Don’t Throw Out the Baby with Social Evolution

Revisiting “Tribe” in the Middle East and North Africa In college and graduate school, smarting from years of patronizing and homogenizing images of Arabs, I rejected the social evolutionary assumptions in so many of the texts I read. I also argued vehemently against the use of “tribe” in anthropology, a term that appeared to lump […]

The Invasion of the Desert: Expertise, Nationalism, and the Development of Egypt’s Western Desert

2014 AAA Middle East Section Student Paper Prize Winner Though several works have been written about nationalism, development, and social science in Egypt, none address Egyptian Bedouin communities. Omnia al-Shakry’s account of the evolution of Egyptian social science in The Great Social Laboratory concludes with a Nasser-era project to settle the country’s deserts with Egyptians […]