“Egypt’s Nile,” the final episode of the “What Makes Us Human” podcast series’ fourth season, considers what the Nile River means to Egypt. This season the podcast asked "What Does Water Mean to Us Humans?" and showcased the newest thinking across academic disciplines about the relationship between humans and water.
“To many Egyptians, the Nile is so intimately intertwined with the very notion of Egypt that it is often used to represent the nation in songs and popular culture...Egyptians often forget that the Nile runs through eleven East African nations, all of which have claims to its waters,” says Ziad Fahmy, associate professor and chair of Near Eastern studies, in his podcast.
Fahmy is the author of “Ordinary Egyptians: Creating the Modern Nation through Popular Culture,” which examines how music, popular media and culture provided ordinary Egyptians with a framework to construct and negotiate a modern national identity, from the 1870s until the eve of the 1919 revolution. His second book, “Listening to Everyday Life: Class, Modernity, and the Changing Soundscapes of Twentieth Century Egypt” is under consideration by Stanford University Press. Currently, he is researching and writing his third monograph, tentatively titled “Broadcasting Identity: Radio and the Making of Modern Egypt, 1925-1952.”
The “What Makes Us Human?” podcast is produced by the College of Arts and Sciences in collaboration with the Cornell Broadcast Studios and features audio essays written and recorded by Cornell faculty. The episodes are also available for download on iTunes and SoundCloud and for streaming on the A&S humanities page, where text versions of the essays are also posted.