A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Is Egypt Encouraging Royal Nostalgia?

Amira Nowaira in The Guardian on what she describes as "Egypt's Royal Nostalgia", namely the proliferation of books, drama, TV series etc. on the monarchical period. I've previously noted the attention paid to the death of Princess Ferial, and the attendance at her funeral of her half-brother King Ahmad Fuad II (who reigned only a year and that from exile). She suggests:
At this sensitive juncture in Egypt's political life when the vexed question of political succession hangs ominously in the air, the royal family – once demonised and denigrated – has now been given a new lease of public life. It is possible that their presence is used to promote the hereditary model and make it seem attractive and viable. If such a system once gave Egypt stability and the foundations of a democratic life, as well as a great deal of charm to boot, it could do it once again.
She does not mean restoring the Muhammad ‘Ali dynasty, of course. She doesn't mention it, but I have before: Gamal Mubarak named his first child Farida. That was the name of Farouq's first queen (and Egypt's last popular one).

1 comment:

Oman said...

it does not stretch the imagination a great deal to imagine the media building up for a dynastic presidential family . Presumably Mohammad Ali's descendants would not complain at one military family succeeding another