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Khaled Fahmy Posts

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Archives of a quarantine

Video recording of a lecture delivered in the series titled “Archives of the Disappeared: Discipline and Method Amidst Ruin” hosted by the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Science and the Humanities, CRASSH, the University of Cambridge on 8 May 2020. Advertisements

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The Egyptian Army in the 1967 War

A lecture delivered on 6 May 2020 in the EUME BERLINER SEMINAR The Six-Day War of 1967 is a pivotal event in the modern history of the Middle East, and its ripple effects continue to shape events in the different countries of the region to the present day. Of all the belligerent countries that participated in this war, Egypt was the most deeply affected. The war left 10,000 dead, one tenth of the fighting force, in addition to 15,000 wounded and captured. The entire Sinai Peninsula, 6% of Egypt’s total area, was lost. More than 80% of military materiel was…

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Hosni Mubarak

Entry in the Oxford Companion to Comparative Politics (New York: Oxford University Press, c2013), Joel Krieger, editor in chief. Born on 4 May 1928 in the Nile delta village of Kafr al-Mouseilha, Hosni Mubarak received his education in small schools in his home village. Upon finishing high school, he joined the Egyptian Military Academy, from which he graduated on 2 February 1949. He then joined the air force and received his commission as a pilot officer on 13 March 1950. Throughout his education, and unlike many of the young cadets of his generation, he did not develop any political interests…

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Thinking with Alaa

Published in Mada Masr on 21 December 2019 Software developer and activist Alaa Abd El Fattah has been imprisoned in the Maximum Security Wing 2 of the Tora Prison Complex for the last three months. He was arrested by national security agents on the morning of September 29 as he was leaving Dokki Police Station where he had been forced to spend 12 hours every night — from 6 pm to 6 am — as part of his probation since his release from prison at the end of March after serving a five-year sentence. Alaa is being held in remand…

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The Great Theft of History: The Egyptian Army in the First World War

A lecture delivered on 27 March, 2019, in a conference titled “The Egyptian Revolution of 1919: The birth fo a nation” organized by the British Egyptian Society, the London Middle East Centre, and the Council for British Research in the Levant On November 11, 2013, the Military Research Department of the Egyptian Armed Forces staged a huge event commemorating the ninety-ninth anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War. Major-General Amin Hussein assistant to the Minister of Defense delivered a speech which extolled the participation of the Egyptian army in the war and highlighted, quote, “the heroic sacrifices of the Egyptian…

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A history of the state told through the senses

This conversation with Youssef El Chazli was published din Mada Masr on 8 June 2019 Khaled Fahmy, who holds the Sultan Qaboos bin Said chair in modern Arabic studies at the University of Cambridge, has worked tirelessly to scrutinize and reevaluate dominant narratives and historical assumptions about the Egyptian state and its many institutions. In his first book, All the Pasha’s Men, Fahmy took up the narrative of Mohammed Ali’s construction of modern Egypt, in particular the role the construction of the army played in this trajectory. As Amr Ezzat wrote in an article in al-Shorouk in 2013, the book was an attempt…

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“State paradox”: Adam Sabra’s review of In Quest of Justice

Adam Sabra published the following review of In Quest of Justice in al-Ahram Weekly, issue 1437, 4-10 April 2019. Khaled Fahmy’s fascinating and important new book addresses fundamental questions about the nature of Egypt’s modernity. Tracing the origins of forensic medicine to the middle of the 19th century (1830-1880), Fahmy offers a revisionist account of the origins of the modern Egyptian state and its relationship to Islamic law. Critical of modernisation theories of both the right and left as well as of Islamist critiques of the legitimacy of Egypt’s path to modernity, Fahmy suggests that Egypt under the descendants of…

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Tahrir and Gala’

N.B. This article was written in May 2011. An Arabic translation was published in Majlallat al-Dirasat al-Falastiniyya, v. 86, Spring 2011. On January 25, I had my first encounter with tear gas. Answering many calls on Facebook and other social network media, I went to Tahrir Square to join my sister and her son who had already been there for a few hours. As soon as I entered the square I realized that something big was happening—the last time I saw such a large crowd in Tahrir was in 2003 during the demonstrations against the US invasion of Iraq. The…

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Adventures in the Archives (5): a murder case from 1863

The following is a homicide case adjudicated by Majlis al-Ahkam in 1280 AH / 1863 CE   You can download it as a pdf here: Ibrahim al Saidi qisas case And the following is a transcription: ١. مضبطة صورتها مجلس بني سويف كان أرسل للأحكام قرار وأوراق بإفادة رقم ٢٦ صفر سنة ٨٠ نمرة ١٣٢ تبين منهم أن شيخ ناحية القضابي بمديرية المنيا المسما ٢. علي عبد الهادي توجه في يوم ١٥ محرم سنة ٨٠ للمديرية مع أشخاص حاملين نفر مقتول يدعى قمح حسن من الناحية المذكورة وقرر بأنه كان بمنزله في ظهر ذاك اليوم ٣. ولما سمع عن قتل النفر…

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