Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-iv

Contents

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pp. v-vi

List of Illustrations

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pp. vii-viii

List of Tables

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pp. ix-x

Notes on Transliteration, Names, Titles, and Currency

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pp. xi-xvi

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Introduction

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pp. 1-16

This book is a study of patriotism in the Egyptian province of the Ottoman Empire. What can we learn by re-examining Egypt’s nineteenth-century history, not as the tale of progress towards a sovereign nationstate but as the saga of an Ottoman province? What are the consequences of reframing a national narrative in an imperial context?
I argue that the imperial context requires a new theory of national development. The imperial origins of patriotic ideas in provinces...

Part I: The Making of the Khedivate

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pp. 17-20

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1. The Ottoman Origins of Arab Patriotism

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pp. 21-49

The construction of a new political community as related to a new regime type in Ottoman Egypt can be defined by two problems in the first half of the nineteenth century. The first was the relationship between the Ottoman Empire and its Egyptian province under the rule of Mehmed Ali. The second was the relationship between the governor and the local elites. These problems were interrelated in the legitimacy structure of power, and provided the conditions for the rise of political nation-ness in Arabic....

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2. The Ottoman Legitimation of Power: The Khedivate

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pp. 50-83

On Tuesday, May 29, 1866, Sultan Abdülaziz received Ismail, the governor of the Egyptian province, at a public reception in Istanbul. He gave him, by his own hand, an imperial edict, which arguably changed the course of history. The letter said: “the imperial edict given to Mehmed Ali Pasha, your grandfather, entrusted the province (eyalet) of Egypt to him with the right of inheritance [based on seniority] . . . but henceforth the governor’s oldest male son and after him his eldest male...

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3. The European Aesthetics of Khedivial Power

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pp. 84-120

On November 1, 1869, the curtain—emblazoned with images of Ismail Pasha and the French Empress Eugénie—rose in the new Opera House in Cairo. The audience saw yet another image of the ruler: on stage was a bust of Ismail. It was surrounded by eight singers, in costumes, representing eight allegories: Justice, Mercy, Fame, Music (Mélodie), History, Agriculture, Industry, and Commerce. The singers performed a cantata, an Italian ode set to music by Prince Joseph Poniatovski. This work by Napoleon III’s favorite musical aristocrat...

Part II: “A Garden with Mellow Fruits of Refinement”

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pp. 121-124

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4. A Gentle Revolution

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pp. 125-163

On a Sunday evening in February 1870, a young journalist, Muḥammad Unsī, sat in one of the seats of the Khedivial Opera House. He watched the opera Semiramis. He immediately grasped that there was a connection between theater, language, and patriotism. “Oh, if such refined works were translated into Arabic successfully,” wished Unsī in a review he wrote about the performance, “and they were performed in the Egyptian theaters in the Arabic language as an innovation, that the...

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5. Constitutionalism and Revolution: The Arab Opera

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pp. 164-198

How did the uncodified compromise between the khedive and local notables and intellectuals break down? Why couldn’t they agree in basic principles? The period from the mid-1870s to 1882 is an extremely complex one. There was a financial crisis, European takeover of the khedivate’s fiscal politics, social mobilization, and army revolt: the ʿUrābī revolution in 1882....

Part III: The Reinvention of the Khedivate

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pp. 199-202

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6. Hārūn al-Rashīd under Occupation

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pp. 203-237

In September 1898, a petition in Arabic arrived at the Egyptian Ministry of Public Works. It requested the privilege of performing in the Khedivial Opera House in front of the German Emperor who was expected to visit Cairo. The petitioner emphasized that the performance would be in Arabic, “the language of the nation.” He reminded the minister that “your servant was the first one to take the initiative and the first to receive privileges for reviving the art of Arabic theater in the East in...

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7. Behind the Scenes: A Committee and the Law, 1880s–1900s

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pp. 238-267

On 25 January 1885 the impresario Abū Khalīl al-Qabbānī and the singer ʿAbduh al-Ḥamūlī received a letter in Arabic. They had been performing together in the Khedivial Opera House, having had access to the building for around a month. The short note informed them that their troupe’s behavior was unacceptable, because they were making coffee using small lamps while the performances took place on stage. In addition, they smoked in the theater, posing a great threat to the wooden...

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8. Distinction: Muṣṭafā Kāmil and the Making of an Arab Prince

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pp. 268-302

Thus did Mīkhāʾīl Shārūbīm, a Coptic judge, describe the presence of Abbas Hilmi II in the Khedivial Opera House sometime in January 1893. His Arabic account confirms the New York Times article with which this part of the book started. He reveals a mixed audience in the official theater of the khedivate, the mastery with which the young khedive used publicity, and an old-new Arabic title: the prince (amīr).2...

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Conclusion: The Ottoman Origin of Arab Nationalisms

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pp. 303-308

This book has reflected on the problem of what the Ottoman context of Egypt means for its nationalism. What were the consequences of the imperial embedding for a well-established national narrative? The revision made it necessary, first, to theorize an Ottoman network of Arab imagined communities, second, to reflect on the special place of Egypt within these communities due to its specific geography and power structure (the khedivate), and, lastly, to bring Islam back into the discursive...

Acknowledgments

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pp. 309-310

Abbreviations

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pp. 311-312

Works Cited

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pp. 313-344

Index

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pp. 345-356