Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Composing EgyptReading, Writing, and the Emergence of a Modern Nation, 1870-1930$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Hoda A. Yousef

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780804797115

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804797115.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM STANFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.stanford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Stanford University Press, 2017. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in SSO for personal use (for details see http://www.stanford.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 11 December 2017

Prologue

Prologue

Chapter:
(p.1) Prologue
Source:
Composing Egypt
Author(s):

Hoda A. Yousef

Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804797115.003.0001

THIS HISTORY is, in part, my grandmother’s story. Born in Egypt around 1920, Amina Qandil grew up flanked by two very different generations: that of her own mother and the generation represented by her youngest sisters. Like many women before her, Amina’s mother never learned to read or write. Meanwhile, the younger women of the family were part of a new generation of learning: they all went to school, some continued on to higher education, and one became a doctor. As for Amina, education was pursued at the hands of a series of female tutors who came to her home to teach her sewing, crocheting, baking, reading, and writing. Throughout the many roles she played in her life, Amina used these skills to their utmost capacity. She was the amateur seamstress who saved the family the cost of school uniforms, the baker who made enough bread for the entire street, the family scribe who noted debts and payments in her delicate handwriting, and a voracious consumer of novels in her youth and a dedicated reader of a daily Qur’anic litany in her old age. But her story as an unschooled literate—for whom literacy was part skill and part treasure—is absent from the common narrative of Egyptian history, which tends to divide the population into the literate elites and the uneducated majorities. She was neither illiterate nor part of the country’s new, empowered, school-educated classes. Nevertheless, she was part of a growing stratum of Egyptians for whom particular kinds of literacies were deployed, used, and cherished in their everyday social circumstances. Her informal education allowed her to pursue her economic interests when needed, ...

Stanford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.