadtheprivilegeofowningproperty.Furthermore, theygaveconsenttomarriagecontracts,andcouldaddtheconditionofreservingtheirrighttodivorcetheirhusbands.Theycouldremarrywhenwidowedordivorced. ItwasinthiscontextthatMuhammadwasbornaboutthreeweeksafterthedeathofhisfather,Abdallah(hisgrandfatherraisedhim).Aswasthecustomoftheday, MuhammadwasentrustedtoaBedouin,fostermother,andlivedwithherforseveralyearsinthedesert.Whenthechildwasbroughtbackhome,hismother,Aminah, tookhimtohismaternalunclesatMedinatovisithisfatherstomb.Onthereturntrip,hismotherdiedsuddenly,andwhenhereachedMeccahefoundthathisbeloved grandfatherhaddiedaswell.Withsuchsufferinganddeprivation,MuhammadwasplacedinthecareofhisuncleAbuTalib.Althoughhisunclewasgenerous,hedid nothaveenoughresourcestosupporthisownfamily.ThisconditionledtheyoungMuhammadoutofthehousetoearnhislivelihoodasashepherdboy.Thenwhenhe wasten,heaccompaniedhisuncleonacaravantoSyria. WhenMuhammadwasabouttwentyfive,heestablishedareputationforhonesty,integrity,andbeingofgoodcharacter.Itisnowonderthatarichwomantookhim inheremployandconsignedtohimhergoodstobetakenforsaletoSyria.SoonMuhammad,thecaravanagent,marriedKhadijahshewasfortyandhewastwenty eight.MuhammadtraveledtofairsinYemenandOmanwherehemettradersfromAbyssinia,Persia,India,andChina. ThestoryistoldamongMuslimsthatonedayaYemeniteimprovisedasatiricalpoemagainstsomeMeccanswhohadrefusedtopayhimthepriceofwhathehad sold,andotherswhohadnotsupportedhisclaimorhadfailedtocometohishelpwhenhewasbeaten.Soonthereafter,Zuhair,oneofMuhammadsuncles,feltgreat remorsewhenheheardthispoem.Heorganizedanorderofchivalry(calledHilfalfudul)withtheobjectiveofaidingtheoppressedinMecca,irrespectiveof whethertheyweredwellersofthecityoraliens.Muhammadwasanactivememberoftheorganization. WhenMuhammadwasaboutthirtyfivetherewasafirethatdestroyedthedraperiesofthewallsoftheKaaba,ahugebuildinginMeccathatisreportedtohave beenestablishedbyAbraham.Itwasabuildingdedicated

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Page67 totheOneGod.ThepeoplestartedtoreconstructtheKaaba,andeachpersonwhohadearnedhonestmoneywasaskedtocontributetotherebuildingprocess. (Muhammadsshoulderswereinjuredwhilecarryingheavystonestothesite.)Ablackstonewassetinthewalltocreateamarkerforthebeginningplacefor circumambulation.Therewascompetitionamongthecitizensfortherighttotransportthestonetoitsproperplace.Thecitizensalmostcametoblowsandthenitwas suggestedthattheyacceptthearbitrationofthepersonwhoarrivedfirstatthesite.ItsohappenedthatMuhammadwhowaspopularlyknownbythetitlealAmin (thehonest)justthenturnedupforworkasusual,andhebecamethearbitrator.Heplacedalargepieceofclothontheground,putthestoneonit,andaskedthe chiefsofalltheclansinthecitytoliftthestonetogethersothatitcouldbesetinitsproperplace.Accordingtotherecordsfromthismoment,Muhammadbecame absorbedinspiritualmeditations.Inthetraditionofhisgrandfather,hewouldretireduringthewholemonthofRamadantoacaveinJabalanNur(Mountainof Light). OnenightneartheendofthemonthofRamadan,afterhisfifthconsecutiveyearmakinghisretreats,anangelannouncedtoMuhammadthatGodhadchosenhimas Hismessenger.Theangeltaughthimthemodeofablutions:thewayofworshippingGodandtheconductofprayer.Shakenbytheexperience,thefortyyearold Muhammadreturnedhomeandrelatedtohiswifewhathadhappened,expressinghisfearsthatitmighthavebeensomethingdiabolicortheactionofevilspirits. Khadijahcomfortedhim,sayingthathehadalwaysbeenamanofkindnessandgenerosityhelpingthepoor,theorphans,thewidows,andtheneedyandassured himthatGodwouldprotecthimagainstanyevilthoughtsorbeings. Itwouldbeanotherthreeyearsbeforetheprophetwouldreceivemorerevelations.HewastoldthatGodhadnotforsakenhimandthatheshouldtakecareofthe orphansandthepoorandtoproclaimthebountyofGod.Muhammadsawthisasanordertopreach.Anotherrevelationdirectedhimtowarnpeopleagainstevil practices,toexhortthemtoworshipnonebuttheOneGod,andtoabandoneverythingthatwoulddispleaseGod(Q.74:27).Yetanotherrevelationcommandedhim towarnhisownnearrelatives(Q.26:214)andProclaimopenlythatwhichthouartcommanded,andwithdrawfromtheidolaters.Whilethefirstrevelationcamein hissleep,thesubsequentonescamewhilehewasfullyawake. Muhammadstartedhismissionsecretly,tellingonlyhisclosestfriendsandrelatives.HeinsistedonthebeliefinOneTranscendentGod,inResurrectionandtheLast Judgment.Hetaughtthatallmenmustbegenerousandshowbeneficence.Hetookthenecessarystepstopreserve,throughwriting,the

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Page68 revelationshewasreceiving,andorderedhisadherentstolearnthembyheart.TheQuranwasnotreceivedallatonce,butinpartsandfragmentsasthespirit revealedittoMuhammad. Butasthemembersgrewinnumber,sodidtheintensityoftheopposition.Infact,theoppositiondegeneratedoverthecourseoftimeintophysicaltortureofthe prophetandofthosewhohadembracedhisreligion:theywerestretchedonburningsands,cauterizedwithredhotiron,andimprisonedwithchainsaroundtheir ankles.Someofthemdiedoftheeffectsoftorture,butnonewouldrenouncehisreligion.Indespair,theProphetMuhammadadvisedhiscompanionstoquittheir nativetownandtakerefugeabroad,inAbyssinia,wheregovernsajustruler,inwhoserealmnobodyisoppressed.DozensofMuslimsprofitedbyhisadviceasthey fledtoAbyssinia.However,everyonedidnotleavethosewhoremainedinMeccawerepersecutedevenmore.Tiredofthepersecutionmetedoutbytheirneighbors, thosewhobelievedbecamedevotedtothenewreligionandtheypracticeditwithardentpassion.TheProphetMuhammadcalledthereligionIslam,meaning submissiontothewillofGod.

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TheQuranandIslamicLawTheQuranistheholyscripturesoftheMuslimfaith.ItcontainstherevelationsmadetoMuhammadthroughthemediationofthearchangelGabriel.Theseteachings werecommunicatedtoAbuBakr,whoisreportedtohavewrittendownthewordsoftheprophet.Thebookcontainsalargeamountofethicalteachingsthatcomprise thefoundationoftheshariadiscussedfurtherinalatersection.Itismadeupoflegalinjunctions,prohibitions,andpreceptsmeanttoassisthumansintheproper wayoflivingtheirlives.NotwithstandingtheextensiveinstructionsintheQuran,whentheyarenotenoughtoprovideexplanationsforvarioussituations,agroupof teachingscalledSunna(habits)iscalleduponforfurtherexplanation.Thesetraditionsofauthoritycontainthewordsanddeedsoftheprophetduringhislifetime. SpecificstoriesofactivitiesoftheprophetandhisfollowersarecalledHadithandformastrongbodyofexpressionsthatareclaimedtohavecomefromtheprophet. LikemostIslamicsocieties,EgyptianlifeisoftendeeplyinfluencedbythefourschoolsofIslamiclawthattaketheirnamesfromthefourfoundingteachersofthe religion:HanafiafterAbuHanafi,MalikiafterMalikibnAnas,ShafiiafterAlShafii,andHanbaliafterAhmadibnHanbali.Muslimsacceptthesefourschoolsof lawasorthodox. IslamhadtoovercomeboththeremnantsoftheancientEgyptianreligionsandChristianitythathadbeenestablishedinAlexandriaamongtheCopts

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Page69 almostsevenhundredyearsearlierinordertoassertitswillovertheEgyptianpopulation.Thus,althoughChristianityremainsintheformoftheCopticChurch,Islam hasimprintedeveryaspectofthesociety.AfewChristiandenominationsarefoundinthecountry,buttheyarelimited.Whilethereislipservicetofreedomofreligion, therecanbenoofficialsupportforcompletereligiousfreedom,thatis,openingthecountryuptomissionariesandevangelists,suchasonefindsinotherAfrican countrieswhereevangelicalChristianityisgenerallyleftalonetoflourishamongthepeasants.EgypthastoleratedtheCopticChurchandsomeRomanCatholic congregationsbutithasnotalwaysbeenhospitabletootherChristiandenominations. OlderthanIslamwastheJewishreligioninEgypt.JewshadbeeninEgyptformanyyearsbeforethearrivaloftheChristiansandhavecontinuedinEgyptuntilthe present.SeveralquiteancientsynagoguesstillexistinCairodespitethefactthattheyareoftentargetsofbitterness.EgyptiansgenerallyacceptthepresenceofJews however,thepopulationoftenexpressesangeratIsraelipoliciesagainstthePalestinians.ThiscausestheEgyptianJewishpopulationtobeapprehensiveandtoremain lowkeyintheiractivities.

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TheFivePillarsofFaithTheMuslimreligionisbasedonthefivepillarsoffaith:shahada,prayer,fasting,pilgrimage,andzakat.Thepillarsareclearlyidentifiedinthefollowingpractices: 1.ThebelievermustconfessthatthereisnoGodbutGod,andMuhammadishisprophet. 2.Thebelievermustprayfivetimesaday. 3.ThebelievermustfastduringthemonthofRamadan. 4.Thebelievermustmakeapilgrimage,hajj,toMeccaduringhislifetime. 5.Thebelievermustgivecharity,zakat,tothepoor. ThefirstpillarshahadaemphasizesanallencompassingmonotheismandthebeliefthatMuhammadistheprophetofAllah.Thesecondpillarisprayer,andthe MuslimbelievesthatprayercanbeofferedanywhereapersoncanprostratehimselfbeforeAllah.Thereshouldbefiveprayers:atsunrise,atnoon,afternoon,sunset, andatnight.ThemostimportantprayeristheFridaynoonprayerreferredtoassalatelGomaa.Fastingthethirdpillarisespeciallyimportantfortheninthmonth oftheMuslimyear,calledRamadan.Theideabehindfasting,accordingtotheteaching,isrestraint.Thus,apersonistoobservecompleteabstinencefromfoodand drinkorsmoking

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Page70 fromthefirstsignofdaybreakuntilsunset.Alargemealmaybetakenaftersunset(Iftar),andalighteroneistakenbeforegoingtobed,butnotafterdawn.Those whoareilloraretravelingmaybeexemptfromfasting,thoughtheycouldstillcompensatebytakingupfastingtheexactnumberofdayslaterintheyear.Ramadanis observedasaholymonthbecausethetwentyseventhofthemonthisthecommemorationoftherevelationofthefirstsurah(chapter)oftheQurantotheProphet Muhammad.Thefourthpillarispilgrimage(hajj).EachbelieverissupposedtomakeapilgrimagetotheholyhouseofMeccaduringthetwelfthmonthoftheMuslim year.Thebelieverdoesnothavetomakethehajjifheisunabletodosofinanciallyorphysically.DuringthehajjthebelieverputsontheIhramgarments:awhite seamlesscloththrownacrossthebodywiththerightarmandshoulderexposed.Thepilgrimisprohibitedfromimmoralactsorsexualintercourseduringthistime.The fifthpillariszakat(charity,orthegivingofalms),whichisanoutwardsignofpietyandameansofsalvation.ZakatisseenasaloantoAllahthatwillberepaida hundredfold.ThebelieverisrequiredtogiveaportionofhiswealthtoassistthepoorasanobligationofIslam.

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EGYPTIANISLAMThosewhopracticeIslamareusuallyreferredtoasMuslims.EgyptianIslamprohibitsgambling,drinkingalcohol,andeatingpork.NoimagesoftheProphetare permitted.Likemostreligions,Islamseekstoprovidemoralguidancetoallbelievers.Theprohibitionsoncertainbehaviorsaremeanttoensureahealthyand productivesociety.Therearenopriestlyclasses,assuch,inIslam.Instead,thereligionhasmosqueleaders(imams)whoareselectedfortheiradherencetothefaith, exemplaryconduct,andpiousbehavior,aswellastheirknowledgeandpracticeoftheFivePillarsofFaith.Islamicscholars(ulama)areresponsiblefordeepstudyof theQuranandcanissueedictsonvariousaspectsofthedoctrineofIslam.Theyareparticularlyusefulingivingauthoritativeverdicts(fatwas)regardingdisputesof doctrineandinterpretation. InEgypttherearetwoprincipalsectsofIslam:SunniandShiite.ThedisputebetweenthesectsoverthelineofsuccessiontotheProphetMuhammadisthecentral reasonforthedifference.TheShiitesbelievethatAli,thefourthoftheprophetssuccessors,carriesthelegitimatelineofthesuccessionratherthantheprophetsthree companions:AbuBakr,Omar,andOsman.WhilebothprincipalMuslimgroupsbelieveintheFivePillarsofFaith,theyareabletofindsufficientreasonsfor disagreementsovertheinterpretationsofthereligiontocauseoutbreaksofviolence.

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EgyptiansareveryreligiousandtheytakeIslamseriously.Therearetwoexpressionsofreligiouspracticeinthecountry:theofficialIslamofAlAzharMosqueandthe popularIslamofthemassesofEgyptians.Oneisthereligionoftheleadershipofthecountry,andtheotheristhereligionofthehumblestbelievers. Forgenerations,concurrentwiththeIslamofthemosquehasbeenthesufi(mystic)Islam.ThepractitionersofsufiturntoamoredirectinteractionwithGod, believingthatthemosqueistooformalisticandtendstokeepGodawayfromthepeople.Whenmengroupedthemselvesintosufiordersortariqas(paths)they wereestablishingawaytoexpressamoredirectIslam.Egypthasdozensofthesesufigroups,allundertheHighSufiCouncil.Thesufiordershaveattractedfarmore peasantsthanelites.Perhapsasameansoffindingcomfort,thosewhofeelthreatenedbythesocietysrapidchangesjointhesufiorders.Loyaltytothesufiorderand spiritualbondingareexpressedinmeetingsthatarecalleddhikrs.AtthesemeetingsritualsareperformedinwhichthenameofAllahisrepeatedhundredsoftimesto rhythmicdrumminginamysticalmanifestationofreligiousconnection.Eachmemberoftheorderseekstoachievetheidealstatewherebythereisperfectunion betweenthedevoteeandGod.Somefollowershavebeenknowntomumblethevariousformulasforlonghours,cuttingthemselvesonthearmsandlegsuntiltheyare quitebloody. Likeallreligiousorders,thesufiordershaveholidaysinwhichtheycelebratespecialoccasionsinthereligion.Amongthemostimportantcelebrationsismawlid(the birthday)ofasufisaint.Thisisusuallyabigfestivalfortheentirecommunity.ThelargestofthesefestivalsisthatofAhmadalBadawiwhodiedinTantaintheyear 1276.EveryOctoberhistombbecomesthecenterofamassivecelebrationandcommunityfair.Duringthiscelebratoryperiodpeoplecanvisitthetombandreceive blessingsfromthesaint.Theycouldalsoenjoythefestivespiritatthecelebrationwherebooths,cafes,fireworks,bands,stalls,andprocessionsaredisplayedinhonor ofthesaint.AnothercelebrationistheFeastoftheSacrifice.ThisoccasionmarksthekillingofasheepduringthepilgrimagetoMecca.Perhapsathirdcelebrationthat thesufiordersrecognizeistheendingofthemonthofRamadan.Manytimesthegovernmenttakesadvantageofthesefestivalstominglepoliticswithreligionby illuminatingphotographsofnationalleadersunderfestivearchesthatshowthenameofAllahinlights.

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Page72 SHARIACopyright 2002. Greenwood Publishing Group. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except fair uses permitted under U.S. or applicable copyright law.

InmanyIslamicsocietiestheonlylawthatneedbefollowedissharia.ItisalawbasedontheQuranandtheteachingsandinterpretationsofMuhammad.According tothebelievers,thesharialawcoversallaspectsofhumanlife,althoughtherearesomeprovisionsthatmightbeaugmentedfromcustomarylaw.Somanyissueshave confrontedmodernsocietiesthatithasbecomeincreasinglydifficultforQuraniclawtoanswerallissues.Thus,inEgypt,asinothercountries,lawyershaveintroduced secularlawalongsidetheIslamiclaw. Egypt,becauseofitsmanyculturalinfusions,alsohasalongtraditionofsecularlaw.Thistraditiongoesbackhundredsofyearsandwasmeanttoregulatemost aspectsofpubliclife,suchascommercialandcriminalissues.Infact,officiallythelegalsystemisbasedonEnglishcommonlaw,Islamiclaw,andNapoleoniccodes. Furthermore,judicialreviewbytheSupremeCourtandCouncilofStateserveasafurtherlayerofprotectionforthepublic. However,legalissuesandproblemsofmarriage,divorce,andlandinheritancearelefttotheshariacourt.By1956theshariacourtsofEgyptwerefullyintegrated intothenationalsystem.TheulamaallowedthismovetooccurwithoutmuchoppositionlargelybecausetheyhadseenhowthecourtsystemfunctionedinCairowhere theshariawasnotparticularlyaffectedbysecularlaw. Secularization,however,hasproducednewcallsforArabnationalismaswellasarevivalinIslam.Thepoliticalaspectsofsuchrevival,asintheMuslim Brotherhood,increasedthroughoutthe1990s.Varioussheikhshaveusedthereligiousplatformtoincreasethemembershipoftheirorganizations.Theyhaveoffereda visionofsocietythatisawayfromsecularizationandtowardmorerelianceontheIslamictraditions. ImmediatelyaftertheSeptember11,2001WorldTradeCenterandPentagonterrorattacks,Islamicmilitantsandfundamentalistsrepeatedthecallforassaultsonall formsofAmericanism.WhiletheoverwhelmingmajorityofEgyptians,accordingtothepress,followedthenationalleadersinexpressingcondolencestotheAmericans forthetragedies,someimams,sympathizingwithOsamabinLadenandhisEgyptiancolleaguesinAfghanistan,urgedMuslimstojoinajihad,holywar,against America.

THECOPTSTheCoptsarealargeminoritywhoareneitherMuslimnorArab.TothedegreethattheyarenonArabstheyareliketheEgyptianNubianswho

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Page73 representtheothermemberoftheoriginalfamilyofEgypt.However,unliketheNubians,theCoptshavemaintainedtheirchurches.TheCoptsaredescendantsofthe firstEgyptianChristians.AlthoughthehistoricalrecordsshowthatmanyofthemwereofGreekdescentfromAlexandria,theygraduallybecameintegratedintothe society.WhetherruledbyAraborOttomanMuslims,theCoptskepttheirreligion,faith,andeducationalcurriculum.However,theyabandonedtheirlanguageand adoptedArabic.ItisonlythechurchleadersthatstillspeaktheCopticlanguage. ThereisarespectabletoleranceofeachotherbetweentheCoptsandtheMuslims.InUpperEgypt,MuslimwomenobservetheSpringChristianfestival,atwhich ancientritesareperformedjustbeforeEasterSunday.Specialfoodsarepreparedandeaten.ThisisconsideredanEgyptianfestival,andsoMuslimsparticipateinit muchlikenonMuslimsparticipateinthemanyMuslimfestivalsheldinthecountry. Coptsnormallyclaimtobeonesixthofthepopulationandassuchhaveoftensoughttohavemoreofasayingovernment.Theyhavestakedtheircaseontheirlong affiliationasEgyptiansandtheirservicetothenationduringhistoricalevents.However,manyEgyptianleadershavebeencautiousaboutusingtoomanyCoptsinthe government.ThishasoftenstrainedrelationshipsbetweenArabsandCopts.UnderPresidentGamalAbdelNassertherewaslittlesympathyfortheCopts.Hewasan ArabnationalistandfailedtoappointCoptstoanymajorhighpostduringhisadministration.ItseemsthatNasser,whilerecognizingtheCoptsasnationalcitizens,did notseethemascooperatingwiththeordinary,peasantfarmersofEgypt.Theyweremainlyurbanizedcosmopolitanswhoidentifiedwiththeindustrialandbusinesselite ofthesociety. TheCoptshavesurvivedthroughhorrendousharassment,discrimination,andpersecution.Theyretainedtheirreligionandbecameengineers,lawyers,doctors,and teacherswhohavecontributedtotheEgyptiansociety.TheyhaveclungtotheirfamilytraditionswhilerespectingthoseofIslam.ThisattachmenttoChristianityisa remindertotheMuslimsthatallEgyptiansdidnotacceptthedoctrineofMuhammad.Insomeways,itisathorninthesideoftheIslamicculture. TherehasalwaysbeenapoliticalinterpretationtothepopulationofCopts.Thegovernmentseekstominimizethenumbers,whiletheCoptshavealwaystriedto increasethenumbers.Itisbelievedthatthereareatleast12millionCoptsinEgypt.Itisdifficulttosayexactlyhowmanytherearebecausepeasantfamiliesliketo keepthenumberofchildrentheyhavesecret.SomeCoptsthinkthatthegovernmentdoesnotconsidertheirruralpopulationcountingonlytheurbanizedCoptic people.Onethingiscertain.Coptsbelievethattheyareunderrepresentedinthenationalgovernment.During

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Page74 thetimeofNasser,Islamwasdeclaredtobethereligionofthestate.Underthevariousreignofforeigners,Islamhadcoexistedwithotherreligions,andalthoughitwas dominantformanyyears,ithadnotbeendeclaredthestatereligion.NasserswillfulattempttoimposetheMuslimfaithastheidentityofthenationalstatecreated problemsformanyotherreligiousgroups.Nevertheless,CoptsdemonstratedtheirloyaltytoNasserbutstillbelievedthatheregardedthemwithindifference.Thiswas tochangesomewhatunderAnwarSadatandHosniMubarak,whoeachappointedafewmoreCoptsinthenationalgovernment.Noneofthesechangesin governmentpositionshasactuallychangedthestatusoftheCoptsinthesociety.Theyarestilllookeduponasaminority,remaindiscriminatedagainstbecausetheyare notIslamic,andhaveoftenbeencriticizedbythenationalleaders. FundamentalistIslamicgroupshaveattackedtheCoptsopenly.BombshavebeenplantedoutsideofCopticchurches,andCopticleadershavebeenthreatened.In fact,duringSadatsadministrationtheCopticcommunityprotestedagainstharassmentonlytoberebukedbySadatwhotoldthemtostopplayingpolitics.Sadatlater hadtheheadoftheCopticChurcharrested.2

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THEISLAMICDEFINITIONOFTHESOCIETYThepracticeofIslaminEgyptisthedominantreligiousbeliefsystem.AlthoughthevastmajorityofthepeopleareMuslimtheysharetheirsocietysspiritualspacewith severalsmallerfaiths.However,itisIslam,aboveall,thatdefinestheuniquequalitiesoftheEgyptiansociety.Becauseofitsubiquitousnature,thereligionofIslam dictatessocialcustomsandcommercialbehaviors.Everyonewholivesinthecountryisawareoftheprohibitionsofthereligionandthevaluesofmaintainingthespecial qualitiesofthefaith. YetthisdoesnotpreventEgyptfromhavingsomeverysignificantmodernactivities.CairoandAlexandriaremaintwoofthemostfashionconsciouscitiesinAfrica. IngyYassin,whoisEgyptianLebanese,isayoungcontemporarydesignerwithadistinctiveeleganceandtaste,butwhokeepstheIslamicmotifsandiconsinallofher fashions.OnecandiscoverintheworksofmodernartistssuchasDr.FaroukShehata,Dr.SneedHeddaya,Dr.AdelElMasri,andDr.AttiaHusseinAlexandrians allarespectfortraditionsbutastrongoverturetothecontemporaryworld.Thus,faithinEgypt,whileoftenbreedingfundamentalists,doesnothavetomean abandonmentofthemodernworld.ThosewhopracticethemostfundamentalformsofIslamenduphatingnotonlytheinfidelsbutthoseoftheirownreligionwhodo notsharetheirviews.InEgyptthishasledtointrareligiousfightsbetweendevoteesofthereligion.Dogmatismandfundamentalismtendtoleadtothedisregardforthe opinionsofothers.

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ThereareanumberofholidayscelebratedinEgypt.Thecountryrecognizesthreecalendars:theHijri(Islamic),theGregorian(European)calendar,andtheCoptic calendar.TheHijricalendarislunarwithtwelvemonthsoftwentynineorthirtydaysandistenorelevendaysshorterthantheGregoriancalendar.TheCopticcalendar isasolarcalendarwiththirtydaysinamonthandfivedaysinthethirteenthmonth. Mostoftheholidaysholydaysarerelatedtoreligiousobservances.ChristmasisobservedonJanuary6and7.ItbeginsonthenightofthesixthwhentheCoptic Christiansleavetheirhomesandgotothechurchesatabout10oclockfortheholymass,andaroundmidnighttheyhavealargefeast,usuallyinvolvingtheeatingofa turkey.Thenextmorning,theyexchangegifts,andtheyoungchildrenaresentouttovisittheirgrandparentsandhavelunchatthehomesoftheirgrandparentsorother relatives. EgyptiansalsoobservetheholidayofShamelNessim,whichiscelebratedimmediatelyafterEaster.Itis,therefore,alwaysonMonday.ThepeopleofEgypthave celebratedthisholiday(SpringDay)formorethan4,500years.ItiscalledShamelNessimbecausetheharvestseasoninancientEgyptwascalledShamo.InArabic thewordShamashortenedformofShamomeanstosmellandthewordselNessimmeantheair,soliterallytheexpressionistosmelltheair.Theearly Egyptiansofferedsaltedfish,lettuce,eggs,andoniontothedeitiesduringthisfestival.Now,thesamekindsoffoodareeatenbutthereisnoofferingmadetoRa, Amen,Atum,orPtah.Onthatday,however,themodernEgyptianssaythatlettucerepresentshopefulnessatthebeginningofthespring.Eggsareusedtorepresentthe renewaloflifeintheseasonofthespring.PeopledyetheeggsinvariouscolorsinatraditionthatgoesbacktotheancientEgyptianswhowereprobablythefirstto introducethispractice.Saltedfishrepresentsfertilityandwelfare. AnotherholidaycelebratedinEgyptiscalledEidelFetr,afestivalthatcomesafterRamadan.Peopleeatspecialcookies.AspecialMuslimversionofthisholiday iscalledtheEidelAdha,thatis,festivalofsacrifice.Itisafourdayholiday.Onthefirstdayatdawnallthemengotothemosquetopray.Everyfamilyissupposedto slaughterasheep,whichtheywillhaveboughtthedaybefore,andtakesomeofthemeattodonatetothepoor.Thecelebrantshavebreakfastthatincludesfata(a mixtureofmeat,bread,rice,andvinegar).Thentheyouthoryoungerpeoplevisittheolderpeopleinthecommunityandeatfoodwiththem.Theremainingthreedays ofthefestivalisonebigfeastafteranotheratthehomeofrelatives. OnOctober6,thenationcelebratesArmedForcesDay.Thisisthecel

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Page76 ebrationofthebrilliantEgyptiantacticalmoveofcrossingintotheSinaiin1973.Suchwasthepsychologicalliftthatthismilitaryactiongavetothenationthatthe Egyptianpeoplewereeagertomakeitanimportantholiday,anexampleofthenationinitsfinestmilitarymoment. ThereisalsotheIslamicholidayMulidelNabawythatpointstotheholydayoftheProphetMuhammadsbirth.Itiscelebratedbymakingspecialcandiesand sellingtheminthestreetsandatstoresthroughoutthecountry.Thecandiesarepinkandareusuallyintheshapeofahorseoradoll.Peoplenormallyweartheirbest clothesonthisholiday.Familiesgettogethertocelebrate,anddecorationsarefoundonthestreetsandbuildings.Insomesenses,MulidelNabawyisequivalentto Christmas.

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NOTES1.TheconquestofEgyptunderGeneralElAsbeganin639C.E.butwentonfornearlyfiveyears.Infact,ElAsfounditmostdifficulttopacifytheUpperEgyptians aroundAswan.Anexpeditionwhich[ElAs]sentagainsttheNubians[did]notmerely[fail]tovanquishthem,butwasforcedtoretreat,havingsufferedmuchloss fromtheexceptionalskilloftheNubianarchers,whomtheArabshenceforthdistinguishedastheeyewounders(Butler1992,432).By644whenElAsdelivered asermonatthemosquenamedafterhim,allofEgypthadcomeunderArabdominationandhecouldthankAllahforblessinghisvictories. 2.ItisimportanttoseetheworkofHopwood(1982,165)inthisregard.HeclearlyshowsthattheCoptswereinserioustroublewiththegovernmentofSadat.Thereis somebeliefthattheCoptsthoughtthemselvessuperiortotherestofthepopulationbyvirtueoftheirrelationshiptotheancientlanguageofEgypt.

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4 ArchitectureandArtARCHITECTUREONEWOULDTHINKthatacountryasoldasEgyptwouldhavehadmanyarchitecturalinfluences.However,thearchitectureofmodernEgyptisprimarily influencedbyIslamicculture.1Thus,tospeakofhowEgyptiansbuildtheirhomesandtheirgreatpublicbuildingsistoidentifythewaytheymaketheiridentityconcrete inthemodernera.Architectureisauniquehumanactivitythatprovidesforlandmarksofhistoricalachievementinapeoplesculture.Theenvironmentischanged, alteredinwaysthatestablishacertainresponsetothenaturalspacesarounduswhenarchitectureispracticed.Hence,Egyptianarchitecture,takingitsmainleadfrom theIslamicreligion,hascertainidentifyingcharacteristics. First,itisanarchitecturethatconcernsitselfmorewithinteriorspacesthanwithexteriorspaces.Enclosedspacethatisboundedbywalls,vaults,andarcadesisthe mostimportantelementofEgyptianarchitecturebasedontheIslamicmodel.Theonlyexteriorareasthataredecoratedarethedomeandtheentranceportaltherest ofthedecorationisreservedfortheinterior.Second,unlikeancientEgyptianarchitecture,modernIslamicarchitecturedoesnotemphasizetheactualmechanicsofa structurebutratherconcentratesonarchitecturaldecorationthatdeemphasizestherealityofweightorthenecessityforstructuralsupport.Thethirdelementthatsets Islamicarchitectureapartisthevarietyofdesignsusedtoproduceasenseofunlimitedspaceandlightness.Onwallsandpillars,anarchitectusesmosaicsoftiles, painteddecorationsofpolychrome,andthousandsofvariationsbasedon

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Page78 calligraphy,geometricshapes,andfloralpatternstocreatearchitecturalstylesthatareunknowninanyotherpartoftheworld.Islamicarchitectureisspecifictothe religiouscultureoutofwhichitisderived.Itcouldbenotedwithoutexaggerationthattheendlessrepetitivedesigns,floralpatterns,andgeometricformsonthewallsof buildingscreatetheideaofinfinitythatcomplementsthevastarrayofarches,colonnades,rooms,andpassagesintheinteriorsofthegreatpublicbuildingsofEgypt. ThecityofCairoisoneofthenineortencitiesintheworldthatmightbecalledamuseumofacivilization.LikeFlorence,Philadelphia,Kumasi,NewYork, Kyoto,London,Boston,Beijing,Paris,orRome,Cairoisitselftheseatofanationalandculturalreservoirofbeautyandart.ThehistoryofIslamistoldinthenarrative ofCairoasanArabiccity.Ithasmorethaneighthundredbuildingsdatingfromtheeleventhcentury,whichwastheperiodofIslamsfastestgrowth.Itisstillcalledthe Cityof1000Minaretsbecauseofthenumerousmosquesbuiltineverysectionofthecity.CairoisajewelofIslamicarchitecture. TherearehundredsofhistoricalbuildingsinCairo.OnesuchbuildingistheMuseumofIslamicArtthatcontainsoneofthelargestcollectionsofceramicsinthe world.Itisalsoacenterforancientmanuscriptsandacollectionofbeautifulwoodwork.However,ofallthehistoricalbuildingsinCairo,themosquesseemto dominateintermsofarchitecturalimportance,asifonebuilderwastryingtooutdothenext.TheMosqueofIbnTulunisoneofthelargestintheworld.Somecritics eventhinkthatitisthebestmosqueinCairo.Itwasbuiltbetween876and879C.E.inaplain,straightforward,powerfulstyle.Itattractsvisitorsfromalloverthe world. ApersonvisitingCairocancrosstheTahrirBridge(flankedbytwobronzelionsateitherend)ontoGeziraIslandandvisittheCairoOperaHouse,whichwas openedin1988,aswellasthecitysmostfamouslandmark(afterthepyramids),the614foothighCairoTowerbuiltin1961.Thetowerfeaturesapopularrestaurant fromwhichonecanviewthecitybelow.Lookingoutoverthemanyminaretsofthecity,oneisimpressedbythemanyculturesthathavecontributedtoCairosimage astheMotheroftheWorld. TheKhanelKhaliliBazaar,borderedbyAlAzharandMuskiStreets,isamassiveshoppingareaconsistingofhundredsofsmallshopsalongnumerouswinding alleyways.Itisathirteenthcenturymarketplaceinthemiddleofatwentyfirstcenturycity.Thehugemarketwasestablishedin1292andhasbeeninservicesincethat timewithcraftsmenstillplyingtheirtraditionalcraftsinthenarrowstreets.AttheWikaletelGhouriacrossfromtheShariaMuskimarketarea(similartotheKhanel Khalili)andnexttotheAlAzharMosquethereisaschoolthatteachescrafts.Studentscometotheschool

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Page79 tolearnthebasicartofmakingbaskets,paintinghieroglyphicsonpotteryandjewelry,andjewelrymaking.2 KhanelKhaliliisthebargaincenterforleather,glass,gold,silver,andspices.InCairo,theothermaindowntownareasforshoppingareTalaatHarb,QarrelNil and23rdofJulyStreets.Egyptiansocietyisamarketcultureandallmajortownshavemarketssome,suchastheAswanMarketwithitsspices,arespecialized. Cairo,ontheotherhand,asthesupremecapitalhasmarketsthatcontainproductsandproducefromalloverthecountry. AllarchitectureinEgyptisnotonagrandpublicscale.Thereistheordinaryarchitectureoftheeverydayhouse.Likethelargepublicbuildings,thehouseisalso basedonthecreationofinteriorspace.Rectangularhousingunitsarealwaysorganizedaccordingtothisprincipleoffocusoninteriorspaces.Thisismostoftenshown whenonelooksattheroleofthecourtyardinEgyptianhomes.Theoutsideofthehouseoffersonlyasmalldoor.Itisusuallywindowlessonthefront,givingthe impressionofamastaba(arectangularlyshapedbox). Itisevenusefultothinkofthehouseasacourtyardorcourtyardsconnectedtoapartments.Inthiswayonegainsanappreciationforthecomplexityofthedesignas ahouse.WhereastheWesternhouseisusuallyacollectionofroomsattachedtoeachotherwithanoccasionalhallway,theEgyptianhousemightbethoughtofasa massivelyexpandedcorridorwithroomscomingintoit. Thehousesintheruralareas,andinsomesectionsoftheurbancommunities,mightbeclusteredtogethersothatlargefamiliescanbeaccommodated.These courtyardhousesareusuallywithinawalledcomplexandaremeanttocontainanextendedfamily.Theyareexpandableshouldothermembersneedhousing.One entersthecomplexthroughasingledoorthatleadstoacorridorfromwhichanapartmentmightbereached.Egyptianfamiliesareaccustomedtoaddingontotheir courtyardclustersuntilallofthelandaroundthemainclusterisusedup.Whenthatisaccomplished,thebuildinggoesupwardtoaccommodatestillmorefamily members. ThereisoneotherfeatureofthetraditionalEgyptianhousethatmustbementioned.SincethereismaleprivilegeinEgyptandthemaleheadofthehouseholdoften hasmaleguests,itisnecessarythatthehousebeconstructedinsuchawaythatamalevisitordoesnotviolatetheharemorcomeintocontactwiththewivesofthe host.Thus,thehouseisdividedintwobyawallseparatingthemalesectionfromthefemalesection,andthemaleguestroomisusuallylocatedneartheentrance lobby.(TheArabnomadsusedtohangascreenorarugdownthemiddleofthetenttoseparatethemales

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Page80 fromthefemales.)Whilemanyofthesetypesofhousesstillexist,itseemsasifWesterninfluencesarecomingintoplayinmanyconstructions.Somestylesof architecturearecreatingnovelwaysofseparatingmenandwomenintermsofsleepingandworkingspaces,whilekeepingtheWesterninfluencesofconvenienceand efficiency. Architecturally,theEgyptianhouseisanadvancedstructure.Theopenairinteriorallowsairtocirculatetoalloftheapartmentsthatareconnectedtothecourtyard.It isasystemthatregulatestheflowofairandassistsinclimatecontrolinthehot,dryclimate.Italsoservesasanairwellwherethecoolnightaircanpenetratethe variouscorridorsandapartmentsheatedbythesun.Muchlikethepublicbuildings,theordinaryhousehasathickwalledfrontfacadethatisdesignedtowithstandthe sunandwind.Mostroofsareflatandtheyhavehighparapets.OnecanpickoutanEgyptianhouseusuallybythecharacteristicdesignsontheroofline. Sometimesthisarchitectureofthecourtyardisreferredtoasthearchitectureoftheveil.Becauseitisenclosedbyaplainfacadeandistheinnermostareaofthe house,thecourtyardiskeptasasecret.Oneneverknowswhatawaitswhenenteringacourtyard.Thereonecouldfindchildrenplaying,eldersinconversation,or familycelebrations.Whatisbeingexpressedbythistypeofhousingdesignistheneedtokeeptheoutsideworldoutwhileprotectingthefamilydeepinsidethewalls. Theprivatehouseusestheconcealedcourtyardstyleofarchitectureasadefiningcharacteristic.Thefeaturealsoappearsinnonresidentialstructures.Infact,most architectureinEgypt,likethatinmanyIslamiccommunities,isnotfunctionspecific.Youmightusethesamestructureforseveralfunctionsoryoumightcreateaform thatcanserveavarietyofpurposesbecausethereisanabsenceofspecificarchitecturalformsforspecificfunctions.Onegoodexampleisthefouriwandesign.An iwanisanarchedopeningorporchreachedfromacentralcourtyard.Manybuildingsusethefouriwanmodel.Yetonecaneasilyseethatthisdesigncanbeadapted tohomes,mosques,palaces,andmodernbuildingssuchasbanksandmuseums.Thisallowstheuserofthestructuretoadaptittotheirfunctionsdespitetheform. InmanywaysthemodernEgyptianarchitectureisdifferentfromtheoldarchitectureofPharaonicEgypt.Oneseesthedifferenceexpressedinoneoftheprincipal featuresofIslamicbuildingsinwhichthereisnoinherentconcernfordirectionalquality.Thus,whereastheancienttemplesweredevelopedalongaxiallineswith directionalqualitybeingatthecenterofthestructure,Islamicbuildingsmayhaveadifferentqualitythatignoresthenotionofdirectionality.Onecouldenterabuilding withoutbeingpointeddirectlytothemainareaoffunction.Suchisthecasewhenyouenterabuildingfromthesidewherethereisanaltarthatcouldhavemoreeasily, in

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Page81 theancientsense,beenreachedbyheadingstraightontowarditfromthedirectionalfront. LookingatthegrandarchitectureinCairoandAlexandria,onegetstheimpressionthatthereisaconvivialmeetingofmaterials,ideas,andtechniqueswhenthe builderscreateastructurealongtheIslamicpath.ItisnotpossibletoascertainalotofinformationaboutsomeoftheearlierarchitectsinEgyptianhistory,butitis knownthattheyhadtostudygeometry,mathematics,anddrawingtodeveloptheskillstheymasteredintheconstructionofthelargepublicbuildings. MostofthegreatmosqueswereerectedduringthelifetimesofthearchitectsunlikemanyofthegreatestbuildingsintheWestwherethearchitectwhoconceiveda projectmaynotbetheonewhocompletedit.AmongtheIslamicbuildersthiswasrare.TheybuiltquicklyandwithoutmanyofthefinancialconstraintsoftheWestern nations.Ifanemperororkingwantedabuildingbuilt,hewouldnothavetoconsultwithanyone.Therulerswereoftenquitedictatorialandcoulddemandthata buildingbeerectedwithinacertainperiodofmonths. Theorganizationofthetradestobuildwasakeyelementinbeingabletocompleteaprojectontime.Sawyerswereusedtopreparetheroughtimbertothecorrect dimensionscarpenterswerecalledintodetailmostofthewoodworkinthebuildingsturnerswereusedtomakewoodenscreensforwindowscarverswerethose whodecoratedandworkedwithpreciousstones,woods,ivory,andmotherofpearl. Similartothewoodworkers,thequarrymenwerealsodividedintospecialties.Somepreparedtheroughstonesforinnerwallsandfoundationsskilledcarvers helpedtofinishsomeofthestoneblocksmasonswereusedfortheroughstoneworkontheinnerwallsandothermasonswereusedfortheroughinnerandouter coresbetweentheouterandinnerfacesofthewalls.Otherimportanttradespeopleincludedbricklayers,claywallers,metalworkers,andplasterers. Theminaretatall,slendertoweronamosqueisoneofthemostvisibleexpressionsofIslamicart.Itisusedbythemuezzin(aMuslimcrier)tosummonthe peopletopray.Climbingtothetopoftheminaret,themuezzincallsthefaithfultothehourofprayer.Minaretswerefirstbuiltaslow,squaretowersusedforpagan andIslamicrituals,suchasinthecaseoftheSyrianminaretsthatexistedbeforetheIslamicera.Islamicarchitectsbuiltthemtallertoaffordthemuezzinagreater opportunitytocallpeopletopray.Thecommonformofminarethasasquarebase,toppedbyseveralstories,andthenabalconyconstructedoutofbalsamwood. Thissquareplanminarethasbeendevelopedfurther:thetoweriscrownedbyadomeoraconicalroof.

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MostscholarsdatetheoriginsofthemodernEgyptianfineartstotheyear1904.InthatyearthecityofAlexandriaaccepted210paintingsandthesumof500gold poundsfromaGermanartdealer,EdwardFriedham,withthestipulationthatthecitywouldstartamuseum.SoonthereafterthemunicipalitycreatedtheMuseumof FineArtsofAlexandria,rentedanapartmentonFouadStreet,andopenedforbusiness.BaronCharlesdeMenashadonatedavillatohousethemuseumin1926. WhentheRevolutionaryGovernmentcametopower,itplaceditsstampofapprovalontheMuseumofFineArtsin1954.AyearlaterthecityofAlexandriaheldthe firstBiennialforMediterraneanCountriesinordertolinkartandcultureinthevariouscountries.Theaimofthisgatheringwastoemphasizewhateachcountryhadin commonwithitsMediterraneanneighborbecauseofthecommongeographicalandhistoricalexperiences.SoonthereaftertheRevolutionaryGovernmentopeneda FacultyofFineArtsunderthedirectionoftheblackEgyptiansculptorAhmedOthman,oneofthemostdistinguishedofEgyptianartists.3 In1908,PrinceYoussefKamalcreatedthefirstSchoolofFineArtsinEgyptonDarbelGamamizStreetinCairo.Oneofthefirststudentswasthegreatsculptor MahmoudMukhtar.AlloftheteachersattheSchoolofFineArtswereforeigners.NoEgyptianswerepermittedtoteachsincetheideawastoprepareEgyptiansfor theWesternworld. TheschoolsooncameunderthecontrolofthenationaluniversityandwasjoinedtotheArtsEducationDepartmentintheMinistryofEducationaswell.Theschool wasmovedtoanotherlocationin1926.BythistimethetensionsrunningintheschoolwerequitehighbecausetheEgyptiansbelievedthattheschoolshouldbe Egyptianizedinstaffandcontent.EffortsweremadetohiremoreEgyptianfacultymembers,andtheschoolbecameahighschooluntil1950.Thenitwascalledthe RoyalFacultyofFineArtsuntil1961whenitbecameapartofthenationalMinistryofHigherEducation.By1975ithadregaineditsstatusasanartsfacultyandjoined theHelwanUniversity. EarlyoninEgypttherewasadistinctionmadeintheartsbetweentheappliedartsandthefinearts.Infact,in1909theSchoolofFineArtsopenedasectioncalled AppliedArtstodealwithdecorativeartsandcrafts.By1918,ithadbecomeindependentandwentbythenameTheSchoolofEgyptianDecorativeArts.In1941, thenamewaschangedtoHigherSchoolofAppliedArts.By1950theschoolhadundergoneyetanotherchangeinnames,anditwasnowcalledtheRoyalHigher FacultyforAppliedArts.

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Page83 Womenstudentswerepermittedforthefirsttimeinthe19561957schoolyear. Egyptwasnotunlikeothercountriesunderthecontrolofdominatingnations.SowhentheFirstWorldWarended,agroupofteacherswassenttoLondonin1920 tostudyhowtodraw.InthisfirstgroupwasHabibGorgi,amathematicsteacherturnedartist,whospecializedinartseducation.Heplayedamajorroleingetting fellowstudentsthroughthecourseinEngland.AboutthistimeaDepartmentofFineArtswhichbecametheMinistryofCultureaftertheRevolutionaryGovernment instituteditin1958wascreatedintheMinistryofEducationinCairo.HabibGorgisinfluencewaspowerfulduringtheearlyyearsofartsdevelopmentinEgypt becausehewasaleaderinartseducation,teachingmanyofthegreatestartistsinEgyptianhistory.TheInstituteofArtEducationwasestablishedinCairoin1937.Its namewaschangedtotheFacultyofArtEducationandaddedtotheHelwanUniversity. In1976,anartistsguildwasestablishedbythegovernmentwhenitenactedLawNo.83.ThesameyearanotherdecreeorderedthataFacultyofFineArtsbe createdatMinyainUpperEgypt. ThefineartsinEgyptwereencouragedbyanunlikelysource.WhenRaghebAyyadwenttoRomein1924onamission,hewasimpressedbythequalityofstudents thathadcomefromothercountriestostudyart.AyyadwasinstrumentalingettingthegovernmenttosetuptheEgyptianAcademyofArtsinRome.In1929,that academywasformallyestablished,andtheartistShehabAlmazwasappointeddirector. Egyptiangovernmentshavetriedtodowhattheycouldtoencourageartappreciation.In1975,alawwaspassedthatgrantedastateprizeforcreativityto encourageartiststowork.However,by1984onlyfourartistshadbenefittedfromtheaward,whichwastostudyattheEgyptianAcademyofArtsinRome.Itwas onlywhenFaroukHosni,anartist,becameMinisterofCulturein1987thatanewlawwasenactedthatimplementedchangesthatbroughtaboutresults. Egyptsmodernhistoryisoneoftryingtogatherintherichlegaciesofthepastandmakethemtheworkforthepresentandfuture.Inthisregardthecountryhas beensomewhatsuccessfulwithaparadeofoutstandingartists.WhileEgyptiswithoutpeerintheareaofancientartandarchitecture,ithasnotenjoyedthesame statureincontemporaryart.Thefineartstradition,intheWesternway,hasbeenslowtoemergegiventhetremendousstrengthofEgyptsclassicalhistory.Yetthe greatartistshavecreatedworksequaltothatofanyotherartistsanywhereintheworld. TheGeneralDepartmentforMuseumsbecameapartoftheMinistryof

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Page84 Culturein1966.Ithadbeenformedin1959duringaperiodofconsolidation.Togiveitmoresupport,thegovernmentencouragedittobecomeapartoftheMinistry ofCulture.AbdulQaderRizk,directoroftheartmuseums,beganatraditionofholdingaGeneralNationalPlasticArtsExhibitiontoallownewartiststodemonstrate theirversatilityandcreativity.Rizkwantedtheexhibitiontobringtogetherthemakersandthebuyersofart.Hisideawasthatindividualsandcorporationswouldbring jointinterestsinarttotheexhibitionandbothpartieswouldbenefit. WhenRizkretiredin1972,AbdulHamidHamdibecamedirectoroftheGeneralDepartmentofFineArtsandNationalMuseums.UnderthedirectorshipofHamdi, thenameofthedepartmentwaschangedtotheGeneralAuthorityforArtsandLiterature,consistingoftheAcademyofArtsandtwoDepartmentsforLiteratureand SpecialCreativityGrants.Hisaimwastogiveartistsenoughleisuretimetodevoteenergytocreatingart.4 ChangesoccursomewhatconstantlyintheartworldinEgypt.Itisacountryofdynamicartmovements,manybeinginitiatedbynewartistswhoareinfluencedby outsideartisticmovements,butmostcomingfromsourcesinsidethecountryandinspiredbythegovernmentagenciesthemselves.Soonafterthecreationofthe GeneralAuthorityforArtsandLiterature,theSupremeCouncilforCulturewasinstitutedandbecame,in1980,thegeneratorofallartsprograms.TheSupreme CouncilforCulturecreatedtheNationalCentreforPlasticArtstohandletheactivitiesofthepreviousGeneralAuthorityforArtsandLiterature.Thiswasamajorstep forthecountrybecauseitbroughtlegitimacytothemanyworksandactivitiesoftheartistswhohadworkedontheirown.

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CairoMuseumsCairoisfamousforthehugeEgyptianMuseumofAntiquities.Noothermuseumintheworldcompareswithit.Inmanywaysitisthedefinitionofthetermart,for mostpeoplewhoconsiderEgyptianart.Thishasbeenamajorproblemformodernartandartists.Overshadowedbytheancientworldinsuchamassiveway,thefine artstraditionhasgonethroughmanyshifts,trends,andorganizationsinanefforttostabilizeandpopularizetheartisticprofessionsandtraditions.Nevertheless,thereis, andhasbeenforalongtime,amuseumdedicatedtothefinearts. Themostmomentous,yetcharacteristic,acttoadvancethefineartstraditioninEgyptwasthecreationin1930oftheCairoMuseumofModernArt.Itwaslocated intheMosseiriPalaceonFouadIStreet,nowcalled26thJulyStreet.Sevenyearslaterthismuseumwasmovedtothecenterofthecityandlocatedinthepalaceof HodaShaarawinearBabelLouk.Afew

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Page85 yearslateritwasmovedtothepalaceofCountZogheibinKasrelNilStreet.Thispalacewasdemolishedin1964tomakewayforahotel,whichin2001stillhadnot beenbuilt.Themuseumhadtobemovedagain,and,thus,itwastakentoavillainFinnySquareinDokkiwhereitremaineduntilitwaslocatedinanewbuildingin GezirehbetweentheCairoOperaHouseandthePlasticArtsGuild.ThechallengeofafineartsmuseumwasundertakeninCairolongafteronehadbeensetupin Alexandria.Thiswascriticalforthegrowthoffineartsinthecountry,buttheinstabilityinlocationswasanindicationofhowinsecurethetraditionwasforaperiodof time.FindingaplacewheretheartscouldflourishprovedtobesomethingthatEgyptiansdidnotseeasapriorityinearliertimes. TheRevolutionaryGovernmentcametopowerin1952withtheideaofopeningnationalartmuseums.Theleaderswereliterallyfullofideas.Insomewaysthey representedthespiritoftransformationthatwassweepingtheworldandwouldcausetheWesternnationstopauseandadmiretheenergyandartisticabilitiesofthe newlyindependentandfreednations.EgyptsNasserwasavisionary,notunlikeKwameNkrumahofGhanawouldbein1957whenhiscountrygainedits independence.Theseweremenwhobelievedthattheircountriescoulddoandbeanythingthepeopledesiredthemtobe.InNasserscase,hewantedEgypttobein theforefrontoftheworldsnationsanddidnotsubscribetotheideathatEgypthadtoremainathirdratenationinanyfield.Asinenergy,soitwastobeinartEgypt wastoreachforthetopineverythingitdid.By1959,thegovernmenthadopenedtwomuseums:theGawwadHosniMuseuminPortFouadandtheNational ResistanceMuseuminPortSaid.In1960,twoothermuseumswerecreated:theNationalMansouraMuseum(DaribnLuqman)andtheDenshwayMuseumin MonofiyaGovernorate.In1962,itopenedthemuseumsofMahmoudKhalil,Gezireh,andMahmoudMukhtarinCairo.InMay1968,anothermuseumwassetupin thePyramidsQuarterandwascalledMohamedNaguiMuseumandin1972,theMahmoudSaidMuseumwasestablishedinAlexandria.5Egypthadfinallyfoundits waytothecreationofagroupofmuseumsreflectiveofthecontemporaryhistoryofthenation. TheMuseumofMahmoudMukhtarattheHuriyyaGardenswasdesignedbythegreatarchitectRamsesWissaWasseftohousetheworksofthepioneerinmodern Egyptiansculpturethatthemuseumwasnamedfor.Thesameyear1962theMuseumofMohamedMahmoudKhalilwasopenedandhislargecollectionof Europeanimpressionistswasdisplayed. WhenPresidentAnwarSadattookofficein1970thecontentsoftheMuseumofMohamedMahmoudKhalilweremovedtotheAmrIbrahimPalaceinZamalek andthebuildingwastakenoverbythepresidency.ByJuly1975,thepublicwasinvitedtoareopeningofthemuseuminitsnew

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Page86 quarters.FaroukHosni,asMinisterofCulture,wasabletogetthecontentsofthismuseummovedbacktoitsoriginalquartersaftertheinaugurationofPresidentHosni Mubarak.Mubarakopenedthemuseumonceagainin1995.NationalGalleries Althoughthecountryhadestablishedanumberofmuseums,includingtheearlyAlexandriamuseumandtheCairomuseum,until1966itonlyhadtwopublicgalleries wherepeoplecouldcometoviewtheworksofnewartists.Thosetwogalleries,runbytheMinistryofCulture,weretheFineArtsGalleryintheChamberof CommerceinBabalLoukandtheAkhenatenGallery.Bothwererentedspaces.TheMinistryofCulturesoonopenedtwoadditionalgalleriesintheheadquartersof theSocialistUnionandonemoreintheGezirehFairGroundsthatwascalledNileHall.By1967,itwasclearthattherewasademandforgalleriesasthepublic expresseditswilltopurchaseartandtheartistswantedtoselltheirworks.Anannualbazaarforsellingworksofartwasstarted,butitisbelievedthatsocialor religiouspressuresbroughtthepracticetoanendwithinafewyears. Manyartistsdecidedtotravelabroadtoperfecttheirwork.MohamedAbdulMonemMuradwenttoFrancein1967tostudypaintedfabrics.Uponhisreturn,a projectwasstartedattheRakayibMuseuminHelwan.FranceagreedtogivegrantstoEgyptianartiststostudytextilepaintingattheAubussonInstituteinFrance. Whentheyreturned,theycreatedbeautifultextilesunderthesupervisionofMuradGhalib.Althoughtheprocessbywhichtheworksofartistsisviewedbythepublic seemsdifficultattimes,theworkcontinuesandtheartistsaremakingatremendousheadwayintheplasticartsfield.

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KEYARTISTSAhmedOthmanandMahmoudMukhtarstandastwoofthegreatcolumnsofmodernEgyptiansculpture.Othmanisregardedmoreasanadministratorofart,a guidingforceintheworldofsculpture,andasingularlyimpressivegeniusatdiscoveringwithinEgyptianmaterialsalloftheemotions.Mukhtarisregardedasthe nationalspiritcombinedwithclassicalandWesternstylesasseeninhisworkNahdatMisr(EgyptAwakening),TheGuardoftheFields,andTheBrideoftheNile. HisworksarefoundthroughoutCairo. OnecannotspeakofthefoundationsofEgyptianpaintingwithoutmentioningthenameofRaghebAyyadwholivedfrom1892until1982,spanningagreatpartof themodernperiodofEgyptianart.Infact,Ayyadwas

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Page87 soinspiredbythefactthatEgypthadsuchagloriouspharaonicheritagethathetriedtoemulatethetraditionbypaintingtheordinaryactivitiesofthepeopleinthe countryside:fishing,farming,andworkinginvariousindustries.Acontemporaryofhis,YusefKamel,wholivedfrom1891until1971,oftenpaintedscenesofthe landscapeofEgypt.Helikedverymuchtopaintthewaythelightwasreflectedinthecolorsoftheflowersinthefields,theplantsinthegardens,treesalongsidethe Nile,andthebeautifulEgyptiansunlightbeamingdownonsomelonelyfarmerorboatman.BothAyyadandKamelmightbecalledimpressionisticartists.Theywere notalone,however,intheiremphasisontheordinaryexperiencesofEgyptians.Otherartists,particularlyAhmedSabri(18891955),MohamedHassan (18921961),OthmanMurtada(18961925),andMahmoudHassan(18991955)madeenormouscontributionstothedevelopmentofmodernEgyptianart.Sabri paintedpeoplewithgreatsensitivitytotheirfaces,seekingtobringouttheirinnermostexperiences,andtoestablishthehumanpresenceasanenduringvisual experience.MohamedHassanwastheintellectualamongpainters.Hisstylewasexact,precise,andhelovedtousethepropercolorsandlinestomakeholistic compositions.MurtadaandMahmoudHassanweresculptorswhoseworkdealtwithnumerousmodernfiguresinEgyptianartandculture.Theirworksaddedtothe valueoftheEgyptianWaxMuseum. AsecondgenerationofartistswastrainedbytheSchoolofFineArtsandbecameleadersintheartestablishmentofEgyptafterthe1940s:thesculptorsSalah AbdulKerim,MahmoudMoussa,andAbdulHamidHamdithepaintersHosnialBananiandKamelMustafaandingraphicsandceramics,KamalAminandHassan Sadek.SomeoftheseartistswerefortunateenoughtobeattachedtoanatelierinLuxorin1942wheretheywereencouragedtomoveamongtheancientmonuments forinspiration.Theatelierwaslaterclosedandtheartistswerelefttotheirowndevices.Insomewaysthisdeepenedtheirgiftsasartistsbecausetheywerenolonger overlyinfluencedbythegeniusofthepast.Manywentontocreategreatworksofart. WomenhavenotbeenabsentfromtheculturallifeofEgypt.Infact,EffatNaguiwasoneofthebestpaintersofhergeneration.HerbrotherMohamedNaguihad beenoneoftheleadingpaintersinAlexandriaatthebeginningofthetwentiethcentury.Butinherownright,Effathadsucceededincreatingherownfollowingby paintingfolksubjectssuchasicons,charms,pendants,andtalismans.Finally,inApril2001,amuseumdevotedtotheworkofEffatNaguiandherlatehusbandSaad ElKhademwasopenedtothepublicinavillaonKarimStreetinHeliopolis,asuburbofCairo.EffatbequeathedthevillatotheEgyptianpeoplewiththestipulation thatherhomebeturnedintoamuseumexhibitingherworksandthoseofherhusband.Theybothpaintedwithcharacteristicfolkloricmotifsandmagical

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Page88 interpretations.ElKhademhadbeenaprofessorofarteducationandwasfamiliarwiththetradesandfolkloricgenres.Oneofthethemesthatisrepeatedinhisworkis theinspirationfromtheNubianandthepharaoniccultures.Effatwasgreatlyaffectedbythisstyleofworkaswell.SheproducedthecaptivatingworksontheZodiac thatbecamealmostasignatureofherwork,particularlyScorpioandPisces,twoofherbestworks.TherehavebeenmanyotherEgyptianwomenpainters, includingInjyAflaton,KamelelTelmissani,TaheyyaHalim,andGazibiyyaSirri,whowerethemainwomenpaintersofthe1950s.Aflatonwasfamousforsurrealistic paintingselTelmissanidrewontheordinarylivesofEgyptiansforherinspirationHalimuseddarkshadesofcolorstodepictanimals,landscapes,farms,andpeople andSirriusedabstractcompositionstoemphasizetheroleofwomeninsociety.ShewastheclosestEgyptianpaintertothefeministideainart. TheJuly23,1952revolutionwaslikeashockwavethatwashedawayalldanglingpiecesoftheartculturenotfirmlyplantedinthesouloftheEgyptianpeopleand gavethemanewfoundbrandofpoliticalart.TherehadbeenmanyattemptstorevolutionizeEgyptianartpriortothecomingofthecolonels.However,thoseattempts hadlargelybeenmovesbyWesternerswhosoughttotransformEgyptianculturalhistory.TakethecaseoftheAlMohawilounorTheEssayistsastheywerecalled in1934.ThiswasamovementledbytwononEgyptians:JulesLevyandAlbertSalitel.ItfailedtogalvanizethemassesoftheEgyptianpeople,butitdidestablishthe factthattherewasapublicwaitingtodiscoveraconnectiontotheWestthroughtheartchannel.TheEssayistspublishedajournalthatwascalledUnEffortandwhat aneffortitwastokeeptheintellectualfocusclearsothattheartistswouldhavespacetowork.Itwasjustafewyearslater,in1937,thatanothergroupwasfounded calledTheNewEasternGroupinresponsetothedesiretohaveastatementfromtheIslamists.Theywere,afterall,inAfricaandreallysouthernersbutthey identifiedwiththeEastasEasternersasareactiontotheinfluenceofthenonEgyptiansinUnEffort. By1939,agroupcallingitselfsimplyArtandFreedomappearedintheartworldand,throughtheirwritingsandlectures,begantoinfluencetheartcultureof Egyptinwaysthattheothergroupshadnot.Therewasagenerationofartistsbeingpreparedwhowouldhavepoliticalcommitmentbutexcellentartisticskills.They wereledbythelikesofGeorgeHenein,RamsesYounan,FouadKamel,andKamelelTelmissani.Theyfoundsurrealismtobeoneofthebestmodesforthecreation ofchangeinthesociety.RamsesYounan,forexample,expressedacontemplationandsurrealistoutlookthatmightbecalledashatteredabstractcompositionwith strangecolorsandshapes(Gharib1998,18).OtherssuchasFouadKamelandSalahTaher

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Page89 wereconvincedthattheyhadtousedisturbedcompositionstoupsetthetraditional,toannouncethattheywereindeedpresentintheartisticworld.Theywererebels againstanarchaicpoliticalsituation.Ofcourse,thepoliticalestablishmentarrestedandjailedmanyoftheseartists. Theseartistsinspiredthemovementtowardmodernity,whichthenewabstractartistsacceptedasapartofrebellion.Some,suchasMonirKanaanandAhmad FouadSelim,soughttoemblazontheArabiccalligraphyincolor.AbdulRahmanalNasharwasanimpressionistwhoincreasinglybecameageometrician. Nevertheless,theyinspiredthecontemporaryartgenerationthatis,thegenerationoftherevolutionitselfwhichwasfoundedaround1946bytheartteacher HusseinYoussefAminandthepainterSamirRafe,whohadworkedwiththeArtandFreedommovement.Participatinginthenewmovementwerepeoplesuchas AbdulHadialGazzar,HamedNada,IbrahimMassouda,andMaherRaefinfact,NadaandalGazzarhadstartedassurrealistsseekinganewpathfortheir expression.Theywereoutstandingpainterswhousedmythology,symbolism,andceremoniestocreatetheirworks.SomehaveclaimedthatNadasworkwashappy andmerryandthattheworkofalGazzarwasbasedonfolkthemes(Gharib1998,19).Clearlytheseartistswereconvincedthatitwasnecessarytousethestrongest possibleartisticmethodstobreakwiththearchaiccharacteristicsofmuchEgyptianart. Exhibitionswerethekeytosuccessforthisgroup.TheywereinfluencedbythedevelopmentsintheworldaroundEgyptandalthoughtheysawtheimportanceof Egyptiansocietyanditsrelationshiptothecontemporaryarttheywereproducing,theycouldnothelpbutbeimpactedbythepoliticalandsocialclimatearoundthem. Oneoftheavenuestheyusedtoexpresstheirpoliticswasthroughtheexhibitionsofpaintingsofthepoorpeopleofthevillagesandtheeconomicallypoorregionsof Cairoitself.Theywereonamissionasclearlyandassurelyasthecolonelswouldsoonbeonamissiontobringanewdispensationtothecountry. Althoughthecontemporaryartmovementsurvivedduringtherevolutionandcontinuedtoexhibit,itwouldhavecompetitionwithothergroupsthathadtheir beginningsaboutthesametime.OnewastheVoicesoftheArtist,foundedbythesculptorGamalelSegeiniin1945.Severaltransformationshappenedinthisgroup anditwasfinallycalledModernEgyptianArt.ButthelongestlastingofallthesecontemporarygroupswastheArtandLifeSocietythatwasfoundedbythe intellectualHamedSaidin1946.Saidhadsetastrictdisciplineforhisgroup,disavowinganypoliticalorientation,rejectingEuropeandominationofartconcepts,and avoidingheatedpoliticalandsocialissues(Gharib1998,16). Whentherevolutionoccurred,agroupofartistsinitiatedamovementto

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Page90 underscorethecommitmenttonationalhistoryandevents.The1956TripartiteAggression,asitiscalledinEgyptianhistory,thebuildingoftheAswanHighDam,and theJune1967defeatofEgyptbyIsraelwereallmemorializedbytheartists.TheGroupofFiveArtistsformedin1962byRedaZaher,NabilWahba,AbdulHamid alDawakhli,NabilelHosseini,andFarghaliAbdulHafizwasimportantintheartisticevolutionthatoccurredduringthe1960s.Thisgroupwasmainlycenteredin Cairo.Theirinfluenceonthegenerationthatfollowedwassignificantbecausetheycombinedtheinterestsoftheearlierrevolutionaryeraartistswithaconcentrationof skills,talents,andimagery. AGroupofThreeArtistsappearedinAlexandriaataboutthesametime,andalmostasaresponsetotheCairoGroupofFiveArtists.TheGroupofThree wascreatedin1965andincludedSaidalAdawi,MahmoudAbdallah,andMustafaAbdulMoti.Thisgroupwascalledanexperimentalcadreofartistsandshouldnot beconfusedwithanotherGroupofThreeformedinAlexandriain1969,calledArtandMan,whichincludedAdelelMasri,FaroukShehata,andAhmedAzmi.All theartistsfeltaneedtoexpressanEgyptiancharactertoartandculture.ItwastheLoversofNatureandHeritagegroup,undertheinfluenceofAbdulQader Mukhtar,thatexpresseditsmissionastheaffirmationofaparticularEgyptiancharacterinfineartsin1979. TheEgyptianpeopleareproudoftheirhistoryaswellasthemassivecollectionsofancientandcontemporaryartpresentinthecountry.Thus,thediscovery,orthe rediscovery,oftheKasrelEiniMusuemofMedicalArtscausedastirinCairoanditssuburbsin2001.ProfessorMahmoudFawzielManawi,professorof gynecologyatthefacultyofmedicineatCairoUniversity,hassoughttopreservetheKasrelEiniasamuseumtohonorthepioneersofmodernEgyptianmedicine. OriginallybuiltasapalaceforAhmedibnelEiniin1447,thebuildingwasusedastheheadquartersfortheFrenchExpeditionin1799.ItbecameapartoftheCairo Universityasamedicalschoolin1925.ItistheperfectsettingforthecombinationofartandhistoryofmodernEgypt. ElManawilearnedinthe1970sthattherarecollectionsofmedicalpapers,drawings,illustrations,andpaintingswerenearlyruinedbecauseofplumbingproblems. Hewasgreatlydisturbedbythisconditionandsoughttoagitatethegovernmentofficialsandanyonewhowouldlistenabouttheneedtosavethepapers.Rescuingthe papersstoredinthebasementofKasrelEiniin1973,elManawifoundsupportfromthenMinisterofHigherEducation,Dr.MofidShihab,tosavethedocuments. Theywereinfestedwithinsectsandsomehadbeendamaged.Oilpaintingsandgranitebustshadtoberestoredorcleanedandproperlycurated.

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Page91 SoonateamoffortyrestorationistsfromtheAntiquitiesRestorationCentreofCairoUniversity,headedbyelManawi,begantheirwork.Theneglectedstorage buildingwastransformedintoawelllit,beautifulshowcaseforthemanyobjectsandpapersdiscoveredinthebasementofthemuseum.Thegovernmentspent2million Egyptianpoundsontheproject,butmuchmoreneedstobedonetobringtheitemstoaninternationalpresentationlevel. AmongtheitemsondisplayisacopyoftheoriginalDescriptiondelEgyptebyDominiqueVivantDenonandhisteamofFrenchwriters.Thiscopywas supposedlydonatedtothemedicalschoolbyFerdinanddeLesseps.Therearealsomapsoftheeighteenthandnineteenthcenturies,raremedicalbooksand manuscripts,andbustsandpaintingsoffamousmedicalpersonalitiessuchasAntoineBertelemyClot,founderofthemedicalschoolTheodoreMaximilianBilharz, discovererofbilharziasisAliPashaIbrahim,thetwentiethcenturypioneerofmodernEgyptianmedicineMohammedOliviPasha,professorofophthalmology,who persuadedPrincessFatimah,daughterofKhediveIsmail,togiveallherpropertyforthesettingupofCairoUniversityandMohammedelBakliPasha,who EgyptianizedtheKasrelEinimedicalschool. ItisbelievedthatthismedicalmuseumistheonlyoneofitskindinthewholeofAfricaorinsouthwestAsia.TheworkdonebyelManawiisremarkableandthe Egyptianpeoplebestoweduponhimthe2000StateMeritAwardforhisindefatigablespiritinbringingtotheforefronttheextensivemedicalhistoryofthecountry.In acceptingtheaward,hesaid,Myeffortsareonlyasmalldonationtoaninstitutionwithoutwhichnoneofourprofessorscouldhaveattainedsuchhighlevelsof excellencesinthefieldofmedicine(EgyptAugust2001,57).Heremainscommittedtorescuingevenmoreworksfordisplay.

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GRAPHICARTSEgypthassomeofthebestgraphicartistsworkinginthecontemporaryartworld.Theyarecommittedtotheirartandthestrongsymbolismtheyhavetodrawuponin ordertoadvertiseorrepresentcorporations,companies,orgovernments.Perhapsnogroupofgraphicartistsinanycountryhasatitsdisposalsomanyvarietiesof artisticimagesandthemesasthemodernEgyptiangraphicartist.Theyareatoncetheintellectualinheritorsofthemostmonumentalcivilizationinantiquityandatthe sametimehavereceivedthelegacyofIslamsmostauthenticallyrichandpowerfulheritageinAfrica.Someofthecreativedesignsoftheartistsharkenbacktothe daysofthegodsandgoddessesoftheancienttimes,andmanyoftheirdesignssimply

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Childrenmakingcarpets

reflecttheinfinitevariationsofArabiccalligraphy.Inbothcases,theresourcesandskillsoftheartistshavebeenusedinpopularmagazines,airlinejournals,department stores,hotels,andnewspapers.

TEXTILESANDFASHIONManytypesofweavingexistinEgyptinfluencesexistfromPersia,TurkeyandAfghanistan.Thecountryisanationthathasnotforgottenitsoldtraditions.Infact,the creativestylesoftheweaversandcarpetmakersaregroundedinthehistoryandcultureofthepeople.Likethethousandsofsculptorswhoworkatthetouristsites,the weaversandcarpetmakersareseekingtodemonstratetheirskillandintheprocessmakealiving.Veryfewofthetextilemakerswilldeliberatelyseworweaveclothes intotheWesternstyle,althoughtheappetiteforWesternclotheshasnotdiminishedinEgyptsincethedaysofJohnF.Kennedy.Egyptiansarealwaysapologizingfor thelackofskilledpeopleinsomeofthetrades,buttextilesisnotoneofthembecausethereisanabundanceoftalented,trainedpeoplewhoworkinthisfield.Indeed, thecarpetschools,oftenthoughtofasexploitative,areresponsibleforcreatingavastnumberofyoungpeoplewhoknowhowtomakealiving. EgyptisthefashioncapitaloftheArabworld.Richprincesandprincesses

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Carpetschool

oftheArabemiratesandSaudiArabiaarriveinCairodailytoshopandviewthelatestinfashions.ButitisnottherichsheiksalonewhofindCairofashionsattractive andappealing.MoreandmoreEgyptiansaretakingtotheshoppingmallsthatarespringinguparoundCairoandAlexandriatofindtheirownspecialdressesoroutfits. Pricesrangefromveryexpensivetoinexpensive,thuspoorpeoplecanalsoaffordtoshopinthemalls.Theclothing,mostlymadeofcotton,inEgyptiswellmadeand reflectsthedesireonthepartofthemanufacturerstobeabletosupplythemasseswithgoodlookingordinaryclothes.Ontheotherhand,someoftheGizaand Heliopolisshopscarrythemostexpensivefashionstobefoundonearth(seealsothesectiononclothinginChapter5,SocialCustomsandLifestyles).

NOTES1.ThisdoesnotmeanthattheEgyptianswereuninfluencedbyothercultures.Forexample,themoderncitiesofCairoandAlexandriahavemanybuildingsofFrench, English,andItalianarchitecture. 2.Itshouldberememberedthatmanyoftheartisanskillsaremasteredbytheruralpeoplewithoutthebenefitofschools.Mostofthemaretrainedbytheirparentsfrom anearlyage.OnecanstillfindinthesmalltownsofEgyptcarpetschoolswhereyoungpeoplearetrainedtomakecarpetsforthenationalandinternational

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markets.Inaddition,onefindshieroglyphic,jewelrymaking,andpapyrusmakingschools. 3.ThegovernmentofPresidentGamalAbdelNassersoughttobringallEgyptiansintotheinstitutionallifeofthecountry.Thus,AhmedOthman,oneofthefinestartists inmodernEgyptianhistory,wasgiventhepositionofadministeringtheFacultyofFineArts. 4.ForathoroughaccountingoftheartisticdevelopmentsincontemporaryEgypt,seeGharib(1998). 5.AgoodsourceforthisconcreteinformationisGharib(1998).

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5 SocialCustomsandLifestylesINANCIENTTIMES,EgyptwascalledthelandoftheNileandthesun.1EvennowthesetwofeaturesdominatetheclimateofmodernEgyptandhaveaprofound influenceonthesocialcustomsandlifestylesofcontemporaryEgyptians.WinterisfromDecembertoFebruary.Duringthistimethelandenjoysbrilliantsunshine. SpringisfromMarchtoMaysummerfromJunetoAugustandautumnfromSeptembertoNovember.Whilewinteristheseasonoftheclearestskies,owingtothe lackofdustandsandintheair,allseasonsarepleasant.Forinstance,summerisnevertoohotbecauseoftheconstantlyblowingnortherlywinds.Ifitishotduringthe dayitcangettomorethan100degreesFahrenheititwillalwaysbemuchcoolerduringtheevenings.Mostoftheyeartheweatherisdry,becominghumidafew daysayearduringAugust.Inthedesertonecanseeextremelysharpcontrastbetweensummerandwinter,dayandnight,temperatures.However,intheNileValley thetemperaturesareunusuallystable.Onedoesfindcontrastsbetweenthetwomainseasonsbutforthemostpartifitissummer,itisuniversallyhot,andifitiswinter, itislesshotbutwithbrilliantsun.Onecanjustaboutdependontheweatherbeingconsistentfromdaytoday.Inmanyrespectsthisisapartofthelegacyofstabilityin Egyptiansocialcustomsandlifestyles.

TRAVELTravelinEgyptisquiteeasyandcomfortable.TheEgyptianpeopleareeagertoassistoneanotheraswellasforeignerswhovisitthecountry.There

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Page96 aremanymilesofpavedhighwaysforautomobileandbustravelaswellashundredsofmilesofrailroadtrackfortraintravel.Personsseekingtomovebetweenmajor citieswillfindseveralairlinesthatflydomesticroutes.TheprincipalairlineisEgyptAir,however,thecountrysupportsseveralsmallerairlinesaswell.InEgypt,the principalindustrialandeconomiccitiessuchasAlexandria,Aswan,Cairo,Hurghada,Luxor,andPortSaidareserveddailybymodernjetaircraft. RailtravelinEgyptissecondtonone.Thetrainsarecleanandrunontime.Onecanunderstandthatefficiencyisbuiltintothesystemlargelybytradition.Ifthe Egyptianshaveprideinanythingitseemstobeinthewaytherailwaysarerun.Thereisareasonforit.Egyptwasthethirdcountryintheworldtobuildarailroadwhen theCairoAlexandrialinewascompletedinthenineteenthcentury.Allthemoderntrainsareairconditionedandhavediningcars.Normallyonecanfindatrainthatisa rukkab(ordinaryU.S.equivalentoflocal)aswellasanexpress.Therukkabstopsateverystation,whiletheexpressonlystopsatthemostimportantstations. ThousandsofpeopleridethetrainseachdayandoneofthebesttouristexperiencesistakingthetrainfromCairotoAswan.

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OwnershipofPropertySocialorganizationbeyondthefamilyisbasedonownershipoflandorotherproperty.Ownershipiseitherpublicorprivate.ThismeansthatthegovernmentofEgypt cananddoescontroltheownershipofsomelargepublicenterprisessuchasthepostoffice,railways,roads,ports,airports,anddams.Someoftheheavymining industriesarealsosupportedbythegovernmentalthoughthereisheavypressurefromtheinternationalmoneysectorforEgypttoopenupevenmoretoWestern industrializedcapital.Allbankingandfinancialinstitutionsremainundertheauthorityofthegovernment.Thus,whileindividualsandcorporationshavealargestakein theownershipofproperty,thegovernmentisthemajorownerofthemeansofproducingwealthinthenation. Thereisanactiveandenthusiasticprivatesectorthatoperateswiththeguaranteethatprivatepropertycannotbeexpropriatedwithoutjustcompensation.Inthe touristtrade,therearenowinternationalcorporationsthatownsomeofthehundredsofriverboats.Tourismisbecomingoneofthegreatestareasforcapitalgrowthin thecountryasmoreyoungentrepreneurswithWesterneducationsreturnhomefromtheUnitedStatesandEuropetosetupbusinessesdirectlyrelatedtothetourism trade.Theyowncompanies,hirelocals,andengageininternationalcommerceataverysubstantialrate.Thismeansthattheprivatespherehascontinuedtoexpand evenasthe

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PapyrusstoreinCairo

governmenthastriedtoholdthereinsofmajorindustriessoasnottounsettletheeconomichealthofthenation. Privateownershipoffarminglandsismaintainedandprotectedbythegoverningauthorities,andfarmsaresubject,asbuildingsare,tothelawsoftaxation.Under thegovernmentofHosniMubaraktherehasbeenamovementtowardmoreinvolvementofthemasseswithcontroloffarmsandsmallbusinesses.Egypthas recognizedthebenefitofentrepreneurs,especiallyinthetouristindustry,whoarecommittedtothepoliticalandeconomicgoalsofthesociety.Thereisagrowing respectamongthestateeconomistsforthevalueofnewentrepreneurs.ThishasbroughtaboutalotofchangesinregardstohowEgyptisviewedandhowitviews itselfwithinthecontinentofAfrica,whichisseekingtobroadentheparticipationofitspeopleinthedemocratizingofproperty.

FARMINGEgyptisafarmingcountry.AsoneofthethreepillarsoftheEgyptianeconomy(theothersbeingtourismandoil),Egypthasalwaysmadeagricultureakeycomponent ofitslifeasanation.AgriculturewasbornintheNileValleythousandsofyearsagoandhasremainedoneofthenoblestofEgyptianoccupations.

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Farmhouseandfarm

TwoaspectsoffarminginEgypthavecapturedtheimaginationofthemodernperson:theuseofagriculturalimplementstoassisthumanlaborandthedevelopmentof farmirrigation.TakentogethertheseaspectsofthemodernEgyptiansocietyrepresentacontinuingrelationshipwiththepastbecausethereseemstobelittlevariationin someoftheimplementsandirrigationmethodsthatwereusedinthepast.Ofcourse,ifoneweretolookatthelonghistoryofEgypt,thevariationwouldbeobvious. Forexample,waterliftingdevicescamelateinthedevelopmentofagriculture,buttherehavebeensomeshiftsinconstructionanddesign.Theshaduf,thesocalled counterpoiselift,wascreatedabout1500B.C.E.butisquitepresentincontemporaryEgyptasisthesakia(waterwheel)whichdidnotappearuntilthefourthcentury B.C.E. AgriculturecouldnotexistinEgyptwithoutirrigationbecausethereisnotenoughraintherefore,itisnecessarytotakethewaterfromtheNileanddistributeit throughoutthefarmlands.Thishasalwaysbeenthecase,sothepeopleareaccustomedtocreatingtheirownmethodsofbringingwatertotheirfarms.Themodern methodsaremerelyevolutionsoftheold.TheNileiseveryonesrainstormandwithoutittherewouldbenothingbutdesertinEgypt.Ifonelooksatthebeginningof themodernperiodofNileRivercontrol,in1843,onecanappreciatethefactthattheconstructionofelKanaterelKhairiyaBarrageattheapexoftheDeltawasa waytoraise

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Page99 thelevelofwaterupstreamandthenallowthewatertofloodtheDeltainthelowseason.Thenin1902,theAswanDamwasbuilttofurtherthestorageofwater. However,themosteffectivesystemofwaterstorageandfloodmaintenancewasthebuildingoftheAswanHighDamin1960.Waterisdistributedamongvarious canalsunderarotationsystemofwateringandclosingdayswhosedurationvariesdependingontheseasonandthezone. ThishealthysupplyofwaterhasmadeEgyptoneofthebestproducersoffoodinitsregionofNorthAfrica.Cultivationoflandshavebeenincreasedmorethan threefoldsincethebuildingoftheAswanHighDam.Whiletherehasbeenasteadyplantodiversify,thecountrystillhasastrongagriculturalsectorthatplaysamajor rolealongsidetourism,theSuezCanal,oilproduction,andfoodprocessingasapillarfortheeconomy.Cottonistheprimarycropbutothersrice,onions,beans, fruits,andoilcontributetotheeconomyaswell.

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LIFESTYLESHowdothepeopleofEgyptlivedaytoday?ThissectionwilldiscussthewayEgyptiansliveandindeed,insomeinstances,havelivedfromtheearliestoftimes.The customsoftheruralpeoplearequitedifferentfromsomeofthoseoftheurbancentersthathaveincreasinglydefinedthecountryofEgypt.Forexample,themiddle classorrichCaireneshaveamuchdifferentapproachtolifethanthepeopleofEsnawhoknowalloftheirneighborsandwhomaycomeinfromthefarmseachmarket daytomeetrelatives.InCairo,thepaceisratherfast.Onecouldgetverylostinacityof18millionpeople. AlmostallcustomsinEgyptarerelatedtotheIslamicreligionoritsinfluence.ThismeansthatthefollowersoftheCopticChristianreligionandtheJewshavebeen impactedbythepredominanceofIslamicculture.EgyptsparticipationintheIslamicculturedoesnotmakeitthesameasotherIslamicsocietiesinfact,itisquite differentinmanyrespects.ThepeopleofEgyptseethemselvesasconnectedtotheAfricancontinentandhavingsimilaritieswithotherpeoplesofAfrica,particularly SudanandLibya. Yetthemorninggreetingassalaamalaikum(Peacebeuponyou)andtheresponsewalaikumsalaam(andtoyou)aretypicallyIslamicandareunderstood byallEgyptiansregardlessoftheirbackground.Thus,tohaveanyrealunderstandingofEgyptiancustomsonemusthavesomeappreciationoftheArabiclanguage inasmuchastheancientAfricanlanguageMdwNtr(thedivinewords)andotherlanguageshavebeensweptasidebythehistoricaladvanceofArabic. TheArabiclanguageisquiteeloquentinitsuseofadjectives,adverbs,and

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Page100 namesofaffection.Thus,Egyptiansareveryfondofusingwordssuchasdear,brother,sister,orappellationsofrespectforelders,leaders,andpersonsofhigh regard.FloridArabicisconsideredthebestArabic,andthosewhohavethecommandofitaredeemedeloquentintheuseofthelanguage.Copyright 2002. Greenwood Publishing Group. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except fair uses permitted under U.S. or applicable copyright law.

WOMENSPOSITIONSAdvocatesofwomensrightsandprivilegeshavebeenmany.QasimAmin(18631903)appearedasadefenderoftherightsofwomenlongbeforeindependence. ContrarytopopularbeliefaboutEgypt,numerouswritershavewritteninsupportoftheliberationofwomen.However,themostimportantwriterpriortothe revolutiontoaddresstheissuewasAmin.HistwobooksTheLiberationofWomenandTheNewWomanrepresentedanassaultonbothOttomandomination andWesterncolonialism.TheLiberationofWomenwaspublishedin1899,andTheNewWomanwaspublishedin1900.Bothbooks,whichwerereprintedin 2000inonevolume,addedtotherichcorpusofAminswritingsandgaveaneworientationtothesocialcustomsofthesociety.HewasamemberoftheNationalist ReformMovementthatchallengedtheWesternintellectualswhoattackedthesocialmoresoftheArabicculture. WhenAminwrotethesebooks,EgyptwasstillunderBritainsyoke,althoughthetimeswerechangingandthesentimentforfreedomandindependencewasgaining groundamongtheEgyptianintellectuals.Buthowcanyouadvancethemovetowardindependenceandrepresentationwithouttakingwomenalong?Thiswastheissue thatAminconfrontedinhisbooks.Heargued,asotherAfricanintellectualswouldlater,thattheliberationofwomenwasaprerequisitefortheliberationofthesociety. Youcouldnothavemenfreeandwomenenslaved.Inthisforwardthinkingwork,Amincontendedthattheoppressionofwomeninthehomewassimilartopolitical oppression.TherewasaseriousphilosophicalbenttoAminsargument.Sincewomenarethenucleusofthefamilyandthefamilyisthebasicunitofsociety,thento liberatewomenwastoliberatethesociety.Hesawtheimportanceofeducationforwomenasthekeytothesuccessofanypoliticalfreedom. AminsoughttoconveytohisreadersthattheQuransupportedhisview.HeusedthesayingsoftheProphetMuhammadasabasisforhisideasonthesubjectof womensliberation.Aminthendiscussedhowsomehadmisinterpretedtheshariaandconsequentlyhadmistreatedwomenbasedontheirmisinterpretations.He attemptedtopresentamorereasonablerenderingofthevariousworks.Furthermore,hearguedthatsocietiestendedtopassdownfromonegenerationtothenext ideasandopinionsthatmaybe

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Page101 negativeforthesociety.Thus,thereweresomemenwhokeptwomenoppressedbecausethatisthewayitwasdonebytheirfathersandtheirfathers.Aminresisted thistendencyandopposedtheintegrationofthistendencyintoIslamicfaith. TheNewWomanopenlypraisedWesternideals.HeclaimedthatwomeninEuropeandNorthAmericahadagreaterstatusthaninEgypt.Healsosawvaluein usingthepoliticalstatusofwomeninthoseregionsasacomparativebasisforEgypt. InmanywaysQasimAminwasarevolutionaryinthathisbooksexpressaprogressivevisionoftheroleofwomeninEgyptiansociety.Indeed,Egyptianfeminism waspresentasearlyasthe1890sandwaspromulgatedbyaman.Thus,therecentemphasisinEgyptontherightsofwomenhasaprecedentinthenineteenthcentury workofAmin.TheworkofAminsuggestedthattheintellectualsinterestedintheculturallandscapecouldfindenoughmaneuveringspacewithintheframeworkofthe Qurantoadvanceaprogressivesociety.Evenasrecentas1999,thegovernmentofHosniMubarakestablishedtheNationalCouncilforWomen(NCW)withthe firstladyasitspresident,totackletheimbalanceinwomensrepresentationinthepoliticalprocess.Ofthe355membersofthePeoplesAssemblyjustfiveare women.Thetraditionalviewremainsthatwomenshouldnotbeinpoliticsbecausetheyhaveotherdutiessuchasraisingafamilyandhomemaking.Sincemenarenot usuallytaughttobeattunedtothespecialneedsofwomen,womensneedsoftengounmetbecausetheirvoicesarenotheard.PresidentMubarakhastriedtojointhe NCWwiththeUnitedNationsDevelopmentFundtoincreasefemaleturnoutduringelections.Itshouldbepointedout,however,thatthismovecomesdecadesafter thereversalbytheEgyptiancourtofaquotarulethatexistedduringthegovernmentofAnwarSadatwhen10percentofallassemblyseatshadtobeheldbywomen. Whenthatlawwasstruckdownin1984,thenumberofwomenrepresentativesdroppedfromthirtysixtofive.

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ISLAMANDWOMENEgyptianwomenhavewagedalongstruggleforequality.Althoughtheyhavemadegreatstridesingainingtheirlegalrights,theyremainwellbehindmeninboth socioeconomicandculturalrights.Nevertheless,theEgyptiangovernmenthasexpressedaninterestandcommitmenttotheriseofwomenineverysectorofthesociety (Brooks,1995). LikewomeninotherAfricansocieties,Egyptianwomenhavesoughttobetterthelivesoftheirchildrenandthemselvesbyseekingtoexpandtheircivilrights.Inany Islamicsociety,thissearchfornewrightsforwomenis

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Page102 fraughtwithcontroversy.EgyptisaspecialcasebecauseithasledinthefightfortheliberationofwomeninIslam.WhenonethinksofIslamicfeminism,onlyafew nationscometomind.Egyptisoneofthem(Fernea,1998).WesternersoftenthinkofEgyptianwomenaspowerless,dependent,andpassivelysubordinatetomen. YetthisisnotanentirelyaccuratepictureoftheEgyptiansociety.Althoughitistruethatwomensrolesaredifferentfrommens,womenhaveincreasinglyattained recognitionasequalcitizensofthesociety.OnecouldeasilyperpetuateaviewofEgyptianwomenasdisempoweredsincesomuchofthenewsonehearsorsomany ofthefilmsoneseesaboutMuslimwomenarenegative.Butthisviewisadisservicetothecourageouswomenwhohavemadeenormousadvancesinthefaceofmale dominationandinsodoinghavemadetheirowncontributionstosocialandculturalchange. SeveralorganizationshavehelpedthewomenscauseinEgypt.AmongthemaretheAllianceforArabWomen,theArabWomenandValueSystem,theArab WomensSolidarityAssociation,theEgyptianOrganizationforHumanRights,theEgyptianWomenAssociation,andtheNationalCouncilforWomen.Inaddition,the governmenthasadepartmentofwomensaffairsintheMinistryofSocialAffairs.

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TheIssueoftheHijabOneareaofIslamiclifethathascomeundergreatscrutinyintheWestisIslamicdress(Gole,1994).ManyWesternersbelievethatthedressofIslamicwomenis oppressive.InEgypt,manywomenwearthehijab(thescarfasheadcovering)asapartoftheirdailydress.However,itshouldberememberedthatmillionsof EgyptianwomenalsowearWesternstyledress.AndEgyptianwomencanoftenbeseenwearingIslamicdresswithouttheveil.Manyurbanwomendonotwearthe fullhijab.Infact,CairoandAlexandriaareratherfashionablecentersofmoderndress. InIslamicsociety,dressforwomenisasymbolofcertainreligiousorthodoxies.InsomesocietieslikeIranortheformerTalibanrunAfghanistan,mencreatedrules andregulationstocontrolwomen.Egyptdoesnothaveanystrictgovernmentallawsregulatingwomensdress.Infact,eventheauthoritariangovernmentsofIranor Afghanistancouldonlyimposetheirrulesinthefaceofpublicoutcry.ThosewhostresstheimportanceofIslamicdressforwomenhavearguedthattheyaresimply seekingtoprotectthehonorofwomenandtoprovidefortheirdignity(Ahmed,1992).TheEgyptiangovernmenthasnoneedforanysuchrationalizationtoexplain policy.Mostofthewomeninhighplacesinthesociety,professionalorgovern

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Page103 mental,donotwearveils.NotallEgyptianmen,however,approveofthisbehaviorbywomen. Thosewhowearthehijabvoluntarilyaresignalingtheirreligiousconservatism.IfoneseesthehijabinCairoorAlexandria,then,itisprobablybeingwornbyrural IslamicwomenorwomenfromotherMuslimnationssuchastheUnitedArabEmirates.ThoseEgyptianwomenwhodowearthehijabmaintainthatitallowsthemto beobservantMuslims,itprotectsthemfromthelustfuleyesofmen,itallowsthemtogainrespectamongotherwomen,itsymbolizesaresistancetoasecularsociety, anditislessexpensivethanWesternclothes,allowingthemtogetbywithfeweroutfits. EgyptianwomenwhofavorWesterndresstendtowardfashionsthataccentuatetheirfemininity.Theythereforefavorearrings,necklaces,andotherjewelry. EgyptianwomenwhoadoptWesternfashionsarestatingtheirindependence,careerorientation,desiretobelessdeferentialtomen,andselffocus.Incontrast,the wearersofthehijabaredemonstratingtheirmoretraditionalMuslimorientation,andthereforetheirgreaterdeferencetohusbands,family,andbeliefintheseparation ofthesexesinpublicspaces.

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PolygamySinceEgyptisaMuslimnation,polygyny(thepracticeofamantakingmultiplewives)ispracticed.AccordingtoIslamicdoctrine,amanmaymarryuptofourwives. AlthoughmostmeninEgyptdonothavefourwives,theveryfactthatitispossiblesuggeststoWesternersthatwomenareoppressed,especiallywhentheyconsider thatwomenarerestrictedtojustonespouse. Thepracticeofpolygynyismostoftenseenintheruralareasandamongthelesseducated.Manyruralmenbelievethatmultiplewivesmeanmorechildrenand thereforemorehandsinthefieldsforsowingandharvesting.However,inurbanareaswherethecostoflivingishigherandtheagrarianlifestyleisnotsupported,itis difficultandevenfoolhardyforamantohavemorethanonewife.GivenEgyptsrapidpopulationgrowth,theneedformoneyinurbanareasisamajorconcern.With theacceleratingmodernizationofthecities,polygynywillprobablycontinuetoattractfeweradherents.Nonetheless,itisafirmlyentrenchedpartoftheconservative Islamictradition,andMuslimmenseeitasoneofthecardinalvaluesofIslam.

WomenandtheRighttoDivorceEgyptisfacingissuesfoundinallmodernsocieties.Thereareinstancesofmenabandoningtheirchildrenandfamilies,impoverishedwomentrappedinunemployment withoutfood,andwomenwhoareinunproductiveand

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Page104 oftendestructivemarriagesbutcannotescapethemwithouttheapprovaloftheirhusbands.Evenifawomanshusbandhadabandonedherforyears,shewasnotfree toremarrybecauseshehadnotbeenreleasedfromthewaywardhusband. InMarch2000,EgyptputintopracticeoneofthemostfarreachingfamilylawchangesintheArabworld:Womenwerenowabletosecureadivorce.Some womenhadchosennottomarrypriortothechangeinthelawbecausetheyfearedbecomingslavestomen.Amoreequitablejusticesystemmadeitpossiblefor womentofeelasenseofprideanddignity.Nowawomancandivorceherhusbandwithorwithouthisconsent.Awomancanalsogarnishherhusbandspaycheckby goingtothecourtanddemandingchildsupport.Ifthemanshoulddisappearandthewomancannotfindhim,shecan,withthehelpofthestate,relocatetoan apartmentandtakecareofherchildren. Inthepast,forawomantogetadivorce,shehadtoprovetothecourtthatherhusbandwasadrugaddict,beather,wassterile,ordidnotsupportthefamily. However,inpracticewhatthismeantwasthatamancouldgetadivorceandthewifecouldnot. The2000reformisagreatbreakthroughforthesocietybecausethecivilandcriminalcodesinEgyptareanamalgamofsecularandIslamiclawthisisarealchange inthewaythepeoplelive.In1979,PresidentAnwarSadatissuedadecreethatanywomanwhowantedadivorcebecausesheobjectedtoherhusbandtakinga secondwifecouldgetone.However,itwasonlylegalforafewmonthsuntilacourtdeclareditunconstitutional.Nowthenewlawshouldgivewomensomemore protection.Aninterestingpointoffact:Therearemorethan1milliondivorcecasesfiledeachyear,butthejudgesonlygrantabout75,000.

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WEDDINGSEgyptiansloveweddings.Inthepastmostweddings,evenhighsocietyweddings,wereheldinthehome.Thehostswouldoftencreateareasingardensoronroofsto accommodatethemanyinvitedguests.Thisisnotthecaseanymore.NoweveryonewantstohaveaweddingatoneofthenewerhotelsinEgypt.Theweddingsare quiteexpensiveandincludelivemusiciansandlargelimousines.Toreallyunderscorethefactthattheweddingisimportant,itisnecessarytohaveabellydancer.Inhis bookWhateverHappenedtotheEgyptians?(1995,p.24),GalalAminwrotethatwhenhewasgrowingupinEgypt,weddingsweremoretraditional.Therewere nobellydancers,nobuyingoftheweddingdress,andnocoiffeur.Theseaccoutrementsare

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Bellydancer

nowquitestandardinmiddleclassweddingsinEgypt.Theyaddconsiderableexpensetothecostsofthewedding. ThewordforweddinginArabicisfarah,whichcarrieswithitthemeaningofjoyandmerriment.Beforethe1952Revolution,Egyptianscouldnothave conceivedofhavingaweddingwithoutneighborsandfriendsfromthecommunityinvolvedintheactivities.Whiletherevolutiondidnotcausethechangesintheway thefarahwascarriedout,itbroughtaboutnewideas,innovations,andnovelexpressionsofculture.Bythe1970sthemiddleclasshadalreadybeguntohave weddingsinlargehotels,althoughthenumberofhotelswaslimitedbecausetourismhadnotyetbecomesuchamajorplayerintherecreationalindustry.Nevertheless, theEgyptianideaofagreatweddingwasbeingdefinedbythebigbashesattheMenaHouseandotherhotels. Whateverthetraditionshadbeen,newritesandritualsdevelopedasmoreandmoreweddingstookplaceathotels.However,therewerecertainactivitiesthatcould notbeperformedathighpricedhotels.Forexample,thecelebratoryululationsofwomen,thezaghruta,arescarcelyheard,ifatall,atthesehotelparties(Amin 1995,111).Itissurmisedthatmanyoftheweddingpartiesathotelsareattendedbyinvitedguestswhothinkofthezaghrutaasbeneaththembutitmaybemorea matterofhotelprotocol.Havingwomenperformthehighpitchedshrillinthehotelballroomsmightbeseenasoutofplaceinamodernhotel.Butwhataboutthe practiceof

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Page106 sharingmilabbis(sugarcoatedalmonds)orthedrinkingofsharbat(adrinkmadefromdilutedsyrup)?Athotelweddingpartiesthesharingofmilabbishasoftenbeen forgottenashasbeenthedrinkingofsharbat.Thesearesmallchangesintheweddingcelebrations,eventhoughEgyptianculturesuggeststhatsweetfoodsshouldbe associatedwithgoodtimes.Thesweeterthefood,thebetterthecelebration.ManyEgyptiansrefertosomethingthatisraresuchasafruit.Thus,peoplegotogreat lengthstoaddsweetstotheircelebrations. AccordingtoAmin,thesplendorofthemilabbiscontainerwasoneoftheprincipalmeansbywhichtheupperclassesdistinguishedthemselvesfromthelower.In hotelweddings,however,ifthemilabbisfeaturesatall,itmakesanembarrassedappearanceasiftheremnantofacustomonitswaytoextinction(ibid.).The sharbatisoftenmixedwithfruitjuicestopleasetastesofmoreWesterners,whooftenattendhighsocietyweddings. Aswithmostweddings,thereistremendouspressureonthefamilies.However,hotelmanagersaddevenmoretensionbecauseofcertainnontraditional requirements.Forexample,fewhotelsallowchildrenatweddings,andtheinvitedguestsareoftentoldontheirinvitationsnottobringchildren. Theweddingpartyisusuallysurroundedbymusiceitherliveorrecordedwhichishighlyamplified,makingitalmostimpossibleforgueststoconverse.However, thisisconsideredagoodthingbecauseEgyptiansfeelthatitisquiteEgyptiantohaveloudmusicplayinginthebackgroundataparty.ItisalsoquiteEgyptiantohavea goodtimeatawedding.

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FOODSEgyptianfoodiswellknownintheArabworldandisbecomingmorepopularintheWest,asevidencedbythemanyMiddleEastern/Mediterraneanrestaurantsand theofferingofMiddleEastern/Mediterraneanfoodingrocerystores.TheideaofMiddleEasternfoodsisinterestingbecausethereisrarelyacountryidentifiedwith it,mostpeopleassumethatitrepresentsthecreationoftheMediterraneanbasin,withtheexceptionoftheGreekssincetheGreekshavetheirowntypeoffood.Toa largedegreeonedoesseeinfluencesfromdifferentcountriesonEgyptianfoods,butthemainportionofEgyptscontributiontoworldcuisineisEgyptian.Thisisnotto saythatothershavenotborrowedheavilyfromEgypt,astheworldhasforthousandsofyears,toprovidetheirownpeoplewithrichnessandvariety. ThereisnotmuchregionalvariationtothefoodsofEgypt,andsoitispossibletolistafewofthemthathavegainednationalandinternationalprominence.Kebabis skeweredmuttonpieces,nowtypicallyinterspersed

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Page107 withbeeforchicken,grilledovercharcoalandgarnishedwithparsley.TheEgyptiansalsoskewerandgrillpigeonsandservetheminkebabrestaurants.Hamamfil tagenispigeonsburiedinpilafrice,mixedwithcream,andplacedinatagen(claypot)andbakedinanoven.Dulmahormahshiishollowedouttomatoes, eggplants,greenpeppers,orsquashthatarestuffedwithricemixedwithmincedmeat,parsley,andspices.Itisservedwithyogurt.Messakaisslicedeggplantcooked inoilandtomatosauceandtoppedwithmincedmeatandpinekernels.Bamia(okra)iscookedintomatosauceandbeefbroth.Itisusuallytriedwithpaprikaand lemonjuiceadded.Bamianashfaiscrusheddriedokracookedwithpiecesofmuttoninabrownhotsauce.Ruzbelkhartaisamoundofricetoppedwithchicken livers,raisins,pinekernels,andnutsandisusuallyservedwithturkeyorchickencutlets. SomeofthevegetablesgrowninEgyptareasfollows:Tomato,Uta Turnip,Left Artichoke,Kharshuf Cabbage,Koronb Carrot,Gazar Celery,Karafs Cauliflower,Arnabit Chard,Sala Cucumber,Khiar Peas,Besella Eggplant,Betengan Garlic,Tom Haricotbeans,Lubyia Lettuce,Khas GreenPepper,Felfel Parsley,Badunis Potato,Batatis Raddish,Fegle Spinach,Sabanekh

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ManymodernEgyptianspreparefoodsinthesamewaythatithasbeenpreparedforgenerations.Itisnotuncommontoseeoutdoorovensatwhichwomensitfor hoursbakingbreadastheirgrandmothersdid.PerhapsthisiswhyEgyptianfoodhasgainedawidereputationforbeingexcellent.TheEgyptianwomenareamongthe bestbakersintheworld,andthevariousfoodsofthesocietyarehighlyseasonedandspicedasbefittinganationwithsomanydifferentculturalstrands. FoodisimportanttoEgyptiansduringalongdaybecausetheyriseearlyandstayuplateintothenight.Thetypicaldaywillbeginat6:00A.M.andendabout9:00 P.M.However,someurbandwellersdayswillbeevenlongerbecausetheywillspendhoursfraternizingwithfriendsandcelebratingatparties.InCairo,some nightclubsareopenallnight.Thisisnotthecaseinruralareas,however,becausestrict,conservativeIslampreventssuchbehav

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Page108 ior.Bytheendoftheday,apersonhasbeenexposedtofoodsanddrinksreflectiveofthehospitalitythatislegendaryamongtheEgyptians. Egyptianfarmerssendtheircustomersanenormousvarietyoffreshvegetables,fruits,fish,andmeats.NooneneedeverworryaboutthevarietyoffoodanEgyptian willprepare.Mosttableswillhaveacombinationoffruits,breads,andmeats.Theideaistogivethepersonasmuchchoiceasnecessarytosatisfyhungeranddesire. TherearetwomaintraditionsinEgyptianfoods:AfricanandArabic.Africancuisineisseeninthemanyusesmadeoffish,cattle,wildgame,andtropicalfruitsand plants.ThisisacontinuingfoundationformuchofEgyptiancuisine.However,theArabiccuisinethathascometodominateEgyptianfoodisrelatedtowhathasbeen calledtentcookery,withabaseofdatesandricetransportablefoods.Inaddition,theinclusionoflamb,goat,andcamelinthecuisineisdirectlyrelatedtothe ambulatorynatureoftheanimals. Culinaryresponsibilitiesaregenderspecificinthesensethatonealmostneverseesamanbakingortakingonthemajorityofthecooking.Itisconsideredawomans job,andmanywivesbelievethatiftheyareunabletocook,theirhusbandswillleavethem.Theidea,therefore,isforayounggirltowatchhermothersothatshewill masterthetechniquesofpreparingtherecipesthathavebeenhandeddownfromgenerationtogeneration.Onecaneasilyseeyounggirlsofsixorsevenyearsold assistingtheirmotherswiththecookingchores.Bythetimeagirlisfifteensheshouldbeanexpertatmakingthemajordishesoftheculture.Ofcourse,citygirlsare quitedifferentfromruralgirls,andtheydonothavethesamepressuresonthemtoexcelatculinaryduties. RuralEgyptiancookingiscenteredaroundthecookinghearth.Stonesserveasatripodwithapotsetoverburningfirewoodinanopenspace.Allkitchenshave facilitiessuitableforboiling,frying,roasting,grilling,steaming,andbaking.TheEgyptianovenisaseparatestructurefromthehearth,normallymadeofclayasitwould beinNigeriaorSudanorotherAfricannations. Aswithotherthings,EgyptianfoodhasnumerousinfluencesfromothercountriesinAfricaaswellasAsia.Theacquisitionofspicesandrecipesfromthevarious peopleswhomakeupthesocietyhasaddedtotheluxuriantmealsthatareservedinthecountry.Thefoodishighlyappreciatedforitsrelianceonnaturalingredients andtheeasewithwhichitisdigested.Thisdoesnotmeanthatthefoodismonotonousordullrather,itisthatEgyptians,whoprefertheirownfoodstoanyother,have masteredtheartofspicingtheirlocallygrownvegetablesandmeatstomakethemdistinctiveandinviting. CustomandtraditionarealwaysatthefrontdoorofanEgyptianhome.

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Page109 Soenteringahomebringswithitspecialjoysandritualsthatmustbepracticedandhonoredastheyhavebeenforhundredsofyears.TheEgyptianhostisacreatureof tradition.OnecannotescapethecustomsevenasaWesterner.AnEgyptianisnotexpectedtoresistbut,instead,tounderstandthefundamentalsofgoodetiquette. Futoor(breakfast)isanimportantmeal.Itusuallyconsistsofmorethanoneofthefollowingitems:fulmedames(bakedbeans),gebnabeida(softwhitecheese), eggsandpastorami(curedbeef),halawa(sweetsesamecake),jamorhoney,andchai(tea)orahwa(coffee).Breakfastdishesvaryfromfamilytofamilymanyuse yogurtasabase.Afamilywillusuallybeginthemorningwithchaiandcoffee.OnecanhaveatypeofArabicbread,oftencalledpitaorshammy,withanytypeof meatexceptporkoradip.Somefamilieseatgebnabeidainanejje(omelette),whichalsoincludesvariousvegetables,anddrinkmilkforbreakfast.Otherseata typeofslowcookedmashofbrownfavabeansandredlentilscalledfoul.Mostofthesefoodsarepreparedthedayofserving,althoughsomeofthemarepreviously preparedandkeptforthemorningmeal. Althoughbreakfastisanimportantmeal,theEgyptianfamilygoesalloutfortheeveningmealthatmightstartasearlyas4:00P.M.oraslateas8:00P.M.Itishere whereoneseestheincrediblearrayofspices,meats,andcheesesdisplayedinadazzlingfashionbythecooks.Mostpeopleintheworldhavebecomefamiliarwith manyofthefoodsusedintheEgyptianhomeor,atleast,knowsomethingaboutthepreparationofthosemeals.Forexample,whoisnotfamiliarwiththekebab (skeweredchunksofmeatorfishcookedovercharcoal)orhummus(atypeofpureeofchickpeas),tahina(lemonandgarlicservedwithadip),falafel(adeepfried pattyfilledwithspicedgroundchickpeas),orbaklava(alayeredpastryfilledwithnutsandhoneylemonsyrup,usuallycutintotriangles).

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FastFoodIndustryThefastfoodindustry(mostlyAmericancorporations)hasinvadedthemajorcitiesofEgyptCairo,Alexandria,andLuxoronedoesnotfindfastfoodoutletsinthe smallertowns.KentuckyFriedChicken,McDonalds,Wimpys,PizzaHut,andBurgerKingareextremelypopularintheCairometropolitanarea,particularlyinthe GizaandHeliopolissuburbs.Traditionalistshavecomplainedabouttheinvasionoffastfood,butthedemandsofurbandwellersforquicklypreparedfoods,especially forthelunchhour,havegainedimmensepopularitysincethe1980s.However,itisunlikelythatthetraditionalkebabandkoftalambchops,lambshank,grilledand stuffedpigeon,andgrilledchickenrestaurantswillbereplacedbytheAmerican

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Page110 andEuropeanupstarts.Inmostpartsofthenation,thepeoplehaveneverheardofBurgerKingorMcDonaldstheycarryouttheirdailyquesttosatisfytheirfood desirewiththesameregularityastheirforemothersandforefathersdid. ThepeopleofAswanandLuxor,althoughheavilyinfluencedbythetouristindustry,havemanagedtostayinsidetheirhomesandinsidetheirculturewithoutbeing toomuchinfluencedbythehabitsoftheAmericansandEuropeans.ThisisobviouslyduetothestrengthoftheIslamiccultureinthecountry.

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OtherFoodsSnacksarenotaregularpartoftheEgyptianscultureyettheyarebecomingincreasinglypopularwiththeadventofthefastfoodculture.Therefore,manypeoplehave takentopeanuts(whichtheycallgroundnuts),pineapples,mangos,bananas,andorangesforsnacks.Thisistobeexpectedsincethecountryisabundantlyrichin termsofagriculturalresources,particularlyfruitsandnuts.Onecanoftenfindvendorssellingfoodsonthestreets,includingvariousricebasedproducts,nuts,plantains, andkebabs. Egyptianseatalotofvegetables.Theyarefoundinsuchabundancethatsomefamiliessubsistonvegetablesandfish,nevereatingmeat.Thepriceofvegetablesand fishdependsontheingenuityofthefamily.TheNileRiverprovidesagreatstoreoffishfortheindustriousfamilyandtheearthgivesupitsbountyquitereadilyifthe familyiswillingtowork.

BEVERAGESEgypthasmanypopulardrinks.Teaisafavoriteofthemiddleclasses,butthemostpopulardrinkinEgyptisbyfarcoffee,whichisbelievedbyEgyptianstohave developedandbeenperfectedintheircountry.Egyptiancoffeeisverythickandaromatic. UponenteringanEgyptianhome,avisitorisimmediatelymetbythehostofferingacupofmintteaorafreshlybrewedcupofcoffeethisisanageoldcustom practicedforbothsocialandbusinessoccasions.Decliningthisgiftisregardedasuncivilizedanddisrespectfulofoneshost.However,itisperfectlyacceptableto takejustasipandsettherestaside.Thetraditionoriginatesfromthepastwhenpeoplewouldtravelformanymiles,ofteninthehotsunorunderheavyrains(certainly notinEgypt,though).Oncetheyarrivedattheirdestination,thehostwouldofferthemwaterorteabeforeanybusinessorsocializingwouldtakeplace.Theofferofthe tea,coffee,orwaterisnotritualizedinEgyptamongallclassesofpeople.Thosewhoenter

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Page111 theportalsofthehousemustknowwhatthecustomsareandthenrespondappropriately. EgyptianmenoftenmeetatrestaurantsandcafesandsitforhourssmokingtobaccofromwaterpipesandsippingtheTurkishstylecoffee.Drinkingcoffeeisa nationaltradition.LocalcoffeehousesmuchlikemenonlyclubsintheWeststillcatertomenwhocometodrinkcoffeeandconverseaboutpolitics,sports,and women.Thecoffeeismadefromfinelypowderedbeansthatarebrewedinasmallironpot.Whenthewaterbeginstoboil,thecoffeegroundsfloattothesurfaceina darkfoam.Itisthenpouredfromthepotintoademitasse.Theheaviergroundssticktothebottomandthelighteronescreatethefoaminthecup.Thisisthemarkofa perfectlybrewedcupofahwa.OnequicklyfindsthattheEgyptianssipcoffeecarefullytoavoidtheheaviergroundsatthebottomofthecup.Whenthelastofthe coffeeisfinished,thecupisturnedupsideallowingthedregstoformapatternthatcanbereadbythecoffeedrinker.Supposedlytheinterpretationofthedregsshould bringgoodconversationtotheparticipants. Agoodstrongcupofcoffeeinthehomeisthoughttobringgoodlucktoonewhodrinkswithafriendandreadsthedregsatthebottomofthecup.Ofcourse,some cannevercompletethecupbecauseofthestrengthofthecoffeeandsoneverhaveachancetoreadthedregs.Manycoffeedrinkersrefertothetasteastartbutthe tasteofEgyptiancoffeereallydependsonthemixtureofthebeansusedinthegrind.ThelargerthepercentageofArabica,thesweeterandmorechocolatetheflavor. Thecoffeecomesinseveralversions.Ahwasadaisveryblack,ahwaarihaislightlysweetened,ahwamazbootismoderatelysweetened,andahwaziyadaisvery sweet.Coffeeandconversationareacceptablereasonstospendtimeatacafe,especiallyinCairoandAlexandria. Anotherpopulardrink,especiallyinAswan,iskarkaday,whichismadefromthehibiscusplant.Itsrichtaste,withthefragranceoftheflower,isafavoritewhenthe weatherishot(whichismostofthetime)inUpperEgypt.Innovatorsoftenaddspicestothedrink,butmostEgyptianslikeitinitsnatural,redform.Muchlikethe ubiquitousAmericancoladrinks,karkadayisenjoyedbymostEgyptians.Theremaybeafewpeoplewhorefusetodrinkitorsaytheydonotlikeit,butmost Egyptiansconsiderthekarkadayoneoftheirfavoritebeverages. Bottledwaterispopularwithtouristsinthecountry.Itisavailableinbothsmallandlargebottlesandcanbefoundonmostofthestreetsneartouristattractions.The EgyptianwatersystemismostlysafeintheurbanareasthedrinkingwatermeetsthestandardsofmostnationsontheAfricancontinent. Freshfruitdrinksarealsoavailablethroughoutthecountry.Shopkeepersblendthewholefruitandsmallamountsofsugariceorsugarwaterandthen

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Page112 strainthismashintoglasses.AmongthefruitdrinksthatarepopularwiththemassesofEgyptiansaremanga(mango),farawla(strawberry),mohz(banana),and burtuaan(orange).Onecanalsofindfruitjuicesmixedwithvegetablejuices,especiallykhiyar(cucumber),tamaatim(tomato),andgazar(carrot).Combination drinkssuchasnusswanuss(carrotsandorange)andmohzbilaban(bananasandmilk)arealsoeasilyfoundinshops.Asirlamoon,acommontypeoflemonade,is verystrongandsweet.Itisfoundeverywhereinthecountryaswell. TherearemanyAmericanandEuropeandrinksinEgypt,whichcanbefoundinalmostallstores.ThepopularbrandsofWesterndrinksarePepsi,SevenUp, Schweppes,Fanta,andCocaCola.Whenyoupurchaseasodafromastreetvendor,itisexpectedthatyouwilldrinkitonthespotandreturnthebottletothe vendor. EgyptisaMuslimcountryanddevoutMuslimsrefrainfromdrinkingalcohol.However,onecanfindalcoholicbeveragesbehindcloseddoorsinbars,restaurants, andsomegrocerystores.ThelocalbeeriscalledStellaandisquitepopularamongtheworkingclassandtheupwardlymobile.Zibibisalocalalcoholicbeverage thatisakindofEgyptianouzo,aftertheGreekdrinkofthatname.

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FAMILYSTRUCTUREResponsibilitiesinanEgyptianfamilyaredependentongenderandage.Thepivotalpersonisthefather,whointheIslamictraditionisthepersonresponsiblefor providingfortheneedsofthefamily.Themotherraisesthechildrenandmaintainsthehome.However,themodernEgyptianfamilyischangingandnowonecansee husbandsandwivessharingintheresponsibilitiesofraisingthefamilyandprovidingforthechildren.Insomeinstances,thehouseholdchoresmaybetakencareofby domesticworkers.ThefactthatmenandwomenaresharinginsomedecisionsisnottobetakenasauniversalbehaviorinEgypt.Itisfundamentallyanurban experiencethatwouldnotbetoleratedinthemoreconservativeruralcommunities. Sonsanddaughtersaregiventheirdutiesaccordingtoage.Sonsaretaughthowtobeprotectorsoftheirsisters.Sonsarealsosupposedtohelpthefatherwithhis dutiesinsideandoutsideofthehouse.Whateverthefathersroleis,thesonsroleistobesupportive.Amalechildbecomestheeyesandearsofhisfather.Daughters aregiventheroleofbeingtheemotionalsupportofthefamily.Theylearnfromtheirmotherhowtomakepeoplecomfortable,takecareofthemen,andbecomea goodhomemaker. Educationhascreatednewwaysofapproachingthefamily.Thehusbandandwifearebothallowedandencouragedtoattendcollege.Partofthe

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Page113

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CelebratingachildinAswan

contemporarychangeinthegenderresponsibilitiesandrolesisduetoeducation.Somethings,however,donotchange.Onesonisstillexpectedtoremainathometo takecareoftheparents.Girlsarestillexpectedtolearnhowtotakecareofthehome.AwomanwhomarriesanEgyptianmanwillusuallynottakehisname.However theroleofwomenisquiteclearlydefinedinthecustomsofEgypt.Awomanlivesatherfamilyhouseuntilsheismarried.Oncesheismarriedsheisexpectedtomove tothehomeofherhusband.Itisalmostunheardofforamantomovetohiswifeshome. Overthepasttwentyyears,changeshaveoccurredinurbanEgyptiansocietyinthewaywomenareviewedandthewaytheyviewthemselves.Ayoungwoman mightholda10to5job,attendgraduatecoursesattheuniversity,cookandcleanathomeforherhusband,drivethroughthecrowdedstreetsofCairoorAlexandria toashoppingcenter,andreturnhomeintimetogowithherhusbandtoaweddingreceptionatoneofthebeautifulCairohotels.Thechangesforwomenhavebeen meaningfulforthesocietybecausewomennowworkingovernmentorbusinessalongsidemen,teachincollegesanduniversities,andholdpositionsinbankingand socialservices.Thus,therelationshipwithmenhaschangedforwomen,andtheynowexhibitgreaterselfconfidenceandindependence. Oneexampleofthechangethatmightconfuseanuninformedonlookeristhespreadofthehijab(thecoveringforthehairthatisnowusedbymany

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Page114 middleclasswomen).Sincethehijabissocommonamongwomennow,itcouldbeassumedthatitreflectsanewprovincialismhowever,GalalAminbelievesthat thewearingofthehijabrepresentsatrendtowardgreatermovementofpreviouslysecludedwomenintotheoutsideworld(2000,84).Soitisnotconfinementor fanaticismthatcausesthewearingofthehijab,butevidenceofmoreopennessandfreedomamongwomeninthesociety. However,thechangingstatusofwomenisnotapprovedbyallEgyptiansociety.Therestillremainsagroupofmenwhobelievethatthechangingconditionsinthe livesofwomenhavecreatedrestlesschildren,instabilityinmarriages,andmorefamilydisputes.Thus,whileitistruethatwomenhavecomealongway,theystillhavea longwaytogotofullequality.

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NAMINGOFCHILDRENThenamingofchildrenfollowsthereligioustradition.Therefore,mostnamesareMuslim.MostchildrenreceivenamesafterindividualsfromtheQuranorfromIslamic history.BoysandgirlsarehappytohavenamesthatrelatetothefamilyoftheProphetMuhammad.ThemostpopularnameinEgyptisthemostpopularnameinthe worldformales:Muhammad.

BIRTHDAYCELEBRATIONSTheurbanmiddleandupperclassescelebratetheirchildrensbirthdayswithpartiestowhichotherchildrenareinvitedtoshareinfoodandgames.Itisrareforthe birthdaysofchildrenintheruralareastobecelebratedwithasmuchfanfare.OccasionallythewealthyholdbirthdaycelebrationsatmajorhotelswithWesterndance musicplayinginthebackground.Thecelebrationofbirthdays,whiletraditionalinEgypt,hastakenonsomeaspectsoftheWest.Forsomeurbanbirthdayparties, invitationsareoftensentandguestsbringgifts.

SOCIALBEHAVIOREgyptiansnormallybehaveconservativelyinpublic.Theydonotdisplayaffectionbetweenthesexes.Egyptiansareprivatepeopleandbelievethatoneshouldkeephis orherpersonalaffectionsprivateandbehindcloseddoors.Whenmenarearoundwomeninpublic,theyusuallydonotexhibitraucouslaughteroranykindofbehavior thatwillseemuncontrolledhowever,inprivatetheymaybequiteboisterous.Argumentsbetweenfriendsandspousesarealmostnevermadepublictheideaisto guaranteethatnooneelseisawareofaproblem.

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Page115 Whenamanmeetsawoman,henevergreetsherwithakiss.Ifthewomanextendsherhand,hemayshakeit,but,otherwise,greetingherwithwordsisappropriate andexpected.Furthermore,amannevercommentstoanothermanaboutthebeautyofhiswife.TheseareconventionsthathelptomaintaintheEgyptiansenseof privacyinpersonalmatters.Itisnotanothermansplacetocommentonamanswifesbeautytodosoistomeddle. PrivacyisanimportantaspectofEgyptianculture.Evenhousesarebuiltwithsolidwallstoensureprivacyfromthestreettrafficandneighbors.Peoplewhovisit relativesorfriendsstandatthefrontdoorinsuchawayasnottolookintothepersonshouseandtheydonotenteruntilthehostinvitestheminwithanoutstretched palmuprighthand.

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CUSTOMARYBEHAVIORSThepatriarchalfamilyisthebasicunitinthesociety.ItisbasedonIslamicmoralityandreligionandthetraditionsofthesocietyareembeddedinchildrenataveryearly age.Safeguardstothefamilyareprovidedintheformsofsocialinsuranceforthosewhoareill,handicapped,ordisabledbutwomenremainundereducatedand relegatedtothebackgroundinmostruralfamilies.ThereischangeunderwayinEgypt,however,asthelargecosmopolitanpopulationofCairoisdrivingtherestofthe societytowardamoreliberalpolicyregardingwomen.Nevertheless,theoverwhelminglypatriarchalnatureoftheEgyptianfamilyremainsanessentialfactoflife. ThereareanumberofcustomarydutiesthatallEgyptiansmustobserve.Oneofthemostimportantislookingaftersomeonewhoisill.Whensomeonegetsill,the neighborswillgotothehousetogreetthepersonandwillprovidesupport,food,andcomfort.Thisalsohappenswhenthepersonisinthehospital.Avisitormight bringfruits,nuts,chocolates,andcoffeetothesickperson.Olderrelativesofthesickpersonmustpreparerefreshmentsforthosewhoarevisitingthesick.Insucha waythereisageneralattitudeofhospitality. Thesametypeofgenerosityandhospitalityisshownwhentwopeoplemarryorhaveababy.Friendsandrelativesbringgiftsofmoneyorsomethingusefulforthe house.Whenababyisborn,therelativesandneighborscongratulatethewomanandpresentherwithgifts.Mostmothersremaininthefamilyhouseforfortydaysafter thebirthofthebaby.Shewillbetakencareofbyhermotherandsisters.Thebabywillbeheld,changed,andfedbyallofthewomeninthehouse.SincetheEgyptian cultureisverydetailoriented,theneighborsandrelativesmustobservethesocialrulesofcaring,generosity,andrespect.Thesevaluesareactuallycarriedoutbythe kindsofactionsthatpeopletake.

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Page116 Arabicasalanguagehasanumberofphrasesthatpeopleusetodemonstratetheirrespectandcare.Forexample,whenvisitingasickperson,onemaysay,Maa TeshoofSharr,AferWaafiaInShaaAllah(Ipraythatyoudontseeharm,andbyGodswillitwillbeaddedpointstoyouwithAllahandyouwillbecured).When someoneisreturningfromalongtrip,theneighbormaysay,AlHamdoLillahAlaAlSalamah,(IthankAllahforbringingyoubacksafe).Whenvisitingsomeonewho hasanewbaby,YetrabbaBeEzzekum.WaaAllahYajaluhohMinElThorriahAlSalehah(MayheberaisedinyourgoodnessandmayAllahmakehimbeagood son).Whenvisitingsomeonewhoisgettingmarried,onewouldsay,Mabrook(Congratulations).

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CLOTHINGMeninEgypttypicallywearthegalabea(alongsleevedonepiecedressthatcoversthewholebody).Thisgarmentcomesinseveralcolorshowever,mostmenwear whiteorlightblue.Onecanalsofindthemingray,brown,green,andblack.Theblackisusuallyreservedforformaloccasionsorforfunerals.Thegalabeaisanairy garment,madesotoallowtheairtocirculateandkeepthebodycoolduringthehotsummerdays.ThemultitudeofwhitecottondressedmencomingdownaCairo streetremindsoneofalowcloudmovinginslowmotion.Normallythemenwhowearthegalabeaalsowearthethreepieceheadcoverthatconsistsofasmallcap worndirectlyonthehead,alargepieceoffabric(usuallywool)thatisascarflikewrappingthatcoversthecap,andalargebandthatholdstheentireheadpiecein place.

NOTE1.WhenHerodotusvisitedEgyptinthefifthcenturyB.C.E.,heobservedthatthesunandtheNileRiverwerethetwoelementslargelyresponsibleforthecountryof Egyptitself.SincethetimeofHerodotus,theEgyptianshavealwaysrecognizedthespecialfavortheyreceivedfromtheconstantsunandtheperpetualriver.

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Page117

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6 TheMediaandCinemaARABICistheofficiallanguageofEgypt,althoughEnglishand,toalesserdegreeFrench,areusedfrequently.EgyptianArabichasbecomethedominantformof Arabicintheworldbecauseofitswidespreaduseinmagazines,television,andcinema.PeopleinotherpartsoftheIslamicworldtendtodefertotheEgyptianstyleof ArabiclargelybecausetheyaremorefamiliarwiththeEgyptianmediaandcinemathantheyarewiththemediaofothercountries.Withthepresenceofthepowerful newschannelAlJazeerainQatar,therewillbesomecompetitiontotheoverwhelmingreachoftheEgyptianmedia.Nevertheless,whatisclearfromthefirstfewyears ofAlJazeeraisthefactthateventhespokenArabicofthenewschanneltakesonmanyoftheEgyptianforms.Thus,Egyptremainsadominantinfluencethroughthe mediaintheArabicspeakingworld.

THEINFLUENCEOFPOPULARCULTUREDespiteitsantiquity,Egyptisgreatlyinfluencedbycontemporarypopularculture.Ordinarypeople,aswellasmembersoftheupperclasses,oftenusephrasesand termsfromtelevisionstarsandentertainersintheirconversation.Justasinprevioustimeswhenthelanguageofpoetsenteredtheconversationandcustomsofthe peoplewholistenedtothem,nowthewordsofthemovieactorsortelevisionactorshavebecomethephrasesbywhichpeopledemonstratetheirmodernity.Inmany waysthisparticularculturalstyleofborrowingfromthemediaissuitedtotheEgyptianpersonalityandculture.Egyptiansarefondofpoeticexpressionsandrepartee thatcomefromthe

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Page118 cinemaorperformingarts.ThereisastronginterestinsubjectsandthemesthatrecreatethefundamentalvisionofanIslamicsocietybutthereisalsoastrandinthe societythatlookstopopularcultureasthewaytomodernity.Thepersonwhoisabletospeakorholdaconversationandatthesametimerefertosomethingthathas beenonthetelevisionorinapopularmovieisconsideredquitecontemporarybecauseitshowsthatyouareintouchwiththepresent. ThetermpopularculturecannotbetranslatedadequatelyinArabic.Theclosestexpression,Althaqafaalshabiyya,referstofolklore,quaintspeech mannerisms,andfestivals,andsodoesnotreallyconveythesamethingastheEnglishtermpopularculture.1 Masscultureisconsideredtheprovinceofthenonintellectual,theignorant.Manypeopleseethetraditionalculturesasbackward.Thisisnotunlikethesituationin manyAfricancountrieswheretheculturesoftheancestorsarelookeduponasnotfunctionalinthemodernworld.YettheEgyptianpeoplerecognizeadidactic tendencyintheculturethatalwaysbringstheartistbacktotheauthenticpathwaysofthetraditionalculture.Onecouldexpand,elaborateinways,andperhapsmodify, butitmustallbedoneinaccordancewiththetraditionalstandards. Aprominentliterarycriticonceaskedthequestion,IsthecultureoftheEgyptiancountrysidetrulysuitabletodaytobetherawmaterialforthecivilizationofthe 20thcentury?(Awad1969,6).AwadpuzzledthatthebourgeoisieofCairoistryingtosavethebourgeoisieoftheprovincesfromthecoarsehellofthecountryside lurkingallaboutthemlikeaghoulwaitingtoambushthemandswallowthemup(1969,p.6).Ofcourse,thesevereattackthatAwadleveledagainsttherural peasantscouldhavebeenmorebitterhadheattackedtheurbanpeasants.They,too,didnotlivethemodernlifealthoughtheylivedsoclosetomodernity.Whatwas trueofthecountrypeoplewasalsotrueoftheurbanpeasants. Modernculturehasundergoneareevaluationsincethetimeofthe1967warwhenEgyptwashumbledbytheIsraeliarmy.Thisdefeathadadefiningcharactertoit fortheEgyptianpeople.Itmeantaquestioningofeverything,includingthepopularcultureanditsuseinthedevelopmentofthenation.By1973,theendofatransition periodawayfromtheoldformofimitatingtheWestculturallytoanew,bolderselfassertionofEgyptianculture,thesocietyhadfoundrespectabilityagainonthe battlefield.Ithadalsofounditselflookingtoitsownculturalrootsinanationalisticswingtomodernity. TheInfitah(opendooreconomicpolicycomingafter1973)acceleratedthepathtowardmodernity.Egyptians,likemanyAfricanandArabicnations,feltan obligationtodemonstratetheirunderstandingandappreciationofthe

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Page119 modernworld.Egyptwasbentonbeingnotjustamakeroftheancientworld,butafigureinthemodernconstructionofhistoryaswell. ThereisnowaythattheEgyptiansociety,withitsnaturalhistoricalheritage,couldabandoncompletelyitspast.Inthesensethatitistiedtoitspast,Egyptisdifferent frommanycountriesthatwanttoabandontheirpasts.FortheEgyptians,modernityisbestdefinedintermsthatemphasizecontinuity,notdiscontinuity.Thisisa rational,logicalapproachtomodernity.Inthemindsoftheintellectuals,mediaandcinemawouldserveastwinenginestobringthenationintothemodernworld. However,Egypt,perhaps,ofallArabicculturesfindsitselftornbetweenthedesiretodefendtheclassicallanguageandtodemonstratetheflexibilityinthepopular languagethroughthemediaandcinema.Therearetwostreamsofcommunicationgoingonallthetime:theclassicalwrittenlanguageandthespoken,mediated languageoftelevisionshows.TheEgyptianpeopleareapracticallot,andtheyrespondtoboththeclassicalandthepopularlanguage.Intheend,theywillprobably makefurtherinroadsintothenatureoftheclassicallanguagesincelanguagebynaturegrowsandincreasesincomplexitywithageandtime. Slangexpressionscomefrompopulartheater,film,andtelevisionandcanhaveanimpactonthewayyoungerEgyptianscommunicate.Tosayshehasal timsaha(whichliterallymeanscrocodile)istospeakofsomeonesmaterialachievements.Justasthisexpressionhasdevelopedoutofthematerialconditionsand responsesofthepeopletoculturalartifacts,otherlinguistictermswillcertainlyappearasthepeoplespeakthelanguageofthepopularculture.

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THEMEDIATelevision Televisionhasbecomeacriterionformodernityinmostsocieties.Egyptisnodifferent.ThisisnottosaythattheriseoftelevisioninEgypthasbeenwithoutitscritics. TherearethosewhoapplaudthepresenceoftelevisionbutdecryitsuseinEgypt.Theproblemsarenumerousasseenbycriticalviewers.Manymembersofthe governmentrecognizedthatsomethinghadtobedonetoimprovetheconditionoftelevision.In2001,MervatRagabwasnamedchairwomanoftelevisioninEgypt. ShewasaskedtorestoretheEgyptiantelevisiontoitspastglories. BroadcastingbeganinEgyptasearlyas1928withradio.Whentelevisionwasaddedinthe1940s,ERTV(EgyptianRadioandTelevision)becamethe

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Page120 firstcompanyofitskindontheAfricancontinent.TheEgyptianTelevisionOrganizationwasfoundedin1960,andMiddleEastRadiowasfoundedin1964.These remainthemajortelevisionorganizationsinthecountry. ThereareseveralissuesthatconfrontEgyptiantelevision.First,unlikemostdemocraticsocieties,thereislittleinvestigativereporting.Second,theredoesnotseemto beamasterplanfortelevisionprogrammingthatpreciselystatesitsmissioninEgypt.Third,criticsbelievethattelevisionprogramminginEgyptneedstoberevamped. AlloftheseproblemshavebeensetoutbyMamdouhelDakhakhniinanarticle(2001,22).2HiscontentionisthatthelackofhardnewsonEgyptiantelevision meansthattheviewersdonotlearnmuchaboutwhatisgoingonintheworld.ThemostpopularnewsprogrammingintheArabicspeakingworldcomesfromAl Jazeera,abroadcasttelevisionstationbasedinthesmallemirateofQatar.SoonaftertheattackontheWorldTradeCenterandthePentagononSeptember11,2001, AlJazeerabeganbroadcasting,directlytotheArabicworld,theresultsoftheAmericanbombardmentofAfghanistan.SeveraltimesAlJazeeracorrespondentswere abletogainaccesstonewsthatthelargeWesternnewsservices,suchastheBBCandCNN,werenotabletosecure.InEgypt,AlJazeerabecametheauthoritative sourceofinformationaboutAmericasWaronTerrorism.Severaltimesinlate2001,AlJazeerawasabletogaininterviewswithMullahOmarandOsamabin LadenwhenWesternjournalistscouldnotfindthem.Egyptiantelevisionhasnotbeenabletobreakoutofthemoldoffollowinglocalpoliticiansaroundasiftheyare reportingonwhatisgoingonintheworld.Investigativereportingislacking. ThethreemainchannelsofEgyptiantelevisionimitateoneanother.Thereishardlyanydifferencebetweenthemwhenitcomestoprogramming.Viewersoften complainthatthereisnovarietyandlittlediversity.OnechannelcouldquiteeasilyspecializeinpresentingthepersonalstoriesofordinaryEgyptianssuchastheCopts, theBedouins,ortheNubiansthiswouldbeaneducationforthecountrysviewers.AnotherideawouldbetocoverthenewsofothercountriesinAfrica,andifnotthe entirecontinent,certainlythenewsinLibyaandSudanthis,too,wouldleadtoaninformedpopulation.Asitisnow,eachofthethreemainchannelsplaysitsafeby spendingtheirtimedoingwhattheybelievetobeacceptablepolitically.Thetenorsosatellitechannelsaretoomanytobefollowedregularlyandmanyadultsdonot liketoleavethosechannels,iftheycanaffordsatellite,totheirchildren.However,theywouldliketohaveinterestingandinformativeprogramming. InElDakhakhnisopinionEgyptianTVisverynoisyandeachprogramhasanunnecessarilylongpreamblewithblaringmusic,flashingpicturesandlonglistsof nameswhichservelittlepurpose(2001,23).3Anyonewhohas

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Page121 watchedEgyptiantelevisionknowsexactlywhatheistalkingabout.Almostallprogramshavelongintroductionsthatreallytakeawaytimefromtheprograms themselves.Insomesocietiescreditsrunquicklyandsilentlyattheendoftheprogram.Itmay,however,beapartoftheEgyptianculturethatcouldbemodifiedrather thaneliminated. Inadditiontotheseissues,ElDakhakhnifindsanotherproblemwiththewaytelevisionprogramsarestructured.Hebelievesthatscriptwritersarenotusingallofthe possibilitiestheyhaveavailabletodevisestoriesthataresubstantive.ThereisnothingoftheherowhohasbothgoodandbadqualitiesinEgyptiandramathereareonly characterswhoareinvariablyeithercrooks,womanizers,wheelerdealersordrugtraffickers(ibid.). PerhapswhatElDakhakhniwantedtodowasinformthenewchairwomanoftelevisionthatalleyeswouldbeonherasshetriedtoreformtheindustry. Furthermore,sinceEgyptiansareinfluencedbytelevisionintermsofbehavioranddress,itwouldbeintheinterestofthecountryforprogrammingtobetakenmore seriously.Infact,ElDakhakhniwasencouragedbythepossibilitythattelevisioncouldbringaboutasalutarychangeinthebehavioralpatternsofsociety.Itispossible thatthelate1980stheeraofTheWhiteFlagwastheperiodofpastgloriesthatthegovernmentofficerswerereferringtowhentheyappointedMervatRagab. TheWhiteFlagwasanEgyptiantelevisionserialthatfirstairedonDecember5,1989.ThepowerfulopeningthatshovedsereneshotsoftheMediterranean coastawindsweptcornichenearAlexandriawasbrokenbycannonbombardmentandabulldozerrazinganarea.Afemalevoiceopensthefirstspeakingscene withExcuseme.Thisisntanewworldwar.ItsFadda.Asixtyyearoldwomanyells,Hammo,boy!Thecrocodile,letsgo! ThecharacterFaddaalMadawiwouldentertheEgyptianimaginationforthenextfifteennightsasfewothercharactershadeverdone.Herwordswouldbecome partofthepopularculture,andordinarycitizensonthestreetsofCairoandAlexandriawouldtaketheconversationofTheWhiteFlagtothecoffeehouses.The MercedesBenz300thelonger,lower,costliermodelwasthealtimsaha,crocodile.AlesserversionoftheGermancarwascalledthekhanzira(thatis,pig) becauseitisboxier,lessflashy,andlessexpensivethanthecrocodile.InEgyptianslang,thenewerMercedeswitharaisedrearendiscalledsomethinglikethe backsideofachicken,zalamukka. Whatwasmosttellingtothecriticsaboutthisshowwasthattheapparentvilenessofsomeofthescenesnothingofcourseapproachingwhatonewatchesinthe Westwasatremendoussuccess.FaddawasapersonwhousedlowclassArabicandunmistakablygavethecommon,everydaypersoninthestreetsomeonewith whomtoidentify.

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Page122 Accordingtooneobserver,theuseofthecrocodilecatchphrasewaslargelyajoke.AyoungmalefriendlivinginapoorquarterofCairoleftthehousecallingtohis brotherMuhammad,WalahHammo!Alshanta,yalla(Hammo,boythebag,letsgo!).Therewouldhavebeennopointinhimorthousandsofothers impersonatingFaddaifthejokehadnottouchedonsomethingrealtheknowledgethatsomeonewhotalkedlikeFaddaalMadawicouldneverlegallyacquirethe meanstobuyatimsahabutajokeimpliesambiguity.4WhattheobserverunderstoodwasthefactthatEgyptianssawsomanypeopledrivingMercedesthat Faddaswordshadmeaning.Howcouldapoor,hardworkingperson,whospokelikeFadda,obtainaMercedeswithoutbeingacriminal?Infact,therehadtobe someformofgreed,vulgarity,borderlinecriminality,andguiletoallowapersonsuchasFaddatosucceed.Intime,thenameFaddabecamesynonymouswithbeing pushy,vile,andvulgaritisalsousedtoindicatesomeonewithnoclass. EgyptiansrespondedtoTheWhiteFlaginanationaloutpouringofdiscussion,debate,andevaluation.Somepeoplehaveviewedsuchshowsasanattackonthe divisionsbetweentherichandthepoor.AcommoncomplaintwasthatEgypthadbecomeacountryofmoney.Yetpeopleralliedtothepublicdiscussionsoftheshow toexpresstheirsupportfortheissuesthatwererevealedintheserial.Middleclassmenandwomencrowdedhallstodiscussthepowerofmoneyinthesociety.Fadda wasconsideredtheevilcharacterandDr.Mufid,theopposingcharacter,amuchbetterperson. Thedirectoroftheserial,MuhammadFadil,achievedsuperstatusbyconstructingadramathatrevealedtheextremesofgoodandevil.Fadilsaidthatthereasonhe choseawomantoplaytheevilcharacterwastoheightenthesenseofgoodandevil.MoneyplayssuchamajorroleinthelifeofCairo,butthisisnodifferentfrom othersocieties.However,inacityof18million,whereonemightcounttenMercedeseachcostingmorethan$50,000withinfiveminutesindowntownCairoor Heliopolis,andyetmostworkersearnlessthan$20,000amonth,thedivisionbetweenrichandpoorisbrutal.

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NEWSPAPERSThepresenceofaEuropeanprintingpressontheAfricancontinentdatesbackto1794inFreetown,SierraLeone.AssoonasthepressarrivedfromLondon,a Frenchraidingpartycameashoreanddestroyedit,sackedthecity,rapedthewomen,andslaughteredthelivestock.5FiveyearslatertheFrenchinvadedEgyptunder NapoleonandbroughtwiththemthefirstmodernprintingpressinEgypt. EgyptspressmayhavestartedwithAlIttihadalMisrinAlexandriain1871.Althoughthisnewspaperwasfoundedinthelatterpartofthenine

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Page123 teenthcentury,ithasremainedvibrantandoccupiesofficesonShariSidiAbdarRazzakinAlexandria.WithitslocationontheMediterraneanSea,thecityof AlexandriahasalwaysseenlivelyjournalismfromnewspaperssuchasBaradachCharikat,LeJournaldAlexdrie,AsSafeer,TachydromosEgyptos,andLa Reforme.InCairo,thenewspaperspublishinginArabicaremainlyAlAhram,ElShaab,AlalamAlyoum,AlMessa,andAlGomhuria.Ofthese,AlAhramisthe largestcirculatingnewspaper.GiventhefactthatbothCairoandAlexandriaareimportantcosmopolitancenters,Egypthasmanyforeignlanguagepublicationsincluding theimportantEnglishlanguageCairoTimesandtheMiddleEastTimes. Egyptisacountrywithastrongtraditioninjournalism,althoughtheprofessionhasoftencomeunderfirefromgovernmentofficialswhoaredispleasedwithsomeof thearticleswrittenbythejournalists.Thistension,betweenwhatthepoliticiansseeastheneedforsocialandeconomicdevelopmentandwhatthejournalistsseeasthe needfordemocraticdevelopment,isatthecoreofmanyproblemsjournalistsfaceinEgypt. TheEgyptianjournalistshavetriedhardtomaintaintheirindependenceinthefaceofsometimesbittercriticism.Theyhavebeencriticizedbypoliticiansandassaulted byreligiousfundamentalistsfortheirreporting.Despitetheconstantthreatofharassmentandthepossibilityofcensorship,thenewspapersinEgyptmanagetopublish enoughnewsarticlesthatmanyEgyptians,especiallyinCairoandAlexandria,havecometorelymoreonthenewspapersthanthetelevisionforhardnews. Yetitistruethatnewspapersmustbecautiousincountrieswherethegovernmentcontrolsmuchofwhatthepressdoes.Forexample,thegovernmentalwayshasin itshandsthepowertoseizetheprintingpresses,toownthenewspapersoutright,ortocontroltheallocationofnewsprint.Ittakesintegrityandasenseofmissionfora journalisttosufferabusefromgovernmentandstillretainacommitmenttodemocraticprinciples.OneofthebestexamplesofEgyptianheroisminjournalismisthecase ofMustafaandAliAminofthepopularnewspaperAlAkbbar.Thepublisherswereunderattackbyseveralgovernmentsandcreatedanauraofconsistencybasedon theirilltreatmentbyofficialswhodislikedwhattheywrote.Infact,Mustafawasarrestedtwentyonetimesin1950beforetherevolution.Aftertherevolution,in1960, PresidentGamalAbdelNassernationalizedAlAkbbarandallofMustafaspublishinginterests.In1965,Nasserchargedhimwith165crimesandimprisonedhim. OfteninEgypttheaimsofAlAkbbarandthoseoftheauthoritarianNasserwereatoddsinsuchcasesthejournalistsalmostalwayslost.Intheend,thelosswasthe peoples.In1974,afterbeinginprisonfornearlytenyears,MustafaAminwasfreedbyPresidentAnwarSadat.ThevenerableEgyptianjournalistwasquotedinthe International

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Page124 HeraldTribune(April8,1982)assaying:Afreepressisalightinthedarkness.Asfarasdemocracygoes,Americahaditwhenitsilliteracyratewasashighas Egypts.IfwewaituntileveryEgyptianhasaPh.D.wewillneverhavedemocracy. In2001,theindependentnewspaperAlNabaaMamdouhMahranpublishedanonpoliticalexposeaboutaCopticmonkwhosoughtfavorsfromthewomenwho visitedhismonastery.ThereportwaswidelycriticizedbytheCopticestablishmentandwiththeurgingofCopticsupporters,includingsomeMuslims,theownerofthe newspaper,Mahran,andhissonHatemhadtheirmembershipinthepresssyndicaterevoked.Inapowerfulstatementaboutfreedomofthepress,theadministrative courtrescindedthesyndicatesdecisionthathadbeenbasedontheclaimthatMahranworkedinthenewspaperthatheownedinviolationoftherulesofthesyndicate. Mahranpresentedevidencethathesoldhissharestooneofhissons,andHatemsubmittedevidencethathiswifeactuallyownedhisshares. ThecaseagainsttheCopticmonkwasimportantinthatitstruckattheprotectionfromscrutinythatmanyclericsholddear.Whatsomefearedisthatthepresscould seektoexposethesexuallivesoftheIslamicaswellastheChristianclerics.Therefore,thecampaignagainstAlNabaaMamdouhMahranwasjoinedbymany groups.FailuretoclosedownthenewspaperortorevokethemembershipofthepublisherandeditormeantthatEgypthadadvancedpresslibertyonemorenotch. AlthoughEgyptianpapershaverespondedtoissuesofmoralturpitude,theyhavebeenmostlyembeddedindiscussionsofpolitics.Thishasbeentheareainwhich theyhavereceivedthemostpraiseaswellasthemostcriticism.ThisisespeciallytrueinregardtothecontinuingcrisisbetweenthePalestiniansandIsrael.Egypt, havingmadeitspeacewithIsraelduringtheregimesofAnwarSadatofEgyptandMenachemBeginofIsrael,hasasensitiverelationshipwithIsrael.Manyincidents andissuescomplicatethisrelationshipfromtimetotime. Liketelevisioninallcapitalistcountries,theroleofadvertisingisessential.Egypthasadiversemediathathasrespondedinatrulymodernwaytothemanythemesin contemporarylifefromAlQaedaandOsamabinLadentoMilanoorParisfashions,fromthePalestinianstatetotheroleofColinPowell(anAfricanAmerican)in internationalpolitics.Butthedifficultywiththemediainstitutionsisthatsomeofthemhavemoneyandsupportandothersdonot.Infact,itisclearthatthenewspaper giantsAlAhram,AlAkhbar,andAlGumhuriyyaarewellsupportedbythestateandadvertising,whilethesmallercompaniesarelosingadvertisingdollarsand beingmarginalized.Infact,theleadingoppositionnewspaperAlWafdhaslostsupportanditspoliticalteethtothepointwhereitconsistentlysupportsthe governments

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Page125 positions.NowthemainoppositionnewspaperisAlShaab,abiweekly,however,thispaperwassuspendedbythegovernmentafteraclashbetweenreligious studentsandthepolicewhenthepaperranacampaignagainstanovel. WhiletheEgyptianpressisverydiverseandfreedomofthepressisgenerallypaidlipservice,therearesomeworrisometrendsforthegovernment.Oneofthemis thedevelopmentofprivatenewspapersthatseektocircumventallofthelegalregulationsplacedonpublications.Theyarelicensedabroadandareoftenprintedinthe NasrCitytaxfreezoneoutsideCairo. However,theredoesnotseemtobeanycrediblethreatfromtheseprivatelyownednewspapers.TheJournalismSyndicateisheadedbyIbrahimNafie,board chairmanoftheflagshipdailyAlAhram.Furthermore,thestateownednewspapersdominatetheranksofthesyndicateandhavemadeitdifficultformembersof privatelyownedcompaniestoshareinthesocialandfinancialbenefitsthatcomewithbeingapartofthesyndicate.

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CINEMAEgyptisathoroughlymoderncountryintermsoftheavailabilityofcinema.OnecanseeverygoodEgyptianmoviesaswellasfilmsmadebyforeigncompanies.Most citieshavecinemahouses.AlexandriaandCairohavesomeofthehighestnumbersofcinemasinallofAfrica.AlexandriaalonehastheRio,Odiun,Strand,Ryiaito, Royal,Radio,Metro,andAmer,amongothersmallermoviehouses. CinemaispopularinEgyptandhascontinuedtogainpublicapprovalsincetheheydayofthefilm,19401960.Mostofthefilmsproducedduringthisperiod emphasizedEgyptsWesternorientationinasmuchasthefilmindustrywasmainlyaninnovationfromEurope.Filmsoftheperiodcelebratedtheurbaneliteandshowed CairoandAlexandriatobecitiesoftheworld.AmongthefilmsthatareregardedasclassicsinEgyptiancinemaareMaboudaalJamahir(Diva)andShayminal KhaufwhichisafilmaboutfearunderthereignofGamalAbdelNasser.Anotherfilm,althoughmorerecognizedasaplay,isRayawaSkinawhichisbasedonthe truestoryofthefirsttwowomenwhowereofficiallyexecutedinEgypt. ThecinemahousesshowmainlyArabicfilms,buttheyarealsoshowingincreasingnumbersofforeignfilms.Whatismoreunlikelyistolocatethebestplacestosee documentaryfilmsbysomeofEgyptsfinestfilmmakers,althoughtheyarefindingtheirwayintotheinternationalarena.Forexample,TahaniRacheds1997 documentary,FourWomenofEgypt,isapowerfulportrayalofreligious,social,andeducationalrelationshipsbetweendifferenttypesofwomen.ShahendaMakladis aMuslimwholostherhusbandtoa

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Page126 politicalassassinationbeforeshedecidedtopursuepoliticalofficeherself.SheisjoinedinthemoviebyAminaRachid,whowasraisedinanonreligious,aristocratic householdbeforeembracingsocialismandseekingtoadvancesocialjusticeforwomenandthedowntrodden.WedadMitryisadevoutChristian,amilitantnationalist leaderandauthor,whoisamentortoShahendaMaklad.ThenthereisSafynazKazem,apoliticaljournalistandstrictMuslim.GiventhefactthatEgyptisalandof manyculturalandpoliticalstrands,theexplorationbyRachedofthesefourwomenslivesisimpressive.However,therearemanymorestoriestobetold.The documentarycouldhaveexamined,forinstance,thelivesoftheblackEgyptianwomenofAswanvisa`visthewomenofthenorth.Itgoeswithoutsayingthat Egyptiantheater,likeothersectorsofthesociety,hasmadetheblackEgyptiansalmostinvisible.YetthefilmFourWomenofEgyptrevealsalotaboutthereality behindtheWesternmythofEgypt.Rachedhasmadetwoimportantachievementswiththisfilm:ontheonehandthefilmhasexposedthecontradictoryelementsof Egyptianlifeandontheotherhandithasshownhowitispossibleforwomenfromdifferentwalksoflifetodiscovercoherenceandmeaning.

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CONCLUSIONThereisarobustinvolvementwiththemediainEgyptiansociety.Egyptianpeoplesincerelylovetheirnewspapersandtelevision.Alloftheartsofbroadcastingand mediadisseminationhavethousandsofdedicatedworkerswhoarecommittedtotheprinciplesofdemocraticmedia.WhilethemediahasalonghistoryinEgypt,that is,since1799whentheFrenchbroughttheprintingpress,italsohasacheckeredhistorybecausesomanyofthepastleadersofthecountryhavewantedtodictate whatthemediashouldprintorbroadcast.Manyjournalistshavebeenvictimizedbyoverzealouspoliticianswhohavetriedtokeepcriticalinformationfromreachingthe public.Nevertheless,Egyptcontinuestohavecourageouschampionsofthedemocraticpressandunquestionablytheyhavebecometheleadersofjournalismformany intheArabicspeakingworld.SpurredonbyAbuDhabiandAlJazeera,Egypt,withitsmorethanampleintellectualresourcesforademocraticmedia,willprobably takeupitsleadershipinthebroadcastingofhardnewsfromvariousspotsaroundtheworld.Thelackofastronginvestigativereportingcadreissomethingthathas beenlamentedbythemostastuteobserversoftheEgyptiansociety.

NOTES1.Sowhenwespeakofpopularculture,wearedoingnothingmorethantalkingaboutamodeofrecognizingwhatiscurrentinthemasspublic.Thus,theperson

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whoisabletorefertosomethingthathasappearedontelevisionorinamovieissaidtobein,asininsidetheculture.Butthisisnottobemisunderstoodas popularcultureintheWesternorAmericansense,butasanawarenessofwhathasoccurredinthemedia. 2.ItshouldalsobenotedthatInformationMinisterSafwatalSherifsoughttomodernizeEgyptianvisualmediaintheearlypartof2000.Helaunchedtheconstructionof themassiveMediaProductionCity(MPC)outsideofCairoandalsoestablishedtwoEgyptiansatellitechannelsaswellasintroducedselectedforeignsatellite channels.ThecomplexhasbeendeclaredamediafreezonetoencourageclientstotakepartintheMPC.ActuallyAlJazeera,theQatarsatellitechannel,has takenupspaceforproducingandbroadcastingsomeprogramsfromtheMPC.ItisstilltooearlytotellifAlJazeerasnoholdsbarred,open,andfreeapproachto broadcastingcanexistforlongasapartoftheMPC.WatchedbymillionsofviewersacrosstheArabicspeakingworld,AlJazeerahasbecomeaforumfordebate onhumanrights,fundamentalism,andcorruption.IthasoffendedjustabouteveryArabnation. 3.ThismayverywellbeapartoftheArabculturethatdoesnothavetobowtoWesterntraditionsofthestructureofmedia.Nevertheless,thereareenoughpeoplein EgyptandperhapsnowinotherArabicspeakingnationsthatobjecttowhathasbeenseenasaritualtraditionintheArabiccultureforthispracticetobecalledinto question. 4.SeeArmbrust(1996,13).Nevertheless,howeveroneseesit,thecatchphrasebecamearecognizablesymboloutoftheculture. 5.SeeZieglerandAsante(1992,92).

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Thispageintentionallyleftblank.

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7 Literature,thePerformingArts,andMusicLITERATUREMODERNEGYPT,althoughontheAfricancontinent,isanationoverlaidwiththeArabiccultureandassuchithasbecometheheartofArabcivilization.Egypthas beenattheforefrontofArabicliteraturefromtheearlynineteenthcentury.InonesenseitispossibletospeakofthereignofMuhammadAliasthebeginningofthe moderntendencyinEgyptianliterature.Duringhisreign,EgyptianliteratureexpressedaselfconsciousawarenessofitsauthenticnationaldevelopmentandEgyptwas nolongermerelytheplaygroundofthemightyandthepowerfulnationsandmovementsthatseemedtoruleitwithoutreferencetothesubstanceofthecountrys history. ArabicistheofficiallanguageofthecountryalthoughaconsiderablenumberofpeoplespeakNubianlanguagesaswellasEnglishandFrench.Languagehistoryin Egyptisquitecomplex.TheancientlanguagewasMdwNtr,(theDivineLanguage),anditsscriptwasreferredtobytheGreeksashieroglyphics.TheGreeks,who arrivedinEgyptduringandaftertheninthcenturyB.C.E.andcontinuedasstudentsinEgyptuntiltheconquestbytheMacedoniankingAlexanderin333B.C.E.,hada pronouncedinfluenceonthelanguageoftheEgyptiansuntiltheconquestbytheRomanswhencertainLatinexpressionsbecamepartofthelanguage.Nonetheless,the GreekinfluencewasstillprevalentinthelanguageandeventuallytheCopticlanguageacombinationoftheGreekalphabetandnineancientEgyptianletterswas formed.Thus,Coptic,asspoken,istheclosestlanguagetoancientEgyptian,althoughitiswritteninessentiallyGreekcharacters.Arabiccamein

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Page130 forcetoEgyptinacampaignledbyGeneralElAsin639641C.E.,andbytheninthcenturyofthiseraArabichaddominatedthesocietyastheprincipallanguage. Thelastwrittenhieroglyphics,orMdwNtr,hadbeencarvedonthewallsoftheTempleofPhilaearound589C.E. SincetheArabizationofEgyptthelanguagehasbecomethelinguafrancaforotherEgyptianpeople,includingCoptsandNubians.AtvarioustimesGreek,Turkish, Russian,French,andEnglishhavecompetedwithArabicinthemarketsandadministrativebureausofthesociety.ButtheadvancemadebyEgyptianwriters particularlyRifaaRafiAlTahtawi,YusefIdris,TawfiqalHakim,TahaHussein(ablindacademicianofhumblebirth),andNaguibMahfouz(whowonthe1988 NobelPrizeforLiterature)hasbeenspectacular.TheyhaveexploredeveryaspectofthelifeofthepeopleofEgypt,bringingthemodernEgyptianintothearenaof contemporarypoetry,drama,andfiction.FewIslamicsocietieshavehadasrichatalentofwritersemergeasEgypthas.Theyhavebecomefamiliarwiththebest literatureoftheworldandassuchhaveaddedtotheinternationalbodyofliteraturethatcouldbecalledmodern. Perhapsnomodernsociety,withthepossibleexceptionofFrance,hassuchapreoccupationwiththepurityoflanguageastheEgyptiansocietydoes.Onefinds discussionsandarticlesinthenewspapersandmagazinesaboutthecorrectusageoftheArabiclanguagealmosteveryday.Itisassumedthattobeagoodcitizenone mustknowthedifferencebetweensacredandsecularlanguageandcertainlymustnotmixthetwo.Oneofthemostgrievouserrorsanauthorcanmakeistomisusethe ArabiclanguagethelanguageoftheQuraninpopulartheaterorliterature.Ahostofcommentariesattackingtheauthorwouldnormallyfollowsuchamisstep.This doesnotmeanthatthereisnosecularuseoflanguageinEgyptbecausethereisplentyitdoesmeanthattheusersoflanguagemustbecarefulortheywillbe questionedbythewordcriticswhoseresponsibilityitseemsistomakecertainthatnoonecrossestheboundaryoflanguage.Arabicassumes,forthem,thesacred placethatithasasthelanguageoftheQuranandbecomesbyvirtueofitspositioninthesocietytheonlylegitimateinstrumentofgoodexpression.Thishasnot preventedEgyptianwritersfromacquiringsecularthemesnorhasitpreventedthemfromexpressingthemselvesontheevolutionandtransformationoflanguageitself.A hostofhumoristsandcomicwritershaveappearedwithideasabouttraffic,crowdedness,housingconditions,thefellahs(poorfarmers)comingtothebigcities,and otheraspectsofurbanliving.Theyarethekeepersofthesanityofthemasses.ButEgyptisnotanisolatedcountry,anditswritershavenotbeenisolatedfromthe largerconcernsoftheworldtheyhaveexpressedtheirviewsthroughfictionaseloquentlyasanyotherwriters.

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MAJOREGYPTIANWRITERSCopyright 2002. Greenwood Publishing Group. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except fair uses permitted under U.S. or applicable copyright law.

Egypthasproducednumerouswritersofnote.AmongthemoreimportantareAbdalRahmanalJabarti(17541825),RifaaRafialTahtawi(18011873),Jamalal DinalAfghani(18381897),MuhammadAbduh(18491905),QasimAmin(16631908),MuhammadHusaynHaykal(18881965),TahaHussein(18891973), AliAbdalRaziq(18881964),AbbasalAqqad(18891964),SalamaMusa(18871958),TawfiqalHakim(1898),MuhammadMandir(19071965),Louis Awad(1915),KhalidMuhammadKhalid(1920),andNaguibMahfouz(1912).Indeed,itisMahfouz,aNobelLaureateinLiterature(1988)andaprofound thinker,whohasbecomeEgyptsmostlucidtelleroftalesinthecontemporaryera.Heisknownbestforhisstrong,simple,direct,andpowerfulstyle.Usingallofthe mostprecisemethodsofArabic,occasionallystretchingandflexingthelanguage,Mahfouzisthemostpopularofthecontemporarywriters.Hehasmerelybuiltupon thecreativetraditionsofthegiantswhoprecededhim. MostofthewritersareespeciallycognizantoftheculturalimportanceoftheArabiclanguage.Theyacceptaculturalidentityinwhichtheproperlanguageis consideredextremelyimportant.Thenahda(renaissance)incultureisdependentonwritersrecognizingtheclassicalusesofArabic.InthisregardthemajorEgyptian writerssuchasTawfiqalHakimindrama,TahaHusseininautobiography,andNaguibMahfouzinfictionparticipatedinthenahdaasmodernistswhomaintainalink totheirtraditions.TheyhavenotgivenuptheirappreciationoftheirArabiclinguisticcontributionsandhavemaintainedthatknowledgeoftheWesternphilosophers doesnothavetodestroyonesownsenseofculturalintegrity. TogiveasenseoftheEgyptiancontributiontoworldliterature,afewofthemajorfiguresarehighlightedhere.Thesewritersrepresentprincipalinterpretationsof Egyptianexperiences.

AbdalRahmanalJabarti(17541825)ThetraditionofthescholarandliterarypersonalityislonginEgypt,butthepresenceofthemodernwritershasthrustthecountryintotheliteraryleadershipofArabic speakingnations.NooneisanymoreresponsibleforstartingthistrendthanAbdalRahmanalJabarti.Heisoneofthethreeimportantpersonswhorecordedthe FrenchoccupationofEgypt(17981801).AlongwithSheikhHasanalAttarandSheikhIsmailalKhashab,alJabartimightbeconsideredoneoftheinitiatorsof modernityinEgyptianwriting.TheymaybeconsideredtheforerunnersofthegreatRifaaRafialTahtawi.WhilealAttarbecametheleaderoftheAlAzharUniversity and

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Page132 alKhashabbecamesecretarygeneralofthefirstEgyptiancabinetformedbytheFrench,alJabartibecameacabinetministerinthegovernmentofAbdallaJacques Menouafterthe1800assassinationofJeanBaptisteKleber. AlJabartiwasdescendedfromanEthiopianSheikhZaynalDinalJabartiwhoemigratedtoEgyptfromtheEthiopiancityofJabartaround1600.Thefamily livedinthecloisterofJabartiyaintheAzharcompound.JabartisgreatgrandfatherbecametheMuftiofIslamduringhislifetime.JabartisfatherHasanalJabarti wasaclericandabusinessmanwhoownedseveralhouses,afarm,andhadthreewivesandfortychildren.In1776,AbdalRahmanalJabartigraduatedfromtheAl AzharUniversityattheageoftwentytwooneyearafterthedeathofhisfatherHasan. ThehistoryofalJabartiisthatofamanoftwoworlds.Hewascertainlyofthereligiouselite,amemberofafamilythatparticipatedintheleadershipofIslam,yethe waseducatedinthehighestinstitutionoflearningintheIslamicworldwithaccesstopoliticsandlaw.Hisworldwasfilledwiththereligiousulamaandtherulingbeys orMamluks,aswellastheTurkishrulersadministrationandruthlessness.NoneofthisseemedtohavedirectedhimtowritingtheChronicles.Hewasinfluenced ratherbyMuhammadMurtadaalZubeidi,consideredthegreatestArabicphilologistofthetime.AlZubeidihadwrittenthefamousdictionaryTajalarus.Hewasa YemenitescholarwhohadmovedtoCairoin1754,theyearalJabartiwasborn,toteachatAlAzhar.ItwastheinfluenceofalZubeidiontheyoungalJabartithat causedhimtoconsiderwritinghistory.AlZubeidihadaskedtheyoungmantoassisthiminwritingthebiographiesoffamousmenandalJabartidiligentlyapplied himselftothistask.WhenalZubeididied,alJabartidiscoveredthathehadbeencommissionedbytheMuftiofDamascustoprepareadictionaryofnational biography.Thedictionarywaspublishedbuthadlittleimpact(Awad1986,9). ItwasoutofthisexperiencethatalJabartibecameintenselyinterestedinchroniclesandhistory.Thus,whenNapoleonBonapartecapturedCairoonJuly21,1798, thefortyfouryearoldalJabartiwasreadytobeginthegreattaskofhislife.BecausehehadnoOttomanorMamlukaffinitiesorloyalties,heservedintheFrench administrationofEgyptasacabinetofficer,hopingtobringwhathebelievedweretheadvantagesofWesterncivilizationtohiscountry. AlJabartifoundtheFrenchlegalsystemsuperiortothatinheritedfromtheOttomans,andhewasimpressedbythetrialofSuleimanalHalabiaftertheassassination oftheFrenchleaderKleber.NotonlydidhefindtheFrenchsystemoftrialsdifferentfromtheTurkishsummaryexecutions,buthewasinfluencedbythewaythe FrenchdealtwiththeirownsoldierswhorapedEgyptianwomen.Ofcourse,becauseofhisdeeplyreligiousnature,alJabarti

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Page133 couldnotunderstandoraccepttheFrenchliberationofwomenortherolethatwomenseemedtoplayintheFrenchcivilization.Withallofhisappreciationofthe Frenchlegalsystemanditsrationalism,hewasstillcaughtintheclutchesofhisearlytraining.Nevertheless,hedidnotcondemnEuropeancivilizationbutratherpraised theFrenchforbringingtoEgyptnationalismandademocraticgovernment(ibid.,10). AlJabartiwastofindhimselfinadifficultpositionwhentheFrenchwereexpelledbytheTreatyofAmiensin1801.Thechargewaslaidthatheparticipatedwiththe French,thathecollaboratedwiththeiradministrationinEgypt.HesooncameoutwithaselfservingdocumententitledMazharaltaqdisbidharhabdawlatal firansis(DivineManifestationintheEvacuationoftheFrench).MostwritersseethisasadiatribeagainsttheFrenchtoprotecthiscareer(ibid.).Afterfouryearsof politicalchaos,duringwhichtimetheBritishandMamluksjockeyedforpositionandpowerinthecountry,MuhammadAli,anAlbanian,finallyrosetopowerin1805. ItwasduringthistimethatalJabartistartedtowritetheChronicles. MuhammadAlipunishedtheulamaforresistinghisrule,curtailedtheirprivilegesinthesociety,andputsomeoftheminprison.ThisenragedalJabarti,whohad finishedhisworkontheFrenchoccupationinhisChronicles.HethentookupthepenagainsttheexcessesofMuhammadAli,callinghimausurperofpowerinEgypt andnotthelegitimateclaimanttothepositionofpower.HesooutragedtheEgyptianrulerthatalJabartislifewasthreatened.ItwasrumoredthatalJabartiwas murderedbyMuhammadAliin1822.However,mostauthoritiesbelievethatalJabartiwentblindin1822anddiedin1825,anditwashissonKhalilwhowas assassinatedin1822(ibid.,11).AlthoughalJabartiswritingsservedasclandestineliteratureduringthetimeofMuhammadAliandhissuccessorsitwasnotuntil KhediveTewfiqthatthebanonhisChronicleswaslifted.Thecompleteninevolumesofhisworkwerepublishedbetween1888and1896,withtheFrenchtranslation byShafiqMansurBey,AbdalAzizKhalilBey,NicolaKhalilBey,andIskandirAmmunEffendi.

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RifaaRafialTahtawi(18011873)RifaaRafialTahtawiwasthegreatestsecularnationalistEgyptianwriterofhistime.UnlikealJabarti,Tahtawiwasnotsimplyachroniclerofeventshewasapolitical analyst,acritic,andaphilosopherofthetimes.HecamefromUpperEgypt,thetownofTahta,wherehewasbornonOctober15,1801.Afterstudyingasan adolescent,hewenttoAlAzharUniversitytocompletehiseducationattheageofsixteenandbecametheprotegeofthescholarandreformerHasanalAttar.Al AttarbecametheleaderoftheAl

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Page134 AzharunderMuhammadAliandspentaconsiderableportionofhistimetryingtoreformthecurriculumtoincludemoresecularstudiestobroadentheknowledgeof thestudents. AlTahtawistudiedattheAlAzharuntilhewastwentyoneyearsold.Hethenwasaninstructortherefortwoyears.In1824,Aliappointedhimtoapostasan imamintheEgyptianarmy.WhenAlisentsomeEgyptianstoFrancetogainfurtherknowledgeinmilitary,scientific,andtechnologicalstudies,alTahtawiwassentas theimamtothisgroupofinternationalstudents.ThiswastogivealTahtawiamajoropportunitytoimprovehisFrenchlanguageskills,tostudyWesternliterature,and tolearnhistory,geography,andthehumanities. MuhammadAlisawthebrilliantalTahtawiasapossibletranslatorofdocumentsfromFrenchintoArabic.Theyoungimamstudiedphysics,chemistry,medicine, andmythologywhileinParis.Hiskeenmindrecordedthepoliticaleventsoftheday,includingthefermentthatledtotheoverthrowofthemonarchyoftheBourbonsin the1830revolutionthatbroughtaboutthereignofLouisPhilippeandtheconstitutionalmonarchyinFrance. WhenalTahtawireturnedtoEgyptin1831,hewasreceivedwithhonorinAlexandriaandgivenlandoutsideofCairobyIbrahimPashawhohadheardofhis brilliance.InCairo,MuhammadAlireceivedhimwithgreatjoyandcourtesy,appointinghimtoaninstructorspostattheSchoolofMedicine.Duringthistimethe lecturesweregiveninFrenchandthentranslatedandreadoutinArabicforthestudents.InalTahtawiscasehecouldgivelectureseitherinFrenchorinArabic.Soon hewasmadetheheadofthetranslationstaffbecausealthoughmanyofthetranslatorshadagoodgraspofFrench,theycouldnotpresentstrongArabictranslations. SincealTahtawihadafoundationinArabicstudiesattheAlAzharandwasaskilledimam,hecouldpresenttheArabicwithsharpnessandexcitement. AlTahtawiscareerasacivilservantfortheAliadministrationbroughthimmanyrewards.However,whenthecholeraepidemicof1834hitCairo,heretiredtohis UpperEgypthometownandspentthetimetranslatingaFrenchgeographybook.Whentheepidemichadrunitscourse,hereturnedtoCairoandpresented MuhammadAliacopyofthetranslation.HewasmadeamajorinthearmyandsoonbecamedirectoroftheSchoolofLanguages.Inthisschoolestablishedasthe MadrasaalAlsun(SchoolofTongues)in1835alTahtawihelpedtocreatethefoundationfortheintellectualnahdainEgypt. TheschoolhadacurriculumthatconsistedoftheteachingofArabic,French,Persian,Turkish,Italian,English,geography,history,literature,andIslamic jurisprudence.Theschooldevotedmuchtimetotranslatingtechnologicaldocumentsandlastedforfifteenyears.Itwasclosedin1849by

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Page135 AbbasI,thesuccessortoMuhammadAli.ThefanaticalanderraticAbbasIcloseddownallindustriesstartedbyMuhammadAli,dismantledthearmyandthenavy, opposedthebuildingoftheSuezCanal,anddiscontinuedtheonlynewspaperinthecountry.HebanishedalTahtawiandhiscolleagueMuhammadBayumia mathematiciantotheSudan.Bayumicouldnotwithstandthestrainanddiedinexile.AlTahtawibecametheheadmasterofaschoolinKhartoumandspentthetime translatingFrenchnovels. WiththeassassinationofAbbasIin1854andtheascendancyofSaidPashatothethroneofEgypt,alTahtawiwasrecalledtoEgypt,promoted,andgivenhigh administrativeposts.HebecamethedirectoroftheEuropeansectionintheGovernorateofCairo,thendeputydirectorandlaterdirectoroftheMilitaryAcademyat theCitadel.YetthegreatestachievementsofhisprofessionalcareertheSchoolofLanguagesandthestatesponsorednewspaperAlwagaialMisriyawere neverreopened.HisstudentsandfollowerswererelegatedtominorpostsunderAbbasI,andhecouldneverregroupthemashehaddoneattheSchoolof Languages. Nevertheless,whenKhediveIsmailcametothethronein1863,alTahtawiwasmadethedirectoroftheTranslationAdministration.Hewasalsoplacedinchargeof developingaplantoorganizeeducationinEgypt,theseedfortheMinistryofEducation.KhediveIsmailworkedvigorouslytomodernizeEgyptseducationalandlegal systemsandcalledonthetalentsoftheablealTahtawitoleadinthestruggletobringthesetransformationsintoexistence.AlTahtawiwenttoworkrightaway,calling onmanyofhisformerstudentsandcolleaguesfromtheSchoolofLanguages.ThefirsttaskwastotranslatetheCodeNapoleontobeusedasthebasisofEgyptian law,whichlaidthefoundationforthemodernlegalsystem.Thus,alTahtawi,thegreatestwriterandscholarofthetimes,isresponsibleformuchoftheeducational system,thelegalsystem,andindeedthemodernpressinEgypt.LouisAwadmakesthisobservationabouttheoriginofthepressinEgypt: ThefirstnewspaperknowninEgyptwastheCourierdEgypte,whichwaspublishedinFrenchbyorderofBonapartetosupplytheFrenchtroops andthelocalforeignersinEgyptwiththeimportantinformationoftheday.ItsfirstissuecameoutonAugust28,1798,anditlastedforthreeyears,the durationoftheFrenchoccupationofEgypt.ThesecondperiodicalwasalsoFrench,LaDecadeegyptienne,whichappearedforthefirsttimeby orderofBonaparteonOctober1,1798,andwasintendedtopublishtheworkoftheInstitutdEgypte.Withtheevacuationthesetwopublications ceasedtoexist,andtheFrenchalsotookwiththemthefirstArabicprintingpress.Theyhadbroughtittoprinttheirproclamationsanddecreestothe Egyptianpeoplein

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Page136 theformofposterspastedatstreetcornersandattheentrancetolanesandalleys.TheonlyArabicbookpublishedbytheFrenchwasthetranslation ofamedicalbook.(1986,2829).Copyright 2002. Greenwood Publishing Group. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except fair uses permitted under U.S. or applicable copyright law.

Egyptlivedwithoutaprintingpressfortwentymoreyearsuntil1824whenMuhammadAlifoundedtheBulaqPrintingPress.Thefirstnewspaperwasfoundedin1828 underthenameAlWaqaIalMisriva,andwasintendedtobeagovernmentgazettepublishingdecrees,reports,andachievements.Itwasbilingualbecausetheofficial languageofEgyptatthetimewasTurkish.Arabicbecametheofficiallanguageitwasalreadythepopularlanguagein1873underadecreeofKhediveIsmail. Turkishsoonrecededintothebackground,beingreplacedbyFrenchasthesecondlanguageuntiltheBritishoccupation. ThenewspaperhadopenedunderthedirectionofaTurkisheditorwhomaintainedapolicyofprintingthenewsinTurkishintherighthandcolumnsandtheArabic translationsintheleft.WhenalTahtawijoinedthenewspaperin1834,heworkedunderthedirectionoftheTurkisheditor.HewasnamededitorinchiefonJanuary 11,1842.Heimmediatelyreversedtheformersystem,placingthematerialwritteninArabicintherighthandcolumnandthetranslatedTurkishinthelefthandcolumn. NolongerweretheeditorialssimplypraisesongstothePashabutanalysisandinstructiveanecdotes.NewsofEgyptwaspushedtotheforefrontovernewsfrom foreignsources,andhesoonrelegatednewsfromtheOttomanstothesecondplaceinthenewspaper.AlTahtawiintroducedliteraryworksintothenewspapertogive Egyptianauthorsanoutletfortheircreativeworks.However,thechangesweretoorevolutionaryforthetime,andpressurewasputonhimbytheTurkisharistocracy thenrulingthecountry,withtheresultthatTahtawihadtoretreatafteroneyearandmostofhisbraveexperimentationandformalchangeswererescinded.What remainedwerethechangesinsubjectmatter(Awad1986,29).

JamalalDinalAfghani(18381897)JamalalDinalAfghanishistoryisuncertain,buthisimpactontheliteraryandreligiouslifeofmodernEgyptisunquestioned.ItisbelievedthathewasborninIranasa ShiitebutemergedinAfghanistanasaSunniactivist.InAfghanistanhecalledhimselfJamalalDinalRumi(thatistheTurk),inBaghdadhecalledhimselfJamalalDin alIstanbuli,andinIstanbulandCairohewentbythenameJamalalDinalAfghani.Inaddition,heborethetitleofalSaid,atitleusedbythedescendantsofthefamily oftheProphetMuhammad.

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Page137 Untilhewastenyearsold,alAfghanistudiedArabicandtheQuraninhisnativevillageundertheinstructionofhisfatheralSaidSafdar,whowasafarmer.Hewas senttoQazwinduringafeudbetweenlocalclansandthenwhenacholeraepidemicbrokeoutin1850hewassenttoTehrantofinishhisstudiesandthenhesurfaced inNajaf,theShiitecenterinIraqwhereMuhammadAliisburied.Hislifetherewasanythingbutstablegiventhepoliticalinfightingandreligiousrivalriesoftheday.In fact,beforehewastwenty,sometimebetween1854and1857,hehadtofleeforhislife(toIndia)toescapeanassassinationattemptbytheirWamawhowere fiercelyjealousofhistoweringgenius(p.49). AlAfghaniemergedinAfghanistanafterspendingtimeinIndiaandRussia.Duringthe1860s,atimeofinstabilityinAfghanistan,themonarchDostMohammad KhanwassucceededtothethronebyhissonShirAliKhanin1863.HewassoonchallengedbyhishalfbrotherAzamKhan.AcivilwarensuedandAzamKhanwas defeated.However,becausehewasongoodtermswiththeBritishhewasabletofindasyluminIndia.AzamKhansoonarguedwiththeBritishandresumedhis militaryoperationsinAfghanistan,capturingthecapital,Kabul,in1866.PartofthecountryremainedinthehandsofShirAliKhan,andtheBritishrefusedtorecognize AzamKhanssovereignpower.HeturnedtotheRussiansforsupportandsoonthenameofJamalalDinalRumiappearedasacounselortothecourt.Hebecamea trustedadviserandanintermediarybetweentheRussiansandtheAfghansforarmsandsupplies.TheBritish,whohadsidedwithShirAliKhanandresuppliedhis armiesandstrengthenedhisdefenses,stoodtogaininfluenceifShirAliKhanwasabletoretakeKabul.In1868,hisarmies,withtheBritishassistance,stormedKabul andforcedAzamKhanintoexileinIran.JamalalDinalRumiwasdeportedtoIndiahewasbarelythirtyyearsold. ABritishspyreportin1858saidthatalAfghaniwassuspectedofbeingaRussianagentanddescribedhimaswearingthetraditionalclothesoftheNoghaipeople ofTurkestan,speakingfluentPersian,Arabic,andTurkish.ThereportpreparedbythegovernmentinKabulsaidthatalAfghanifollowedthelifestyleoftheEuropeans morethanthatoftheMuslims.AlAfghanisliberalconductcreatedcontroversybecauseherefusedtoobserveRamadanandotherMuslimrites.Heseemedtoenjoy cognacattheMatatia,whichwaslocatedbehindtheOperaHouseinCairo.In1879,hewasexpelledfromtheMasonicLodgeinCairobecausehepubliclydenied theexistenceofGod. Duringthisperiod,whentheEgyptianNationalistMovementhadreachedacrucialphasewheretherewasconstantagitationandcivilianstrife,alAfghanisidedwith thepeoplewhoproclaimedEgyptfortheEgyptians.Amasterfulmaneuvererinpoliticalsituations,alAfghanimanagedtoplace

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Page138 himselfonthesideofthemasses.HegavespeechesinCairoremindingEgyptiansoftheirpharaonicheritageandcallingonthemtoshaketheyokeofforeigntyranny andbondageandriseuptoassumeleadershipintheirowncountry.ThishedidwhileservingasanadviserandfriendtotheTunisianJewconverttoIslamTwetik Pasha,whobecameprimeministerandrulerofEgyptin1879.HisinflammatoryrhetoricagainstpoliticaltyrannydisturbedtheEnglishandTurkishpartnersintheir attempttokeeptheEgyptianpeoplesubordinated.AlAfghanisspeechespointedtothisAngloTurkishpolicyasantidemocratic.HesoonleftforPariswherehe wrotearticlesinsupportofpanIslamandagainstthebondageofIslambyChristendom.ItseemedthatalAfghaniwantedtoseeanIslamregeneratedby modernization.Thiswashisgreatobjectiveinlife,believingashedidthathecoulduseEgyptasamodelinthegreatpanIslamicexperiment.

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TahaHussein(18891973)TahaHusseinistothetwentiethcenturywhatRifaaalTahtawiwastothenineteenthcentury:thesinglemostimportantculturalandintellectualinfluenceonthe literatureofhistime.HewasbornintheprovinceofMinyaandbecameblindattheageoftwofromophthalmia.AsayoungboyhelearnedtheQuranandrecitedit forthebenefitofthelivingandthedead,givingrecitationsatweddingsandatfunerals.However,hewasmoreexcitedbyfairytalesthanbytheQuran,accordingto hisautobiographyAlAyyam(19291932).Thisisanimportantkeytohisfutureachievements. Althoughhewasblind,hisfathersenthimtoAlAzharUniversityinCairoin1902tocompletehisstudies.Helivedwithhisolderbrother,whowasalsoastudentat AlAzhar,andwentthroughtheusualcurriculumofIslamicstudies.However,hesoonturnedtoArabicliterature,whichhadbeenintroducedbythereformsofSheikh MuhammadAbduh(thereligiousreformer)andwastaughtbySheikhalMarsafi.Becauseofhisviews,consideredtobeheretical,theyoungscholarwasbannedfrom receivingtheAlimiya(thedegree)untilhesatagainforhisexamination.Nevertheless,hestudiedtheclassicalliteratureoftheArabiclanguagestillconsidereda profanesubjectinEgyptandmasteredthefield.Hethenshowedaninterestinthesecularsubjectsofmodernknowledgesuchastranslatedfiction,sociology, philosophy,history,andnaturalscience. AllofthisdemonstratedthatHusseindidnotreallybelongtotheAlAzhartradition,andin1910hetransferredtotheEgyptianNationalUniversity,thenucleusof CairoUniversity.Ithadbeenstartedin1908bytheEgyptianaristocracyforthepromotionoftheliberalarts.ItsfacultywaslargelyEuropeanscholarsandafew EuropeaneducatedEgyptians.By1914,

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Page139 hehadreceivedhisPh.D.forthedissertationontheblindArabpoetandphilosopherAhmadAbdallahalMaarri(9731057).Thedissertationwassoprovocative thatmembersofthelegislaturewantedtowithdrawthesubsidyfromtheuniversityforproducinganatheistlikeTahaHussein. TheNationalUniversitysenthimofftoFranceforfurtherstudy.TherehelearnedFrenchandwasareaderattheSorbonne.HefollowedcoursesinGreek,Latin, history,andgeography,andreceivedtheDoctoratdUniversitefromtheSorbonnefortwodissertations:themajoroneontheArabphilosopher,historian,and sociologistIbnKhaldun(13321406)andthesupplementaryoneonthebasisfortheRomanpunishmentofcoloniesfordisgracingthehonorofRome.In1919,he wasappointedprofessorofArabicliteratureattheEgyptianNationalUniversity.ThiswasapositionhewouldmakegreatevenduringhisleastpopulartimesinEgypt. HavingestablishedhispositionasthegreatestfigureinArabiclettersduringthe1920saperiodwhenhewastheleastpopularasawriterhenevertheless maintainedhisliberalandprogressivepoliticalpositionsandloyalties.Heexploredthetraditionofcourtlylovepoetrytoprovetheapocryphalnatureofmuchofthe poetryandtodemonstratethatthecentralfigureQaysthemadmanofLaylawasamythicalcharacter.Thiswasperhapsthemostcontroversialandmostcreative workofcriticalscholarshipformanydecadesinthehistoryofmodernArabicliterature(Awad1996,132). ThemasterpieceFishShialJahili(PreIslamicLiterature),whichwaspublishedin1926,forwhichhewashoundedandharassedformanyyears,causedhim greatanguishbecauseheknewhehadmadeamajorcontributiontotheunderstandingofArabiclettersbuttheestablishedreligiousfiguresdidnottaketookindlyto thedebunkingofsomeoftheirmostcherishedmyths.Thetraditionalistsdemandedthathebeexpelledfromtheuniversityforteachingandwritingheresy.Histrial beforethecourtsandthesuppressionofhisbookconsideredblasphemousfordaringtoquestiontheauthenticityofpreIslamicArabicliteratureandhavingthe audacitytocallAbraham,Ismail,Hagar,andeventheconstructionoftheKaabainMeccawithinamythologicalframeworktookatollontheblindliterarygiant. Timesweredifficult.Indeed,ittooknolessthanAdliPashaandZaghlulPashatosavehim.Adli,thenPrimeMinister,threatenedtoresignifTahaHusseinwere removedortheindependenceoftheUniversityweretamperedwith.Zaghlul,thenPresidentoftheChamberofDeputies,scoldedAbdalHamidalBannan,whohad lodgedtheinterpellationagainstTahaHusseininParliament,forinterferinginmattersheknewnothingabout,andcausedhimtowithdrawhischarges(ibid.). Neverthelessthepublicprosecutor,inordertocalmthepublic,orderedthatTahaHusseinsbookbewithdrawnfromcirculation.

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Page140 Bytheendofthe1920s,HusseinsprotectorshadpassedfromthesceneandtheCrowngrewmorepowerful.Hewasdismissedfromtheuniversity,wherehehad becomeDeanoftheFacultyofArts.Between1931and1952heproducedlittleliteraryworkbutalotofpoliticalpolemicsandheldnumerouspositionsintheWafd PartyandwasreinstatedattheuniversityasprofessorandDeanoftheFacultyfrom1936to1938.ButwhentheWafdistfellfrompower,Husseinwasmobbedinhis officebyFasciststudents. In1938,hisfamousbookMustaquabalathThaqafahfiMisr(TheFutureofCultureinEgypt)waspublished.Itwasaculturalmanifestoinwhichhearguedthat EgyptwasaMediterraneancultureandshouldremainso.HerecommendedtheteachingofLatininsecondaryschoolsandthestudyofRomanhistory.TahaHussein wasonceagainremovedfromthepositionofDeanoftheFaculty. In1942,theWafdPartywasreturnedtopowerandHusseinwasagaininbusinesstocarryouthisreforms.AppointedanadvisertoMinisterofEducationNajibal HilaliPasha,Husseinlaunchedanintensecampaigntosecularizealltheschoolsandtoaddmoreuniversitiestothesystemofhighereducation.Hecalledforthe abolitionofQuranicschools,whichhesawaslessthanliberaleducationalinstitutionsmeanttogivetheimpressionthatthepoorwerebeingeducated.In1943,he foundedtheUniversityofAlexandriaandbecameasocialthorninthesideoftheestablishedreligiousfigures.By1944,hewasagainontheoutsideofgovernmentand tookseveralpositionsinliterarymagazines.HeworkedwiththeScribeEgyptien,anArabicpublishinghouseownedbyafamilyofEgyptianJews,theHarari brothers,whopublishedthemonthlyculturalmagazineAlKatibalMisr,probablythefinestculturalmagazineEgypthaseverknown(Awad1996,134).However whenwarbrokeoutinPalestineoverthecreationofthestateofIsrael,theEgyptiangovernmentclosedthemagazineaccusingtheownersofbeingZionist.Thesewere theworsttimesforTahaHussein,amanwhohadseengoodandbadtimesinhiscareer. WhentheWafdPartyagainwonpowerin1950untilthetimeoftherevolutionof1952,TahaHusseinwasMinisterofEducation.Heimmediatelystartedwherehe hadleftoffinthereconstructionofEgyptianeducation.Heabolishedtuitionforsecondaryschools,establishedAynShamsUniversity,andlaidthefoundationsfor AssiutUniversityandMansuraUniversity.Hedeclaredthateducation,likewaterandair,shouldbeadministeredfreeofchargetoallmankind,andhisenemiesseized onthistermtodescribehiseducationalpolicies.WhenGamalAbdelNassercametopower,Husseinwantedtocontinuetoservehowever,hewasgivenhonorary postswithnopower. WhileTahaHusseinremainsthemostimportantpersoninEgyptianlit

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Page141 eratureofthetwentiethcenturywithhisdemandforfreedomofspeechandacademicresearchinterest,heis,nevertheless,foundinthethickofintellectualandpolitical controversies,someofwhichclearlyshowedhisbiastowardEuropeaneducationandawayfromAfricanorEasternideals.Husseinsgreatcontributionmaybethathe recognizedthetwinevilsofthetyrannyofrulersandtheignoranceofthemassesandtrieddesperatelytoeradicateboth.

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TawfiqalHakim(1898)TawfiqalHakimwasbornin1898andiscloselyassociatedwiththeAzbakiyaarea.HewassenttoParistostudylawfrom1924to1928.Althoughhestudiedlaw, heneverobtainedadegreebecausehewasabsorbedindrama,novels,painting,music,andsculpture.Thus,whenhereturnedtoCairohewasemployedinthe governmentinalegalcapacitybutnotasalawyer.HeworkedintheofficeoflegalinvestigationsintheMinistryofEducationforatimeandthenwroteafamouswork calledDiaryofaCountryProsecutorwhichwaspublishedin1937ineightlanguages,includingGerman,French,Russian,Hebrew,andEnglishrecountinghis experienceworkinginthelegalfieldasaruralinvestigator.Between1939and1943heworkedintheMinistryofSocialAffairsfromwhichheretiredonasmall pensiontodevotehistimetohistruelove:literature.HejoinedtheweeklyAkhbaralYawmin1945andworkeduntil1951whenhewasappointedtheDirectorof theNationalLibrary.HespenttheconsiderablepartofhiscareerwiththeHigherCouncilforArtsandLettersandthedailynewspaperAlAhram. AlHakimproducedthreeclassicworksthatcreatedintellectualdiscussionandcontroversybutalsoshowedhisliteraryskillsasamajorforceinEgyptianletters:Al Yaood(TheReturnoftheSoul),1933Scheherazade,1934andtheplay,ShaabAlUlwa(ThePeopleoftheCave),1934.TahaHusseinwasdisturbedthatTawfiq alHakimhadusedthevernacularlanguageindialogueratherthanclassicalArabic.Asapurist,HusseinbelievedthatalHakimhadcreatedtheopportunityforother writerstoavoidusingthebestArabicintheirnovelsandplays.Yet,HusseinfoundinalHakimelementsofgeniusthatcameoutintheseriousnesswithwhichhe bridgedthegulfbetweenartandreligion.CriticswhowerepoliticallyconservativethoughtthatalHakimhadcommittedasacrilegebecausehedrewonreligiousand sacredtextsandsubjectstowritehisnovelsandplays.Inresponsetotheconservativecritics,alHakimwroteafundamentalistdramacalledMuhammadinwhichhe demonstratedthatonecouldbeanartistandnotdepartfromthereligiousdoctrine. OnehastoseethatalHakimsMuhammadisthecontextofthegrowth

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Page142 ofFascismasrepresentedbytheYoungEgyptPartyandthedevelopmentoftheMuslimBrotherhood.Itwasnecessaryfortheartisttoatleastshowthathe understoodtheculturalmilieuoutofwhichthecriticismcame.ThiswasthemeaningofalHakimsreligiouswritings. In1957,PresidentNasserawardedalHakimthesecondhighestdecorationinthecountry:theGrandCollieroftheRepublic.Infact,onlyTawfiqalHakim,ofall theoldguardwriters,remainedingoodstandingwiththerevolutionaries.Moreinfluentialwriterswerebrushedasideorignored,butalHakimsurvivedandwas respectedintheregimesofbothNasserandAnwarSadat.

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TheNovelThefirstmodernEgyptiannovelappearedin1914.FromthattimeuntiltherevolutionthatbroughtGamalAbdelNasserintopower,novelswerewritten,butthereare perhapsnomorethantwentybooksworthmentioning.Nevertheless,thenovelhascaughtoninEgyptandtodaytherearemanyprominentEgyptiannovelists,including NaguibMahfouz(1912)whoisaNobelLaureateinLiterature(1988).TogainsomeappreciationoftheachievementofMahfouzonemustrememberthathewas borninoldCairo,twoyearsbeforethepublicationofthefirstEgyptiannovel.HestudiedphilosophyatCairoUniversityandbecameacivilservantworkingforthe governmentin1939.FromthispositionhecouldstudytheinsidesofthecolonialandmonarchicalbureaucraciesofEgypt.In1954,hejoinedtheMinistryofCulture, finallyfindingapositionthatwouldallowhimtomakealivingandcontinuewriting.Since1939,Mahfouzhaspublishedmorethanfortynovelsandmanyshortstoriesit mightbesaidofhimthatheisEgyptsmostprolificauthoranditsmostcharacteristicwriter.HeconfrontsthedepressingsituationintheslumsofCairoandpaintsa pictureofhopelessnessthatusuallyendswithdeath.Hiswriting,muchlikethatofthepoetswholivedagenerationlater,isgloomy.YetMahfouzgathersenoughofthe soulofEgyptintohisnovelstopresentapossibilityofvictoryoverdepression.SomeofhisnovelshavebeenmadeintopopularEgyptianfilms. AnothernovelistandwriterofnoteisYusufIdris(1927).Idrishasalsobeenaprolificwriter,penningmorethantwentyfivevolumesofdrama,shortstories,and novels.Hesetshisworksincontemporarysocietybuthasalwaysbeenmoreinterestedintheindividualsthanthesociety.HeisunlikeMahfouzinthisregard.While Mahfouzisweddedtothepolitical,Idrisissurethatthepersonismoreimportantthananypoliticalsystem.

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Page143

PoetryCopyright 2002. Greenwood Publishing Group. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except fair uses permitted under U.S. or applicable copyright law.

ArabicpoetryinEgyptharkensbacktothedayswhentheBedouinssangodestotheirwarheroes.ModernEgyptianpoetryhasbeenexpressedasromanticism, mysticism,neoclassicism,socialrealism,symbolism,surrealism,andsocialrevolution.ThepoetsofEgypthaveadvancedArabicpoetryintandemwiththoseofthe Arabicspeakingworld.FindinginspirationintheworkoftheSyrianpoetAdunis(AhmadSaid),manyArabicspeakingpoetsinEgyptandotherplaceshavefound theirvoiceinsearchofanewsociety.Aduniswascommittedtoarevolutionaryvision,andwhilemanyEgyptianpoetshavenotbeenabletocommittorevolution,they havecommittedthemselvestonationalism.AdunisreputationismassiveintheArabspeakingworldandhasinfluencedmanyofthemostfamousEgyptianpoets. SincepoetryisthetraditionalformofArabliterature,itwasnotlongbeforeEgyptexpresseditselfuniquelyinthisarea.Amongthepoetswhohaveencouragedthe emergenceofanewEgyptianvoiceinpoetryhavebeenAhmedShawki,commonlyreferredtoinEgyptastheprinceamongpoetsSalahAbdelSabur(1931 1981),thewiseoneMuhammadAlFaituri(1930)andAhmadHijazi(1935).AllmadeafundamentalimpactonpoetryinEgypthowever,thelatterthree, consideredEgyptsgreatestpoets,directlyinfluencedthestyleofthepoetswhofollowedcameafterthem. SaburwaseducatedatCairoUniversity,wherehebegantowritepoetrythatexpressedsocialrealism.By1954,hewasdeeplydevotedtoquestioningthefateof Egypt.InhispoemPeopleinMyCountry,helamentedthatthepeopleinmycountryarehawklike,rapacious.InSabursmind,theEgyptianskill,steal,belch, buttheyarehuman,andgoodheartedwhentheypossessahandfulofcoinsandbelieveinFate.Hisearliestpoetrywastroubledbyhispessimismhowever,inhis laterworks,hemovedtowardamorespiritualandmysticallanguage,seeking,perhaps,awayoutofthequagmireofhopelessnessandfate.ThedeathofGamalAbdel Nasserin1970struckSaburasparticularlyharsh.Hewantedtoknow,Canhewhogavetolifedie,reallydie?Ofcourse,Nassersdeathwasabigblowtothe Egyptianswhohadfoundinhimamessiahlikefigure.Saburspoetrymustbereadwithinthecontextofhistime.HewasdevotedtothetransformationofEgyptand hewantedtoseeitmovevigorouslyintothemodernworld. ThepoetMuhammadAlFaituriwasofthesamegenerationasSabur,buthehadamuchbroadervisionofEgyptianlife.AlFaiturisawEgyptasAfricanandArab, asblackandwhite,asancientandnew,andheincorporatedinhispoetrytheimageofanEgyptiansocietyinwhichAfricansandArabswouldlivesidebysideas brothers.HewasablackEgyptian,oneofthefew

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Page144 nonArabswhorosetoprominenceinpoetryduringtheperiodofNassersgoldenyears.MuchlikethepanAfricanismthatNasserpreachedalongsidehiscompatriot KwameNkrumahofGhana,AlFaituriwroteofEgyptwithintheranksofAfrica.HiscollectionofpoetryborethetitlesRememberme,Africa,SongsofAfrica,and ALoverfromAfrica.HeremainedavisionarywhosawthelivesoftheblackpeopleinEgyptconnectedtothelivesofblacksinothercountries. AnotherpoetwhohashadamajorinfluenceonEgyptianwritingisAhmadHijaziwhowasborninavillageinLowerEgyptandmovedtoCairoforhigher education.Hewaslonelyandalienatedinthehugecity,andhisearlypoetryreflectshisdislocationintheurbanarea.HisfirstcollectionwascalledCitywithoutHeart inreferencetothecoldnesshefoundinthemetropolis.HijazispoetrybecameincreasinglytiedtotheideologyofSocialismduringthetimeofNasserhecouldnot breakhimselfawayfromArabism,towhichhewasemotionallytied.However,hefoundhisowncommunitytheonehelackedwhenhearrivedinCairoamonghis politicalaffiliatesandbecameoneoftheleadingpoetsofSocialistEgypt.

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PERFORMINGARTSDramaWesternstyledramawasintroducedintomodernEgyptbecauseofEuropeaninfluences.Althoughtheshortstorywasthepredominantmodeofexpressioninthe 1950s(duringthetimeoftheNasseriteRevolution),thedramaticplaycameintoitsownasthemostdominantliteraryform.Itwasimmediate,dramatic,andpolitical. Theatercrowdscametoexpectthattherewouldbesolutionstotheirproblemsfromthedramaticresolutions. TheEgyptiangovernmenthassupportedtheopeningofsmalltheatersandhasalsoencouragedthepublishingofdramatictexts.Thishasincreasedthenumberof theatergoersandhascontributedgreatlytoamuchmoreconscioustheateraudience.Ofcourse,thequalityofplaysalsohashelpedtolegitimizetheartform. Inaddition,oneofthegreatwritersofmodernEgypt,TawfiqalHakim(1898),hasdominatedthestagewithhisprolificpublicationofplays,shortstories,and novels.HeisEgyptsgrandoldmanofletters.AlHakimwroteoverthirtylongplaysandmanymoreshortplays,whichcoverawiderangeofthemes,fromphilosophy tocriticism.Hehaswrittenonsocialissuesandhasevenexploredthetheateroftheabsurd.In1959,hewrotetheplayAlSultanalhair(ThePerplexedSultan), translatedinEnglishasTheSultansDilemma.ThethemeisrelevanttocontemporaryEgyptbutissetseveral

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Page145 centuriesearlier.Intheplay,asultandiscoversbychancethatheisstillaslave.Inordertobefreed,hemustbeputupforauction,sold,andthenfreed.Awidow agreestopurchasehim,agreeingtofreehimifhewouldspendanightwithher.Theprimeministersuspectsthewidowofevilintentionsandasksthemuezzinto unlawfullycallthedawnprayeratmidnight.Thesultanseesthetrickeryandchastisestheprimeminister.Thesultandesirestocarryoutthebargainwithhispurchaser. Sheagreestoreleasehimandherewardsher.Theplaywasviewedbymanyasapoliticalplayattemptingtodealwiththequestionofrightingtheworldbyforceorby upholdingprinciples.Thosewhohavethepowerareoftenchallengedbynotknowingwhattodoingivensituations.Theylosesightofthemoralnatureoflaw. Anotherplaywright,MikhailRoman,wasunlikeTawfiqalHakiminmanyways.Forone,hewasascientistwhotaughtattheInstituteofIndustry.Healsodiedat fiftyyearsofage.Heturnedtodramaneartheendofhisyounglifebutisstillconsideredoneofthegreatplaywrightsofhisgenerationbecauseofthestrongreactions tohiswork.Hewasanangryplaywright,andhisworksevokedstrongsentimentsfororagainsthispositions.SomebelievethatRomansplaysproducedverbal fightingwhentheywereproduced.Severalofhisplayswerebanned,andtheatersexpectingabanfromthecensorsoftendidnottakehistexts.(Hopwood1982, 199). Hewrotetwelveplays,butonlyafewofthemwereproduced.Alwafid(TheNewArrival),aoneactplay,wasproducedin1965afterthecensors,duringGamal AbdelNassersreign,hadpermittedittobeseenbyaspecialaudienceforonenight.Thenewarrivalcomestoalargehotelintheurbanarea.Thehotelhaslotsof buttonsandbuttonpushersandthroughvariousencountersthenewarrivalloseshissenseofsecurityandbeginstofeellikeheisfacingasoullesstechnological institution.Hisinsecurityisgreatlyincreasedwhenheisinterrogated,whenfoodispromisedandwithheld,andwhentheauthoritiesfailtorecognizehimunlesshe producesatrainticket.Withoutittheywillnotrecognizehim.FinallyhereachesthepointofinsanityandbeginstoshoutIdoexist.Icanteverbecomenonexistent. Itsimpossible.Iexist,Ido,Imhere!(ibid.,150). YusefIdris(1927),ashortstorywriter,alsowritesplays.HearguedforanEgyptiantheaterthatwouldgrowfromtheorganicsoilofEgyptratherthanfromthe Europeantheater.HedidnotwanttoseeEgyptianwriterstryingtoimitateEuropeans.Alfarafir,hismajorplay,wasproducedin1964.Itisatourdeforcewrittento dealwiththeproblemsofmodernman.Hetriestodemonstratethatthemodernmanisacomplexmixofpersonalityandcharacter.Thereisnoplottotheplay,only encounters.Thecharacterswhomeetrepresentdifferentviewpointsandmustdiscussanddealwith

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Page146 variousissues.Heisbrilliantinthedialoguebetweencharacters.Thus,MikhailRomanwriteshisnameintheEgyptianhistorybookasoneofthemostsignificant dramatistsofthesociety. InthesametraditionastheeminentTawfiqalHakim,numerousotherwriters,suchasNomaanAshour(19181987)haveattemptedtopresentEgyptianlifeina realisticmanner.AshourwasborninDakahlia,Egypt.Hisgrandfathershomehadathreeroomlibraryofbooksonallsubjects,andtheyoungNomaanspenthisearly yearsreadinghistory,literature,andclassicalArabicbooks.HisfatherwasanavidloveroftheaterandtheyoungNomaanoftenaccompaniedhimtothetheaterin Cairo. AshourstudiedEnglishattheKingFouadUniversitynowUniversityofCairo.Hegraduatedin1942withhisfirstdegree.Hehadbeenanenthusiasticmemberof thedramaclubandhadparticipatedintheannualShakespeareanplayfestival.BecausetheuniversityhadastrongWesternorientationintermsofliterature,Ashour wasinfluencedbyChekhov,Ibsen,andBernardShaw.Hebelievedthatthefunctionofart,particularlydrama,wastodealwiththeproblemsofthesociety. OneofthebestdramatistsinmodernEgyptshistory,Ashourcametohispositionofeminencebywritingaboutreallifeconditionsconfrontedbyordinarypeople. Hewaseagertoshowhowfamilyrelationshipsandgenerationalconflictswereimpactedbythesocialandpoliticalstrugglesandideasinthecountry.Hisplaysare oftenseenastragicomediesbecauseheshowedthesatiricalandironicalsituationsthatwerepossibleinanysocietywhereyouhadtheinteractionoftheoldandthe new.In1950,hewrotehisfirstplay:Almagnet(TheMagnet).Init,hedealtwiththeobstaclesfacedbypeoplewhohadtoovercomeclassdistinctions.By1956, whenhewrotetheplayShaabTaabeqAwal(ThePeopleDownstairs),hehadperfectedthediscussionandhighlightingofmodernrealism.Inthisplay,he concentratedmoreontheconditionofthelowerclass,presentingtheEgyptianhomeasametaphorofthesociety.Thenin1958,hewroteShaabTaabeqAttani(The PeopleUpstairs)inwhichheshowedpeoplewhocouldnotdealwiththerealityoftheirsituationbutstillwantedtolookdownonothers.AshourthenwroteFilmzaai (FakeCinema)in1958andAlAadelalWaded(TheFairSex)in1960.Theydidnotreceivethesameacclaimashisearlierplays.In1963,hewrotehismostfamous playAlHoushalDughry(TheHouseofAlDughry)whichportrayeddiscordandconfusionintheAlDughryfamilybecauseofselfishness,greed,andmaterialism.It becameatelevisionserialinthe1980s. AmongtheyoungerdramatistsistheprolificLeninAlRamli(1945),whowasborninCairo.HewasnotasmuchatragicomedianasAshour,

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Page147 butratheracomedianofsorts.Helookedatthedailylivesofpeopleandtriedtowriteaboutthehumorhesawintheirsituations.Insomeinstancesthisborderedon anexaminationoftheabsurdityofcertainexperiences. AlRamliworkedfortheMinistryofCultureafterhegraduatedfromtheHighInstituteforTheatricalArtsin1970.In1983,heresignedfromtheministrytodevote hisfullattentiontowritingplaysforthetheater.Hisfirstplay,publishedin1972,wasTheWordNowisfortheDefense.Thiswasthebeginningofaveryproductive career.Sincetheearly1970s,AlRamlihaswrittenmorethantwentyplays,allofwhichhavebeenproduced,eitherbypublicorprivatetheaters.Amonghismost famousworksare:TheyKillDonkeys,DontThey?TheLessonisOver,StupidAliBevMazharCongratulationsWeakPointTrytoUnderstandStupidLockUp YourDaughtersYoureFreeTheScandalTheUncivilizedInsanityAGhostforEveryCitizenAhlanYaBakawatAPointofViewandBilArabielFasih. Bytheturnofthecentury,thereweremanyyoungwritersanddirectorstryingtomoveEgyptiandramaforward.WhenNomaanAshourtriedtoEgyptianizeforeign textsinthe1960shiseffortsweremetwithsomeresistance.Bythe1990s,theyoungcomicdirectorNaderSalahElDinhadbeguntoshowhisflairfortheaterwith the1995FoulanKamanwiKaman(SoandSoAgainandAgain),afunnyspoofofYusefChahinesmovies.HesoonturnedhisattentiontoShakespeares Othello,aplaythathasreceivedacclaimaroundtheworld.ElDinsoughttomakeOthelloaNubiandoorman,asortofbumbling,naivestereotype.Theaudiences founditfunnywhentheactorplayingtheleadrole,KhaledSaleh,refrainsentaelhabeenyaDaydamoona(youaremydarlingDesdemona)inastereotypical accent.Therearecertainlysomefunnyscenesinthiscomedicrendering,butitisdifficulttogetpastthefactthatKhaledSalehplaystheleadinblackfacewhenthere aresomanypossibilitiesofblackactors,thatis,Nubianactors,inEgypt.ItbordersondistastemuchliketheoldblackfaceperformancesinU.S.dramaticproductions duringthe1930s. Throughoutthe1990sandintothetwentyfirstcentury,theactorKarimAbdulAziz,thesonofthefamousdirectorMohamedAbudulAzizandthenephewofthe veteranfilmmakerOmarAbdulAziz,becameoneofEgyptsnewactingstars.HemadehisfilmdebutattheageoffiveinthemovieAlMashbouh(TheSuspect), oppositesuperstarcomedianAdelImamandversatileactressSouadHosni.Theyoungactorputonanimpressiveperformance.HeworkedwiththelegendaryAhmed Zaki,LaylaOlwi,andSanaaGameel.KarimhasbecomepopularforhisroleinthetelevisionsmashhitMaraAmeralJameel(AWomanfromtheAgeofLove) withactressSamiraAhmed.EveryindicationisthatKarimwillcontinuetobeanactorofgreat

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Page148 versatility.LikeotheractorsinEgypt,Karimhasgainedmuchnationalandinternationalnotorietyforhisskills.EgyptianactorsarethebestknownintheArabic speakingworld.Copyright 2002. Greenwood Publishing Group. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except fair uses permitted under U.S. or applicable copyright law.

DanceDanceinEgypt,asinotherpartsofAfrica,playsanimportantsocialroleinthelivesofthepeopletheydancewheneverthereisanoccasionforcelebration.Thus,one wouldnormallyfinddanceperformancesinthehome,athotels,andatcommunitycenterswheneverthereisabirthday,wedding,orpartytocommemoratethe promotionofapersontoahigherofficeorjob.Egyptianslovetodance,andtheyareexpertsatdeterminingwhenapersonorgroupofperformersisconsideredgood. TherearenumerousdancesinacountrylikeEgypt,butoneofthemostvisibleisthebellydance,whichprobablycameintoEgyptwiththeTurks.ItsnameinArabic israqssharqi(danceoftheEast)inTurkishthenameisOryantal(easterndance). InEgypttheroleofthefemalesingeranddancerhasbeenanintricatepartofthefabricofthesocietysincethenineteenthcentury.Infact,thealjeelstyleofbelly dancemusicispopularmusicwiththeyouthinEgyptiancities.Thisstylefirstemergedinthe1980swhentheyoungEgyptianspushedtohavemusictheycoulddance to.Mostofthelyricsareaboutpatriotism.AmongthevocalistswhosinginthisstyleareMohammedMoneer,Khedr,AdelElMusree,Ehab,AmrDiab,andHanan. Thebellydancerisnotmerelyadancerbutasymbolofstyle.Thereareseveralstylesofclothesusedbythebellydancer,butthemostcommonisthebedleh,asuit ofcabaretstyle.Ithasbeads,abra,belts,askirt,andabodystockingandisusedformostperformances.Afterperformingraqssharqi,thedancergoesbackstage andchangescostumes.Shethencomesoutinabeledidresstodoafolkloricdance.Thefloorlengthbeledidressismadeofnaturalfibersuchascottonandis coveredwithpaillettesattachedtoshortfringesofrocaillebeads.Thebellydancerwillalsohaveacane,anappropriateproptousewhenwearingthebeledidressand dancingtheraqsalassaya(thecanedance).Thecanedance,whichisnotjustabellydanceact,isenjoyedbypeopleallacrossEgypt.Itmayhavederivedfrom NubiandancesinsouthernEgypt. Bellydancingisusuallyaccompaniedbyseveralinstruments,includingthedumbekdrums.Theyarenormallyceramicwiththeheadofthedrummadefromeither goatskinorfishskin.ManydumbeksnowhavesyntheticheadsandthedrumbodymaybemadeofmetalincontemporaryEgypt.Anotherinstrumentusedinthebelly danceperformanceistheKawaiaatypeofEgyptianflutemadefromareedthatresemblesthesouthernEgyptianNey

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Traditionaldancers

sometimescalledashalabeya.Infact,thistypeoffluteisveryolditappearsindrawingsonthewallsofthetemples.Therababa(astringedinstrument),oftenusedin thedancemusicoftheSaidi(southernEgyptians),isalsousedinmostEgyptianbellydancingperformances.Otherinstruments,thatmayalsobeusedaresagat (cymbals),riqq(tambourine),tar(alargetambourine),andzurna(anoboetypeinstrument). ThereareseveralotherdancestylesandtypesthatsuggesthowimportantdanceistotheEgyptian.Onedanceiscalledtheraqsalnasharar.Thisisawomans dancethatwasimportedfromtheGulfStates.TherhythmforthemusiciscalledSaudi,becausesomanyofthesongscomefromSaudiArabia.Examplesofthismusic maybefoundinthemodernhotelclubsinCairofrequentedbymanyPersianGulfvisitors.Thefootworkinthedancebeginswhenthedancerstepsforwardonone foot,bringstheballofthebackfootforward,thenstepsforwardagainonthesamefoot.Thedancerpausesverybrieflyandthenrepeatsthewholemovementwiththe otherfoot.Thefundamentalmovementsofthisdancearehandmovementsholdingthethobealnashaarandheadtosses.Thethobe(Arabicwordfordress)isa typeofcostumingworntocoverthepartyclothesunderneath. Amansdance,theTahtiyb,isdoneinsouthernEgypt.Itisamartialartsdanceinwhichthemenenactfightingwithlongsticksasweapons.Itisbelievedthatthe raqsalassayaaroseasanimitationofthisancienttraditionaldanceofNubia.

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Page150 Thereisalsotheraqsalshamadan(theweddingdance),adancethatisperformedwiththedancerwearingalarge,ornatecandelabrumonherhead.Theword shamadanmeanscandelabruminArabic. WhetherthetraditionaldancesoftheSaidiorthemoderndancesoftheurbancommunitiessuchasCairo,Alexandria,orHurghada,danceinEgyptremainsclosely connectedtotheaspirationsofthepeople.Insomeareastherearecleardistinctionsbetweendancesformenandthoseforwomen.Inthemoderncities,menand womencandancetogetherinsocialdances,butthetraditionaldancesarealwaysonesinwhichmenandwomendanceingroups.Eachtraditionaldancehassome historyinplace,action,orhistoricalevent. ProfessionalmusiciansanddancersarefoundthroughoutEgyptandanyonecanhirethemforweddingsorparties.Manydancersmaketheirlivingonthetourist trade.Theyarecontractedtocertaintourcompaniesorshippinglinesforperformanceswhenthelargetouristboatsareindock.Manymusiciansanddancersare undercontracttoperformfourandfivetimespernight,goingfromboattoboat. Intheend,thebestperformanceisalsocollective.Whenadanceperformancehasbeenjudgedoutstandingbytheaudience,itisusuallybecausethedancers,who mayalsobethemusicians,havesucceededingettingtheaudiencetoparticipateinsometrainofdancersmovingaroundinacircle.ThestepsoftheEgyptiandances arefairlyeasytolearnand,thus,promoteaudienceparticipation. ThereisnosocietyinwhichdanceisappreciatedanymorethanEgypt.Thepeoplehaveanespritdecorpsthatisgroundedintheirloveofhappinessandjoy.Loud shrills,normallymadebywomen,areheardwhenthemusicisparticularlygoodandthedancingisveryenjoyable.Thistypeofululationisoftenassociatedwithhighly skilleddancerswhoaremastersofthestyleandpatternsofthemostpopularmusicanddance.Thus,Egyptshouldbeseenasarichculturalenvironmentfortraditional andmoderndance.Newavenuesofdancearebeingdiscoveredandcreatedeverydaybythehighlymobileandsophisticatedyouthofthemajorcities.Itiscertainly truethatmostofthevitalityinthedanceisbecauseofitsrichroots,butitisequallyafactthatthecontemporarycustomsandculturearebuiltonnewdimensionsof creativityandpower.

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MUSICTheMusicalGeniusofAbdalWahhabEgypthasproducedmanymusiciansbutonlyoneoftheinfluenceandstatureofAbdalWahhab.Hewasconsideredageniusasayoungmanand

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Page151 asanoldmanwasveneratedbytheyoungergenerationforhisartisticleadership.ButalWahhabmustbeviewednotasafolkartist,thoughthefolklovedhim,butas oneoftherarefiedmakersofcultureintheEgyptiansociety.Therefore,hetakeshisplaceintheartisticpanoplyalongsideTahaHussein,NaguibMahfouz,Tawfiqal Hakim,andthepoetoftheelite,AhmadShauqi.Theseare,byanystandards,thegiantsoftheartisticworldinEgypt. AbdalWahhabwasbornaroundtheturnofthetwentiethcentury.Therehasbeenmuchspeculationastowhetherhewasbornin1901or1910.Whatiscertainis thathediedonMay3,1991,andhisdeathmeantthatEgypthadlostoneofitsgreatestperformers. ThemediareactedtoAbdalWahhabsdeathwithcommemorativeprogramsandbiographies.Theyeulogizedthegreatartistasagiant,asonewritersaid,with onelegintheEastandoneintheWest,agreattreewithitsrootssunkdeeplyintotheArabicmusicalculture,itsbranchesreachingintothecultureofWestern music(Armbrust1996,64).Whilethemedialaudedpraiseuponhim,theopinionoftheregularfolkwasmixed:somesawhimasthekeeperofthehighcultureof Arabicmusicandotherssawhimasapanderertobourgeoistastes.AlWahhabsufferedfromthesplitvernacularthedoublepersonalityofsomanyartistsin Egypt.HehadtomaintainArabicauthenticitywhilesimultaneouslytryingtoprojectmodernity.Thesetwotendenciesdidnothavetobecontradictoryor confrontational,buttheyoftenbecamesointhemindsandhandsoflesserpeople. AbdalWahhablovedmusicfromthetimehewasayoungboy.Whenhewasateenagerthestoryistoldthatapopularmusicianpassedbyinacar.Youngal WahhabranafterthecarandleapedontherunningboardtogetaglimpseofthegreatsingerSalihAbdalHayy.Hewasconsideredthepopularsingerofhisday. WhenalHayysawtheboyhecalledforthedrivertousethewhiponhim,whereuponalWahhabwasknockedoffoftherunningboard.Heneverexpressed bitternessabouttheincidentandvowedthathewouldseehisloveofmusicbecomerecognizeduniversally. PriortotherevoltagainsttheBritishatthebeginningofthetwentiethcentury,Egyptianculture,particularlyintermsofmusicaltalent,wasconsideredcrude.Itwould beAbdalWahhabwhowouldrescuetheartandbecomeknownasthesingerofkingsandprinces.Butallofthiswouldoccurafter1920whenAhmadShauqi introducedhimtohighEgyptiansociety.ThisdidnotbringalWahhabimmediatelyintotheconsciousnessoftheEgyptiansittooksometime.Heheldnumerous concertsinnumerousvenuesinordertoestablishhisreputationasasinger.ThiswasmadeeasybythemanyweddingsandfestivalsthattookplaceinCairo. SomewritershavecontendedthatalWahhabtookEgyptiansingingfromtheleveloflewdsongsperformedbeforedrunkenmenintentstothemosteleganthallsin Cairo.Buttheauthorsarecarefultocrafttheriseofthestar

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Page152 alongtraditionallines.Thus,whenalWahhabreachedthehighestlevelsoftheartandthewidestrecognitionasanartist,hisbiographerswereeagertoshowhowhe simplyextendedthevaluedtraditionsofthesociety. ThereweretwotraditionsthatappearedtomergeinalWahhabsart,thatofthefolktraditionarticulatedbythesingerSayyidDarwishandtheclassicaltradition foundintheworkofthepoetAhmadShauqi.Becauseofthiscombinationofthefolkandtheclassical,alWahhabwasabletomaintainasolidaudiencewho understoodhimasthebestinEgyptiansinging.Hehadclassicalvoicetraining,andhisassociationwithShauqigavehimtheauthenticityheneededtodeclarehimself abovethecolloquialexpressionsofthemostnaivesingers,yethebasedhismusicallineageinthefolkcultureofthepeople.Thiswasatoughfeat,butitmadehimthe majorsingerofthetwentiethcentury.ItmaybetruethatalWahhabrescuedEgyptiansingingfromthedecadenceofseedybackroomswheredrinkingandsmokingof hashishwasplentiful,butthisisnothismostimportantcontributiontothehistoryofEgyptianculture. EgyptianmusichadfoundinalWahhabapersonwhocould,byhistrainingandexperience,reconcilethecivilizationandheritageoftheArabworldwiththe civilizationoftheWestthisishismostimportantcontribution.AlWahhabisbestseenastheEgyptiansingerwhotranscendedthelimitationsofhistimeandplace.In fact,hetranscendedbywrappinghimselfinhiscultureandrespectingthecommonperson. AnInnovativeComposer RifaatGaranaisoneofthemostinnovativecomposersinEgyptbecauseheexploredtheuseoftheqanoon(aninstrumentusedmainlytoaccompanybellydancing)as amajorconcertinstrument.HespentalifetimetryingtosituateEgyptianmusicasworldclass.Ifanyonehasdoneanythingtoensurethatthemusiccriticsappreciate contemporaryEgyptianmusic,itisthebrilliantGarana. Hewasbornaround1925,educatedinEgyptbyseveralprominentcomposerswholivedinEgyptduringthe1940s,andspenthiscareeradvancingEgyptianmusic. Hewonthe1966NationalEncouragementaward,andoneyearlaterwasgiventheFirstClassOrderofArtsandSciences.Hechosetheconcertoformtoexperiment withtheqanoonandtorepresentIslamthroughtheinstrument.HeplayedthefirstmovementwiththeEidprayersthesecondwiththesongTalaaElBadro Alaina(TheMoonRoseonUs),suggestingalinkwiththeprophetsflightfromMeccatoMedinaandthethirdmovementwasstartedwiththeazaan(theIslamic calltoprayer).Inthisway,Garanafollowedhistory,muchlikeTchaikovskysymphonically

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MusiciansplayingancientEgyptianinstruments

documentedNapoleonBonapartesadventuresinRussia.Hiscompositionsinclude23rdofJulySymphony,ArabicSymphony,SymphonicOdetoPortSaid, SymphonicOdetothe1956War,andSymphonicOdetotheSixthofOctober.

MusicfortheTwentyfirstCenturyEgyptianmusichasreachedinternationalstaturebyvirtueofthecountryhavingsomeofthemostaccomplishedcontemporarymusiciansandtheabilityoftheEgyptian peopletoimprovisegroupsthatenjoythenewmusic.AgroupofprofessionalwomenmusicianscallingthemselvesBanatelNil(DaughtersoftheNile)heldtheirfirst concertin1998.Theymadeanimmediateimpressiononthepublicbecauseoftheirtalentandprofessionalism.Thegroupwasfoundedbythreewomen:Dr.Mirvat Garana,Dr.HanaaTanious,andMayyadaSalahEddin.GaranaandTanioushadknowneachotherfromthetimetheywerefouryearsold.TheyattendedtheHigher MusicInstitute,earnedtheirdoctorates,andstartedteachingthefluteandviolintheirfavoriteinstrumentsattheinstitute. Thetwoprofessorswouldoftenaskotherwomentojointhemateventstoperformfortheaudiences.Whentheeventswereover,thewomenwouldgotheir separateways.ButsoonGaranaandTaniousdecidedtoputtogether

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Youngmusician

agroup.Theyselectedthenameandchosefourmoremusicianstocompletethegroup.TheyincludebothArabicandpopularmusicintheirrepertoire.Theyplayedat theWomensConferenceandwereaskedtoplayattheclosingceremonyfortheInternationalSquashTournamentinHurghada.Thegroupconcentratesonthework ofFaridElAtrash,AbdalWahhab,andMohammedElMougi.

ANewDivaIsBornMohammedAliSolimanwasasingerofsomerepute,andhestartedhisdaughterAnghamsinstructioninclassicalArabicmusicatagefive.Shewasbornin1975.She didnotwanttolearnscienceormathsheonlywantedtosing.Shebecamelikearecorderforherfatherwhowouldcalluponherifheforgotapartofaclassical piece.AttendingtheHigherInstituteforArabicMusic,sheexcelled,graduatingin1993. Attheageofseventeen,AnghambecameaprofessionalsingerwiththeendorsementoftheEgyptianRadioCommittee,anendorsementthatmeantshehadpassed thetesttobecomeanofficialsingerofclassicalmusic.ThesongsheperformedfortheRadioCommitteewastheclassicElGaannaThatAadaamik(HeavenIs BeneathYourFeet).Thisisasongdedicatedtomotherhood.ShewassoeffectivethattheCommitteeimmediatelyasked

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Page155 hertorecordthesongandcommissionedaliveperformancebyherfortheMothersDaycelebrations. SinceAnghamcamefromafamilyofmusicians,itmightseemthatshewasdestinedtobeagreatmusician,butshedemonstratedunusualcommitmenttopractice anddiscipline.Thus,hertalentmighthavecomefromheredity,buthersuccesswasduetohardworkandstudy.Herfather,uncle,mother,andmaternalauntwereall singers.Indeedherpaternalgrandfatherwasalsoafamousmusician.AnghamisnowseenasoneofEgyptsgreatestdivas. Inadditiontothewomeninpopularmusic,therearewomenwhoareclaimingterritoryintheclassicalArabicmusicalvernacular.Nonehasexperiencedthedramatic evolutionofhercareerashasAngham.ShesangtheclassicAshwaq(Longing)whenshewasfiveyearsoldwithoutmakingamistake.Thosewhoheardtheyoung Anghamknewthattheyhadwitnessedthebuddingofamusicalgenius.Itissaidthatasachildshewaseithersingingorlisteningtomusiceveryminuteofherday.

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GlossaryAhwacoffee Albahrgatewaytothesea Alimiyauniversitydegree Ansarhelper Ashaadinner AzaanIslamiccalltoprayer Baklavalayeredpastryfilledwithnutsandhoneylemonsyrup Bedlediclothingwornbybellydancer BismillahInthenameofAllah CaliphasuccessoroftheProphetMuhammad Chaitea Dajaajachicken Deenreligion DhikrsSufimeetings Ejjeomelette Falafeldeepfriedpattyfilledwithspicedgroundchickpeas Farahwedding Fataamixtureofmeat,bread,rice,andvinegar Fatwaopinion(authoritativeverdict)byacanonlawyer Fellahpeasantfarmer Feluccasailboat

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Page158 Foulslowcookedmashofbrownfarabeansandredlentils Fulmedamesbakedbeans Futoorbreakfast Galabealongsleevedonepiecedressformen Gebnabeidasoftwhitecheese HadithspecificstoriesoractivitiesoftheProphetMuhammadandhisfollowers Hajjpilgrimage Halawasweetsesamecake HegiramigrationoftheprophettoMedinain622 Hijabheadcoveringforwomen Hummusdipmadefrompureedchickpeas Iftarlargemealeatenaftersunset Imammosqueleader Infitahopendooreconomicpolicy JihadHolyWar,spiritualquestormilitaryconquest Karkadaypopulardrinkmadefromthehibiscusplant Kebabskeweredmeatcookedovercharcoal Khamsinhot,fierce,drywindstorm Khazaandam KhediveviceroytitleofrulerofEgyptundertheOttomanSultan,18671914 Mahdiinfallibleruler Majallamagazine MamlukamemberoftheEgyptianmilitaryclassthatoccupiedthesultanacefrom1250to1517 Mastabarectangularlyshapedbox MawlidbirthdayofaSufisaint Milabbissugarcoatedalmonds MisrArabicforEgypt Molokhiyaspinachlikevegetable MuezzinaMuslimcrieronewhocallsMuslimstoprayer Muhajirunemigrant Nahdarenaissance Pastoramicuredbeef Pitaflat,unleavenedbread Qanooninstrumentusedtoaccompanybellydancing

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Page159 QuransacredtextofIslam QurayshNorthArabianethnicgroup,ProphetMuhammadspeople Raqssharqibellydance RukkabordinaryU.S.equivalentislocaltrain Sabaahmorning Saharadesert Sajaadacarpet Sakiawaterwheel SalatelgomaaFridaynoonprayer Sayedalady Shaabpeople Shadufcounterpoiselift ShahadaIslamicpillar,proclaimingthatAllahistheonlyGod Shammyflat,unleavedbread Sharbatdrinkmadefromdilutedsyrup ShariaMuslimlaw ShiaPartisansofAli ShiiteMuslimbelieverinAlissuccessiontoMuhammad SufiIslamicmystic Sunnaliterally,habitsagroupofreligiousteachings SunniMuslimbelieverincustomarysuccession SurachapteroftheQuran Tagenclaypot Tahinalemonandgarlicservedwithadip Tariqaspathsanothernameforsufiorders UlamaIslamicscholar UmaldunyaMotheroftheWorld UmmaMuslimcommunityofbelievers Usrafamily WafdPartypoliticalpartythatgrewfroma1918delegationtoEngland Zaghrutacelebratorywailingsofwomenatawedding Zakatcharityorthegivingofalms Zibiblocalalcoholicbeverage

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BibliographyAbuLughod,Ibrahim.ArabRediscoveryofEurope.Princeton,NJ:PrincetonUniversityPress,1963. AbuLughod,Janet.Cairo:1001YearsoftheCityVictorious.Princeton,NJ:PrincetonUniversityPress,1971. Abdelkhalek,Gouda,andRobertTignor.ThePoliticalEconomyofIncomeDistributioninEgypt.NewYork:HolmesandMeier,1982. Ahmed,Leila.WomenandGenderinIslam:HistoricalRootsofaModernDebate.NewHaven:YaleUniversityPress,1992. Amin,Galal.WhateverHappenedtotheEgyptians?Cairo:AmericanUniversityofCairo,1995. Amin,Qasim.TheLiberationofWomenandTheNewWoman:TwoDocumentsintheHistoryofEgyptianFeminism.Cairo:AmericanUniversityPress,2000. Ammar,H.GrowingUpinanEgyptianVillage.NewYork:GrovePress,1954. Armbrust,Walter.MassCultureandModernisminEgypt.Cambridge:CambridgeUniversityPress,1996. Atiya,Nayra.KhulKhaal:FiveEgyptianWomenTellTheirStories.Cairo:AmericanUniversityinCairoPress,1984. Awad,Louis.Maulahazatalaalnaywaalgamin.AlAhram,19December1969,p.6. Awad,Louis.TheLiteratureofIdeasofEgypt.Atlanta,GA:ScholarsPress,1986. Ayubi,N.N.BureaucracyandPoliticsinContemporaryEgypt.London:IthacaPress,1980. Baker,R.W.EgyptsUncertainRevolutionunderNasserandSadat.Cambridge,MA:HarvardUniversityPress,1978. Barton,Frank.ThePressinAfrica.London:Macmillan,1979.

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Page162Brooks,Geraldine.NinePartsofDesire:TheHiddenWorldofIslamicWomen.NewYork:AnchorBooks,1995. Brown,Nathan.PeasantPoliticsinEgypt.NewHaven,CT:YaleUniversityPress,1990. Burns,W.J.EconomicAidandAmericanPolicytowardEgypt.Albany:StateUniversityofNewYorkPress,1985. Butler,Alfred.TheArabInvasionofEgyptandtheLast30YearsoftheRomanDominion.Oxford:OxfordUniversityPress,1902. .TheArabInvasionofEgypt.Brooklyn,NY:AandBBooks,1922. Chennels,E.AnEgyptianPrincessbyHerEnglishGoverness.London:1893. Cooper,MarkN.TheTransformationofEgypt.London:CroomHelm,1982. Crecelius,Daniel.TheRootsofModernEgypt:AStudyoftheRegimesofAliBeyalKabirandMuhammadBeyAbualDhahab,17601775.Minneapolis,MN: BibliothecaIslamica,1981. Creswell,K.A.C.EarlyMuslimArchitecture.2Vols.London:Penguin,1958. Dessouki,AliHillal,ed.DemocracyinEgypt.Cairo:AmericanUniversityinCairoPress,1978. Diop,CheikhAnta.CivilizationorBarbarism:AnAuthenticAnthropology.Trans.YaaLengiMecmiNgemi.NewYork:LawrenceHill,1991. ElDakhakhni,Mamdouh.Egypt(August2001). ElHakim.NubianArchitecture:TheEgyptianVernacularExperience.CairoPalmPress,1999. Fahmi,Ismail.NegotiatingforPeaceintheMiddleEast.London:CroomHelm,1983. Faksh,Mahmud.TheConsequencesoftheIntroductionandSpreadofModernEducation:EducationandNationalIntegrationinEgypt.InModernEgypt:Studiesin PoliticsandSociety,editedbyElieKedourieandSylviaG.Haim.London:FrankCass,1980. Ferneat,ElizabethWarnock.InSearchofIslamicFeminism:OneWomansGlobalJourney.NewYork:Doubleday,1998. Gardiner,A.H.EgyptofthePharaohs.Oxford:OxfordUniversityPress,1974. Gharib,Samir.AHundredYearsofFineArtsinEgypt.Cairo:Prism,1998. Gibb,SirH.A.R.StudiesontheCivilizationofIslam.London:RoutledgeandKeganPaul,1962. Gilsenan,Michael.RecognizingIslam:ReligionandSocietyintheModernArabWorld.NewYork:Pantheon,1982. Gole,Nilufer.TheForbiddenModern:CivilizationandVeiling.AnnArbor:UniversityofMichiganPress,1994. Gran,Peter.IslamicRootsofCapitalism,17691840.Austin:UniversityofTexasPress,1979. vonGrunebaum,Gustave.MedievalIslam.Chicago:UniversityofChicagoPress,1946. Hansen,Bent,andSamirRadwan.EmploymentOpportunitiesandEquityinEgypt.Geneva:InternationalLabourOffice,1982.

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Page163Harris,LillianCraig,ed.Egypt:InternalChallengesandRegionalStability.London:RoutledgeandKeganPaul,1988. Heikal,Mohamed.AutumnofFury:TheAssassinationofSadat.Cambridge:CambridgeUniversityPress,1985. HeyworthDunne,James.AnIntroductiontotheHistoryofEducationinModernEgypt.London:Luzac,1939. Hopwood,Derk.Egypt:PoliticsandSociety,19451981.London:AllenandUnwin,1982. Hourani,Albert.ArabicThoughtintheLiberalAge,17981939.Cambridge:CambridgeUniversityPress,1983. Hussein,Taha.TheFutureofCultureinEgypt.Washington,DC:AmericanCouncilofLearnedSocieties,1954. alJabarti,AbdalRahman.AlJabartisChronicleoftheFirstSevenMonthsoftheFrenchOccupationofEgypt,MuharramRajab1213(15JuneDecember1798). Leiden:Brill,1975. Kamel,MohammedIbrahim.TheCampDavidAccords:ATestimony.London:RoutledgeandKeganPaul,1986. Kedourie,Elie,andSylviaG.Haim.ModernEgypt:StudiesinPoliticsandSociety.London:FrankCass,1980. Kelley,AllenC.,AtepM.Khalifa,andM.NabilElKhorazaty.PopulationandDevelopmentinRuralEgypt.Durham,NC:DukeUniversityPress,1982. Kepel,Gilles.TheProphetandPharaoh:MuslimExtremisminEgypt.London:AlSaqi,1985. Khalidi,Tarif.ArabicHistoricalThoughtintheClassicalPeriod.Cambridge:CambridgeUniversityPress,1994. Landau,Jacob.StudiesintheArabTheatreandCinema.Philadelphia:UniversityofPennsylvaniaPress,1958. Lane,Edward.AnAccountoftheMannersandCustomsoftheModernEgyptians.London:CharlesKnight,1835. LeoAfricanus(alHassanibnMuhammadalWazzanalFasi).HistoryandDescriptionofAfrica.London:HakluytSociety,1896. Mabro,Robert.TheEgyptianEconomy,19521972.Oxford:ClarendonPress,1974. McDermott,Anthony.EgyptafterNasser.London:CroomHelm,1987. Mitchell,Timothy.ColonizingEgypt.BerkeleyandLosAngeles:UniversityofCaliforniaPress,1991. Nelson,Kristina.TheArtofRecitingtheQuran.Austin:UniversityofTexasPress,1985. Nyrop,RichardF.,ed.Egypt:ACountryStudy.Washington,DC:AmericanUniversityandU.S.GovernmentPrintingOffice,1983. Pedersen,Johannes.TheArabicBook.Princeton,NJ:PrincetonUniversityPress,1984. Rugh,AndreasB.FamilyinContemporaryEgypt.Cairo:AmericanUniversityinCairoPress,1985.

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Page164Said,Edward.Orientalism.NewYork:Pantheon,1978. Scholch,Alexander.EgyptfortheEgyptians:TheSocioPoliticalCrisisinEgypt18781882.London:Ithaca,1981. Stewart,Desmond.GreatCairo:MotheroftheWorld.Cairo:AmericanUniversityinCairoPress,1996. Tucker,JudithE.WomeninNineteenthCenturyEgypt.Cambridge:CambridgeUniversityPress,1985. Vatikiotis,P.J.TheModernHistoryofEgypt.NewYork:Praeger,1969. .TheHistoryofEgypt.3rded.Baltimore,MD:JohnsHopkinsUniversityPress,1986. Waterbury,John.TheEgyptofNasserandSadat:ThePoliticalEconomyofTwoRegimes.Princeton,NJ:PrincetonUniversityPress,1983. Ziegler,Dhyana,andMolefiKeteAsante.ThunderandSilence:TheMassMediainAfrica.Trenton,NJ:AfricaWorldPress,1992.

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IndexAaykai,MuhammadHusayn,131 AbbasI,133 Adunis,143 Aflaton,Injy,88 AlAfghani,JamalalDin,131,136138 AlAyyubi,SalahadDin(Saladin),18 AlAzharUniveristy,21,133 AlAziz,15,1618 AlFaituri,Muhammad,143 AlHakim,Tawfiq,130,131,141,142 AlHakim,Caliph(thedemented),16 AlHalabi,Suleiman,20 AlIkhwan,28 AlJabarti,AbdalRahman(theEthiopian),21,131,132 AlJawahiri,Ayman,37 AlJazeera,117 AlMalikBaybarsI(Mamlukconqueror),18 AlNashar,AbdulRahman,89 AlShia,14 AlMoizz,14 Almuhalib,AbdelAllahibaAbdel,12 AlRanna,Hasan,28 AlTahtawi,Aifaarafi,130,131 AlWahhab,Abd,150 AlexanderofMacedonia,10,44 Alexandria,47 Ali,Muhammad,133,134. SeealsoMuhammadAliPasha AllianceforArabWomen,102 Amin,Ahmad,25,26 Amin,Qasim,100,131 liberationofwomen,100 newwoman,100, supportofwomen,100102 ArabWomenandValueSystem,102 ArabWomensSolidarityAssociation,102 ArabicLanguage,129,130 Architecture,7781 Artists,86 painters,86,87 women87 Ashour,Nomaan,146 AswanHighDam,9,42,43,44,99 Aswan,50 Awad,Louis,131 Ayyad,Ragheb,83 Ayyubidrule,18 AzRamli,Lenin,146,147 AzZahra,Fatima,13 Aziz,KarimAbdul,147 Bakr,Abu,13 Begin,Menachem,33

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Page166BellyDancing,148 Bey,AbdalAzizKhalil,133 Bey,NicolaKhalil,133 BinLaden,Osama,3738 Birthdays,114 Bonaparte,Napoleon,20,21,48,153 BritishoccupationofEgypt,24 CairoMuseum,84 Cairo,13 cityof,13,44 culturalcenter,46 MotheroftheWorld,44,45 Cinema,125,126 Civilgovernment,39 Clothing,116 Copts,11,53,7274 Dance,148150 deLesseps,Ferdinand,52 deMenou,JacquesFrancois,20 deVolney,Comte,21 Denon,DominiqueVivant,91 Dinocrates,47 Economy,41 Education,5254 newsystem,52 religious,52 Effendi,IskandirAmmun,133 Egyptianfood,106112 Egyptiannationality,7 EgyptianOrganizationforHumanRights,102 EgyptianWomenAssociation,102 ElAtrash,Farid,154 ElMougi,Mohammed,154 ElSegeini,Gamal,89 ElTeimissani,Kamel,88 Europeanconquest,20 Familystructure,112 Farming,97 FatimidPeriod,1318 FineArts,82 FouadI,24 FreeOfficerCommittee,28 Galabea,116 GeneralBernardMontgomery,27 GeneralElAs,130 GeneralFieldMarshalErvinRommel,27 GeneralNaguib,29 GrandArmy,20,52 Graphicarts,91 Greeks,10 GreenShirts,the,28 GroupofFiveArtists,89 Halim,Taheyya,88 Hijab,102,103 Homer,10 Husain,Ahmad,28 Hussein,Taha,130,131,138,141 Idris,Yusef,130,131,145 Infitah(OpenDoor),32,118 Islam,28, Egyptianreligiouspractices,6570 FivePillars,6970 origins,65 QuranandIslam68, IslamandWomen,107 Jihad,28 Kamal,Youssef,82 Kanaan,Monir,89 Khafre,59 Khalid,MuhammadKhalid,131 KhanelKhalili,79 KhediveIsmail,24,25,133 Khufu,58,59 KingFarouk,29 LakeNasser,9 ALoverfromAfrica,144 Luxor,49 Mahdi,13 Mahfouz,Naguib,130,142 Majorholidays,7576 EidelAdha,75,

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Page167EidelFetr,75, MulidelNabawy,76 Mamluks,18,19,20,22,23 Mandir,Muhammad,131 Mariette,AugusteFerdinandFranois,46,47 Massouda,Ibrahim,89 MdwNtr,129 Menes,11 Menkaure,59 MinistryofSpecialAffairs,102 MisralFatah,28 Mosques:constructionof,80,81 Mubarak,HosniMuhammad,34,35,36,37,38 Muhajirn,13 Mukhtar,AbdulQader,90 Museums,85,86 Music,150 MuslimBrotherhood,29 MyHomeland(NationalAnthem),40 Nadu,Hawed,89 Nahda,131 Naming,114 Nasser,GamalAbdel,5,30,31,32,43,143 Nehru,Jawaharlal,31 Nelson,Horatio,20 Newspaper,122125 NileRiver,5,41,42 Nkrumah,Kwame,5,31,85 NobelPeacePrize,33 NonalignedMovement,31 Nubians,710,43 Obaidallah,14 OttomanTurks,19 Orabi,Ahmed,48 OrganizationofAfricanUnity,30 OrganizationofArabUnity,30 Pasha,Ibrahim,133 Pasha,MuhammadAli,22,23,24 Pasha,Mustafa,AnNahhasPasha,27 Poetry,143 Polygamy,103 Property,9697 ProphetMuhammed,1113,6568 Qulawun,18,19 Quraysh,11,12 Raef,Maher,89 Religion,63 RememberMe,Africa,144 RevolutionaryCommandCouncil,29 Rizk,AbdulQader,84 RomanArmy,64 Roman,Mikhail,145 Sabur,SalahAbdel,143 Sadat,Anwar,31,32,33,85 Saleh,Khaled,147 Selassie,Haile,5 Selim,AhmadFouad,89 Shaduf,98 Sharia,72 Shawki,Ahmed,143 Shia,14 Sirri,Gazibiyya,88 SiwaOasis,20 SixDayWar(1967),31 SocialBehavior,114,115 Soliman,MohammedAli,154 SongsofAfrica,144 SuezCanal,51 construction,51,52 history,51 Sufi,71 Sunnitradition,15 Tawy(TwoLands),2 TagammuParty,40 Talib,Abu,12,13 Television,119,120,121 TempleofPhilae,130 TempleofRamsesII,69 Textiles,92

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Page168Tourism,5461 ancientmonuments,57 Christiansites,61 Islamicsites,61 nightlife,56 pyramids,57 vacationresorts,54 ValleyoftheKings,57 Travel,9596 TreatyofAmiens(1801),133 TripartiteAggression,89 Ulama,21,133 WafdParty,26,27,28,30,33 Wassef,RamsesWissa(architect),85 Weddings(farah),104 Women,100104 divorce,l03,l04 liberation,102, positionofwomen,100 WorldTradeCenter,37 WorldWarII,27 Zaghlul,Saad,25

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AbouttheAuthorMOLEFIKETEASANTEisaProfessorintheDepartmentofAfricanAmericanStudiesatTempleUniversity.Heistheauthorofmorethan50books,includingThe EgyptianPhilosophers(2000).

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