James Sanua e la presenza degli italiani nell’Egitto dell’Ottocento

(James Sanua and the presence of Italians in 19th-century Egypt)

in La rivista di Arablit, a. IV, n. 7-8, dicembre 2014, pp. 134-147.

It was against the background of well-established European colonies and companies that theater developed in Egypt. Napoleon Bonaparte founded the first theater in the country in 1798, devoting it to representations for the French troops. Afterwards, however, Egyptian theatre mainly developed from an Italian model. James (Yaqub) Sanua (Ya‘qūb ibn Rafā’īl Ṣanū‘), generally known under his pseudonym Abū Naẓẓārah (the man with glasses) and particularly gifted thanks to his perfect knowledge of French and Italian, played an important role in the development of Egyptian theatre. This article focuses on his one act play Il marito infedele (The Unfaithful Husband), published in Cairo in 1876, but never performed onstage. The work, a scene on topical local affairs, as defined by the author himself, effectively tackles the issue of marital infidelity, in an “intercultural” vein, presenting a model of coexistence between different cultures, exemplarily reflecting a particular aspect of early Twentieth century Egyptian society, namely the strong presence of several foreign communities.

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This is an Article from La Rivista di Arablit - Anno IV, Numeri 7-8, dicembre 2014

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Wafaa El Beih |