Mistreatment or misunderstanding?

June 13, 1906

Upon visiting the mosque at the University of al Azhar, Mr. Sheldon Amos, judge of the Native Court, claims that he was met with “considerable rudeness” on behalf of the students there. This incident caused the chancellor of the university to face repercussions from the government, being required to implement a new system for visitors at the institution.

Parts of Mr. Amos’ story do not add up. He claims that the students were rude to him, but at the time he visited the mosque, there was a commotion among the students due to a sudden rain shower. The chancellor of the school claims the visitors were probably sent in the direction of disorder, and that any claims of rudeness are simply a misunderstanding.

The writer of this June 13, 1906 article in the Egyptian Gazette seems to believe Mr. Amos. They claim that his job as judge of the Native Court means that he has thorough knowledge of Arabic and could not possibly mistake jostling for rudeness. They even go so far as to question if the chancellor of the school was there at the time of the incident. The writer of the article seems to have some preconceived notions about this university. They claim that an Indian student was recently made fun of for his political views.

According to outside sources, Amos was born in 1872 in London. His full name was Percy Maurice Maclardie Sheldon Amos. He was appointed to the Cairo Native Court in 1903. He was educated at Cambridge and came from a very wealthy and well-known family. When considering the reasons for the unrest in the article, it is worth noting that Amos was a European man with a position of power in Egypt. European presence in Egypt was agitating to many Egyptians, and as a result caused unrest.

The article is not in any particular section of the paper, but is its own section. The writers of the article input their own opinions on the topic, which is something I have seen in many other articles in the newspaper.


Amy Lee Brown
Amy Lee Brown

The author, a student at Florida State University, was enrolled in the digital microhistory lab in spring 2018.