By Jane Hathaway
This revisionist learn reevaluates the origins and origin myths of the Faqaris and Qasimis, rival factions that divided Egyptian society throughout the 17th and eighteenth centuries, whilst Egypt used to be the most important province within the Ottoman Empire. In resolution to the iconic secret surrounding the factions’ origins, Jane Hathaway locations their emergence in the generalized difficulty that the Ottoman Empire—like a lot of the remainder of the world—suffered in the course of the early smooth interval, whereas uncovering a symbiosis among Ottoman Egypt and Yemen that was once serious to their formation. moreover, she scrutinizes the factions’ starting place myths, deconstructing their tropes and emblems to bare their connections to a lot older well known narratives. Drawing on parallels from a big selection of cultures, she demonstrates with impressive originality how rituals corresponding to storytelling and public processions, in addition to settling on shades and logos, may perhaps serve to augment factional id.
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Extra info for A Tale of Two Factions: Myth, Memory, and Identity in Ottoman Egypt and Yemen
They went out and engaged in warlike fighting, and Dhu’l-Faqar saw treachery in his brother’s eye once, then again, and saw that he was bearing down on him to kill him. ” [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.
The Prophet Muhammad was himself a northern, or Qaysi, Arab, as were most of his early converts in Mecca. E. brought him into the midst of a largely Yemeni, and partially Jewish, agricultural community. E. pitted the Qaysi Meccan immigrants (muhåjir¶n) against the Yemeni Medinese “helpers” (anƒår); the choice of the Prophet’s father-in-law, Abu Bakr, as first caliph, or community leader, sanctioned a Qaysi monopoly of the caliphate. Later ˜Alid and Shi˜ite groups, who insisted that the caliph be a descendant of the Prophet—while taking a fundamentally different approach to the selection of the caliph—retained this Qaysi exclusivism.
56 What makes the “two brothers” motif so natural to myths of the origins of bilateral factionalism is the implication that until conflict erupted between the two brothers, a unified whole existed. Key to this motif, then, is not simply the presence of two brothers but the struggle between them. Two factions that cooperated with each other would neither lend themselves to an explanation centered on disruption and conflict, nor would they give rise to a society that was truly split in two. Likewise, a variety of volatile, short-lived factions on the model of the Mamluk sultanate would not find a satisfactory explication in a “brothers” myth.
A Tale of Two Factions: Myth, Memory, and Identity in Ottoman Egypt and Yemen by Jane Hathaway