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Global imaginaries of Egypt stretch back to ancient Greek philosophers and historians, culminating in Alexander the Great’s invasion of Egypt as part of his aspired empire. This research will be focused on Napoleon Bonaparte’s campaign/ expedition (1798) to Egypt, motivated by fascination with a longstanding imaginary Egypt in France’s expansive projects, since the crusade of Saint – Louis. However, the cultural exchange between Egyptian ulama and French scientists accompanying the expedition in the embattled city of Cairo has transpired into mutual interchange of knowledge. Eminent figures like Hasan al – ‘Attar, and al – Moallem Yacoub – among others – have reassessed pathways for a breakthrough with old institutional systems and the independence of Egypt from Ottoman rule. Imaginaries of Egypt were addressed by a national cultural dynamic enabling its people to participate in the transition to modernity at a relatively different pace, as a result of geopolitical factors.
The main objective of this research is to reread national paradigms that challenged global imaginaries in the past, in the process of drawing strategies of cultural change in the twenty – first century, a century identified with potential technological and economic risks. The ensuing changes in cultural values require a reconsideration of institutionalized systems, as well as established cultural structures of signification. This calls for a transdisciplinary methodology requiring a critical reading of history, a philosophical reading of modernity, navigating eighteenth century Arabic, French, and English chronicles, updated sources in that area, along with related critical writings.