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Labib HabachiThe Life and Legacy of an Egyptologist$
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Jill Kamil

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9789774160615

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774160615.001.0001

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Between Two Worlds

Between Two Worlds

Chapter:
(p.41) Chapter 2 Between Two Worlds
Source:
Labib Habachi
Author(s):

Jill Kamil

Publisher:
American University in Cairo Press
DOI:10.5743/cairo/9789774160615.003.0003

There was no Egyptian middle class in the sense we know today, in the first half of the twentieth century. A class-conscious nobility, l'ancien régime, woven around the concept of land owning in the nineteenth century, held sway in court and government. There were only the upper class and the farming masses and urban poor who comprised the bulk of the population. The upper class includes educated youths, who are referred to, in Egypt's extended-family system, as shilla—kinsmen. Labib Habachi, an Egyptologist who can express himself well in English, although French was his second language after his native Arabic, is someone who can speak much about these two classes.

Keywords:   class-conscious nobility, l'ancien régime, Labib Habachi, shilla, Egyptologists

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