Week 9 Lecture Notes - Egypt
Week 9 Lecture Notes - Egypt
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Johanna Murphy on Thursday March 5, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to a course at a university taught by a professor in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 37 views.
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Date Created: 03/05/15
Anth 298 Intro to the Middle East Week 9 Lecture Notes Traditional vs Modern in Egypt Part 1 Economy Since 2011 0 Suffering worst economic crisis since the Great Depression 0 Devastating effect on Egypt s poor 0 Drastic fall in both foreign investment and tourism revenues 0 Rapid devaluation of Egyptian currency 0 Instability has created a drop in tourism 0 Food prices are rising while money is worth less 0 Increased unemployment fuel and gas shortages 0 During the 60s 80s the poorest used to be shielded from hardships by aid and state subsidies 0 Used to have lower unemployment 0 Structural adjustment policies cut most state subsidies occurred because of Egypt s debt to international programs forcing them to cut expenses I Education I Healthcare I Welfare 0 Remittances from expats Egyptians who worked abroad less available because unrest has made it impossible for Egyptians to work in other countries 0 Made worse by Egyptian Christians kidnapped by ISIS 0 IA of young Egyptians unemployed 0 12 of population considered poor 0 Most critical problem food prices 0 Some goods have doubled in price since fall 0 IA of families spend 50 of income on food 0 People are buying less aggravating the problem 0 Population growing rapidly while farmland decreased 0 Lots of produce rots in heat on way to the market 0 Increased dependence on foreign food but because of decreasing currency value buying foreign food is more expensive 0 Shortage of fuel means farmers have to sell crops at higher prices 0 Poorest Egyptians increasingly can t afford food 0 Robbery rose 350 in 2012 Uprisings Many reasons for uprisings o Decades of political repression 0 Economic crisis Connected in Cairo Central argument displays of goods and actions that are connected to places outside of Egypt are used by upwardly mobile Cairenes as a form of social capital that sets them apart from other Egyptians 0 People use western goods as status Other goods from elsewhere in North African and the Gulf represent authentic Muslim identity Creates dilemmas of identity 0 How to be both modern and Muslim 0 Western and Arab 0 Cosmopolitan and Egyptian Creating connections between local and various external locations from which goods ideas and images ow Access to these ows are not equally distributed throughout society 0 Cosmopolitanism becomes way of demonstrating class Goods not just objects of desire but symbolize status and identity Consumption In middleclass there is both nostalgia for the socialist past associated with Nasser and desire for economic growth There are elites who don t have difficulty purchasing symbols of status 0 Creates desire for same goods among the lower classes 0 Out of economic reach for most Good healthcare and education are also out of reach 0 Question of wellbeing and survival as well a status Children s Magazines Bolbol Majid Alaa Edin Offer children and families similar model of modern Arab child can be both at the same time Includes history of Islamic heroes Encourages children to be computer literate and familiar with global icons like pokemon or Harry Potter 0 Most of all encourages children to become consumers 0 Full of ads 0 Create a world full of things for children to buy 0 Create an imagined community of global children 0 There are children all over the world who have similar interests 0 Foster both regional and global identity 0 Most popular magazines are in Arabic usually comics 0 2 most popular are Miki based on Mickey Mouse and Samir based on TinTin 0 Each has weekly distributions of 150000 in Cairo 0 Also Arabic versions of Superman and Batman 0 Regional magazines too with comics and puzzles o Encourages regional Arab identity 0 Ask children to send in photos and each edition has lots of photos of kids from across the region Encourage regional penpals preaddressed tearout letters for mailing Regional differences are minimized Islam is treated as the norm OOOO Often tell stories about IsraeliPalestinian con ict always ProPalestinian anti Israel 39 Being antiIsrael is used to bind people together 0 Ads are in Arabic and English 0 Brand names are signs of modernity and quality but also price 0 Children want Lay s potato chips over Egyptian brand though Lay s are 30 more expensive Ideological Beliefs 0 What does it mean to be Egyptian 0 Faith family patriotism and regional loyalties 0 What does it mean to be modern 0 Rationalism secularism industrialization consumerism democracy 0 Creation of a hybrid identity both fully modern and fully Arab 0 Imams broadcasting televised sermons 0 modern veil women go swimming in fullbody wetsuittype suits as opposed to robes Part 2 Westernization o is constructed as an external force before whose onslaught the Egyptian moral system crumbles 0 Peterson claims Westernization inherently means Americanization 0 Major concern in Egypt is the collapse of morality o Emphasis on family religion 0 Egyptian young adults fell like the system and standards that they grew up with are becoming shaky 0 At the same time are still attracted to benefits of Americanization Negotiating Identitv at the AUC 0 American University at Cairo o AUC represents best and worst of modernity 0 Academic excellence but also elitism o Linked to climb to the top like going to Harvard or Yale 0 Teach in English 0 Comedy film about a young man Khalaf who goes to AUC o Khalaf is from rural south Egypt represents depths of Egyptian backwardness o Brilliant son of a farmer who gets a scholarship 0 Sa idi people of rural south 0 Egyptians have lots of jokes about sa idis o In film Khalaf trades traditional dress galabiyya for a suit but buys an orangered one o Constantly shows that he s backward experiences culture shock 0 Some students take pity on him and decide to fix him up 0 Show him western dress how to irt with girls etc 0 Defining moment is at an antiIsraeli demonstration on campus and he participates by burning an Israeli ag 0 Seals his acceptance within the crowd o Initiates in common Arab identity by being antiIsrael 0 l bestselling film in Egypt 0 For most students at AUC struggle over identity is never clearly resolved Problems of Identity o Begins in childhood 0 Magazines western things like pokemon cards 0 Continues into early adulthood 0 Parents struggle with how much to allow their children to be westernized o Wilad annas a person who has achieved an appropriate balance with the best of what is Western and the best of what is local and authentic 0 Product of good parenting Coffee ahwa coffee baladi authentic from the country Downfall of ahwa people are drinking western versions of coffee instead of traditional 0 Nescafe o Cappuccinos lattes etc Often only use authentic coffee for gatherings to express shared identity Compromise of Arabic Nescafe instant coffee expresses consumerism and traditionalism at the same time Peterson on Islamic Revivalism Most common explanations for Islamic Revivalism people attempting to live life more in accordance with Islam 0 Povertyunemployment o Exclusion from political participation 0 Frustration over exclusion from western modernity Returning to Islam and critiquing the west allows people to feel more secure about themselves and their identity According to people from the region biggest reason is infiltration of western culture Some who are wealthy and not politically marginalized still turn to Islam revivalism 0 See Islam as a way of bettering themselves and the world Mass literacy has allowed more people to access information about Islam 0 Used to be more restricted to literate religious authorities 0 There are arguments that that form of Islam was inauthentic patriarchal elitist focused on only select passages of the Quran 0 Media allows people to study Islam for themselves For some turning to Islam is a way to be Wilad annas Achieving Islamic Modernity modern in an Islamic way not an American way Resolves issues of identity for some Brings morals and order into a world that feels chaotic