<i>Fallahin</i>: The‘Mud Bearers’ of Egypt's ‘Liberal Age’

Samia Kholoussi

in Re-Envisioning Egypt 1919-1952

Published by American University in Cairo Press

Published in print August 2005 | ISBN: 9789774249006
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781617971006 | DOI:
Fallahin: The‘Mud Bearers’ of Egypt's ‘Liberal Age’

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This chapter focuses on the “mud bearers” of Egypt's “liberal age.” These were the country's rural inhabitants, known as fallahin. During the 1920s–40s, they became many things in the literary, academic, and cinematographic imaginings of many people. For some, the Egyptian peasant embodied the authentic contiguity of the Egyptian character, from the days of the pharaohs to the twentieth century. In the eyes of others, peasant difficulties represented all that was wrong socioeconomically with Egypt, exposing the lack of concern for society among elites. For still others, the rural arena became a place to envision and re-envision dynamics of religion, gender, and development. This chapter examines all of these facets of how Egyptian writers and artists represented and imagined fallahin during the constitutional monarchy era, highlighting what they included while reminding one of what they excluded.

Keywords: Egypt's liberal age; fellahin; cinematographic imaginings; Egyptian character; Egyptian writers; constitutional monarchy era

Chapter.  15784 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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