When Egyptians fear death or apprehend it, or when they are confront withthe taboo of death, they tend to submit themselves to God’s will, hoping that he will save them from danger. While taking refuge in God, they resort to religious formulae, choosing from what seems to be an endless collection of prophylactic, protective or soothing incantations and blessings. The role of religion in everyday social interactions of Egyptians cannot be overemphasised. It regulates human relations and helps to catalyse the inner fears of man. Religious formulae denote complex cultural concepts by relating to multi-layered and multi-dimensional, recurrent situations. This embedding in sociocultural context is a crucial feature of formulae. Thus, “formulaicity” is the lens through which this book analyses the response to the taboo of death in Egypt.
PhD Magdalena Zawrotna A graduate of Arabic philology at the Jagiellonian University and a lifelong learner of Arabic. She also studied at the University of Cairo and completed her PhD studies in linguistics in Cracow. She specializes in Egyptian Arabic, English-Arabic code switching, and the use of language on the Internet. She also translates from and teaches Arabic, in addition to conducting research in Cairo. Currently she works at the Institute of Oriental Studies, Jagiellonian University, where she teaches Arabic (MSA) Egyptian dialect and translation.