The depiction of Arab and Muslim identity in Egyptian cinema

Date
2015
Authors
Bitar, Noor H.
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Abstract

The purpose of this research is to investigate Arab and Islamic identity and how Egyptian cinema depicts each of them. The founding Egyptian president, Gamal Abdel Nasser, developed a pan-Arab identity that had a lasting impact on filmmaking in Egypt. This research also examines the emergence of the Muslim Brotherhood as well as how it has affected Egyptian society and the Arab world. The collapse of Nasser's dream of forging Arab nationalism with Syria and Palestine coupled with the extremist actions of the Muslim Brotherhood had a profound effect on the ideology adopted by the directors in Egypt. This study further investigates whether there is a transition from Arab identity that was developed by Nasser to Muslim identity represented by the Muslim Brotherhood by analyzing films concerning Arabism, Islam, and the Muslim Brotherhood. We investigate the influence of the state dominant ideology on Egyptian films. The main research questions driving this research are: How has the transition from Arab to Muslim in the Egyptian cinema evolved over time? Second, due to changes in political power structures, how has Egypt's political history influenced the transition of identity from Arab to Muslim in Egyptian films? Third, how do Egyptian films interact with the dominant ideology of Arabism? Fourth, how do Egyptian films interact with alternative ideologies of the Muslim Brotherhood?

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Keywords
Abdel Nasser, Depiction, Dominant ideology, Egyptian cinema, Muslim identity, Pan-Arabism
Citation
Department
Sociology