Addressing the nexus of tourism, sexuality, and poverty, Beach Politics explores sexual interactions between Egyptian men and foreign women in Dahab and South Sinai. Analyzing their constructions of sexuality, risk, and reproductive health, it examines these interactions in the light of globalization, tourism, and the hegemonic demands of family and gender within Egyptian society.
Central to Abdalla’s analysis are the ways in which working-class Egyptian men living in Dahab rely on their sexuality as a survival strategy in the face of an increasingly globalized economy. Abdalla shows that in a context of tourism and class struggle, ‘urfi marriage and sexuality emerge as counter-cultural strategies for surviving poverty. In Dahab, foreign women negotiate their sexuality as both class-privileged tourists and targets of Egyptian patriarchy, while Egyptian men confront the violences of globalization in their sexualized encounters with foreign women.
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MUSTAFA ABDALLA is a Ph.D. candidate at the Free University of Berlin. He holds an MA from the American University in Cairo, where his master’s thesis, on which this paper is based, won the Magda Al Nowaihi award for gender studies.
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