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New Trends in Egyptian Historiography of the Ottoman Period: A German-Egyptian Encounter

Was Tagung
Wann 14.03.2007
von 09:30 am bis 07:00 pm
Wo Zentrum Moderner Orient, Kirchweg 33, 14129 berlin
Name Nora Lafi
Contact Email
Kontakttelefon 030-80 307 239
Termin übernehmen vCal

Workshop am Zentrum Moderner Orient


BERLIN, MARCH 14, 2007, 9:30-18:00


Since several years Egyptian historiography is changing in a profound way. A new generation of Historians is revisiting the heritage of the nationalist and Marxist schools of historical writing in Egypt through a set of new questions and methods. While nationalist historical writing during much of the 20th Century focused on questions of state-, nation- and identity- building since Muhammed Ali (1805-1848) and on the rise of the national movement and its struggle against colonial domination, Marxist historiography since the 1950s had introduced new objects, like popular history or the structures of society and state. A younger generation of Egyptian Historians refocus their research to questions of relationship between state and society, between religion and society, between élites and ordinary people, and between the local and the global. While much of Egyptian History in the past has been written through the perspective of colonial archives younger Egyptian historians build their research on thorough investigations of local archival material. Many of these inquiries investigate the pre-Napoleonic and pre-Muhammed Ali Ottoman Period in Egypt.

This workshop offers an introduction and illustration of these new methods and stakes in the writing of Egyptian history, with a focus on archival resources, methods of investigation and heuristic paradigms. The workshop is conceived as an occasion to present and discuss ongoing research on the Ottoman period between Egyptian and German based researchers.

9:30 – 12:30:
Introduction: Dr. Nora Lafi (researcher, ZMO, and co-chair of the Cities Compared research field of Europe in the Middle East – The Middle East in Europe): Ottoman Egypt in Perspective: New Archives, New Trends, New Stakes

Dr. Magdi Guirguis (Cairo University, Fellow of Europe in the Middle East – The Middle East in Europe): Introduction and Presentation of the Panel of Egyptian Historians

Session 1 : Discussant Dr. Shaden Tageldin (Fellow of Europe in the Middle East – The Middle East in Europe)

Prof. Elsayed Mohammad Achmawi (Cairo University) : Egyptian Approaches to the Ottoman Period: Historiography in Perspective
Dr. Malte Fuhrmann (Researcher, ZMO Berlin): Turkish and German Ottoman Historiographies: Methods and Questions
Dr. Mohammad Sabri ad-Dali (Lecturer, Hilwan University, Cairo): The Role of Sufi Narratives in the Building of a Political Sphere in Egypt (16th-17th c.)
Nasser Abd Allah Osman Abo Zead (B.A. Azhar University): Ulema and Society in 16th-17Ith c. Egypt


Lunch at ZMO Berlin and encounter with members of the Berlin Ottoman and Oriental Research Community

14:00 – 18:00:
Session 2: Discussant: Dr. Dana Sajdi (Fellow of Europe in the Middle East – The Middle East in Europe)

Karima Thabet El Sayed Ghoneem (BA, Mansoura University): Law and Politics in Ottoman Cairo (16th-17th c.)
Dr. Florian Riedler (Researcher, ZMO Berlin): “History from bellow” in an Ottoman Context
Dr. Hossam Mohammad Abd Almity (Lecturer, Bani- Sueif University): Merchants and State in 18th c. Egypt.
Dr. Nasser Ahmed Ibrahim Soliman (Lecturer, Cairo University): The Copts and the French Occupation of Egypt: New Perspectives.
Rizq Hassan Ahmed Noury (BA, Cairo University): Corruption and Administration in Egypt at the time of Mohammad Ali
Nasra Abd Elmotagaly Ibrahim Aly (BA, Banha University): Society and State in 18th and 19th c. Rural Egypt


This workshop is part of the activities of the « Cities Compared : Cosmopolitanism in the Mediterranean and Adjacent Regions » that is directed by Prof. Ulrike Freitag and Dr. Nora Lafi and that is part of the research program “Europe in the Middle-East / The Middle-East in Europe”.
The workshop is organized jointly by Magdi Guirguis (Fellow of Europe in the Middle East – The Middle East in Europe), Georges Khalil (Coordinator of Europe in the Middle East – The Middle East in Europe, Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin), Ulrike Freitag and Nora Lafi (ZMO).
Europe in the Middle East - the Middle East in Europe is a five-year research program of the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften, the Fritz Thyssen Stiftung and the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. This research program seeks to rethink key concepts and premises that link and divide Europe and the Middle East. It draws on the expertise of scholars in and outside of Germany and is embedded in university and extra-university research institutions in Berlin. The program builds upon the previous work of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin's Working Group Modernity and Islam and is funded by the Fritz Thyssen Stiftung. For further Information please visit:

In conjunction to this workshop, a visit to the archives of the German Foreign Office is being organised for participants by Dr. Silke Nagel (ZMO Berlin)
Venue: Zentrum Moderner Orient, Kirchweg 33, 14129 Berlin. S-Bahn 1: Nikolassee