By Jane Hathaway
This revisionist learn reevaluates the origins and origin myths of the Faqaris and Qasimis, rival factions that divided Egyptian society in the course of the 17th and eighteenth centuries, while Egypt was once the most important province within the Ottoman Empire. In solution to the iconic secret surrounding the factions’ origins, Jane Hathaway locations their emergence in the generalized situation that the Ottoman Empire—like a lot of the remainder of the world—suffered through the early smooth interval, whereas uncovering a symbiosis among Ottoman Egypt and Yemen that was once severe to their formation. furthermore, she scrutinizes the factions’ beginning myths, deconstructing their tropes and logos to bare their connections to a lot older renowned narratives. Drawing on parallels from a wide range of cultures, she demonstrates with extraordinary originality how rituals comparable to storytelling and public processions, in addition to picking out shades and logos, may well serve to enhance factional identification.
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Additional info for A Tale of Two Factions: Myth, Memory, and Identity in Ottoman Egypt and Yemen
Then he asked to see a demonstration of the chivalric exercises [fur¶siyya] that the emirs had told him about. . The next day, [Sudun] notified the sultan, who rode with his retinue to Qasr al-˜Ayni [the locale in Cairo dominated by the palace of the Mamluk emir al-˜Ayni, today a major thoroughfare] and found it spread with the most sumptuous carpets. ” His brother agreed. [Qasim] went over to the sultan’s group [jamå˜a] and selected about 100 horsemen, while Dhu’l Faqar took about 100 from his own group.
With the support of his faction, the emir might attain the sultanate. In that event, his faction attempted to protect his interests from the mamluks of his predecessor, who formed a separate faction. 1 In this fashion, the sultan could keep his potential rivals at a reasonably comfortable distance, although he could not prevent them from building up their own power bases in the provinces. By the same token, the sultan’s own mamluks, once manumitted, could establish power bases in the capital; the sultan might promote one of them to succeed him.
While I will be using some of the same types of sources employed in such studies, I will also be looking closely at the factional origin myths themselves and at the themes and motifs that tend to recur within them, and analyzing each of these themes and motifs. Each chapter of the book takes on a different theme or motif, or a different genre of origin myth. After this obligatory introductory explanation of the factions, their history, and the unanswered questions that I shall attempt to answer, I start with an exploration of the nature of Ottoman Egypt’s peculiarly bilateral factionalism (chapter 1), followed by an analysis of the role of popular narratives in the construction of the factions’ origin myths (chapter 2).
A Tale of Two Factions: Myth, Memory, and Identity in Ottoman Egypt and Yemen by Jane Hathaway