What does it mean to be an intellectual in Egypt today? What is expected from an 'authentic scholar'? Hatsuki Aishima explores these questions byexamining educated, urban Egyptians and their perceptions of what it means to be 'cultured' and 'middle class' - something that, as a result of the neoliberal policies of Egyptian government, is widely thought to be a shrinking sector of society. Through an analysis of the media representations of 'Abd al-Halim Mahmud (1910-78), the French-trained Sufi scholar and the Grand Imam of al-Azhar under president Anwar al-Sadat, Aishima discusses the connection of Islam to these middle-class considerations and makes an original contribution to the debate on the commodification of religious teaching and kwledge. Public Culture and Islam in Modern Egypt is thereby aunique addition to the fields of anthropology, Middle East and media studies.
Hatsuki Aishima is Lecturer in Modern Islam at the University of Manchester. She holds a DPhil in Oriental Studies from St Antony's College,University of Oxford.