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The Long 1890s in EgyptColonial Quiescence, Subterranean Resistance$
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Marilyn Booth and Gorman Anthony

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780748670123

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748670123.001.0001

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My Sister Esther:

My Sister Esther:

Reflections on Judaism, Ottomanism and Empire in the Works of Farah Antun

Chapter:
(p.315) 11 My Sister Esther
Source:
The Long 1890s in Egypt
Author(s):

Orit Bashkin

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748670123.003.0012

The chapter looks into the writings about Jews in 1890s Egypt, especially in the works of novelist and intellectual Farah Antun (1874-1922). It argues that the Egyptian print media, in its post-1882 stage, encouraged important conversations about citizenship rights and democracy, in which the writing about ‘the Jew’ served as a key metaphor. Most of the important writers in the public sphere condemned European anti-Semitism and saw it as a reflection of European fanaticism. Antun’s writings, both in his journal al-Jami‘a and his 1904 novel, The New Jerusalem (Urshalim al-Jadida), reflect this interest in Jewish life and in the historical oppression of the Jewish people. Writing about the persecution of Jews under the Byzantine Empire, Antun used this historical setting to call for Ottoman brotherhood and unity, equality before the law to all subjects of the Ottoman Empire regardless of their religion, and social justice.

Keywords:   Farah Antun, sectarianism, colonialism, Ottomanism, Anti-Semitism, Pan-Islam, Arab Christians, Jurji Zaydan, Jews

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