Slaves or Siblings? Abdallah al-Nadim's Dialogues about the Family

Terence Walz and Kenneth M. Cuno

in Race and Slavery in the Middle East

Published by American University in Cairo Press

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9789774163982
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9781617970221 | DOI:
Slaves or Siblings? Abdallah al-Nadim's Dialogues about the Family

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The image of the family evolved into being a symbol of timeless stability, yet also a target of cultural reform. For nationalists, reformers, and educators alike in Egypt, the ideals of family values also bore a defensive significance. The traditions of the Egyptian family were seen as a cultural buffer against the British occupation. The suppression of the slave trade was a compliment to the European Powers which would denote the superiority of Egypt, and would lay the first stone in the foundation of a new civilization; and a population that was rapidly disappearing would be saved to Africa. Slavery in rural areas of Egypt and the Ottoman Empire was often much harsher than the domestic slavery practiced in Cairo and other big cities.

Keywords: family; educators; suppression; civilization; domestic slavery

Chapter.  4682 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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