Egypt Awakening in the Early Twentieth Century: Mayy by Boutheina Khaldi (auth.)

By Boutheina Khaldi (auth.)

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They are nice and amiable company. ”86 However, he adds: “It is mainly the women that sit down, and no man will ever sit down before all women have found a place; if a woman joins a company and there is no seat available then one of the men will get up and offer her his seat. ¯aw¯ı contends, are always treated with greater regard than men are. “So when somebody enters the house of his friend, he must first greet the lady of the house before the master. ¯aw¯ı’s narrative along with his further emphasis on etiquette as the polite recognition of the role and status of women was not alien to his understanding and reading of Islamic history.

Her frequent attendees were upper-class women ¯ including ‘A’ishah al-Taym¯ uriyyah, about whom Ziy¯adah wrote 152 a book. il, the niece of the deposed Khedive Ism¯a‘¯ıl. She was fluent in Turkish, Arabic, French, and English. ¯ı (d. af¯a Fahm¯ı (d. 1914); 42 E g y p t A wa k e n i n g the Coptic Prime Minister Butrus Gh¯al¯ı (d. 1910); and F¯aris Nimr (d. il influenced the male intellectuals who frequented her salon a great deal. Her salon, H . r¯ır al-Mar’ah and al-Mar’ah al-Jad¯ıdah (The New Woman) (1900).

Aw¯ı’s book Takhl¯ıs al-Ibr¯ız f¯ı Talkh¯ıs B¯ ar¯ız is an important source because it provides not only a comparative study of Egyptian tradition under the Turks and the Parisian tradition, but also a first-hand celebratory view of Parisian culture to the class of educated women in Egypt. These women received their education at home through private tutoring, a fact that made the comparison of Parisian culture to Egyptian culture an important source for selection, appropriation, and/or rejection.

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