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Title: Encountering the Harem: European Men and the Sexualization of the Harem in Early Modern Egypt
Other Titles: مواجهة الحريم: الرجال الأوروبيّون وجنسانيّة الحريم في مطلع مصر الحديثة
Authors: Fay, Mary Ann
Keywords: Harem
European Men
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: University of Balamand
Part of: Chronos
Issue: 35
Start page: 7
End page: 28
To enter the harem and meet the women who resided there, we discover that our route into this most private and personal of spaces is not direct but oblique. We can locate the harem in the homes of the once-powerful and wealthy; we can open the door and enter, but our encounter with the women, whose life-stories we very much want to hear, is never direct. It is mediated by sources other than the women themselves and obstructed by troublesome concepts about their character and their personality, their relationships and the lives they led behind the harem door. The historian can sit where the harem women sat, gaze at the street life below through a window screened in mashrabiyya, watch the play of light on the carved and painted ceiling and walk through the harem garden listening in perfect privacy to the songs of the birds. But the historian cannot hear their voices. How could it be otherwise, the reader might ask?
Open URL: Link to full text
Type: Journal Article
Appears in Collections:Chronos

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