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Re-Envisioning Egypt 1919-1952$
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Arthur Goldschmidt and Amy J. Johnson

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9789774249006

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774249006.001.0001

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Fallahin: The‘Mud Bearers’ of Egypt's ‘Liberal Age’

Fallahin: The‘Mud Bearers’ of Egypt's ‘Liberal Age’

(p.277) 10 Fallahin: The‘Mud Bearers’ of Egypt's ‘Liberal Age’
Re-Envisioning Egypt 1919-1952

Samia Kholoussi

American University in Cairo Press

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

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