<b>The new Kid on the block</b> <i>Bahibb issima</i> and the Emergence of the Coptic community in the Egyptian public sphere

Samia Mehrez

in Egypt's Culture Wars

Published by American University in Cairo Press

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9789774163746
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9781617970399 | DOI:
The new Kid on the block Bahibb issima and the Emergence of the Coptic community in the Egyptian public sphere

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The release of the controversial Egyptian film Bahibb issima (I Love Cinema), directed by Usama Fawzi and written by Hani Fawzi, in the summer of 2004 triggered a heated debate of national proportion. Not only has the film propelled the Egyptian Coptic community into the very heart of the public sphere but it has also confirmed the Coptic community as a new player in the cultural politics in Egypt, a challenging new force for the Egyptian state to contend with in the latter's balancing act of secularism and religious nationalism. The crisis surrounding Bahibb issima may be viewed as the culmination of a complex situation that had been developing over more than a decade during which the Egyptian state was compelled to step up its efforts to contain further exposure with regard to the Coptic question both locally and globally and to engage in manufacturing a new image of national unity.

Keywords: Egyptian state; crescent; Muslim; Egyptian films; Usama Fawzi; Hani Fawzi; religious nationalism; secularism

Chapter.  8813 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: International Relations

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