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Restaurants, Inns and Taverns That Never Were: Some Reflections on Public Consumption in Medieval Cairo

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The article shows that, contrary to a commonly accepted assumption, no public consumption facilities such as restaurants, taverns or inns existed in medieval Cairo. This was caused on the one hand by the Egyptians' faithfulness to their own ancient practices and their indifference to pre-Islamic influences of foreign origin, and on the other by the Cairenes' compliance with the ordinances of the legal sources of Islam. These two factors led to the results described in the article because they complemented each other, as Islam was rooted in the same ancient social and cultural tradition as Egypt. Dans cet article on a avancé une thèse que – malgré une opinion bien etendue – les établissements alimentaires, tels que les restaurants, les tavernes et les auberges, n'existaient pas au Caire médiéval. Les causes de cette situation on peut expliquer, d'une part, par l'attachement des Égyptiens à leur cultures indigènes et leur indifférence aux traditions culturelles étrangères, alimentaires inclues, provenant d'une époque preislamique; d'autre part, par le fait que le comportement des Cairots était très strictement lié aux ordonnances de la religion islamique, enracinées dans la même tradition sociale et religieuse que les traditions égyptiennes. Or, on peut conclure que les évènements décrits dans cet article pouvaient avoir lieu puisque la tradition musulmane concernante les questions presentées ici était très strictement liée à la culture indigène.


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