Lezing Hussein Omar – How Egypt forgot its sectarian past in 1919

7 do
7 november 2019
P.C. Hoofthuis, Spuistraat 134, Amsterdam

Op 7 november is er een lezing door Hussein Omar (Dublin) getiteld How Egypt forgot its sectarian past in 1919. Plaats: Amsterdam, P.C. Hoofthuis, lokaal 1.05. Tijd: 17.00-19.00.

In scholarship and in the public imaginary alike, the 1919 revolution’s most enduring and iconic legacy was to endow the newly sovereign Egyptian state that it birthed with a sacred and ecumenical union between Muslims and Copts. As protestors raised the insignia of the Muslim crescent embracing a Muslim cross, it was alleged everywhere that there was no place for sectarian differentiation in the newly sovereign state. And yet such allegations are profoundly ahistorical. In this paper Omar examines the emergence of these symbols by placing them in the context of a set of debates around the status of Egyptian minorities that broke out from 1910 onward. By doing so, he argues that 1919 did not inaugurate debates about national unity but was rather a culmination of them. But even further, Omar suggests that 1919 made a taboo of certain uncomfortable topics about minorities and their rights. And finally he asks why it is that these sometimes awkward debates have barely registered in scholarship and why the mythographers of the new Egyptian state would deliberately ‘forget’ them after 1919.

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