Ordinary Egyptians: Creating the Modern Nation through by Ziad Fahmy

By Ziad Fahmy

The pop culture of pre-revolution Egypt did greater than entertain—it created a state. Songs, jokes, and satire, comedic sketches, performs, and poetry, all supplied a chance for dialogue and debate approximately nationwide identification and an outlet for resistance to British and elite authority. This e-book examines how, from the 1870s until eventually the eve of the 1919 revolution, well known media and tradition supplied traditional Egyptians with a framework to build and negotiate a contemporary nationwide identity.

Ordinary Egyptians shifts the common concentration of research clear of the highbrow elite to appreciate the swift politicization of the growing to be literate heart periods and brings the semi-literate and illiterate city lots extra totally into the ancient narrative. It introduces the idea that of ''media-capitalism,'' which expands the research of nationalism past print on my own to include audiovisual and function media. It used to be via those a number of media collective camaraderie crossing category traces used to be shaped and, as this e-book uncovers, an Egyptian nationwide identification emerged.

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Extensive utilization of these works and the maximization of their countless benefits did not take place till the reign of his Excellency the Khedive Isma‘il Pasha. . He devoted all of his energies and thoughts to the organization of the Egyptian telegraph and railway systems through . . expanding the reach of their services throughout the land, until all could benefit. —‘Ali Pasha Mubarak, al-Khitat al-Tawfiqiyya This boastful declaration by ‘Ali Pasha Mubarak—who during his long public service career held the posts of minister of public works, of rail- Political to Cultural Centralization 25 ways, and of education—elaborates on the ever increasing political centralization of Egyptian society, which became even more efficient as new communication and transportation technologies were introduced.

A strong and loyal military was vital to maintaining Muhammad ‘Ali’s grip on power, which made modernizing the army his first priority after securing his rule. To fund the military and other ambitious state projects, ‘Ali set out to transform Egypt’s agricultural production through the aggressive introduction of a variety of exportable cash crops. He expanded the infrastructural capacity of Egypt’s ports and other transportation networks and executed significant public works projects to maximize Egyptian agricultural yields.

47 Through examining the particulars of the Egyptian case, I challenge some of these 12 Colloquial Egyptian universalist assumptions while expanding on the works of Gellner and especially Anderson. In examining the particularities of the Egyptian case, I find several incongruities and contradictions in both Gellner’s and Anderson’s theories. An important component of Anderson’s theory is an emphasis on the vernacularization of the liturgical language, which, with the help of print technology and mass education, is transformed into the unifying secular language of the nation.

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