The press and the Egyptian nationalist movement in the nineteenth century with particular emphasis on the role of Al-Nadim
The Arabic press of the nineteenth century period has received,
up to now, very little attention in the West: the same is
true of the Egyptian journalist "Abd Allah al-Nadim, who became
an influential figure in the Egyptian national movement.
This thesis examines the part played by the press and, in
particular, by al-Nadim in that movement in the last quarter
of the nineteenth century.
The development of the press in Egypt is traced from its
beginnings at the time of the French invasion to its emergence
as a popular medium of communication in Khedive Isma'il's
reign. Since 'Abd Allah al-Nadim was the first Egyptian
journalist to make full use of the popular press as a means
of shaping public opinion, the thesis contains a detailed
examination of his ideas for social and political reform and
an assessment is offered of the contribution he made as a
journalist, an orator and a writer to the Egyptian national
During the period under review, Britain came, for various
reasons, to play a prominent role in Egypt's history. Accordingly,
in looking for background information concerning the
social and political scene in Egypt, I have paid particular
attention to British official documents and correspondence
in the Public Record Office.
My researches have concentrated most of all on the contemporary
Egyptian. records, including government reports and memoranda, the texts of laws and degrees, the recollections
of individuals and, especially, newspaper files. Particularly
valuable was the material in the Egyptian National Archives
(Dar al-Watha'iq) relating to the period from January 1881
to September 1882, with which the name of 'Urabi is linked,
and the newspaper files and other documents, including copies
of most of the works of al-Nadim, which are preserved in the
Egyptian National Library (Dar al-Kutub al-Misriyya).