The Leader as Groom, the Nation as Bride: Patriarchal Nationalism under Nasser and Sisi

Rim Naguib’s (EUME Fellow 2019-21) article, published in the current issue of META (Middle East Topics & Arguments) Vol. 14 (2020) on “Gender” surveys and analyzes the gendered symbols and imageries of hegemonic nationalist discourse in Egypt under the authoritarian rule of two of it’s presidents, Gamal Abdel Nasser and Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi. She shows that the projection of gender binaries on the relation between ruler and ruled, state and nation, military and civilian, have been characteristic of these two varieties of patriarchial nationalism as a means to demobilize and subordinate the people. She suggests, however, that the post-2011 nationalist discourse introduced additional patriarchal binaries that distinguished between the abstract feminine, pure, loyal nation with a selfish, infertile, untamed, and degenerate feminine populace, that has to be saved from itself.

The full article can be read on the website of the META-Journal here: https://meta-journal.net/article/view/8232/8076

Mostafa Hussein’s cartoon in al-Akhbar. The caption reads, “Don’t be surprised. This is not an American movie. It’s Sisiman saving Egypt before she falls.” (Source: Al-Akhbar)


Rim Naguib is a EUME Fellow at the Forum Transregionale Studien, Berlin. She received her PhD in Sociology from Northwestern University (2016). Her dissertation is titled “Intelligentsia Class Formation and Ideologies in Peripheral Societies: Comparing Egypt and Iran, 1922-1952”. She was recently a post-doctoral fellow with the Arab Council for the Social Sciences. Based in Cairo, she taught in several alternative education initiatives, seeking to popularize the critical social sciences. Her current research interests address the genesis and development of Egyptian patriarchal nationalism; the formulation of the first Egyptian nationality law; and the practice of deporting internationalist foreigners in interwar Egypt. She is also writing and illustrating a graphic novel on the latter topic, and has co-translated several graphic novels into Arabic.


Forum Transregionale Studien

The Berlin-based Forum Transregionale Studien is a research organization that promotes the internationalization of research in the humanities and social sciences. The Forum provides scope for collaboration among researchers with different regional and disciplinary perspectives and appoints researchers from all over the world as Fellows. In cooperation with universities and research institutions in Berlin and the rest of Germany, it carries out research projects that examine other regions of the world and their relationship to Germany and Europe systematically and with new questions.

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