Document Type

International Studies and Languages


This article contrasts the ways in which major Arab authors of the early or pre- Nahda (Ar. "awakening," "renaissance") period (ca. 1850-1950) responded to the French during and after the Napoleonic occupation of Egypt (1798-1801), specifically through Abd al-Rahman al-Jabarti’s contemporary chronicles of the invasion and Rifa'a al-Tahtawi's account of his five-year stay in Paris (1826-31). In so doing, it explores how or whether these reflections on the European other inflected the later development of modern Arabic narrative and concepts of Egyptian identity.