By Jane Hathaway
This revisionist research reevaluates the origins and starting place 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 biggest province within the Ottoman Empire. In resolution to the iconic secret surrounding the factions’ origins, Jane Hathaway locations their emergence in the generalized concern that the Ottoman Empire—like a lot of the remainder of the world—suffered in the course of the early glossy interval, whereas uncovering a symbiosis among Ottoman Egypt and Yemen that was once severe to their formation. additionally, she scrutinizes the factions’ beginning myths, deconstructing their tropes and emblems to bare their connections to a lot older well known narratives. Drawing on parallels from a wide range of cultures, she demonstrates with impressive originality how rituals resembling storytelling and public processions, in addition to selecting shades and symbols, may possibly serve to enhance factional id.
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Extra resources for A Tale of Two Factions: Myth, Memory, and Identity in Ottoman Egypt and Yemen
Merely hearing the oppositions repeated would reinforce a faction member’s identification with one or the other member of each pair. In daily life, when he or she was not sitting listening to stories but practicing equestrian exercises, learning how to shoot a rifle, selling goods in the bazaar, or negotiating with coffee merchants, the faction member might not feel his or her factional identity so strongly. But the stories themselves created their own space, a sort of narrative reality, in which factional identity was all-important and in which one or the other faction might take the rhetorical role of hero while the other took the rhetorical role of villain.
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). Chapter 3 takes on the essential dichotomy of the Sa˜d and Haram tribal groupings while chapter 4 addresses the place of Yemen in the origins of the Faqari and Qasimi factions.
Ultimately, this division is rooted in geography. Qaysi Arabs were those living in the region extending from the northernmost borders of Yemen to the deserts of what are now Jordan, southern Syria, and southwestern Iraq. Yemeni Arabs, as the name implies, inhabited Yemen and, more generally, the southern regions of the Arabian peninsula. , however, a series of disasters led to a wave of northward migrations of Yemeni Arabs. The late rulers of the ancient Himyarite kingdom of northern Yemen converted to Judaism in the early centuries of the Common Era and began persecuting their Christian subjects, many of whom had converted under Ethiopian influence.
A Tale of Two Factions: Myth, Memory, and Identity in Ottoman Egypt and Yemen by Jane Hathaway