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By Jane Hathaway

This revisionist learn reevaluates the origins and beginning myths of the Faqaris and Qasimis, rival factions that divided Egyptian society throughout the 17th and eighteenth centuries, while Egypt used to be the most important province within the Ottoman Empire. In solution to the long-lasting secret surrounding the factions’ origins, Jane Hathaway locations their emergence in the generalized hindrance that the Ottoman Empire—like a lot of the remainder of the world—suffered through the early sleek interval, whereas uncovering a symbiosis among Ottoman Egypt and Yemen that used to be severe to their formation. moreover, she scrutinizes the factions’ starting place myths, deconstructing their tropes and emblems to bare their connections to a lot older well known narratives. Drawing on parallels from a big selection of cultures, she demonstrates with remarkable originality how rituals equivalent to storytelling and public processions, in addition to selecting colours and symbols, might serve to enhance factional identification.

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Extra info for A Tale of Two Factions: Myth, Memory, and Identity in Ottoman Egypt and Yemen

Sample text

Notwithstanding, each individual faction can incorporate members from disparate backgrounds by imbuing them with a sense of group cohesion; this is particularly noticeable in a society in which two factions predominate since few things foster unity like hostility toward a common foe. Even so, how to encourage raw recruits to identify with one faction of two, with which they had no prior connection, of which they had presumably never heard before coming to Cairo? I believe that the answer may have lain in popular stories of the sort described above.

Even storytelling could be a public ritual if it took place in, say, a coffeehouse, but in this case, the space was even more circumscribed, and identifying symbols were even less likely to be visible.

Resulted in al-Ma˘mun’s seizure of the caliphate and the execution of al-Amin by his brother’s general. 52 This fraternal struggle arguably served as a point of reference for parallel fraternal struggles anywhere in the Islamic realm. For its part, the origin myth transmitted by Ahmed Çelebi and alJabarti exhibits a pattern that, on the surface, bears greater similarity to the circumstances of the ˜Abbasid civil war. In this myth, Dhu’lFaqar and Qasim are two sons of a Mamluk emir named Sudun.

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