This article analyzes how the political and economic transformation of Ottoman Egypt at the turn of the nineteenth century impacted relationships between humans and dogs. Dogs were integral and essential social actors in Egypt for millennia, but in the decades around 1800 they came to be set apart from society as useless and dangerous sources of pollution, disease, and annoyance. Thus, for the first time in Egypt’s history, large-scale dog eradication campaigns were carried out in Cairo and the countryside. Violence was not the only strategy for dealing with this changing role of dogs in Egypt. Another that began to develop in the early nineteenth century but that would only fully emerge later was the phenomenon of interspecies affective relations. In addition to offering a history of human-dog relations in Ottoman Egypt, Mikhail’s article also considers the seeming contradiction of the contemporaneous emergence of human violence and affection toward dogs.
Research Article| May 01 2015
Alan Mikhail; A Dog-Eat-Dog Empire: Violence and Affection on the Streets of Ottoman Cairo. Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 1 May 2015; 35 (1): 76–95. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/1089201X-2876116
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