NOTE ON TRANSLITERATION, UNITS, AND ABBREVIATIONS
I use a system of transliteration designed to be accessible to readers un-
familiar with the Arabic language while recognizable to Arabic speakers.
In transliterating written and Egyptian spoken Arabic, I omit the diacriti-
cal marks, long vowels, and hamzas (’) that come at the start of words. The
Arabic letter ayn I mark with a (‘). I use italics for all Arabic terms except for
words that have become standardized for usage in English.
I use the following units and abbreviations in the text:
bcm Billion cubic meters
feddan The unit of area measurement in Egypt. One feddan is made
up of 24 qirat and is equivalent to 1.04 acres or 0.42 hectares.
I follow the colloquial practice of using the word feddan in its
le Egyptian pound. At the time of fieldwork, in 2007–9, the
Egyptian pound was approximately 5le for US$1.
mwri The Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, which I also
refer to as “the ministry” (al-wizara) or, as farmers do, as “The
wua Water user association