LONGING AND BELONGING: AN EGYPTIAN CULTURAL PERSPECTIVE OF MEDITERRANEANISM

By September 25, 2016Vol. 2.3

By Magda El-Nowieemy

ABSTRACT
The “longing” and “belonging” features of Taha Hussein’s cultural perspective of Mediterraneanism is revisited.
Taha Hussein (1889-1973) plays a great role in the Egyptian cultural perspective of Mediterraneanism.
The concept of Mediterraneanism was a recurrent one in his thought. Taha Hussein well expressed his point
of view in his most famous book The Future of Culture in Egypt, which was first published in Cairo, 1938. In
analyzing the Egyptian cultural identity, Taha Hussein became the strictest advocate of Graeco-Roman studies
in Egypt. There is an underlying relationship between teaching Greek and Latin and the Egyptian
cultural perspective of Mediterraneanism as held by Taha Hussein. He judged Greek and Latin in terms of
their contribution to the Egyptian cultural identity.
The implications of Taha Hussein’s cultural perspective of Mediterraneanism have been vigorously explored
up till now in the Egyptian academia. It has something to contribute to the Egyptian literary discourse as
well. My study provides the occasion for some future new light to be shed on the Egyptian cultural perspective
of Mediterraneanism.

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