DMA Dialogues | Sectarianism and Charity in Modern Egypt: The Coptic Case
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Sectarianism and Charity in Modern Egypt: The Coptic Case

Sectarianism and Charity in Modern Egypt: The Coptic Case

— How can we rethink religious minorities, diasporas and the construction of belonging in Egypt during the 19th and 20th centuries through the prism of benevolence?

— Thank you for this important opening question. In recent years, we’ve witnessed a flourishing of scholarship and conferences on these topics that provides insight into how local, diasporic, and foreign actors and communities were shaped through engagement with infrastructures of benevolence in Egypt during the modern period. In my research, I argue that charity was a critical site in how these different communities negotiated and expressed their identities as they navigated shifting modes of belonging amid tremendous changes during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The more we know about how global forces, imperialist interventions, and local movements converged in modern Egypt, the more evident it becomes that mobilization toward addressing social needs through charitable activities, relations, institutions, and …