Tale of Two Factions, A: Myth, Memory, and Identity in Ottoman Egypt and Yemen

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SUNY Press, 2012 - History - 311 pages
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This revisionist study reevaluates the origins and foundation myths of the Faqaris and Qasimis, two rival factions that divided Egyptian society during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, when Egypt was the largest province in the Ottoman Empire. In answer to the enduring mystery surrounding the factions’ origins, Jane Hathaway places their emergence within the generalized crisis that the Ottoman Empire—like much of the rest of the world—suffered during the early modern period, while uncovering a symbiosis between Ottoman Egypt and Yemen that was critical to their formation. In addition, she scrutinizes the factions’ foundation myths, deconstructing their tropes and symbols to reveal their connections to much older popular narratives. Drawing on parallels from a wide array of cultures, she demonstrates with striking originality how rituals such as storytelling and public processions, as well as identifying colors and emblems, could serve to reinforce factional identity.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Origin Myths of the Factions
21
1 Bilateral Factionalism in Ottoman Egypt
25
Folklore and Binary Oppositions in the Factional Origin Myths
45
The Factions Bedouin Equivalents
61
4 The Yemeni Connection to Egypts Factions
79
The Colors of the Factions Banners
95
6 The Knob and the DiskThe Factions Standards
111
8 The Mulberry Tree in the Origin Myths
135
9 The Competitive Feasts of Qasim and DhulFaqar Beys
143
Qansuhs Slave Troop and Ridvans Circassian Geneaology
149
Ali Beys Mosque and the Ottoman DhulFaqar Sword
165
Conclusion
185
Notes
193
Bibliography
253
Index
277

7 Selim and Sudun in the Origin Myths
123

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About the author (2012)

Jane Hathaway is Associate Professor of History at Ohio State University, the author of The Politics of Households in Ottoman Egypt: The Rise of the Qazdag ̈lis, and editor of Rebellion, Repression, Reinvention: Mutiny in Comparative Perspective.

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