Chapter

Between Two Worlds

Jill Kamil

in Labib Habachi

Published by American University in Cairo Press

Published in print April 2007 | ISBN: 9789774160615
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9781617970184 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5743/cairo/9789774160615.003.0003
Between Two Worlds

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There was no Egyptian middle class in the sense we know today, in the first half of the twentieth century. A class-conscious nobility, l'ancien régime, woven around the concept of land owning in the nineteenth century, held sway in court and government. There were only the upper class and the farming masses and urban poor who comprised the bulk of the population. The upper class includes educated youths, who are referred to, in Egypt's extended-family system, as shilla—kinsmen. Labib Habachi, an Egyptologist who can express himself well in English, although French was his second language after his native Arabic, is someone who can speak much about these two classes.

Keywords: class-conscious nobility; l'ancien régime; Labib Habachi; shilla; Egyptologists

Chapter.  9689 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Society and Culture

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