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Cairo CosmopolitanPolitics, Culture, and Urban Space in the New Globalized Middle East$
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Diane Singerman and Paul Amar

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9789774162893

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774162893.001.0001

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A Round Trip to Isma‘iliya

A Round Trip to Isma‘iliya

Cairo's Media Exiles, Television Innovation, and Provincial Citizenship

(p.445) 16 A Round Trip to Isma‘iliya
Cairo Cosmopolitan

Fanny Colonna

American University in Cairo Press

This chapter explores a new trend in the Arab world—provincial intellectuals abandoning the capital city to return to their rural origins. The focal point for this exploration is an in-depth profile of an important Egyptian television pioneer, set in the context of Egypt's controversial, strategic frontier region of the Suez Canal Zone. The Suez Canal Zone seemed a particularly important region to examine because of its contested, changing, strategic value, and because of the “modern” (post-nineteenth-century) history of its cities. The Canal Zone seems even to Egyptians to be promiscuously connected to alien lands and contexts. Culturally and socially the Canal Zone nurtures a cosmopolitan and multilingual atmosphere influenced by the legacies of the Canal as a multinational corporation and world crossroads of commerce. This history gives the area a particular rapport with Europe, the Arabian Peninsula, India, and the rest of the world.

Keywords:   Arab world, provincial intellectuals, Egypt, Suez Canal Zone, cosmopolitanism, multilingual atmosphere, multinational corporation, commerce

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