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Building An Egyptian Identity

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Chapter Summary

This paper starts by tracing the descriptions of the wall through the different accounts over time. On the one hand, Ibn 'Abd al-Hakam could not avoid describing the Old Lady's Wall in his chapter on the fada'il of Egypt. And yet on the other hand, ancient Egypt could not fail to impress. Its monumental remains conjured a glorious past of fantastically rich and potent rulers, possessed of resources and technological finesse of magical power. The story of Daluka and her wall gave a unity and a history to the communal past of Arab Muslims and Egyptians, an enterprise that had become especially important by the third/ninth century when significant numbers of Egyptians started to convert to Islam and when the Arab Muslims who had settled in Egypt felt their privileged position threatened by the newly-arriving Turkish rulers and Persian administrators.

Keywords: ancient Egypt; Daluka; Ibn 'Abd al-Hakam; Lady's Wall



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