This book presents new and original insights into the political, social, and economic development of today’s Egypt. The case study of Kamshish, a small village in the heart of the Delta, sheds light on the recent social history of Egypt and the evolving relations between Egyptian rulers and people. Highlighted is the “Kamshish Affair,” during which the village appeared to be at the threshold of a socialist revolution destined to engulf the whole country, if not the entire region. Kamshish became the Mecca of the Left, to which such luminaries as Che Guevara, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Simone de Beauvoir paid homage. When the expected revolution failed to materialize, the state stepped in with a “new beginning,” whose conservatism stands in sharp contrast to the radicalist trends of the 1960s.
About the Author
Hamied Ansari is Assistant Professor and former Acting Director of the Middle East Program at the School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University.