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Did as-Sa’îdiyya really revolt? An ethnographic investigation

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The purpose of this study is to investigate and inspect the causes that prevented the [marginalised and isolated] society of Sa’îd from rebelling against Mubarak’s authoritarian regime, as the North did. Here I seek to present different interoperation of as-Sa’îdiyya’s attitudes toward the 2011 uprising away from the Manichean “glorification” vs “ignominy”, or “celebrating” vs “contempt” narrative that dominated the study of the Sa’îd and as-Sa’îdiyya role in the 2011 Arab uprising. My research is based on interviews, participant observation and ethnographic investigation which articulates the behaviour of peasants as political actors in this time of turmoil. While most sociological and anthropological studies of revolutions concentrate on cities and urban areas, this paper focuses on a small town Madinat Al-Fikriyya and village Munsha’îat Al-Fikriyya in Al-Minya governate in Upper Egypt. Therefore, to understand the role of as-Sa’îdiyya in the 2011 uprising, the paper suggests three conceptual changes to this convention. Firstly, by putting peasantry communities within sociopolitical and socioeconomic contexts; secondly by concentrating on understanding the dynamics of state-society relations, and lastly, exploring the role of security establishment and levels of penetration into the society in order.


Original languageEnglish
JournalMiddle Eastern Studies
VolumeLatest articles
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2021

    Research areas

  • Arab Uprising, Arab Revolt, Egypt, Upper Egypt, Revolution, Ethnography, Peasants, Everyday Life Resistance, Sa’îd

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