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‘Fickle Fate Has Exhausted My Burning Heart’: An Egyptian Engineer of the 19th Century Between Belief in Progress and Existential Anxiety

Konrad, Felix. (2011) ‘Fickle Fate Has Exhausted My Burning Heart’: An Egyptian Engineer of the 19th Century Between Belief in Progress and Existential Anxiety. Die Welt des Islams, 51 (2). pp. 145-187.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/62225/

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Abstract

Little is known about the worldview and self-image of low-ranking Egyptian civil servants and graduates of state schools of the mid-19th century. Based on an unusual self-referential text which the young irrigation engineer Muhammad Kani al-Baqli had printed in 1865, this article seeks to discover the social and cultural orientation of a simple efendi of the mid-19th century and how he interpreted his world. It will show how al-Baqli acted as an individual in a world defined by constraints and dependencies and how he tried to realise his ambitions for social recognition and advancement. Despite his subaltern position, al-Baqli participated in the dominant hegemonic discourse about reform, progress and civilisation, and he aimed to adapt it to his own ambitious purposes. He also attempted to define what ought to be provided for him as an individual and as a member of an emerging social group, the afandiyya , by a progressive and just government.
Faculties and Departments:04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Departement Gesellschaftswissenschaften > Fachbereich Nahost-Studien > Islamwissenschaft (Reinkowski)
UniBasel Contributors:Konrad, Felix
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Brill
ISSN:0043-2539
e-ISSN:1570-0607
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 15:13
Deposited On:15 Nov 2021 15:13

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