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Economic Transitions and Land Ownership

Challenging Traditions among Rural Yezidis in Post-Soviet Armenia

Hamlet Melkumyan and Roman Hovsepyan

The Yezidis of Armenia, traditionally considered transhumant pastoralists, have been changing their economic habits over the past century. Nowadays, they are more engaged in agriculture than they were a century ago. The social and cultural backgrounds of these transformations are discussed, showing the involvement of the treatment of the Armenians and the adaptive character of the Yezidis’ economy. Presently, the Yezidis practise animal breeding and plant cultivation in parallel, using the human resources available in their family. The ongoing transformations in the economy and their engagement in agriculture are challenging the conservative lifestyle of the Yezidi community. Thus, the people who have shifted to the agrarian economy are seen as outsiders in the traditional framework and are perceived to be of low prestige.

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The Reshaping of Cairo's City of the Dead

Rural Identity versus Urban Arena in Cairene Cultural Narrative and Public Discourse

Anna Tozzi Di Marco

Cairo's City of the Dead embodies the social and cultural stratification that has occurred over the course of Egyptian history. Nowadays, its syncretic culture is a mixture of urban and rural aspects - a 'rurban' culture. In an effort to escape from the poverty of their hamlets, rural migrants started to move to the capital during the last decades of Ottoman rule, ending up in the fringe zones of the city. During the second wave of migration in the twentieth century, the poorest segments illicitly occupied abandoned or rarely visited funeral courtyards. The article explores how this district has been restructured by the occupation. It analyses the meaning of the physical and cultural transformations of funerary spaces, as well as the migrants' role in the formation of the locality.

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Dreams of Prosperity – Enactments of Growth

The Rise and Fall of Farming in Varanger

Marianne Elisabeth Lien

aldeles ] ( Bull 2014: 8 ). As Bull recounts, even if some parts of the Varanger peninsula were flat and contained grasslands, they were not inhabited by a single family. Instead, everyone lived in the coastal fishing hamlets that, according to the

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Erika Friedl

had fun with each other. The danger came from enemies, wild animals and malevolent jinn. Safety was in numbers. Women remembered how, as girls, they had hidden when ‘the khans’ were approaching the village from their hamlet a mile away, because