<b><i>A Round Trip to Isma‘iliya</i></b>

Fanny Colonna

in Cairo Cosmopolitan

Published by American University in Cairo Press

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9789774162893
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9781617970269 | DOI:
A Round Trip to Isma‘iliya

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This chapter explores a new trend in the Arab world—provincial intellectuals abandoning the capital city to return to their rural origins. The focal point for this exploration is an in-depth profile of an important Egyptian television pioneer, set in the context of Egypt's controversial, strategic frontier region of the Suez Canal Zone. The Suez Canal Zone seemed a particularly important region to examine because of its contested, changing, strategic value, and because of the “modern” (post-nineteenth-century) history of its cities. The Canal Zone seems even to Egyptians to be promiscuously connected to alien lands and contexts. Culturally and socially the Canal Zone nurtures a cosmopolitan and multilingual atmosphere influenced by the legacies of the Canal as a multinational corporation and world crossroads of commerce. This history gives the area a particular rapport with Europe, the Arabian Peninsula, India, and the rest of the world.

Keywords: Arab world; provincial intellectuals; Egypt; Suez Canal Zone; cosmopolitanism; multilingual atmosphere; multinational corporation; commerce

Chapter.  6616 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: International Relations

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