Egypt in the Future Tense
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Read an excerpt from the book Visit the author's website and blog Watch a clip from the related documentary The Secret Capital:

Against the backdrop of the revolutionary uprisings of 2011–2013, Samuli Schielke asks how ordinary Egyptians confront the great promises and grand schemes of religious commitment, middle class respectability, romantic love, and political ideologies in their daily lives, and how they make sense of the existential anxieties and stalled expectations that inevitably accompany such hopes. Drawing on many years of study in Egypt and the life stories of rural, lower-middle-class men before and after the revolution, Schielke views recent events in ways that are both historically deep and personal. Schielke challenges prevailing views of Muslim piety, showing that religious lives are part of a much more complex lived experience.

Introduction: A moment in history
1. Boredom and frustration
2. An hour for your heart and an hour for your Lord
3. Knowing Islam
4. Love troubles
5. Capitalist ethics?
6. I want to be committed
7. Engaging the world
8. Condition: normal
9. Those who said No
Conclusion: On freedom, destiny, and consequences



Publié par
Date de parution 05 mars 2015
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9780253015891
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0500€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


Paul A. Silverstein, Susan Slyomovics, and Ted Swedenburg, editors
Hope, Frustration, and Ambivalence before and after 2011
Samuli Schielke
Indiana University Press
Bloomington and Indianapolis
This book is a publication of
Indiana University Press Office of Scholarly Publishing Herman B Wells Library 350 1320 East 10th Street Bloomington, Indiana 47405 USA
2015 by Joska Samuli Schielke
All rights reserved
No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. The Association of American University Presses Resolution on Permissions constitutes the only exception to this prohibition.
The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of the American National Standard for Information Sciences- Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, ANSI Z39.48-1992.
Manufactured in the United States of America
Cataloging information is available from the Library of Congress.
ISBN 978-0-253-01584-6 (cloth) ISBN 978-0-253-01587-7 (paperback) ISBN 978-0-253-01589-1 (ebook)
1 2 3 4 5 20 19 18 17 16 15
In memory of Hazem Nasim al-Sabbagh (1992-2009)
The discourse that makes people believe is the one that takes away what it urges them to believe in, or never delivers what it promises.
-Michel de Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life
The more progress, the more boredom.
Note on Transliteration of Arabic Terms
Introduction: A Moment in History
1 Boredom and Despair in Rural Egypt
2 An Hour for Your Heart and an Hour for Your Lord
3 Knowing Islam
4 Love Troubles
5 Capitalist Ethics?
6 I Want to Be Committed
7 Longing for the World
8 Condition: Normal
9 Those Who Said No
Conclusion: On Freedom, Destiny, and Consequences
Ethnography is a collaborative enterprise, and so is anthropological theory. This book is the fruit of countless discussions, debates, and shared experiences with more people than I can in any way credit here.
Many of those to whom I owe the greatest debt do not appear in this book under their own names for the sake of privacy. But they will recognize themselves, and I hope that they find that I have made good use of the ideas I have either borrowed from them or developed in conversation with them.
Some of the best ideas in this book have grown out of my shared life and work with Daniela Swarowsky, without whose active participation, support, and critical questioning I could not imagine having written this book. Many parts of this book are also based on collaborative research with Mukhtar Saad Shehata, whose friendship, hospitality, and creative mind are another cornerstone of this work that I find difficult indeed to call mine.
I also owe great thanks for the support I have received from my parents Hannele N tynki and J rgen Schielke, the Shehata family, the people of Nazlat al-Rayyis, the If you can, do like I do group, the workers of G4S in Doha, Gudran Association for Arts and Culture in Alexandria, Studio El-Madina in Alexandria, and the Netherlands-Flemish Institute in Cairo. Thanks are equally due for the support, ideas, feedback, and critique I have received from Paola Abenante, Aymen Amer, Arthur Bueno, Daniele Cantini, Susanne Dahlgren, Abdalla Daif, Liza Debevec, Patrick Desplat, Kevin Eisenstadt, Ulrike Freitag, Omneya El-Gameel, Aliaa ElGready, Knut Graw, Sonja Hegazy, Abeer Hosny, Zaynab Hosni, Salwa Ismail, Harri Juntunen, Saad Kamel, Amr Khairy, Aymon Kreil, Kai Kresse, Jakob Lindfors, Kamal Aly Mahdy, Maged Makram, Maria Malmstr m, Annelies Moors, Shady Basiony Marei, Magnus Marsden, Omnia Mehanna, Laura Menin, Henri Onodera, Filippo Osella, Jennifer Peterson, Carl Rommel, Dorothea Schulz, Benjamin Soares, Aly Sobhi, Georg Stauth, Steffen Strohmenger, Gregory Starrett, Georg Stauth, Ted Swedenburg, Amira El Tahawy, Rebecca Tolen, Tea Virtanen, Mustafa Wafi, Jessica Winegar, and Ahmed Zayed. My sincere apologies are due to all those whom I have wrongfully forgotten.
Many of the theoretical insights of this book were shaped in conversation with students of courses I have taught while doing this research, especially Morality, Politics and Religion (University of Mainz 2007), Ethnographies of the Imaginary (Freie Universit t Berlin 2009), Belief and Unbelief (University of Cologne 2010-2011), Capitalism as a Cultural Practice and Sensibility of Life (Freie Universit t Berlin 2011), and Is a Better World Possible? (Freie Universit t Berlin 2013). I hope it has been as inspiring for them as it was for me.
The research for this book and writing of it were made possible by research positions and grants from a number of institutions and projects: the DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) collaborative research center Cultural and Linguistic Contacts and the Department of Anthropology and African Studies at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, 2006-2007; the International Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World (ISIM) in Leiden, 2008; the research group What Makes a Good Muslim at the University of Eastern Finland, funded by the Academy of Finland, 2008; Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO), Berlin, 2009-2014; and the junior research group In Search of Europe at the ZMO, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Research and Education, 2010-2014.
Writing this book was greatly facilitated by the inspiring surroundings and friendly service provided by Zizo s Caf in Cairo, P tisserie D lices in Alexandria, Westerpavilioen in Rotterdam, Caf zur Rose in Berlin, Koskibaari in Siuro, Caf Jelinek in Vienna, Zbojnick Chata in the High Tatras, and Deutsche Bahn.
Some of the material of this book has appeared in earlier publications in a different shape and at times with different conclusions. An earlier version of chapter 1 appeared in 2008 in Contemporary Islam. Chapter 2 includes some material that appeared in 2009 in Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute. The first half of chapter 4 was published in Arabic translation in 2012 by the Bibliotheca Alexandrina. Chapter 5 is a heavily revised version of a chapter in the 2012 edited volume Ordinary Lives and Grand Schemes. A shorter version of chapter 7 appeared in the edited volume The Global Horizon in 2012. Many thanks are due to the editors and anonymous reviewers of these publications. I am furthermore grateful to Shaymaa Bakr, Shady Basiony Marei, Samia Jaheen, Muhammad Saad Shehata, and Mukhtar Saad Shehata for providing me the permission to use their copyrighted materials.
It has taken me more than eight years to come from a first idea to a finished book. It has not been an easy time for Egyptians to aspire for a better life-and I wonder if there ever has been an easy time for them to start with. The mood of those years, shifting between pressure, hope, frustration, enthusiasm, agitation, anxiety, and aggression, has left its mark on this book that also shifts between glimpses of hope and a sense of tragedy-and the tragic part prevails. With so much unrealized aspiration, so much wrong and oppression, so many struggles to make it better, and so much polarization and bloodshed, I feel that writing in a genre other than tragedy would be insincere. At the same time, I could not have done it without the friendship of all those who, despite everything, over and again have restored my faith in humanity and its capacity to strive for something better.
Note on Transliteration of Arabic Terms
T HE WAYS IN which Arabic is reproduced in Latin script vary greatly, and the systems preferred by Western scholars are very different from those used by most Arabic speakers for practical purposes. For proper names, the spelling used by the persons themselves or otherwise current in use is preferred. For other Arabic terms the simplified rules of International Journal of Middle East Studies are used.
This book makes use of expressions and words in three different forms of Arabic: classical Arabic; the form of Egyptian Arabic spoken in Cairo, Alexandria, and other cities; and the form of Egyptian Arabic spoken in the villages of the northern Nile Delta. I have tried to maintain this variety of forms in the transliteration of Arabic terms and expressions in this book. For the sake of clarity, however, the letter qaf (which is pronounced as q, a voiceless uvular stop, in classical Arabic, as g in rural regions of the Nile Delta, and as a glottal stop in Cairo and other cities) is transliterated with a q throughout, and the letter ta marbuta at the end of a word (which is pronounced as -a in classical and Cairene Arabic and as -e or -i in the Nile Delta) is transliterated with an a throughout.
A Moment in History
The Village of Nazlat al-Rayyis in northern Egypt, October 2009-in a caf I ran into Sa id, a soccer enthusiast whom I know from amateur soccer tournaments that take place every Ramadan. The global financial crisis was the talk of the day, and I asked him how the people in the village were affected by it. Sa id said, Here with the poor people, it s always crisis. The more he talked about it, the more upset he became:
Here there is no middle, there are only poor people, and those who are well off are thieves. The country is divided in those who are honest and don t know how to steal, and those who are thieves and well-off. You know why I come here to watch soccer? I only watch soccer in order no

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