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Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Napoleon in Egypt by Abd al-Rahman al-Jabarti. Napoleon's conquest of Egypt in was the first contact between a Western power with imperial goals and an ancient regime of an African society. Sheik Al-Jabarti's chronicle is a unique combination of historical narration and reflection combined with daily observations about the atmosphere in Cairo and the mood among the local population.
The book is an Arab view of a t Napoleon's conquest of Egypt in was the first contact between a Western power with imperial goals and an ancient regime of an African society. The book is an Arab view of a turning point in modern history.
This expanded edition celebrates the th anniversary of Al-Jabarti's birth. The French view of these events is described by Napoleon's secretary; Edward W. Said, Columbia University, provides a stinging critique of French preoccupation with Egypt and the resulting cultural "Orientalism"; Robert Tignor Princeton University provides a scintillating introduction. An additional chapter by editor Shmuel Moreh examines the Arabic interpretation of Al-Jabarti's writings.
Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. More Details Original Title. Other Editions 4. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Napoleon in Egypt , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of Napoleon in Egypt. View all 9 comments. Feb 11, Victoria Vetterl rated it liked it Shelves: books-i-read-for-school. As a primary source, this was excellent.
It's not often that we get to see the perspective of the conquered people during a momentous period of time, and I found it fascinating at how detailed al-Janarti's accounting of Napolean's occupation of Egypt actually was.
I did read this for school, and I appreciate what it was meant to be for. Feb 19, Emily Gambrel rated it liked it. Read this for class. Overall, though, a very solid read on history from both the French and Egyptian perspective of the French occupation.
Jan 31, Patrick rated it liked it Shelves: europe , rest-of-asia. A very interesting book. Has two interesting accounts from both sides. I learned a lot. Despite Al-Jabarti's ubiquitous elitism the poor are almost unanimously "rabble" or "riff-raff" or "mobs" and other derogatory terms, although this may be partially the result of translation , he is very humorous and presents a very lucid description of the complexities and dynamics involved in Napolean's conquest of Egypt.
There were times I literally laughed out loud at Jabarati's comments, even if he may have not intended them to be humorous. An example can be seen when Al-Jabarti is critici Despite Al-Jabarti's ubiquitous elitism the poor are almost unanimously "rabble" or "riff-raff" or "mobs" and other derogatory terms, although this may be partially the result of translation , he is very humorous and presents a very lucid description of the complexities and dynamics involved in Napolean's conquest of Egypt.
An example can be seen when Al-Jabarti is criticizing the document presented to the Egyptian people by the French during Napoleon's occupation : "His statement 'waa Hasratan' unfortunately , probably it is 'wa-khuSuSan' especially , because this word has no place here, for 'waa Hasratan' is a word expressing affliction and the context does not permit it here. Its occurrence here is like animal droppings on the road or a boulder in a mountain pass, may God afflict the man who composed it with break-bone fever and may God expose him to all sorts of destruction.
Another example is when Jabarati is describing the uprising that took place by certain segments of the 'ulama and the poor in Cairo against Napoleon: "They [the common people] did and said all kinds of unheard of things.
They fabricated all sorts of lies. It happened that someone would start a lie or invent a falsehood in which they would rejoice without any proof of its validity. Then they would applaud it by clapping and making noises with their hands under their armpits.
He clearly wasn't fond of people making noises with their armpits. Despite Jabarati sounding like a cranky old man, his account of Napoleon's conquest is profoundly human, and he presents it as such an encounter.
It's a great read. Feb 08, Murtaza rated it really liked it. This is one of those rare glimpses into the experience of colonialism from the side of the colonized. France's invasion of Egypt in was the opening salvo in a long battle for control of the Middle East which continues to rage on in varied forms to this day.
Al-Jabarti was an Egyptian chronicler of this episode, and his account is like a time capsule of a world no longer in existence. One thing that comes across in this account is the absence of the inferiority complex which the East now feel This is one of those rare glimpses into the experience of colonialism from the side of the colonized.
One thing that comes across in this account is the absence of the inferiority complex which the East now feels towards the West. Jabarti represents is self-assured and generally scathing and contemptuous towards the French. He excoriates them for hygiene, godlessness and for killing their "Sultan", though he expresses admiration and at times awe for their military esprit de corps and scientific knowledge. Much the same animated later Islamic thinkers who advocated adoption of Western technological advances and methods of organization while wanting to maintain their own culture, this was the experience which first triggered it.
Another thing that was striking were how many similarities there were between this encounter and America's essentially colonial war in Iraq. An almost messianic yet self-interested focus on wiping out the old regime of the Mamluks read: Baathists , hubris, self-exaltation, sense of a civilizing mission, the organization of governing subcommittees among the natives, the breakdown in law and order, the heavy-handed brutality of the occupiers - its all played out here.
As it is said in Ecclesiastes, there is nothing new under the sun. History has repeated itself again and again since that first moment French ships landed on the shores of lateth century Egypt. Feb 10, Mary Wyman rated it it was ok. I only read this book for my history class. Still good, but very long and, personally, boring. But to all those who like to read history.
Enjoy :. Although Al-Jabarti is pervasively used as a source by Napoleon scholars, many overlook the grievances he documents and broaches about the unprovoked French occupation from Part of this I feel is the Western habit of disregarding societal complaints made by non-Westerners, especially Muslims.
I found the backstories and descriptions of the French tax and civil reforms fascinating. The blatant hypocrisy of the French military administration, freshly baptised by their own revolution bas Although Al-Jabarti is pervasively used as a source by Napoleon scholars, many overlook the grievances he documents and broaches about the unprovoked French occupation from The blatant hypocrisy of the French military administration, freshly baptised by their own revolution based on the ideas of equality and liberty from the Enlightenment, to invade and subjate another nation in the name of imperial competiton made me reconsider what I thought I knew about this era and its history.
Nov 09, Dillon Tatum rated it it was amazing. Primary source on French Colonialism in Egypt, written by an Egyptian witness to the event. Covers the first 6 months of the occupation. The translation is fantastic, and included in the book is an account of Napoleon's private secretary, a great introduction, and an essay by Edward Said, all of which are very stimulating.
Jan 15, Zachary Hudson rated it liked it. The book was fairly decent as it explored French involvement in Egypt toward the late 18th century. There was a great deal of raping and pillaging, but the author used far too many ambiguous cases like "they" "them" etc. Sep 25, Megan rated it liked it Shelves: , history , nonfiction.
Really interesting primary source, but as someone who knows zero Arabic, I got a little lost at times with terminology and names. Josh Lile rated it liked it May 20, Cate rated it really liked it Jun 17, Miles rated it it was ok Oct 06, Jasdeep Singh rated it liked it Nov 20, Dirk Pratt rated it liked it Apr 22, Bilal Shakir rated it it was ok Mar 03, Keisha rated it liked it Aug 26,
Napoleon and Egypt
Little is known of al-Jabarti's life. Al-Jabarti was born into a prominent family of ulama  with ties to the Egyptian scholarly and political elite. Al-Jabarti's father was a Hanafi religious scholar and served as the director of the al-Jabarti residence hall for students at al-Azhar University, a title al-Jabarti inherited following his father's death in Through his family ties, al-Jabarti gained access to prominent scholars al-Muradi and al-Murtada, both of whom influenced his decision to write about Egyptian history.
Napoleon in Egypt
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Abd al-Rahman al-Jabarti