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post-ottoman iraq/egypt irrigation essay research

Tags: Post-Ottoman Near East, Paper Proposal

Notes

  • Taqwim al-Nil (DiCapua - Gatekeepers of the Arab Past) is a sign of this type of modernizing thinking
  • Argument:
    • The construction of the Aswan Low/High Dams, alongside the Hindiya and Kut barrages, was a time of technomodernity that ultimately failed to respect the locals.
      • Construction of the Aswan Low Dam would “modernize” the locals
      • Construction of the Hindiya barrage would

Kut Barrage

  • Constructed in 1934, opened in 1939

    • War prevented actual usage via the Dujayla land project until 1945
  • Feeds into the Gharraf Canal

    • Leads into the Dujayla Land Project
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Gharraf%5FRiver

  • Did not account for salination within the soil!

Hindya Barrage

  • hindyia barrage
  • Constructed in 1911, opened in 1913
  • Superceded later
  • Constructed by William Willcocks
    • Literally the same guy who did the Low Aswan Dam

Low Aswan Dam

  • Aswan Low Dam

    • Constructed in 1899
    • Opened in 1902
    • Raised in 1907-1912
    • Raised again in 1929-1933
  • Did not account for salination within the soil (Cook - The Aswan Low Dam and Modernizing the Nile

  • Did not respect the usefulness of the Nile overflooding for fertilization

High Aswan Dam

Meeting with Jim on irrigation research

  • Dumb question: why does the historiography matter?

    • Reading essay on why the orientalist perceptions, but having a difficult time squaring why that it matters
  • I have all these resources

  • How do we square notions of modernity (as in what we consider to be modern either by orientialist perspectives or not)

  • Two main points:

    • obsession with history (philae, babylon, etc)
    • lack of care about disease and salination (because it mostly affects the people and not infectious)
  • Disease and salination are both extremely common throughout all these projects, why was it not brought up?

    • Beacuse these affect the people and not the workers nor their ideals
    • Why should I care?
  • What is modernity?

Outline

Current Literature

  • Dams are notably signs of modernity

    • High aswan dam is a proud symbol of the egyptians
    • Many myths abound
      • Tennesse Vally Authority
      • “Dams were the modern temples of india”
        • Fusion of modernist development theory
        • Another former british colony
      • Nasser
      • King Ghazi’s visit to the Kut barrage
  • state of irrigation within egypt

  • state of irrigation within iraq

  • Environmental concerns were not typically considered before 1975

  • Water resources focal point for environmentalists

  • Aswan Low Dam and Hindiya barrage were driven by part of the pre-ottoman

    • more “benevolent” type of damming, meant to benefit the egyptians/iraqi’s themselves
  • Aswan High Dam and Kut Barrage were both driven by part of the post-ottoman

    • more utlitlarian types, driven by external resources
    • trace developmental modernity via these things

Discussions

  • talk about the history of the low aswan dam and hindiya barrage

  • Low aswan dam and hindiya barrage are both scoped to within a specific historical frame aimed towards the peoplee

  • talk about history of the aswan high dam and the kut barrage

    • aswan high dam
      • product of cold war
      • failed to see impacts on fisheries
    • kut barrage
      • product of dujayla project
    • both of these exist as types of modernity described by Humanism in Ruins - Discussion Questions
  • High aswan dam and the kut barrage are both scoped

  • Most literature on the subject is down on dams but fail to give methodological assestments of why they are down on dams

    • focus on the historiographical particularities
  • “hindia” and “hindiya”

  • “aswan” and “Assuan reservoir”

  • mosquitos in bengal and mosquitos in egypt

Questions to ask and answer:

How does the topic fit into the larger context?

  • What was before irrigation projects, what was the impetus?
  • Why specifically irrigation projects?
  • What changes did irrigation projects bring to locals?
    • City of Aswan
    • Kut barrage
  • How and why were irrigation projects part of colonialism and nationalism?
    • Sources of legitmacy
      • Kut barrage and King
      • Aswan High Dam and Nasser
  • What does it mean to live in a post-ottoman/de-ottoman egypt vs an ottoman/british iraq?
  • How and why were these dams built?
  • What does this mean for British influences vs American ones?
    • Low Aswan Dam & Hindiya Barrage - British influenced

I - Aswan High Dam & Kut barrage - American/cold war influenced

  • What does this mean for the positions of Iraq and Egypt during the building of these dams?

How is the topic a functioning part of a larger system?

  • How do irrigation projects reflect the colonial desire for modernization?
  • How do they reflect the nationalist desire to achieve a certain status?
  • What roles do irrigation projects play in the environment?
  • What technocratic problems are solved by irrigation?
    • Broken canals
    • Crop rotation
    • etc
  • What technocratic problems are proposed but not seen by irrigation?
    • Schistosomiasis?

How does your topic compare & contrast with topics like it?

  • Other irrigatoin projects within post-colonial states?

How has your topic changed through time? Why? What’s its future?

  • How has irrigation in Egypt/iraq changed?

How do the parts of your topic fit together as a system?

  • How and what does the low aswan dam mean for de-ottomanization?
  • How and what does the hindiya barrage mean for ottoman twilight/young turks?
  • How and what does the High Aswan Dam mean for Nasserism?
  • How and what does the kut barrage/dujayala land project mean for post-independence iraq?

Turn your questions into negative ones

  • Why and when have irrigation projects not captured nationistic/independent ideas?
  • How do irrigation projects not differ from other public works?
    • Electrification
    • Industrialization
      • Why was egypt not electrified or industrialized for the production of cotton?
      • Why specifically the low aswan dam? What was the draw?

Ask speculative questions

  • What if there were no irrigation projects?
  • What does the propgation of the Dujayla model mean for iraq?
    • What other projects have followed?

Ask questions that reflect disagreements

  • Mitchell claims the modernizatoin projects hurt the Egyptian well-being, but I believe irrigation projects are not a de-facto bad, but rather prusued under a primordialist agenda almost always lacks specific understandings

Ask questions that build on an agreement

  • Pursely claims that the propagation of the dujayla model built upon the failures of the dujyala project. I believe the seeds for this were sown much earlier

Ask questions analgous to those others have asked about similar topics

  • Electrical palestine & waste seige tackle how public works projects are a sign of a nation’s well being. The common complaints about the beirut trash riots are an example of this. What does the analysis of irrigation projects mean for the conventions of nationalism?

Questions being answered

  • Irrigation vs electricity & trash, how irrigation projects reflect upon nationalism
  • Irrigation as a source of legitmacy
    • Nasserism
    • Iraqi state foundations
  • Irrigation as a desire for modenrization
  • Irrigation as a reflection of primordialist conceptions
  • Irrigation as a reflection of what it means to be de-ottomanized, post-ottoman, and “independent”.
  • Irrigation as a reflection of British perceptions vs American ones
  • Current literature understandings of irrigation