By André Raymond
Gaze towards the Nile from the wasteland hills of Mukattam, and the significant urban of Cairo unfolds prior to you, with its huge structure, teeming population, and hundreds of thousands of years of wealthy heritage. the extreme tapestry of Cairo's prior and current comes vividly to existence during this magisterial research via André Raymond, arguably the prime social historian of the Arab global. the main deeply saw and traditionally nuanced account ever given of the best Arab urban of northern Africa, this e-book exhibits us Cairo from the glimmer of its beginnings within the Arab conquest of Egypt in 640 via its transformation into the fashionable heart of heart jap existence at the present time. listed below are the Fatimids, the Mamluks, and the Ottomans, the invasions, dynastic alterations, and spiritual conflicts that one after one other altered and formed Cairo's future. And right here, along rulers and spiritual leaders, are the retailers and artisans who've given Cairene lifestyles its targeted personality through the years. Raymond depicts lifestyles in Cairo in the course of the centuries, chronicling the arriving of ecu effect, the vagaries of social evolution, and the improvement of monetary constitution and concrete layout. His paintings displays all points of Cairo's ancient and social truth, weaving trade, politics, faith, and tradition right into a finely labored portrait of the major Arab urban at the continent of Africa.
With its fabulous illustrations and maps and its meticulous cognizance to the topography and archaeology of the town, this publication will end up as precious to the intense traveller as to observers of heart japanese historical past and society. It stands because the definitive paintings on Cairo, remarkable in scope, intensity, and aspect.
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Then, in the wake of the Commercial Treaties of 1838 to 1840, which imposed a low external tariff of 5 percent on European imports, Egypt’s purchases of British cotton goods doubled again between the later 1830s and the later 1840s to reach a value of about 300,000 LE. With cotton production and prices rising, Egypt’s total external trade came to be worth around 4 million LE in the later 1850s. Thus it was probably only from around the mid-1830s that imports started to have an impact of any signiﬁcant kind on artisans in Egypt.
Owen’s work has underlined these points through a relatively sober analysis of the extent of Mehmet Ali’s import substitution projects, even at their peak in the 1830s: Mehmet Ali’s experiments probably employed only about thirty to forty thousand workers, rather fewer than the one or two hundred thousand suggested by earlier historians. And even then, not all workers were employed all the time, because factories were often not running at full capacity because of operational problems relating to placement, machinery (and its maintenance), and fuel costs.
Baer’s view of guild shaykhs as government appointees is also largely mistaken. From Anatolia to Egypt, scholars have demonstrated that guild leaders were usually chosen by guild members, not the government. Usually a group of senior members gathered before the qadi to make their wishes known, and generally speaking, the qadi ratiﬁed the appointment. It has further become clear that guild leaders were usually practicing masters of the trade in question (not outsiders), and thus were intimately involved in the interests and activities of the trade itself.
Cairo by André Raymond