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Chapter Summary

Anarchism first appeared in Egypt among Italian political refugees and workers during the 1860s. Nurtured by a developing international network of labour, transport and communications across the Mediterranean, it expanded beyond Italian circles to attract members from across Egypt's diverse ethnic and religious communities over the following decades. Though heterogeneous in character, different anarchist trends shared a discourse of radical social emancipation that in its propaganda and public actions proclaimed the universality of humankind and decried the evils of capitalism, state power and religious dogma. In the years after 1900, anarcho-syndicalism played an energetic and central role in the development of the labour movement in Egypt, articulating the rights of workers in the struggle against capital and promoting an internationalist activism that resisted nationality, religion and race as the basis of organisation as it countered imperialist, nationalist and state-based perspectives.

Keywords:anarchist movement; anarcho-syndicalism; Egypt

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