By Jane Hathaway
This revisionist examine reevaluates the origins and starting place myths of the Faqaris and Qasimis, rival factions that divided Egyptian society through the 17th and eighteenth centuries, while Egypt was once 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 situation 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 was once severe to their formation. furthermore, 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 wide range of cultures, she demonstrates with amazing originality how rituals reminiscent of storytelling and public processions, in addition to deciding upon colours and logos, might serve to augment factional identification.
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Additional info for A Tale of Two Factions: Myth, Memory, and Identity in Ottoman Egypt and Yemen
M. 49 Nonetheless, the Faqaris’ link to the Yemeni Sa˜d bedouin indicates that the Qaysi-Yemeni genealogical dichotomy played a by no means negligible part in the contrasting identities forged by the Qasimis and Faqaris. The Qaysi-Yemeni conflict was arguably the touchstone of bilateral factionalism in Muslim societies generally. Even if they enjoyed no direct lineal connection to Arab tribes themselves, competing political and social groups within these societies retained the tribal divisions as part of their collective memory and sought legitimacy by fabricating historical links to these tribes.
Indeed, the political culture, as well as the surrounding mythology, of the Faqaris and Qasimis exhibits some of the same characteristics as 30 A Tale of Two Factions these earlier and contemporary episodes of bilateral factionalism. Like the Guelphs and Ghibellines, Blues and Greens, Haydaris and Ni˜matis, and above all the Qays and Yemen, the Faqari-Qasimi conflict was society wide, encompassing not simply the military-administrative cadre but large segments of the urban and even rural populations.
E. that gave definitive shape to Qays and Yemen as distinct factions. On the death of the second Umayyad caliph in 683, the Qays, along with certain Yemeni tribes, supported a Meccan opponent of ˜Ali for caliph; the leader of a collateral branch of the Umayyads ultimately crushed this opponent with the support of the Kalb, a branch of the Yemeni grouping, and their allies. E. and the rise of the assimilationist ˜Abbasid dynasty, the Qays-Yemen rivalry became somewhat more muted, yet it continued unabated in certain regions, notably Egypt and Greater Syria.