Top 1% in Academia Ranking

4 Apr

The electronic version of my paper ‘Adam Bede: An Ancient Egyptian Book of Genesis’ has gone viral and I am now in the top 1% of academics according to the ranking by Academia.edu! The paper is out in print in the next few weeks with MUP. The other paper, ‘Victorian Days and the Arabian Nights’, which went live at the same time and is due for publication next year is in the top 3%.

Big thank you to everyone who helped with this achievement!

https://refme.academia.edu/HaythemBastawy

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TV Interview (Leeds Local TV)

5 Mar

I had my first TV appearance yesterday on Leeds Local TV. I stood with the interviewee outside the Lecture Theatre. The interviewee’s questions revolved around Theresa May’s handling of the Brexit and how it may affect the Yorkshire and Humber Region. I expressed my views on Mrs May’s handling of Brexit and on the whole Brexit situation in a few minutes. My views only represent me, not my employer’s or publishers’.

Doctorate Awarded

24 Jan

I don’t usually add pieces here on things that I tend to slot in the personal category but this month is probably the busiest and the best I’ve had in a couple of decades. I have been awarded the doctorate with minor corrections and have been hired by the University of Leeds as a Teaching Fellow in Drama and Postcolonial Literature. I have also had other good personal news which I would not be disclosing here. In the mean time cheers to January, let’s keep on rolling!

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Adam Bede: An Ancient Egyptian Genesis

15 Aug

Snippets from the paper I read at Tea with the Sphinx Conference in Birmingham last month. The paper discusses George Eliot’s novel Adam Bede, and the author’s attempt to create a new creation story by combining ancient Egyptian motifs with the Genesis story. George Eliot renounced Christianity in her youth and in her first novel she was attempting to create her own gnostic gospel, or alternative to Anglican Victorian Christianity. The paper is scheduled for publication as a chapter contribution in a collected essays volume by Manchester University Press.

Snake Worship in Ancient Egypt

2 Feb

The article is out now in the current issue of Nile Magazine. I discuss in it snake worship in ancient Egypt within the context of an old struggle between monotheism (the Abrahamic faiths in particular) and its ancient rival, polytheism (pagan religions).

Written in the spirit of the ancient wisdom!

Further details on the article and the issue in the link https://www.nilemagazine.com.au/

first page

Survival and Oblivion: Egyptian Jews after the Second Exodus

23 Jun

Whenever Egypt is mentioned today in conversation, it is often with an assumed Islamic identity in mind. A minority of Christian Copts sometimes creeps into the discussion later on as an afterthought. This assumption is often accompanied by the rather unconscious or indirect presumption that there are few Jews in Egypt today, if any. This is not true.

It is easy to understand however why this is the mainstream account. The Second Exodus from Egypt occurred in 1956, under Colonel Nasser’s orders, stripping all Jews of their Egyptian citizenship and expelling them from Egypt. The vast majority of Egyptian Jews fled to one of three destinations of refuge: Israel, Mediterranean Europe (mainly France and Italy) and the Americas (primarily Argentina). This was, however, neither the beginning of trouble for Egyptian Jews in modern times, nor its end.

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Read more here

Article published in History Today on 8 May 2017.

We’re sorry Isis, we got it wrong…again!

2 May

 

The atrocities committed by ISIS are known to the vast majority of people. In the UK we have recently been exposed to yet another terrorist attack which ISIS claimed ‘responsibility’ for. We have seen it on the news, we have read numerous analyses of it in the papers and listened to radio reports on security measures in and around Westminister Palace. Nevertheless, none of ISIS’ atrocities are new to us, their crimes against humanity are well observed by media outlets. Yet not many of us realise that ISIS is a name we made up, that unlike al-Qaeda which is a direct transliteration of the older terrorist organisation’s name, ISIS is something unrelated to this relatively new monstrosity.

Their name is Daesh, which we in the Anglophone world, translated into the ‘Islamic State in Iraq and Syria’ then created the acronym ISIS out of this translation. Some poeple would shrug their shoulders at this and say we call them whatever we call them, it doesn’t matter. But as a matter of fact it matters, because by making up an incorrect name we have also created a confusion between two entirely unrelated entities. Isis is the goddess of fertility and motherhood in ancient Egypt. Her iconography alongside her son Horus has a direct influence on the development of the iconography of Mary and Jesus. ISIS, or Daesh as we should appropriately call it, on the other hand, claim themselves to be Muslim (though many Muslims would disagree with this) and if they could they would destroy all traces of ancient Egyptian heritage as they have done and continue to do with world heritage sites in Iraq and Syria, needless to mention their recent attacks in Egypt.

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Mislabelling anything is misleading enough, but mislabelling evil can lead to bigger horrors by allowing it to disguise itself in forms we revere and cherish.

So once again… We are sorry Isis, goddess and mother of mothers!

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