Problems of identity in the modern middle east

lt, the existence of such evidences is considered a rarity and must be evaluated for its authenticity, credibility, and basis for furthering assimilation knowledge. Rifa’a Rafi’ al-Tahtawis An Imam in Paris is one such document which is considered to be a comprehensive record of European society observed and narrated by an Arab. It is a descriptive narrative of the Middle Eastern scholars view of the West which has been used by many for the basis of constructing modern Egyptian collective memory. In the following report the researcher shall investigate how effective has al-Tahtawis An Imam in Paris been in endorsing collective memory of Egyptians, and its endorsement of Egyptian modern identity. The report shall explore how al-Tahtawis knowledge has helped Egyptians in streamlining and coming to terms with the Western culture through education, intellectual leadership and collective memory.
During the early 19th century Muhammad Ali, an Egyptian ruler was motivated by the knowledge of its influential neighbor Europe and its impact on the world. Muhammad Ali devised a program for sending students to France or Italy to bring back Western knowledge to the Egyptian community. Muhammad Alis mission was to assimilate the knowledge fields, language, logic and arithmetic of the West to the East (particularly Egypt) to better comprehend European society. He was of the view that adaptation to European civilization would benefit the 19th century Muslims in becoming more intelligent in worldly history, and streamline their own perspective of the same. Among those who went on the mission to Paris, Rifaa Rafi al-Tahtawi was perhaps the most knowledgeable, who benefitted from the program, which was evident from his book or record of the French state (al-Tahtawi 32).
From his description of the French state, al-Tahtawi learned much from the studies, discussion and knowledge gained from reading of the various fields. Al-Tahtawi describes the French as a modern state, with