Models of Egypt’s self-identifi cation in the interwar period (1919-1939)

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Abstract


In the article, the authors consider the models of self-identification typical for the public thought of Egypt of the interwar period. In the fi rst half of XX century Egypt entered an important period of its history. As one of the fi rst formally independent Arab States, Egypt continued to struggle for full sovereignty from the United Kingdom while seeking to establish itself as a regional leader. In this regard, the leading thinkers of Egypt tried to determine the place of their country in the world and fi nd the most acceptable ideology for it, which could also rally other Arab, Muslim, Asian and African countries around Egypt. The article touched upon four concepts that were developed during the interwar period and infl uenced the further development of public thought in Egypt. Some thinkers have tried to develop a model of secular pan-Arabism based on the ideas of al-Kawakibi and al-Husri. For these authors, Egypt was an integral part of the Arab world and the core of its possible unifi cation. The second concept was related to pan-Islamism: developing the ideas of al-Afghani, the ideologues of this direction interpreted Egypt primarily as a Muslim country and part of the Dar al-Islam . For example, “Muslim Brotherhood” belonged to this group. The third concept is associated with the comprehension of the identity of Egypt through the idea of “pharaonism” and “ tamsir ” modern Egyptians declared heirs of the ancient Egyptian civilization. The fourth concept, conventionally named Eastern Idea or Easternism , was founded on the opposition of all the countries of the East to Western countries. Each of the areas of identity of Egypt - pan-Arab, pan-Islamic, Egyptian (“pharaonism”) and Easternism - made a contribution to the development of the identity of Egyptian society in the interwar period, and somehow infl uenced on the history of Egypt in the second half of the XX century.


About the authors

Ibragim Eminovich Ibragimov

Institute of Africa Russian Academy of Sciences

Author for correspondence.
Email: ibragim07_93@mail.ru
30/1 Spiridonovka St., Moscow, 123001, Russia

postgraduate student, Institute of African Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences

Andrey Aleksandrovich Kudelin

Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University)

Email: kudelin_aa@rudn.university
10-2 Miklukho-Maklaya St., Moscow, 117198, Russia

PhD in History, Department of World History, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

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