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The Napoleon chronicles by Al-Jabarti is a collection of Arab views that reflect modern African history. The book, in its information, brings about the conquest of Egyptians in 1978 by the western powers. It combines all the activities which transpired at the time Egypt was invaded by the French. The daily observations, the mood of the population in Cairo and the general, the African perspective of this inversion are documented by the Sheik. Consequently, the French perspectives are captured and described by Napoleon’s secretary, Edward W. Said. Therefore, I have documented on both the African and French perspectives on such an inversion basing on three major themes, which are military, education and religion and culture as described in the Al-Jabarti’s chronicles of 1978.
The military power is one among major themes from the chronicles written by Al-jabarti. The first chapter as introduced by Dr. Robert L. sends a worrying tone to both the Egyptian civilians and the state at the time. He introduces the chapter by talking about the 400 French ships which had more than 36000 French troops on board sailing towards the Egyptian ports, thus seizing Egypt with terror (Murphy and Jane. 3).This clearly indicates that Egyptians feared for their security and in return, the whole state was at risk of being overthrown by the French troops. On arrival of the Bonaparte’s in 1978, there is a change of perspective on how Egyptians view the French military. At this time, the natives realized that Europe possessed a superior power which could easily overthrow their Mamluk military. Eventually, the Egyptians feared more and conclude that the aim of the inversion is to overthrow their military through the war just like the Spanish in Native America. To misplace this perception, the French military did not wipe out the Egyptian population as it was thought before; instead, it exposed many of their political weaknesses in connection to that of the west (Murphy and Jane, 11). This shows that the two groups had different perspectives on the inversion. For instance, the French were up to exposing the Mamuk’s weaknesses whereas the natives believed that the French had invaded their country to destroy their state as well as disrupt the peaceful co-existence through war. The military strategies continue by the appointment of Salim ibn Mustafa as the head of power in Egypt to bring the Egyptians’ attention to French approaching plan (Murphy and Jane, 19).
The theme of religion and culture follow that of military. In chapter two of the chronicles, we understand that as soon as the French put stops in different ports, many of the Egyptians had either fled their homes or lost their lives through fighting the inversion. Consequently, after the French control, Al-Jabarti captures our attention by describing how the Egyptians view the French-based on such issues as their women, culture and religious views. Bonaparte, for example, is talked against by the locals in a negative manner ( Murphy and Jane, 19). Also, the Chronicle talks about how the French had involved themselves so much in the Egyptian’s everyday life. For instance, if someone was sick during this period of time, he/she would be sent to a check-up in the hospital to find out whether it was due to plague or not. In addition, if one died, he/she is not buried alongside their relatives in the usual cemeteries according to the Egyptian culture. The reason behind is that the French law did not allow the dead to be buried near the homestead. To add on, the French also destroyed any forms of cemeteries and graves that were established in the homesteads. The inversion, therefore, as seen by the Egyptian natives was to erode their culture which has been the law of the land since long time ago. On the other hand, the French believe that burying the dead near the homestead is backward phenomena and therefore, the need the transform the Egyptians from such outdated activity. In their own perspective, the French wanted to bring about the civilization which was a bridge of the Egyptian culture and religious views.
Education, as a theme in the chronicles, has conflicting perspectives from both the French and the Egyptians. The main aim of the French inversion in Egypt was to enhance educational reforms that could oversee a change in the mode, methods and the content of the curriculum. The French aimed at enhancing civilization in the Egyptians educational status which could oversee a transition from Egyptians original education style to the western mode (Murphy and Jane, 76). In chapter four, we realise that the main aim of French inversion was to enhance both military and educational reforms in Egypt. Unlike the French, the Egyptians believed that the inversion was specifically for the erosion of their culture, religion and education systems.
In conclusion, it is more evidence that the French inversion in Egypt, as documented in Al-Jabarti’s Chronicles, is met by different perspectives. The entire book captures a chronological of events which transpired at the time of inversion, and the ideal picture is a contrasting view. The Egyptians largely believed that the main aim of this invasion by the Napoleons in Egypt was to destroy, which is contrary to what were the French intentions. The French desired to bring about a change in such sectors as military, culture, religion, and education as discussed in this article.
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