What’s in a Name? Branding Punch in Cairo, 1908
In February 1908, a double-page colour cartoon appeared in the new Cairo-based journal al-Siyāsa al-musawwara (politics illustrated, founded December 1907). Reflecting on the ‘press wars’ in Cairo at the time, the cartoon features men in fezzes and coats (and one in a turban and abāya) representing editors of leading nationalist and anti-London newspapers—al-Liwāʾ (founded 1890, Mustafa Kamil), al-Muʾayyad (founded 1889, ʿAli Yusuf), and al-Minbār (founded 1906, Hafiz ʿAwad). Marching in procession, each bears a banner on which the title of his newspaper is stamped in Arabic and English. They head in the direction indicated by a sign saying ‘To the Way of Independence [sic] and Lyberty [sic]’ (in both English and Arabic). To the right, a beast with cloven hooves and three human heads (ears pointed) carries three flags with small Union Jacks on them. The heads face in three directions, straining against each other. One faces a sign saying ‘To the way of protection’—in Arabic, himāya, meaning also the ‘Protectorate’. This was the fiction by which London named its occupation of Egypt, which had lasted for a quarter century. One of the triple Union Jack flags bears the name AL MOKATTAM (al-Muqattam)—a newspaper slammed in the nationalist press as funded by and supportive of the British occupation.