Home > Catalogue > Annali di Ca’ Foscari. Serie orientale > 58 | 2022 > The Other al-Ḥusayn: The Hero of Karbalāʾ in Contemporary Egyptian Literature

The Other al-Ḥusayn: The Hero of Karbalāʾ in Contemporary Egyptian Literature

Arianna Tondi    Università del Salento, Italia    



Al-Ḥusayn b. ʿAlī is a hero of the Islamic history who stands against the oppressor for the sake of justice. His tragic death has been a major theme in Shiʿi literature, but he is highly esteemed also in Sunni Islam, especially in Egypt. This paper aims to present the other – less known – al-Ḥusayn through the literary representations made by Egyptian writers of the 20th and 21st centuries, who have read this transhistorical figure according to the political and social environment that they lived in. The martyr has become eternal symbol of resistance and struggle and a narrative lens to talk freely about the political events that upset Republican Egypt.

June 30, 2022
March 25, 2022
Feb. 14, 2022

Keywords: ʿAlīAhl al-baytRevolutionary martyrKarbalāʾEgyptian contemporary literatureal-Ḥusayn b

Copyright: © 2022 Arianna Tondi. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.