Feb 14 2017
The women and men celebrating Valentine’s
Day tend to blur its origins, insisting on the universality and beauty of love.
None of my interviewees evoked religion as linked to the holiday, either
positively or negatively. “If a holiday is beautiful, it doesn’t matter to me
if it is of Indian, Chinese, or Western origin,” stated a woman wearing a
headscarf in her forties from a rich southern Cairo family. Proponents of
Valentine’s Day often understate the place of romance to legitimize the
holiday. Although most of the press and literature evoking Valentine’s Day in
Egypt focuses on lovers, many of my respondents stated that Valentine’s Day has
an ancient history in Egypt.
is only the kind of gift that now differs, they argued. Today, teddy bears have
replaced flowers, perfumes, and poems of generations past. Some invoked the
ritual calendars on Pharaonic temples to claim Egyptians’ eternal love for
celebrations. These claims contradicted the testimonies of older respondents,
who dated the emergence of the holiday in Egypt to around the early 2000s, as
mentioned above. Once, for instance, I saw parents contradict their astonished
son, a hairdresser from a poor area, who had just asserted how ancient
Valentine’s Day was in Egypt. The name of the celebration itself, the
“international holiday of love” rather than the “Western holiday of love,”
could be a way to counter nationalist arguments that the celebration does not
belong to Egypt, as it makes it a common product of all countries.
All of my respondents, whether supporting
or condemning Valentine’s Day, emphasized the event’s expressive aspects. It is
a day during which you have to show your feelings to the beloved. Likewise, on
Valentine’s Day, women’s and youth magazines dedicate special issues to definitions
of love and romantic stories of celebrities and commoners alike. These
depictions invariably underline the importance of expressing love on 14
February. Advertisers and journalists make great efforts to convince married
people that the holiday concerns them, although most people see it as a
celebration for lovers who have yet to marry. Advertisers and journalists
portray Valentine’s Day as the opportunity to revive a love that daily worries
consume. Hence, Valentine’s Day appears as a mode of institutionalizing sweet
talk on a yearly basis.
An article by journalist Dina Munib in the
Arabic-language women’s magazine Flash, specialized in covering social events,
titled “The Holiday of Love Is for All Ages,” indicates the importance of
Days follow each other, years of daily
life, and routine is permanent. Each of us has work duties, and they usually
create a kind of routine that eventually dominates our lives. With a slight
change in our life, however, we are able to break and overcome it. Happy
occasions (Munasabat) are an important means of getting rid of this daily
routine, and among the most important is the “holiday of love.” Some consider
it a normal day and describe it as “superficial”—they are even ashamed of
celebrating it. But isn’t it true that we often need love, that without love,
we can’t live? Who among us doesn’t love?
There are different kinds of love. The
holiday of love is not only for passionate lovers (‘ushaq), but can be
meaningful for all ages, even those married for a long time. They need these
occasions to revive sweet and beautiful feelings and move away from the daily
routine with all its boredom, which erases everything, even feelings and a
dreamy romanticism. Such an occasion revives love and hearts, increases
happiness between husband and wife and makes life pleasurable, full of taste
and colour. Thanks to it, married people and lovers are joyful together.
Without this occasion, hearts don’t live and life never changes. It is a
beautiful occasion for everyone!
The most beautiful thing is love!
And even more beautiful than love is to celebrate it!
This excerpt present love declarations as a
way to revive marriage. This expressive dimension travels up and down the class
ladder. One Valentine’s Day, I assisted at a wedding party in a poor
middle-class Cairo Street. The couple chose the date on purpose. One of the
invitees sent a kiss to her husband in front of all the people gathered. In
response to someone’s surprised comment about this gesture, she answered
energetically: “What’s the matter? Isn’t it Valentine’s Day? Why would I be
dressed in red otherwise?” Here, too, the celebration is a happy occasion (Munasaba)
to foster love among married couples through explicit signs of affection, such
as letters, gifts, sweet words, or a dress code.
Many challenge the exhortation to vocalize
feelings at regular intervals, however. Some respondents, mostly older ones,
saw these contemporary expressions of love as superficial chitchat. For them,
true love only begins through harmonious cohabitation resulting from marriage.
It is not surprising that these opinions were most common among older, married
informants. They often considered everything preceding marriage as sexual
“appetite” (Shahwa) or ephemeral “appeal” (i‘jab). Evoking Valentine’s Day, a
researcher in his forties explained to me that: “Today, it’s [sounds of kisses]
all the time, and [the young man] doesn’t love her, not at all!” In previous
times, the man added, people loved each other but never uttered the phrase, “I
love you.” These debates about the right way to express love lead to
questioning Valentine’s Day’s salience by exploring how love is linked to
marriage, class, and progress.
Love and Impossible Love
Samuli Schielke points to the influences of
Western stances, as well as Indian and Turkish films, as inspirations for
Egyptians’ conception of “virginal love” (hubb ‘udhri), a love impossible to
consummate. The very fact that it is an unreachable ideal defines true love.
Its impossibility becomes a crucial part of the evidence of its strength. This
ideal, in return, makes realistic adjustment difficult when it comes to
stabilizing coupled life on a daily basis.[xxviii] Schielke’s approach hints at
the complex genealogy of conceptions of love and is particularly relevant to
describing the stances of unmarried lovers, both men and women. Many people
take an opposite stance, however, and explicitly oppose true love to impossible
relationships, with marriage seen as the necessary condition of love. In both
cases, the marriage is a stepping stone.
Hence, there is on one side an ideal of
true love built against marriage, an impossible but inescapable passion (‘Ishq).
Marriage, most of the time, puts an abrupt end to it. Sometimes parents do not
consider partners as well suited for each other because of finances or social
conventions. Sometimes feelings die out under the pressure of family
responsibilities. True love goes along with a constant verbalizing of feelings.
On the opposite side, some see true love as
the silent bond produced by daily interaction, mutual knowledge, and
tenderness. In this conception, feelings prior to marriage are just transient
expressions of lust, the ephemeral “appetite” and “appeal” mentioned above.
Consequently, true love (‘ishra) is equated with the only possible love.
Contrary to the passionate model that emphasizes the constant reasserting of
love through verbalizing affects, this version of true love can only flourish
in a complicit silence full of implicit understanding.
Of course, this opposition does not reflect
behaviour, which cannot fit such a simplistic dichotomy. The dichotomy reflects
another common opposition in Egypt: “love marriage” (Zawaj Hubb) as opposed to
“traditional marriage” (Zawaj Taqlidi). In the first kind of union, lovers
marry regardless of their parents’ opinion. In the second union, the partners
are not in a relationship before marriage, and parents play a decisive role in
their choice.[xxix] It is easy to grasp the alternative modes of partner choice
between passionate love, on the one hand, and silent love, on the other. In the
first, no outside person should intervene in the partners’ mutual choice, as
their bond originates in a feeling that resists all worldly pressures. This
love benefits from the spaces of transgression offered by urban anonymity and
the Internet. In the second model, parents can heavily influence the partners’
choice, as true love grows only after the wedding. Accordingly, some consider
feelings predating marriage as dangerous for true love.
This opposition between different kinds of
love and marriage are ideal types along a continuum. Most unions take place
somewhere in between a marriage against the parents’ will and one in disregard
of the future partners’ preferences. [xxx] In Egypt, the arranged-cum-love
marriage is common. Partners already involved in a romantic relationship often
receive approval for their marriage from their parents. In other cases, after a
formal first encounter at the house of the future bride’s parents, mutual
feelings of attachment develop during the engagement. The intermediary periods
between engagement (Khutuba), the signing of the marriage contract at the
mosque (Katb Al-Kitab), and the
public wedding are often long, due to financial reasons. People generally
consider the time following engagement as the most appropriate period for
expressing romantic feelings. At the same time, this period is at a
particularly dangerous moment. Couples need monitoring, as they could be
tempted to have sex together, which would be unacceptable before the public
For most Egyptians, a stable marriage
requires the spouses’ relative equality in status. Status can include the
social origins of the family, as well as the family’s access to money, valued
job positions, housing, furniture, and commodities.[xxxi] The need for status
makes marriage a costly endeavor, as most parents fear a mismatch and set high
conditions for possible partners of their children. Expensive weddings are
another financial hurdle before marriage. Long negotiations often ensue, where
parents discuss each family’s share in the costs. To marry without their help
is almost an impossible task. Diane Singerman and Barbara Ibrahim consider
marriage as the major moment of intergenerational transfer of wealth,
especially for women.[xxxii] Respectability and physical appearance also play
important roles when one is choosing a partner.[xxxiii] One of the results of
Valentine’s Day’s salience is that romantic style becomes part of a class
habitus and consequently a bargaining chip in determining status.
The opposition between “love marriage” and
“traditional marriage” sheds lights on some of the issues at stake in the
determination of status. There is a deep ambivalence about “tradition.” Some
see it as a source of “backwardness” (Takhalluf) and others as a source of
“authenticity” (Asala). Likewise, some consider change as “progress” (taqaddum)
while other perceive change as endangering “habits and customs” (al-‘Adat
wa-l-Taqalid). The mainstream reformist agenda combines national and religious
“authenticity” with “progress” through a complex process of selection.[xxxiv]
The public discourse in Egypt portrays the
middle class as able to reform the country without betraying its authenticity.
This class, it appears, is free of the corruption and Westernization of the
rich as well as unburdened by the ignorance of the poor. Educational capital
and commitment to the reformist project appear as key features of middle-class
belonging.[xxxv] Most of those who work in charities claim to belong to the
middle class, for instance. They often depict their mission as educating the
poor, reaffirming the value they assign to educational capital.[xxxvi]
Love modernism is also a feature of the
middle class. The linking of romanticism and education was a recurrent feature
of discussions with most of my respondents, regardless of their background. In
this regard, love modernism appears as the opposite of sexual harassment, an
issue that has shaken debates in Egypt since 2006, if not earlier.[xxxvii]
Indeed, the dominant discourse in the country attributes sexual harassment to
the substandard education of denizens of poor neighbourhoods, even if the
practice is far from confined to these social strata. This categorizing along
class lines does not reflect individual demeanours but marks imaginary
positions on the country’s social scale. The mastering of romantic codes is one
example, and love behaviours appear as an important feature of distinction in
Egyptian visions of the class order.[xxxviii]
The middle class (al-tabaqa al-wusta) is
itself an imprecise category. It does not describe a well-defined socioeconomic
stratum, but rather constitutes what Luc Boltanski calls a “weak
aggregate.”[xxxix] According to Boltanski, the cohesion of weak aggregates
rests on representation, both in the theatrical and political sense of the
word. Being middle-class involves a stereotypical way of living. At the same
time, different sectors of the political field compete to represent the middle
class, as its position in the “middle” (Wasat) allows claims of social
centrality[xl] and makes the “middle class” the core bearer of Egyptian
Love modernism means expressing one’s
feelings and obtaining emotional fulfilment within the institution of marriage.
In a religious framework, many sheikhs emphasize the need to talk sweetly with
one’s wife and the importance of the couple as a place of intimacy. As
mentioned before, some support Valentine’s Day in the name of love. In a
nationalist framework, romanticism helps to emphasize Egyptian superiority
vis-à-vis Arab Gulf countries, which people often describe as backward and
repressive, as well as Western countries, which they describe as having lost
sight of all restraint in values and practices. Hence, migrants coming back
from these regions are often accused of bringing in “un-Egyptian” family behaviours
into the country.[xli]
In this regard, romanticism and its
correlate, the mastering of proper ways to express feelings with gentleness,
are tools of distinction. This process is reminiscent of Pierre Bourdieu’s more
general analysis of ways of talking as social classifiers of the people using
them. In Bourdieu’s view, this hierarchy is shared even among speakers unable
to express themselves in a refined style. Hence, social codes push them to
acknowledge their deficiency.[xlii]
Through the spread of formal education
since the 1950s, an increasing number of Egyptians have become able to identify
themselves as part of the “middle class.” As educational facilities at high
schools and universities are a major place for romance, love expectations
linked to the middle class are more viable. This configuration carries specific
models of masculinity related to love modernism. The gentleness of the educated
contrasts with the rougher style of manhood attributed to lower-class areas,
with a direct impact on love projects.[xliii] Romanticism thus becomes an issue
of status and a part of the bargain around marriage evoked above.
With its celebration of romantic love,
Valentine’s Day is a possible aspirational track for class mobility. The fact
that so many inscriptions on Valentine’s Day commodities are in English, for
instance, indicates a strong correlation between the celebration of the holiday
and access to “cosmopolitan capital,” which Anouk de Koning describes as “those
forms of cultural capital that are marked by familiarity with and mastering of
globally dominant cultural codes.”[xliv] Currently, English is an important
part of this cosmopolitan capital. The correlation even appears in slogans
opposing the celebration. One Facebook image that makes the rounds on 14
February features a hand gesturing refusal with the caption: “Sorry Valentine’s
Day, I am Muslim.” Likewise, the Muslim Brotherhood student group, discussed
above, that proposed a counter-holiday called it “Muhammad Day” in English. As
an international event, Valentine’s Day thus becomes a valued sign of modernity
and urban belonging.
An interlocutor claimed to enjoy the holiday
without fear because he lives in a city. He despised the inhabitants of Upper
Egypt, who according to him would not allow for such an event. Hs position
opposed other interlocutors who valorized maintaining the tradition that they
attributed to the inhabitants of the country’s south. Thus, the appeal of
cosmopolitanism is not the only track of aspiration for the middle class. Some
defend love modernism while loudly resisting models they see as Western, such
as Valentine’s Day. Criticism of the celebration also largely originates from
people claiming to belong to the middle class. Furthermore, in a country where
so many families get by on very limited resources, romantic aspirations often
run up against other major requirements in a good partner, especially decent
work and sufficient capital.
Money, No Honey: The Economic Limits of Romanticism
Valentine’s Day appears as an incentive to
talk, in accordance with an image of the modern subject as an individual
authentic to himself. The constant expression of feelings is the best means of
attaining authenticity. Love gets its own kind of agency, reflecting
individuals’ inner truths. Such possible signs of a growing individualization
face structural constraints, however, especially given the family’s importance
in validating a person’s choice of partner.
The high price of marriage, as already
mentioned, makes it almost impossible for couples to marry without parents’
financial help. These conditions mean that many young people come to cling to
realism and abandon ideas of romantic involvement that survives against the
will of their families. This kind of realism gives a hint at the strength of
kinship institutions in a country with a very weak system of social insurance,
and where the family remains the core of solidarity networks.
These structural constraints partly explain
why people attribute the celebration of Valentine’s Day to a youthful
indulgence in romanticism. Models of romantic love have a long history in
Egypt. Hence, the intergenerational tensions around status considerations in
the choice of conjugal partner reflect a constant redistribution of age roles
rather than a linear change in conceptions of marriage.
Can it be said that there is a gap between
ideals and pragmatic norms here? The issue is more complicated and better
explained by the importance of common-sense definitions of what collective
practices are in the very process of shaping majority values. This
self-relational character of common practice is especially relevant when people
relate it to identity. The very fact that silent love after marriage appears as
a majority practice can serve to legitimize it as a norm.
Thus, following Illouz, romanticism bears
hidden privileges. Affordable commodities have done a lot for the success of
Valentine’s Day today. The event has become an ‘id, a celebration eliciting
expectations from partners, as an accountant in his forties coming from a
popular area put it once. The same man added that he himself does not celebrate
it because he is already married. Even if married people sometimes celebrate
it, Valentine’s Day still does not seem to have shaken the ways in which people
get married. Hence, it appears clear that economic constraints as much as
cultural conceptions are central to understanding how people in Egypt refer to
love—and romantic love, in particular.
Luc Boltanski, in a recent work, describes
what he calls “the reality of reality” as the capacity of given settings to
impose themselves as obvious to agents. These agents, in turn, impose restrictions
on themselves, adjusting their expectations to the limits they consider
realistic.[xlv] By this very logic, financial constraints on marriage appear to
tame romantic aspirations, which nevertheless remain part of the love
imaginations of many Egyptians. Young people, still hoping to attain ideals of
romantic love, clash with older people who have felt it necessary at some point
to adjust to the constraints of what they perceive as reality. But the power of
desire should not be underestimated, shaping aspirations, opening side routes
for individual experience, and sometimes corroding the most established
evidence.[xlvi] By connecting love to transnational imaginations, Valentine’s
Day and its yearly institutionalization of sweet talk offers new paths to the
experience and disciplining of intimate aspirations around romantic
[Republished with permission: Aymon
Kreil, "The Price of Love: Valentine's Day in Egypt and Its Enemies,"
Arab Studies Journal XXIV, no. 2 (Fall 2016), 128-147. © All rights reserved.]
[i] My translation.
[ii] On family politics during this
period, see Omnia S. El Shakry, The Great Social Laboratory: Subjects of
Knowledge in Colonial and Postcolonial Egypt (Stanford, CA: Stanford University
Press, 2007), 213-18; Laura Bier, Revolutionary Womanhood: Feminisms,
Modernity, and the State in Egypt (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press,
[iii] For other examples of the linking
of love and modernity, see Holly Wardlow and Jennifer S. Hirsch, Modern Loves:
The Anthropology of Romantic Courtship and Companionate Marriage (Ann Arbor:
University of Michigan Press, 2006).
[iv] For macro-statistics on marriage in
Egypt, see Philippe Fargues, Générations arabes: L’alchimie du nombre (Paris:
Fayard, 2000); Diane Singerman, “The Economic Imperatives of Marriage: Emerging
Practices and Identities Among Youth in the Middle East,” in The Middle East
Youth Initiative Working Papers (Washington, DC: Middle East Youth Initiative,
2007); “Marriage and Divorce in Egypt: Financial Costs and Political
Struggles,” in Les Métamorphoses Du Mariage Au Moyen-Orient, ed. Barbara
Drieskens (Damascus: Presses de l’IFPO, 2008).
[v] Leigh Schmidt, “The Fashioning of a
Modern Holiday: St. Valentine’s Day, 1840-1870,” Winterthur Portfolio, 28, no.
4 (1993), 209-45.
[vi] Millie Creighton, “Sweet Love’ and
Women’s Place: Valentine’s Day, Japan Style,” Journal of Popular Culture, 27,
no. 3 (1993), 1-20.
[vii] Astrid Bochow, “Valentine’s Day in
Ghana: Youth, Sex, and Fear Between Generations,” in Generations in Africa:
Connections and Conflicts, ed. Erdmute Alber, Sjaak van der Geest and Susan
Whyte (Hamburg: Lit, 2008), 418-29; Roberta Zavoretti, “Be My Valentine:
Bouquets, Marriage, and Middle-Class Hegemony in Urban China,” Working Papers
150 (Halle/Saale: Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, 2013).
[viii] Mark B. Padilla et al., Love and
Globalization: Transformations of Intimacy in the Contemporary World
(Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press, 2008).
[ix] Jennifer Cole and Lynn M. Thomas,
Love in Africa (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2009), 15-16.
[x] Andras Hamori, “Love Poetry
(Ghazal),” in ‘Abbasid Belles-Lettres, eds. Julia Ashtiany, et al. (Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 1990); Michael Sells, “Love,” in The Literature of
Al-Andalus, eds. María Rosa Menocal, Raymon Scheindlin, and Michael Sells
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000); Fédéric Lagrange, Islam
d’interdits, Islam de jouissance (Paris: Téraèdre, 2008), 185-97; William
Chittick, “Love in Islamic Thought,” Religion Compass 8, no. 7 (2014).
[xi] El Shakry, The Great Social
Laboratory; Hanan Kholoussy, For Better, For Worse: The Marriage Crisis That
Made Modern Egypt (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2010); Kenneth M.
Cuno, Modernizing Marriage: Family, Ideology, and Law in Nineteenth- and Early
Twentieth-Century Egypt (New York: Syracuse University Press, 2015).
[xii] Lucie Ryzova, The Age of the
Efendiyya: Passages to Modernity in National-Colonial Egypt (Oxford: Oxford
University Press, 2014).
[xiii] Elena Aoun and Thierry Kellner,
“La pénétration chinoise au Moyen-Orient: Le cas des relations
sino-égyptiennes,” Monde chinois 44, no. 4 (2015).
[xiv] Lila Abu-Lughod, Dramas of
Nationhood: The Politics of Television in Egypt (Chicago: University of Chicago
Press, 2005), 47-51, 220-23.
[xv] Lisa B. Rofel, Desiring China:
Experiments in Neoliberalism, Sexuality, and Public Culture (Durham, NC: Duke
University Press, 2007); Judith Stacy, Unhitched: Love, Marriage, and Family
Values from West Hollywood to Western China (New York: New York University
Press, 2011); Jean-Baptiste Pettier, “The Affective Scope: Entering China’s
Urban Moral and Economic World Through Its Emotional Disturbances,”
Anthropology of Consciousness 27, no. 1 (2016).
[xvi] Eva Illouz, Consuming the Romantic
Utopia: Love and the Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism (Berkeley:
University of California Press, 1997); Eva Illouz, Les sentiments du
capitalisme (Paris: Seuil, 2006).
[xvii] Samuli Schielke, “Second Thoughts
About the Anthropology of Islam,” ZMO Working Papers 2 (2010); Farha Ghannam,
Live and Die Like a Man: Gender Dynamics in Urban Egypt (Stanford, CA: Stanford
University Press, 2013), 63-64.
[xviii] The fieldwork involved
interviews and observations about coffee shop conversations, Valentine’s Day,
and sexual harassment, as well as in-depth research at a counseling center. My
respondents on the topic of Valentine’s Day were of all backgrounds and
generations, with a focus on men visiting coffee shops in the neighborhoods of ‘Abdin
and Sayyida Zaynab, upper-class women in Helwan, and vendors of items linked to
the holiday in the areas of ‘Abdin and Heliopolis. I was able to conduct the
fieldwork thanks to a grant from the Centre d’études et de documentation
économiques, juridiques et sociales (CEDEJ).
[xix] Shereen El-Feki, Sex and the
Citadel: Intimate Life in a Changing Arab World (New York: Pantheon Books,
[xx] Mustafa Amin (1914-1997) is a
famous Egyptian journalist. His twin brother ‘Ali Amin (1914-1976), also a journalist,
created the Egyptian Mother’s Day.
[xxi] Mustafa Amin, 100 fikra wa fikra
(Cairo: Akhbar al-Yawm, 1989), 88-89, 94-95, 126-27, 175-76. This book gathers
Amin’s chronicles. Though they are undated, a study of their content shows that
all described events happened between 1978 and the start of 1979. Further, the
“holiday of love” is announced as “Saturday, the fourth of November”—and in
1978, this date was indeed a Saturday.
[xxii] Unfortunately, I lack evidence
for the cities of Upper Egypt, as I was unable to conduct fieldwork around the
topic in this region.
[xxiii] The Coptic Christmas is on 7
January. On the marketization of Muslim holiday, see Walter Armbrust, “The
Riddle of Ramadan: Media, Consumer Culture, and the ‘Christamtization’ of a
Muslim Holiday,” in Everyday Life in the Muslim Middle East, eds. Donna Lee
Bowen and Evelyn A. Early (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2002).
[xxiv] Salwa Ismail, “Piety, Profit, and
the Market in Cairo: A Political Economy of Islamisation,” Contemporary Islam
7, no. 1 (2013).
[xxv] On stereotypes about the
inhabitants of Upper Egypt, see Fançois Ireton, “Les quatre relations
d’incertitude d’un construit identitaire collectif à référence territoriale:
l’exemple des Sa‘idis,” in Valeurs et distance: Identités et sociétiés en
Egypte, ed. Christian Décobert (Paris: Maisonneuve et Larose, 2000), 319-61.
[xxvi] English original.
[xxvii] My translation.
[xxviii] Samuli Schielke, Egypt in the
Future Tense: Hope, Frustration, and Ambivalence Before and After 2011 (Bloomington:
Indiana University Press, 2015), 83-104.
[xxix] It is also called “living room
marriage (zawaj salunat)” because the future partners meet for the first time
in the living room of the apartment of the bride in the presence of her
[xxx] Robert Springborg, Family, Power,
and Politics in Egypt: Sayid Bey Marei--His Clan, Clients, and Cohorts
(Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1982), 29-30.
[xxxi] Samuli Schielke, “Living in the
Future Tense: Aspiring for World and Class in Provincial Egypt,” in The Global
Middle Class: Theorizing through Ethnography, ed. Carla Freeman, Rachel Heiman,
and Mark Liechty (Santa Fe, NM: School for Advanced Research), 31-56.
[xxxii] Diane Singerman and Barbara
Ibrahim, “The Costs of Marriage in Egypt: A Hidden Dimension in the New Arab
Demography,” Cairo Papers in Social Sciences, 24, no. 1-2 (2001), 80-116; Diane
Singerman, “Marriage and Divorce in Egypt: Financial Costs and Political
[xxxiii] Andrea Rugh, Family in
Contemporary Egypt (Cairo: American University of Cairo Press, 1988), 121-47.
[xxxiv] Lila Abu-Lughod, “The Marriage
of Feminism and Islamism in Egypt: Selective Repudiation as a Dynamic of
Postcolonial Cultural Politics,” in Remaking Women: Feminism and Modernity in
the Middle East, ed. Lila Abu-Lughod (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University
Press, 1998), 243-69.
[xxxv] Walter Armbrust, “Bourgeois
Leisure and Egyptian Media Fantasies,” in New Media and the Muslim World: The
Emerging Public Sphere, eds. Dale Eickelman and Jon Anderson (Bloomington:
Indiana University Press, 1999), 106-32; Assia Boutaleb et al., “Dire les
classes moyennes: Quand des citoyens égyptiens en parlent,” Carnets de Bord 10
[xxxvi] Janine Clark, Islam, Charity,
and Activism: Middle-Class Networks and Social Welfare in Egypt, Jordan, and
Yemen (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2004); Aymon Kreil, “Science de
la psyché et autorité de l’islam: Quelles Conciliations?” Archives de sciences
sociales des religions 170 (2015).
[xxxvii] Paul Amar, “Turning the
Gendered Politics of the Security State Inside Out?” International Feminist
Journal of Politics 13, no. 3 (2011); Perrine Lachenal, “Beauty, the Beast, and
the Baseball Bat: Ethnography of Self-Defense Training for Upper-Class Women in
Revolutionary Cairo (Egypt),” Comparative Sociology 13, no. 1 (2014); Aymon
Kreil, “Dire le harcèlement sexuel en Égypte: Les aléas de traduction d’une
catégorie juridique,” Critique Internationale 70 (2016).
[xxxviii] Aymon Kreil, “ Love Scales:
Class and Expression of Feelings in Cairo,” La Ricerca Folklorika 69 (2014).
[xxxix] Luc Boltanski, The Making of a
Class: Cadres in French Society (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987),
[xl] Assia Boutaleb et al., “Dire les
classes moyennes,” 24-45.
[xli] Lucile Gruntz and Delphine
Pagès-El Karoui, “Migration and Family Change in Egypt: A Comparative Approach
to Social Remittances,” Migration Letters, 10, no. 1 (2013), 71-79.
[xlii] Pierre Bourdieu, Language and
Symbolic Power (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1991), 54.
[xliii] In this regard, it is
reminiscent of Bourdieu’s depictions of the difficulties in finding a wife
endured by men who grew up in a rural environment because of their lower-class
background (Pierre Bourdieu, Le bal des célibataires: Crise de la société
paysanne en Béarn (Paris: Seuil, 2002). See also Ghannam, Live and Die Like a
[xliv] Anouk de Koning, Global Dreams:
Class, Gender, and Public Space in Cosmopolitan Cairo (Cairo: American
University of Cairo Press, 2009), 9.
[xlv] Luc Boltanski, On Critique: A
Sociology of Emancipation (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2011), 33-37.
[xlvi] Aymon Kreil, “Territories of
Desire: A Geography of Competing Intimacies in Cairo,” Journal of Middle East
Women’s Studies 12, no. 2 (2016).
URL of Part One: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-culture/the-price-of-love--valentine’s-day-in-egypt-and-its-enemies-–-part-one/d/110095