Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in History (PhD)

Degree Level





Joel S. Gordon

Committee Member

Lisa Pollard

Second Committee Member

Nikolay Antov


Social sciences, Egypt, Egyptian Revolution, Youth


This study focuses on youth as a symbol, metaphor, and subject involved in processes related to Egypt’s modernization, colonization, and liberation from the beginning of the nineteenth century through the 1919 Egyptian Revolution. It demonstrates that youth was not simply an unchanging stage of development between childhood and adulthood, but a construct reflecting the political, Social, and cultural interests of specific eras and perspectives. I critically analyze the local and global discourses on Egypt’s modernization, colonialism, and nationalist movement to understand how changing power relations within and outside the country affected conceptions of youth and youthfulness. Additionally, I suggest by the time of the 1919 Revolution, representations of an ideal youth transferred into a real political and Social force. This dissertation argues that the transformation of self-identity, embodied in a growing pride in the youthful spirit of a deep-rooted, old civilization helped drive Egypt’s modern “awakening.” While this project focuses its attention specifically on Egypt, I situate all these developments within a global context in order to showcase the paradoxical connections of youth culture formation between the colonized and colonizer, as well as between generations within this era of modernization and dramatic Social transformation.