English Version النسخة العربية
The Bulaq
Phases od Establishing
Naming the Press
The Era of Mohamed Aly's Family
The Deterioration
Role in Modernizing Egyptian Society
Press Release



The Bulaq Press and a Role in Modernizing Egyptian Society

Rafa'a Al Tahtawy
Rafa'a Al Tahtawy

During the reign of Mohamed Aly and his modernization plan for Egypt, the Bulaq Press played an essential role in disseminating science and knowledge throughout the country. As printing drew attention to military and natural sciences, specially those works which were translated by the Egyptian scholar Rafa'a Al Tahtawy during the 1840s, several factors came together to formulate the new intellectual character.

The Bulaq Press contributed in publising the various publications of the ministry, as well as educating the youth. As books and legible material became available, a new class of intellectuals emerged, to later form the basis for a comprehensive modernization of the whole society. Other outcomes included an increase in the number of private schools and the emergence of female education. As the class of intellectuals broadened, self expression and free opinions appeared in the press and daily newspapers. Other printing housed were eventually established, as cultural awareness spread among the people. Public journals like El-Waqa'e Al- Masriya and private ones, like Wady El Nil were freely established to articulate the opinions of the emerging cultural and political sectors. The Press also published old rare Arabic books, as well as other books eastern languages such as Persian.

El-Waqa'e Al- Masriya

It would only be fair to state that the Bulaq Press was the main force behind this historical transformation that transferred Egypt from the Dark Ages of ignorance and backwardness and into the Age of knowledge, freedom and awareness. Indeed, the Bulaq Press is a living evidence of a decisive period in Egyptian history. With its steel machinery Bulaq Press is an eye witness of the immense transformations that occurred in Egypt. A new era of renaissance and development started.

The Bulaq Press Exhibition was held on the occasion of, the General Organization for Government Printing Offices, generously donating the possessions of the Bulaq Press to the Library of Alexandria, and a monograph has been publishe due to this exhibition.

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