The Educator of Society
All the above roles combined to further Jurji Zaidan’s mission to educate the Arabs about their shared past and at the same time instruct them about the modern world thus creating a national consciousness and identity. He wrote extensively, mostly in al-Hilal, on a wide range of social and other issues. These articles dealt with, not only topics on history and language that were covered more extensively in his written books, but also a variety of social and political subjects. Areas covered in these writings included such topics as the relationship between religion and science, ethics and society, the role of women, morality, work ethics among others3. He was a strong supporter of the social emancipation of women but within the respect of her traditional role in the family. Last but not least, he was one of the strongest proponents for, and instrumental in, the establishment of the first Egyptian University.
3 For a selection of Jurji Zaidan’s selected writings that were translated into English see the forthcoming volume by Thomas Philipp on Jurji Zaidan’s Secular Analysis of History and Language as Foundations of Arab Nationalism.. The Table of Contents of that Volume reproduced in this website under “Studies on Jurji Zaidan” lists the titles of these articles and book excerpts.