'The soul of a nation' - 'Abdallah Nadim and education reform in Egypt (1845-1896)

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The historiography of educational reform in 19th century Egypt is driven largely by modernization approaches in which reformers are cast as ‘liberals’ and ‘westernizers;’ figures outside these paradigms tend to be overlooked. ‘Abdallah Nadim (1845-1896), a nineteenth century social reformer, experimented throughout his life with ‘educating the nation.’ He founded the first Islamic Benevolent Society school in Egypt and authored some of the most widely circulated articles on education and society of his day. In this paper we will review Nadim’s life history, examine the educational terrain of 1890’s Egypt with particular emphasis on girls’ education, and discuss a specific set of articles authored by Nadim on Muslim youth and European education. With his combination of anticolonial, proto-nationalist, conservative Islamic, yet ‘modern’ approach to educational reform, Nadim represents a populist – if neglected figure in Egypt’s educational history.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-24
JournalMediterranean Journal of Educational Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


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