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Book Talk: “Street Sounds – Listening to Everyday Life of Modern Egypt” with Ziad Fahmy (Cornell U.)

April 29, 2021 | 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm


As the twentieth century roared on, transformative technologies—from trains, trams, and automobiles to radios and loudspeakers—fundamentally changed the sounds of the Egyptian streets. The cacophony of everyday life grew louder, and the Egyptian press featured editorials calling for the regulation of not only mechanized and amplified sounds, but also the voices of street vendors, the music of wedding processions, and even the traditional funerary wails. Ziad Fahmy offers the first historical examination of the changing soundscapes of urban Egypt, highlighting the mundane sounds of street life, while “listening” to the voices of ordinary people as they struggle with state authorities for ownership of the streets.


Ziad Fahmy is a Professor of Modern Middle East History at Cornell University’s department of Near Eastern Studies. Professor Fahmy is the author of Street Sounds: Listening to Everyday Life in Modern Egypt (Stanford University Press, 2020), and Ordinary Egyptians: Creating the Modern Nation through Popular Culture (Stanford University Press, 2011). He is currently writing his third book, tentatively titled, Broadcasting Identity: Radio and the Making of Modern Egypt, 1925-1952.


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Organized by Duke Middle East Studies Center; co-sponsored by Duke Islamic Studies Center and Duke Department of History.


Duke University


April 29, 2021
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
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