TBT: How Technologies Have Shaped Our World

Because today is Thursday, also known as TBT (Throwback Thursday) according to a popular Instagram phrase, I decided to bring us back in time to Egypt from the years of 1870-1919. During this time period, the British occupied Egypt, and like most occupations the Egyptians felt repressed and like they didn’t have control over their own country. Although there was no Internet, computers, Twitter or Facebook at this time there were other types of technologies. The types of technology that were popular around this time were the radio, the printing press, and the recording industry. These types of technologies became key tools for the rise of Egyptian nationalism and eventually the revolution in 1919, which led to Egyptian independence in 1922.

Technologies played a large role in nationalism during this time period because it was an important tool in uniting the people. Newspapers allowed people to speak their thoughts, raise awareness to the Egyptian cause and bring people together from all over the country. Many people believe that information is power, and newspapers and songs were able to spread information all across Egypt.  In the book Ordinary Egyptians by Ziad Fahmy

“Modern Egyptians mass culture-especially vaudeville, radio and the music industry-transcend the bounds of literacy and gave room for (Cairene) colloquial Egyptian culture to develop a common, increasingly national forum for comprehensible, universally accessible and socially relevant public discussion about political community, the state and the British imperialism. It is totality of these media, working together as a media system, that entertained, and, in the process provided new shared discourses about nationhood and identity.”(168)

Technology has played a key role in shaping the world that we live in today. It is important to remember the roles that these now semi “old” technologies have played in the past. It will be interesting to see how new and more modern technologies shape the future.

Fahmy, Ziad. Ordinary Egyptians: Creating the Modern Nation Through Popular Culture. California: Stanford University Press, 2011. 168.

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