By Jane Hathaway
This revisionist learn reevaluates the origins and starting place myths of the Faqaris and Qasimis, rival factions that divided Egyptian society throughout the 17th and eighteenth centuries, while Egypt used to be the most important province within the Ottoman Empire. In resolution to the long-lasting secret surrounding the factions’ origins, Jane Hathaway areas their emergence in the generalized predicament that the Ottoman Empire—like a lot of the remainder of the world—suffered through the early sleek interval, whereas uncovering a symbiosis among Ottoman Egypt and Yemen that used to be serious to their formation. additionally, she scrutinizes the factions’ origin 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 making a choice on colours and logos, may 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
Here, he erected a hippodrome where the young men could carry on their chariot contests. Anushirvan supported the Greens in deliberate contrast to his enemy, the Byzantine emperor Justinian (r. E. According to John of Nikiu, the Blue and Green leaders “assieged the city of Misr [future site of Cairo] and harassed the Romans during the days of the Moslem”29—meaning, presumably, that they diverted the Byzantines’ attention from the invading Muslim armies. How or whether the Blues and Greens in the conquered eastern Byzantine provinces were 32 A Tale of Two Factions incorporated into the fledgling Muslim society has yet to be investigated.
46 The Faqaris and Qasimis exploited the fictive genealogy, as well, although not in so consistent or deliberate a fashion as Qays and Yemen. In the version of the factional origin myth reported by Ahmed Çelebi and by al-Jabarti and cited in the introduction, the factions stem from the quarrel between two brothers, Dhu’l-Faqar and Qasim. We also have evidence that faction leaders were aware of traditional Arab genealogies and willing to exploit them for their own purposes. In the most famous, although long misconstrued, example, the Qasimi leader Abu’l-Shawarib Ridvan Bey commissioned a genealogy demonstrating his descent from the Mamluk sultan Barquq (r.
Båb, literally door or gate] in his house, fearing that his sons would make a fool of him and ride out with al-Ghuri. He has two sons, the greatest horsemen of their time; one is called Qasim and the other Dhu’l-Faqar. ” Then he rode immediately . . to Sudun al-˜Ajami’s mansion. He saw the two built enclosures, as [the grandees] had described them, and ordered [the grandees] to destroy them. Then he entered and found the platform [mas†aba: a raised platform for receptions and the 21 22 A Tale of Two Factions like] shaded by the mulberry tree, and he dismounted under the tree and sent for the emir.