This book has taken many years to complete. I have incurred many debts
in the long process, and it is a pleasure to acknowledge some of them
here. The book grows out of research that I conducted for my doctoral
dissertation at Harvard, and I would like to acknowledge the following
institutions whose support made that research possible: the Fulbright
Commission, Institute of International Exchange, Egypt, 1993–94; the
Sheldon Fellowship of Harvard University, 1993; and the Social Science
Research Council and MacArthur Foundation Program in International
Peace and Security in a Changing World, 1994–96. The Center for Mid-
dle Eastern Studies under the directorships of Roy Mottahedeh and Wil-
liam Graham provided me with Foreign Language Area Studies Grants, a
Mellon Foundation Grant, and a special Center grant that made pos-
sible my studies at Harvard. Also at Harvard, I would like to thank
Tosun Ariçanli, Cemal Kafadar, Arthur Kleinman, Zachary Lockman,
David Maybury-Lewis, Roger Owen, Stanley Tambiah, and Nur Yalman
for their support. I am indebted to my advisor and thesis chair, Sally Falk
Moore, for her sharp critical eye and unwavering support: both have had
a decisive impact on my work. Michael Herzfeld has been a generous
source of advice on matters both intellectual and practical since we met
during my last year at Harvard.
I am also grateful to the following individuals and institutions for
helping me acquire some level of mastery of the Arabic language. The
Mellon Foundation funded my study at Middlebury College in 1990, and
the Center for Arabic Studies Abroad of Georgetown University awarded
me a fellowship for an intensive course at the American University of
Cairo in 1991–92. I was privileged to study with two teachers of Arabic,
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