Music, Literature, Dance and Fashion
Journalism in the Arab and Ottoman lands
Journalism was another importation from Europe, adapted to satisfy the public’s need for information about different aspects of life.
Napoleon Bonaparte introduced Egypt’s first printing press with the French-language newspaper La Courier d’Egypte (29 August 1798) and the quarterly journal La Décade Egyptienne (1799). Khedive Muhammad ‘Ali and his successors then introduced journalism for an Arabic-reading public with publication of al-Waqa’i‘ al-Masriyya (Egyptian Affairs), al-Yasub (a monthly medical journal), Rawdha al-madaris (a literature magazine), Wadi al-Nil (a bi-weekly political newspaper) and Masr (a weekly newspaper). Lebanese immigrants in Egypt founded two of the most prestigious journals that still exist today: al-Ahram (The Pyramids, 1876) and al-Hilal (The Crescent, 1892). In 1877, Yaqub Sanu‘ founded the first Arabic-language satirical magazine Abu Naddara. In Ottoman lands, in 1860 and 1891 respectively, Tercüman-ı Ahvâl (Interpreter of Facts) and Servet-ı-Fünun (The Wealth of Knowledge) were among the first non-state sponsored periodicals to be published.
First issue of Al-Ahram

5 August 1876

Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Alexandria, Egypt

Al-Ahram was one of Egypt’s earliest weekly magazines, first published on 5 August 1875 by Lebanese journalists who had settled in Egypt following the civil war in Lebanon. In 1881, al-Ahram was issued as a daily newspaper. Journalism in general and newspapers in particular was the main tool for reshaping Arab literature during the 19th century.

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