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Pyramids and Nightclubs: A Travel Ethnography of Arab and Western Imaginations of Egypt, from King Tut and a Colony of Atlantis to Rumors of Sex ... a Marauding Prince, and Blonde Belly Dancers Paperback – 8 Jan 2008


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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press (8 Jan. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0292717024
  • ISBN-13: 978-0292717022
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,748,213 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Pyramids and Nightclubs offers a new and provocative perspective on Egypt by analyzing what brings tourists there and how that defines the tourists and the Egyptians themselves.
Fundamentally the author investigates Western and "Arab" tourism in Egypt. The Western tourism centred around Egypt's pharaonic past in both orthodox and wierd and wonderful alternative New Age versions, and "Arab" tourism from the rich oil countries which is not interested in the Egypt of the past, but rather in present day Egypt, obviously more accessible to them than to westerners, which is still a centre of Arabic pop culture, theatres, soap operas, movies and music and which provides the youth of the restrictive cultures of the Gulf States the opportuntiy to socialize in a less restrictive environment. She talks of how the Egyptians see the "Arabs" as they call them, those of the Arabian peninsula, and how the "Arabs" see the Egyptians, whom they frequently know either only as lower class, impoverished migrant workers or through the distorted lense of decades of films. Egyptians on the other hand, have the image of the fabulously rich yet uncouth Arab fresh from the desert, living in a repressive society who comes to a fellow Arab country to finally relax and enjoy all those "licentious freedoms" that are tolerated in today's Egypt.
She investigates these deep-rooted but apparently superficial stereotypes each has of the other. Wynn bases her thesis on years spent in both Saudi Arabia and Egypt, on her fluent Arabic and, not least, on her time working in the offices of Dr. Zahi Hawass at the Giza pyramids.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5 reviews
Great Ethnography of Tourism 4 May 2012
By Clare A. Sammells - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I use this book for my undergraduate Anthropology of Tourism class, and it was a great book both to read and to teach from. Wynn presents two very different types of tourists traveling to Egypt -- the western tourist fascinated by pyramids and ancient Egyptian culture, and the Arab tourist interested in modern Egyptian nightlife. Given the author's previous experience and contacts in Saudi Arabia, she is able to question common assumptions, such as the idea that Saudi tourists travel to get away from their social lives at home (as opposed to experience different aspects of those societies). Throughout, she considers how Egyptians interact with these different kinds of tourists through the lens of larger historical contexts of migration, colonialism, and global inequality. Overall, this is an interesting, well-written, and engaging text.
snapshots of Egypt's present, ghosts of her past 15 April 2009
By Virginia Greenbird - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
As someone who visited Egypt for the first time only recently, determined to see the Pyramids and buy a few ornamental souvenirs, I found this to open up a much larger vista than I'd had of Egypt.
So I went to see a blonde belly dancer, and a brunette belly dancer, and guess what: I preferred the Pyramids. Reading "Pyramids and Nightclubs" may be the best predictor for any prospective visitor of which version of Egypt you'll prefer to visit.
I recommend the book not only for would-be tourists but for anyone who wants to sort through the myths of modern Egypt and its relation to the rest of the "Arab world."
loved this book 4 Oct. 2013
By Jimmy curtis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
a completely different take on a topic I thought suffered from overexposure ... very insightful ... but a very interesting read
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Enlightening 22 Sept. 2008
By Mrs. Joyce Miller - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Studying Egyptology for many years I find this book paints a different picture about the subject - politically as well as socially.
A must on anyone's bookshelf interested in Egypt, both ancient and modern.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
REALLY boring 28 Mar. 2014
By Allison A. Slater - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
maybe I just didn't stick with it long enough but I read the first part of the book and it was unbelievably dry and tedious. Very academic, the kind of thing you would have to read for a college class. I guess I was expecting more of an interesting book full of travel adventures. The subject (rich Gulf Arabs vacationing in Egypt) sounded interesting but it just didn't pan out for me.
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