The Limits of Pedagogical Revolution

Female Schooling and Women’s Roles in Egyptian Educational Discourse, 1922–52
  • Barak A. Salmoni


In the fall of 1918, a small number of Egyptian lawyers, intellectuals, and scions of landed gentry formed a delegation, or wafd, to discuss with the British high commissioner in Egypt the possibility of native Egyptian attendance at the post-World War I Versailles Conference. Though the wafd envisioned ultimate Egyptian independence, more modest immediate goals involved ending the protectorate imposed during the war and rearranging relations with the British. Rather than accede, the high commissioner rejected the wafd’s request out of hand, and denied the legitimacy of the delegation members. The latter then proceeded to tour Egypt, acquiring support for what appeared to the British as a dangerous manifestation of mob activism. Wafd leaders were then exiled, provoking mass protest, which in turn elicited British repression, committees of inquiry, and the eventual granting of limited independence to a newly sovereign Kingdom of Egypt in 1922. For Egyptian nationalist intellectuals who lived through the strikes, marches, arrests, and Anglo-Egyptian negotiations, these events became known as the 1919 Revolution. In their eyes, Egypt was experiencing—through the efforts of its own people-a true revolution whereby the country was shaking off the lethargy of the Ottoman past in order to reclaim her ancient Pharaonic greatness. The 1922 discovery of the tomb of Tut Ankh Amon symbolically reinforced this conviction.


Female Teacher Girl School Female Education Education Minister Egyptian Woman 
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© E. Thomas Ewing 2005

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  • Barak A. Salmoni

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