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Smoking, Culture, and Economy in the Middle East The Egyptian Tobacco Market 1850–2000

100 LE

Short Description: How tobacco shaped modern Egypt’s society and economy
Authors : Relli Shechter
  • Publisher: American University Press Cairo
  • Pages:
  • Hard Cover: False
  • ISBN: 9789774160479
  • Publishing Date: 2006

In this original and thought-provoking book, historian Relli Shechter focuses on tobacco consumption in Egypt to examine the emergence of ‘modern’ markets in the complex social environment of the Middle East. The history of Egypt’s tobacco habits—from the long-stem pipe to the water pipe and eventually cigarettes—closely mirrors wider socio-economic developments in the country. Shechter begins his analysis in the mid-19th century, when tobacco was produced by an Ottoman entrepre-neurial elite for export to the West. He then examines the attempts by khedival Egypt’s command economy to mass-market tobacco products to Egyptians themselves in the early 20th century. He reveals how the operation of the market in this period reinforced social stratification, as the elites consumed European-style cigarettes and the masses continued to use traditional products such as the shisha. At the same time, tobacco branding and advertising reflected images of both modernity and “Egyptianness” for an emerging consumer class. Finally, looking at contemporary Middle East in the context of globalization, Shechter finds that smoking habits have become intertwined with generational struggles and identity issues. Using cutting-edge social and economic theories in telling the story of Egypt’s tobacco markets, this fascinating book contains a wealth of newly uncovered material. Smoking, Culture, and Economy in the Middle East will stimulate and inform anyone interested in political economy, social change and the Middle East region. RELLI SHECHTER teaches and researches at the Department of Middle East Studies, Ben Gurion University.