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Author: Khaled Fahmy

Khaled Fahmy ‎‎is professor of history at the American University in Cairo and a visiting professor at Harvard University. His research interests include the social and cultural history of the modern Middle East, with an emphasis on the history of law, medicine, the army and the police in nineteenth-century Egypt. In addition to his academic publications, he also writes newspaper articles in both Arabic and English.

Israel-Palestine war: Riled by Israel’s Gaza plans, Egypt pushes back

By Sean Matthews Published in Middle East Eye on 6 November 2023 Egypt is telling the US that Israel’s stated goal to remove Hamas from governing the Gaza Strip is an unrealistic war aim, according to sources familiar with the matter. The warnings are being delivered regularly by Egyptian officials as Cairo rebuffs US overtures to take on a potential future security role in the besieged enclave and Israeli calls to accept a forced displacement of Palestinians. The warnings underscore Egypt’s desire for a speedy end to the war raging across its border, but also how Cairo has staked out…

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Trouble in the Suez This episode takes us to Egypt in 1956, when the nationalisation of the Suez Canal by General Nasser led to the “mother of all conspiracies”.  Liston to the episode HERE Behind closed doors, Great Britain and France made a secret plot with Israel to gain control of the waterway, and retain their influence in the Arab world. The conspiracy spelled the end of British Prime Minister Anthony Eden’s political career: and the Suez Canal Crisis is considered the nail in the coffin of the British Empire.  As we explore this topic we’re joined once more by special guest Khaled…

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Political Repression in Egypt: Courts Under Military Dictatorship

Streamed live on Feb 25, 2022 This event is sponsored by the US Committee to End Political Repression in Egypt and Haymarket Books, the Committee for Justice, Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN), the Freedom Initiative, Internationalism from Below, Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP), and St. John’s Center for International and Comparative Law *** Arabic interpretation of this event can be accessed here:… The modern Egyptian judiciary was established in the middle of the 19th century and is one of the oldest in the Middle East. Throughout the 20th century and the first decade of this…

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The perils of conducting academic research in Sisi’s Egypt

(This chapter was originally published in Italian on 13 January in Minnena 2: Repressione, disinformazione e ricerca tra Egitto e Italia, edited by Lorenzo Casini and Daniela Melfa.) The tragic fate that Giulio Regeni met in Cairo in January 2016 is a grim blot on Egypt’s record of protecting academic research. While academic freedom is not sacrosanct in Egypt, never before has a researcher, national or foreigner, been abducted, tortured, and murdered because of their research, no matter how delicate or sensitive their subject matter is. Five years after Regeni’s brutal murder, the Egyptian authorities have yet to identify, let…

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Mehmed Ali Pasha and Ibrahim through the eyes of an Egyptian historian

Historian Khaled Fahmy, who teaches at Cambridge and has studies the history of Mehmed Ali Pasha and his son Ibrahim, speaks to LiFo on the occasion of his participation in the “1821: The Known-Unknown Revolution” conference. This is an English translation of an interview with Vassili Siyouti which appeared in Lifo Magazine on 11 November 2021. A different conference on the Greek revolution of 1821 is being held these days (December 9-12) at the Law School and the Cultural Center of the Municipality of Athens. The aim of the organizers is to highlight the perspectives that have been enlightened by…

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An Egyptian monument in Greece: The külliyye of Mehmed Ali Pasha in Kavala

Talk delivered on October 13, 2021 to the Islamic Art Circle of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). This talk tells the story of the külliyye (pious endowment complex) that Muhammad Ali Pasha (r. 1805-1848) built in his home town of Kavala in modern-day Greece over a period of thirteen years, 1808 -1821. It traces the story of this complex of interconnected buildings that includes a medrese (theological seminary), a sıbyan mekteb (primary school), a kütüphane (library), a dershane (lecture hall) which also served as a mosque, a Mühandeshane-i Hayriyye (Charitable College of Engineering), sixty rooms to house…

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Broadcast on November 3, 2021 About this episode: The next episode in the series covers the fascinating life of Gamal Abdul Nasser, revolutionary and former president of Egypt. Nasser emerged at a time when Egypt was controlled by the British and through determination and powerful leadership he led a coup that saw Egyptians control Egypts future. Infamously he would nationalize the Suez canal, sparking a huge diplomatic incident. While also acting as a leader of sorts to many countries also seeking to move past their recent colonial pasts. He was an incredible speaker,  a beloved leader and shaped the Arab…

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Global Middle East

Webinar of the book launch (on 12 March 2021) of Global Middle East: Into the 21st Century (edited by Asef Bayat and Linda Herrera, University of California Press, 2021). Presentations by Ahmed Kanna, Ahmad Shokr, Asef Bayat, Amro Ali, Fatemeh Keshavarz, Hamid Dabashi, John Tofik Karam, Khaled Fahmy, Laleh Khalili, Linda Herrera, Michael Frishkopf, Sami Zubaida, Ted Swedenburg, and Waleed Hazbun. My presentation on the “Gamal Abdel Nasser” chapter is from 31:52​ to 37:53​. Asef Bayat: The Book’s Table of Contents with time of presentation: 1. INTRODUCTION “Global Middle East, ” Asef Bayat (0:00​-7:31​) Linda Herrera (7:32​-13:50​) Nations without Borders…

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The Arab Spring of 2011

On the tenth anniversary of the Arab uprisings of 2011, the BBC’s The History Hour program devoted an entire episode on Saturday, 30 January 2021, to the event. Here is the BBC’s blurb: In the early months of 2011 a wave of social unrest swept across the Arab world as people protested against repressive and authoritarian regimes, economic stagnation, unemployment and corruption. It began with reaction to the self-immolation of a young market trader in Tunisia, but soon became an outpouring of resentment after generations of fear. On The History Hour, Professor Khaled Fahmy of Cambridge University, helps us unravel…

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