Speaker: Alia Mosallam, Forum Transregionale Studien
Discussant: Hazem Jamjoum, New York University
In the summer of 1918 the Ministry of Interior in Cairo was bombarded with reports of ‘criminal activity’ from villages across Egypt. This marked the unfolding of an important but little-known peasants’ revolt in 20th Century Egypt. In this event, Alia Mosallam looks at three particular instances of subversive confrontation that took place in the lead up to the summer of 1918 on the World War I fronts in Boulogne, Rafah, and in Roda Island. She asks; how did these workers chip away at the edifice of the British/Egyptian administration that subjected them to war? How did they articulate their struggle and discontent in a way that continued to resonate so strongly for many years?
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Alia Mosallam is Alexander von Humboldt Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Forum Transregionale Studien in Berlin. Her research explores popular politics in Egyptian history through forms of "Intimate language" - namely songs, and more recently photographs that document the experience of political struggle within communities. She is currently working on a book which looks at the building of the Aswan High Dam, focusing on the experiences of builders of the Dam and Nubian communities displaced by it. She is also starting a new project on the Egyptian workers' experiences in World War I through songs, and oral history.
Hazem Jamjoum is a doctoral candidate in the Joint Degree Doctor of Philosophy in History and Middle Eastern Studies at New York University.