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Subject: Egypt's Cultural hegamon over the Arab world.
veritas    7/16/2002 6:08:15 PM
i have heard that Misr has the strongest culture in all the arab world.
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Ben    RE:Egypt's Cultural hegamon over the Arab world.   7/17/2002 1:16:51 PM
Probably true, Veritas, but it makes me ask questions: How do you measure a culture's "Strength"? Does Cultural Strength equal Hegemony? Why would it? Is culture a national thing or a trans-national thing? The only other Arab nations with the historical heritage of Egypt are Iraq, which is an absolute mess, and Lebanon, which is occupied (but has always had a very cosmopolitan culture when permitted its freedom). Others have shown briefly- Syria under Zenobia springs to mind, and Yemen flourished briefly, etc, etc, but few have shown the historical "staying power" of Egypt.
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Muslim    RE:Egypt's Cultural hegamon over the Arab world.   7/18/2002 3:48:22 AM
Well, another aspect of the cultural strength of the Egyptians over the rest of the Arab world is seen in the form of Jamal Abdul-Naser, who lead the Egypt-Jordan-Syria alliance against Israel. Egypt has, ever since its creation, had influence over the arab countries in the region, it is looked up to by Arab leaders. But I think that Jordan is starting to compete with Egypt in that regard. Another aspect is seen in movies, and music. Every Arab on the face of this planet has seen egyptian movies, and as bad as many of them seem to be(acting wise), they are very popular amongst Arabs all over the world. It would safe to say that Hollywood is to Americans, as Egyptian productions (theater and movies) are to the Arabs. Frankly, I think it's cultural importance is so great, that massive rebellion in Egyp, one that will have it's effects in movies as well as politics, will result in similar revolutions around the Arab world. That is my personal theory, it is open for debate.
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Phoenix Rising    RE:Egypt's Cultural hegamon over the Arab world.   7/18/2002 7:25:07 AM
Hmmm ... I think it might be somewhat unrealistic to compare the Egyptian media machine to that of Hollywood. For one thing, Hollywood movies are immensely popular in the Muslim world, especially in countries where they're explicitly banned. I think Bombay is the one non-American city on the face of the Earth that's going to give Hollywood a run for its money in the near future. Jordan has successfully set itself up as a "moderate Arab state," so in that regard, it has begun to compete with Egypt. However, Egypt remains the more politically, economically, and militarily powerful country and receives the lion's share of the aid the two countries receive from the West. In addition, Jordan is seen by many right-wing Arab regimes as being far too lenient towards Israel and the US. They trade with Iraq, but other than that, they haven't done enough to be a thorn in the side of Washington or Tel Aviv, which tends to get you stigmatized in the Arab world. However, the point does stand that Egypt does present itself with some legitimacy as a cultural and political leader of the Arab world; indeed, it has often had closed-door (and not-so-closed-door) spats with Saudi Arabia over this at times. --Phoenix Rising
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Muslim    RE:Egypt's Cultural hegamon over the Arab world.   7/18/2002 9:45:39 AM
well, if you are speaking of those Arabs who thrive on being as close a resemblence to America as possible, you're right, they don't care about Egyptian movies, or music. But your average middle classed Arab doesn't have that mentality, they consider themselves Arab and proud, and to them Egyptian media is like Hollywood. The only problem with Jordan is that it has a new king who needs to win over the respect of other Arab leaders, he isn't totally disrespected, be obviously isn't going to have the respect his father once had, and he is much younger and less experienced than the other Arab leaders (Bashar Asad being the exception). So in that sense, it still doesn't have that much competition with Egypt, but it sure seems to be heading in that direction.
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