Nefissa Naguib’s Nurturing Masculinities is built around such conversations with working- and middle-class Egyptian men, this one with Moody, a shopkeeper from the working-class Cairo neighborhood of Bulaq. Moody and his family had recently moved to a larger apartment in one of Cairo’s new suburbs, reflecting a rise in their socioeconomic status. Nevertheless, he remained deeply conflicted about severing ties with his old neighborhood and moving to an area that “had no soul or ambience” (113). Moody shared these concerns and memories of Bulaq with Naguib over a “tin plate of ful [fava beans]” and tea in a café. Naguib argues that food is central to masculinity in Egypt and offers understudied insights into men’s vulnerabilities, affective ties, and gendered constructions of self, family, and community.

Naguib’s study, based on ethnographic fieldwork in Cairo between 2011 and 2013,...

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