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The Man from Bashmour

The Man from Bashmour

Salwa Bakr
Translated by Nancy Roberts
Copyright Date: 2007
Pages: 328
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt15m7jh7
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  • Book Info
    The Man from Bashmour
    Book Description:

    Egypt in the ninth century ad: an Arab, Muslim ruling class governs a country of mostly Coptic-speaking Christians. After an exorbitant land tax imposed by the caliph’s governors sparks a peasant revolt, Budayr is dispatched to the marshlands of the Nile Delta as an escort for a church-appointed emissary whose mission is to persuade the rebels to lay down their arms. But he is soon caught up in a swirl of events and concerns that alter the course of his life irrevocably, setting him on a path he could never have foreseen. The events that befall him and the insights he gains from them bring about a gradual but inexorable personal transformation, through which his eyes are opened to the fundamental commonalities— practical, spiritual, and existential—that bind Muslims and Copts, and he emerges as an emissary of a new sort. Hailed as a groundbreaking treatment of otherwise neglected aspects of medieval history, The Man from Bashmour is an exploration of the Egyptian character past and present, and offers insights into Egyptian thought on everything from love, philosophy, and religion to life and death.

    eISBN: 978-1-61797-156-3
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. I-IV)
  2. TRANSLATOR’S ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. V-VI)
  3. PREFACE
    (pp. VII-2)
    Salwa Bakr
  4. PART I
    (pp. 3-164)

    I was still kneading the dough for the Eucharist bread, working on getting it just right, with the intention of leaving it after that to rise. I had washed the earthenware kneading bowl in ritually pure water, as well as the lid and the sieve. The priest was standing over me, reciting the Psalms and making the sign of the cross. As he came to the psalm of praise and began to chant, “Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the lands! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into His presence with singing!” and as I was carefully kneading...

  5. PART II
    (pp. 165-299)

    I had never traveled the sea before, nor experienced its presence. Moreover, I was in a desperate, broken state: feeling helpless and dejected on account of all that had happened and the inevitability of parting with my homeland. Hence, when I came face to face with the ocean, it was as though my heart had split in two and my blood had turned to ether. I barely managed to lift one foot after the other and put it back down again as I boarded the huge nautical edifice, which I heard the soldiers referring to as ‘the steamer.’ It was...

  6. SOURCES
    (pp. 300-301)
  7. GLOSSARY AND NOTES
    (pp. 302-313)
  8. VERSES OF SCRIPTURE CITED
    (pp. 314-315)
  9. COPTIC MONTHS AND THEIR GREGORIAN EQUIVALENTS
    (pp. 316-318)