Accepted paper:

Opening up files: adjudication of Egyptian Jewish claims in Cairo

Author:

Nefissa Naguib (University of Oslo)

Paper short abstract:

Opening up Files: Adjudication of Egyptian Jewish claims in Cairo. Nefissa Naguib, University of Bergen. This paper is about Egyptian Jews and their access to foreign power's protection, loosing it and reclaiming it from the Egyptian state.

Paper long abstract:

Opening up Files: Adjudication of Egyptian Jewish claims in Cairo. Nefissa Naguib, University of Bergen. The forces of modernity dislodged the Egyptian Jewish communities' deep roots in the country, giving rise to dramatic experiences of displacements. During the last decade there has been a growing interest in the history of Egypt's pluralistic past. This is more than a historical curiosity. It comes at a time when Egyptian judiciaries are opening files regarding Jewish properties and adjudicating cases for Jewish families claiming back what was sequestrated from them by the state between the years 1956 - 1961. We find in these cases recurring arguments about the claimants' self-presentation as 'Egyptian Jews' with emotional attachments to Egypt which was once their protective homeland. This paper is about the basis of their sense of security. Sketching ongoing cases adjudicated in Egypt, this is an attempt is to take a look back at powerful Cairo Jews and their access to foreign power's protection, loosing it and reclaiming it from the Egyptian state.

panel W024
Mutuality and memory: encounters in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cities