Download A Tale of Two Factions: Myth, Memory, and Identity in by Jane Hathaway PDF

By Jane Hathaway

This revisionist examine reevaluates the origins and origin myths of the Faqaris and Qasimis, rival factions that divided Egyptian society through the 17th and eighteenth centuries, whilst Egypt was once the most important province within the Ottoman Empire. In solution to the iconic secret surrounding the factions’ origins, Jane Hathaway areas their emergence in the generalized situation that the Ottoman Empire—like a lot of the remainder of the world—suffered through the early glossy interval, whereas uncovering a symbiosis among Ottoman Egypt and Yemen that was once severe to their formation. additionally, 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 amazing originality how rituals corresponding to storytelling and public processions, in addition to deciding on shades and symbols, may serve to enhance factional identification.

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

Sample text

The Qaysi-Yemeni struggle, like that of the Blues and Greens, is characterized by a pronounced color dichotomy: the Qaysi color is red, the Yemeni color white. Indeed, the tribespeople and other partisans of Qays and Yemen appear to have attached as much importance to the visual display of their colors as the Byzantine Blues and Greens. 42 Likewise, Qaysi and Yemeni tribes flew their respective colors on their tribal banners. We do not know the source, or even the purported source, of the red and white dichotomy.

In this bilateralism, they resemble less the Mamluk-era factions than they do other well-known historical examples of two rival blocs that divided their respective societies, notably the Guelphs and Ghibellines of medieval Tuscany, whose enmity pervades Canto X of Dante’s Inferno;19 the Blues and Greens of the Byzantine Empire; and the northern and southern, or Qaysi and Yemeni, Arabs whose rivalry emerged in the early centuries of Islam. 20 As we shall see, historical connections may, in fact, exist between the Blues and Greens and, on the one hand, the Qays and Yemen, and, on the other, the blocs of Ottoman Egypt.

To Sudun al-˜Ajami’s mansion. He saw the two built enclosures, as [the grandees] had described them, and ordered [the grandees] to destroy them. Then he entered and found the platform [mas†aba: a raised platform for receptions and the 21 22 A Tale of Two Factions like] shaded by the mulberry tree, and he dismounted under the tree and sent for the emir. [The grandees] told [Sudun] that Sultan Selim had come to his mansion, and he quickly came out; the servants carried him until he was standing before the sultan.

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