A Tale of Two Factions: Myth, Memory, and Identity in by Jane Hathaway

By Jane Hathaway

This revisionist learn reevaluates the origins and beginning myths of the Faqaris and Qasimis, rival factions that divided Egyptian society throughout the 17th and eighteenth centuries, whilst Egypt was once the most important province within the Ottoman Empire. In solution to the long-lasting secret surrounding the factions’ origins, Jane Hathaway areas their emergence in the generalized main issue that the Ottoman Empire—like a lot of the remainder of the world—suffered through the early glossy interval, whereas uncovering a symbiosis among Ottoman Egypt and Yemen that used to be serious to their formation. moreover, she scrutinizes the factions’ beginning myths, deconstructing their tropes and emblems to bare their connections to a lot older renowned narratives. Drawing on parallels from a wide range of cultures, she demonstrates with amazing originality how rituals corresponding to storytelling and public processions, in addition to opting for shades and symbols, may possibly 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

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Subsequent chapters proceed more or less in accordance with the motifs introduced by the three principal origin myths. ’ My study next turns to the origin myth involving Sultan Selim’s visit to the Mamluk emir Sudun. Chapter 7 examines the figure of Selim himself in the origin myth while chapter 8 lingers on the symbolic possibilities of the mulberry tree under which Sudun supposedly chained his two sons. Chapter 9 focuses on the “alternative” origin myth of Qasim Bey inviting Dhu’l-Faqar Bey to a feast, and the ensuing argument over whether monuments or mamluks are of greater value.

It is a deep, enduring rift brought about by wrenching political and/or social change, such as the death of a powerful ruler or the conquest of a kingdom. The pervasiveness of this division encourages popular memory to cast it in either-or terms, or to adopt myths that cast the division in this way, and to assign each side basic, easily recognizable characteristics and symbols. Competing Symbols Second only to color as a marker of factional identity is the identifying symbol, which can take the form of an emblem depicted on a banner or a coat of arms.

Qasim] replied, “This is combat”; then he took advantage of him and was about to cut off his head, but [Dhu’l-Faqar] shielded himself from him, and the sword fell on his thigh so that he was lightly wounded. ” He tried to cut off [Qasim’s] head, but [Qasim] fled toward the palace. When the sultan’s group, who were [Qasim’s] party, saw him fleeing toward them, with his brother Dhu’l-Faqar [pursuing him] like an eagle, they confronted Dhu’l-Faqar and attacked him with the intent of killing him.

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