Heritage and nationalism in Nasser's Egypt: The case of Belle Époque Alexandria
The main aim of this study is to investigate how Nasser’s nationalist regime used heritage in its attempt to validate its rule and to create a new national identity and how this affected and continues to affect built heritage in Egypt, with a special focus on 19th and 20th century heritage in the city of Alexandria. The first chapter starts by exploring the notion of nationalism and its relationship with heritage. An overview of pre-Nasserite Alexandria, its ‘cosmopolitan’ society and 19th and 20th heritage and how it came to be is provided in the second chapter. The third chapter explores Egyptian nationalism with a focus on the Nasserite era starting with the1952 coup d’état and the politics of Nasser’s regime and then goes on to explore this regime’s relationship with the built environment, in general, and built heritage in particular. The case study of Alexandria is the focus of the fourth chapter, where the positive and negative effects of Nasserite policies on Belle Époque heritage are explored. The fifth and final chapter is the conclusion of the research.