By Jane Hathaway
This revisionist research reevaluates the origins and starting place myths of the Faqaris and Qasimis, rival factions that divided Egyptian society throughout the 17th and eighteenth centuries, while Egypt was once the most important province within the Ottoman Empire. In solution to the long-lasting secret surrounding the factions’ origins, Jane Hathaway locations their emergence in the generalized challenge that the Ottoman Empire—like a lot of the remainder of the world—suffered through the early smooth interval, whereas uncovering a symbiosis among Ottoman Egypt and Yemen that was once severe to their formation. additionally, she scrutinizes the factions’ origin myths, deconstructing their tropes and emblems to bare their connections to a lot older renowned narratives. Drawing on parallels from a big selection of cultures, she demonstrates with awesome originality how rituals resembling storytelling and public processions, in addition to opting for shades and symbols, may well serve to augment factional id.
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Additional info for A Tale of Two Factions: Myth, Memory, and Identity in Ottoman Egypt and Yemen
The remaining chapters take a slightly different tack by taking a hard look at the candidates whom other historians have favored for eponymous founders of the Qasimi and Faqari factions. Chapter 10 unveils an unsuspected twist to the career of the aforementioned Qasim Bey and his mamluk Qansuh, then ponders the implications of the Qasimi chieftain Ridvan Bey Abu’l-Shawarib’s assertions of Circassian superiority and Arab lineage. Chapter 11 disputes the notion that the other Ridvan Bey was the “first Faqari,” then presents what I believe is the true namesake of the Faqari faction: ˜Ali b.
13 If terminology is any guide, then, the Faqaris and Qasimis are fundamentally different from both the households of the Ottoman era and the factions of the Mamluk era. To be sure, the Mamluk-era factions operated in much the same fashion as the Ottoman-era households in the sense that each functioned largely as an interest group attached to a particular patron, with all the internal squabbles, splits, and offshoots that one would expect within such a structure. The Faqaris and Qasimis suffered internal divisions and ruptures, as well, as the deadly rivalry between Çerkes Mehmed Bey and Ismail Bey b.
Likewise, my study at various points, but above all in the chapter exploring representations of the sword Dhu’lFaqar, exploits an eclectic array of visual evidence: post-Timurid and Ottoman miniatures, Ottoman battle flags, paintings and sketches by European visitors to the Ottoman Empire, tombstones of Ottoman soldiers. I also chose to search far beyond the borders of Egypt, and even beyond the spatial and temporal borders of the Ottoman Empire, for analogs to the symbols and patterns that I encountered in Egypt’s factionalism.