Upper Egypt (the Sa'id) is often portrayed as a source of disruption and unpredictability in the broader Egyptian system. Upper Egypt: Identity and Change corrects that image by laying out the order in the meaningful life of Upper Egyptians. That order is based on a strong sense of regional identity including also religious and family identity, and on the political, economic, religious, and family structures that provide the context for action by the people of this region. This timely collection of 14 contributions by anthropologists, historians, and others deals with such issues as the implications of a Sa'idi identity, the relationship between religion and society, the expanding universe from family to community to region and beyond to the world, and the place of villages, regions, and tribes in the regional structure. All of this is put within a context of change due to the effect of capitalism, the pressure from a national bureaucracy and elite, and the evolving notions of religious and regional identity.The book is aimed at scholars of social dynamics in the Middle East, including specialists in development, and at all those who are looking for a fresh approach to this marginalized area.
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