Of Rajahs and Hornbills: A Timeline

Why not simplify it to Sarawak Auxilia? That would only really make sense as the name for the second-tier non-professional soldiery roughly comparable to the British 'territorials', with the Rangers remaining the professional troops/special forces.
 
Also: about Sarawak's military. It makes me thinking about the name of the armed force of Sarawak.
Why not simplify it to Sarawak Auxilia?
Those names do sound cool, and Icedaemon does make a point on the convention. However, I wonder if there might be a third option on the matter; despite being British/Anglo-Indian, the Brookes cribbed Bruneian and British aspects of kingship to form their own. For instance: Lily Brooke, being a princess royal, is styled both as ‘Ranee Muda’ – Little Queen (very formal), owing to her eldest daughter status ; and ‘Dayang Lily’ – Princess/Lady Lily (semi-formal), which is how she is addressed by the public on most occasions. The Council Negri is another example of English-Malay mishmash in Brooke Sarawak.

Because of this, I wonder if there might be a chance for the Sarawak army or its sub-units to be named accordingly. Something like “The Royal Tentera of Sarawak,” or “Sarawak Auxilia di-Darat/di-Laut (Land / Sea)”, would sound fitting for a kingdom melding local cultures together with a sprinkling of European influence. Plus, the terms would confuse and horrify British and neighboring Malay pedants, especially Brunei. XD

I hope you seriously consider one day publishing this thread as an online novella/novel. It may not make you rich, but you may gain a nice passive income.
Oddly enough, some of my close relations have lately pushed me similarly, and to even publish a hard book from all this. As it is, I don't think the format could transfer well onto printed paper (the homosexuality would make this piece be rejected anyhow) and even with an online novel, I would need some rewrites to previous chapters – especially early ones – to clear up mistakes and make the overall flow more coherent. People will definitely call me out for not including figures like Syarif Osman and his clashes with James Brooke! (I genuinely did not know such a person existed until much later).

Okay, what are you both talking about?
For some time now, I've been hinting along that both Clayton and Lily shall be marrying soon, courtesy of their mother and the Astana court and their wish to preserve the Brooke dynasty, especially with Rajah Charles and his heir-apparent now dead.

People have been guessing on who shall be the suitors. I have made sure to keep them perpetually guessing. :evilsmile:


For updates, an interlude is coming soon, which shall take place in the farthest setting from Sarawak as it could be. And then its back to the Great War in Europe.
 
For some time now, I've been hinting along that both Clayton and Lily shall be marrying soon, courtesy of their mother and the Astana court and their wish to preserve the Brooke dynasty, especially with Rajah Charles and his heir-apparent now dead.

People have been guessing on who shall be the suitors. I have made sure to keep them perpetually guessing. :evilsmile:


For updates, an interlude is coming soon, which shall take place in the farthest setting from Sarawak as it could be. And then its back to the Great War in Europe.
I will make one final guess before i leave it to time. Is it a fictionall more extant David O'Keefe family?
 
I will make one final guess before i leave it to time. Is it a fictionall more extant David O'Keefe family?
Uhh, there are several David O'Keefe's that exist throughout this period (at least, from what I can find through Google) but I'm assuming you are referring to the O'Keefe that became the ruler of Yap Island in the Pacific.

I wish I knew about this man earlier! Sadly, though his journey may follow the same way as in our world, his hot temper and bad luck may land David to an earlier grave. Additionally, the Pacific theatre of the Great War shall keep him too busy to care for matters in Borneo, and while he may be interested in setting up a marriage match between his children and Sarawak - it's one thing to control an island, but another to be joined to the White Rajahs themselves - the Ranee Margaret and the Astana court may reject him for his marital mishaps and stubborn independence, which
is why Lily Brooke is without a husband by 1905, despite having two children.

But with that said, he may be interested in what's coming from New Guinea. His wealth and nature may make him attractive to a certain Queen of the South Seas and her family, though there are no promises on whether the two could get along, given their business sense and personal stubbornness.
 
Uhh, there are several David O'Keefe's that exist throughout this period (at least, from what I can find through Google) but I'm assuming you are referring to the O'Keefe that became the ruler of Yap Island in the Pacific.

I wish I knew about this man earlier! Sadly, though his journey may follow the same way as in our world, his hot temper and bad luck may land David to an earlier grave. Additionally, the Pacific theatre of the Great War shall keep him too busy to care for matters in Borneo, and while he may be interested in setting up a marriage match between his children and Sarawak - it's one thing to control an island, but another to be joined to the White Rajahs themselves - the Ranee Margaret and the Astana court may reject him for his marital mishaps and stubborn independence, which
Welp. Ive given it my best shot. Il look forward to learning something new when you finally divulge the mystery.
 
The pacific islands seems like the best shot for the mystery white rajahs the brookes will intermarry with. You had stuff like easter island and the pitcairns where white men became chieftains. It's difficult to see the Christian family meeting anyone's standards to marry their Rajah mind.
 
I knew of the Brookes existence, if not the details, before this timeline. However, I certainly had not heard of the O'Keefe family and their ilk. Fascinating.
 
Whatever happened to Hawai'i ITTL?
Still independent, though not without trouble. Just like OTL, the kingdom had seen enormous immigration from the U.S, Japan, and the wider world to the point that native-born Hawaiians are no longer the majority group. Along with this is increased diplomatic pressure from the United States, which has forced the royal family into conceding Pearl Harbour into an American base. As Prince Kalakaua noted, the move was highly controversial amongst the royals and government, but there are also powerful shipping and sugar interests that want a say on governing the islands.

With the Great War, Hawai'i has declared neutrality and her ports are a welcome relief for many belligerent warships. Nevertheless, the presence of so many men from warring alliances together is straining local law and a few cat-and-mouse battles have taken place just beyond her shores between British and French warships. In all, the Kingdom of Hawai'i is holding its breath.


Also, to the new readers whom are discovering and reading this timeline... hi.
 
The Clunies-Ross family might make a good marriage match? They are British with their own little kingdom out in the middle of the Indian Ocean in the Cocos (Keeling)islands? I think King Ross IV was unmarried at this stage. And he would have been familiar with Malay culture as he had many Malay workers (slaves?) on his plantations on the islands
 
Just finished this TL. I have no words. The way you blend history and narrative with an eye to plucking our heartstrings... this is probably my favorite TL I've come across in a very long time. Hopefully, we get to see much more of the travails and triumphs of Sarawak.
 
Narrative update: The meeting of Islams in Cairo
cairo.jpg


Cairo, Khedivate of Egypt (Ottoman Empire), 17 December 1906

“So, what do think of the coffee?”

Faris sighed, exasperated at the quizzing. Despite initial misgivings, his friend’s pestering on the newly-discovered coffeehouse was unfortunately well-deserved. “Fine! It was great! The coffee over there was better than our usual spot! There! Are you happy now, Bello? Are you satisfied?”

“Delightedly,” replied Bello, smirking. The curl of his lips was vexing to Faris in the best of times, but now it was just infuriating. “So will you believe me now of what I said about the barber we saw yesterday? Or the carpet merchant at Sekat-al-Badstan?”

Faris frowned. “I still don’t think they are spies working for the French.”

“Says the person who has just said I was right.”

“And so say the person who wants definite evidence before making any conclusions.”

“And so said the person who has done so, and is now agreeing with me on my good taste.”

“You are impossible.” Faris sighed again, though without any bite. Since his arrival in Cairo, he never expected his fellow roommate would be so… Bello, with his crooked smile and joking demeanour filling up the spaces between the academic and religious life of Al-Azhar. More than once, Faris wondered how his studious family would react to such a person vising the household. Though they and everyone back home may be more surprised at his skin.

At that moment, the rough surface of worn pavement revealed itself as the sun’s rays shone past the walls and obstacles that characterized Cairo’s Old City. The main road already? I thought it’d be farther off. Squinting their eyes at the sudden glare, both he and his friend turned their strides to follow down the thoroughfare back to the university. All around him, Faris could see the city’s life and colour swarming chaotically around the street; evening is settling, and the dusky light of the hours basked the high minarets and innumerable apartments with a golden glow. All around, shops and coffeehouses brimmed with choosy shoppers and tired workers; A few ways down the road, a group of street boys with baklavas in their hands sprinted off into an alleyway, followed closely after by a harried baker whom shouted after them in accented Arabic, “You insolent children!”.

What a city.

Despite staying for over a year, Faris still found himself feeling unmoored at his new surroundings. He once thought he had braced himself fully to expect the unexpected, especially since he was the first from his town to actually journey from Sarawak to Cairo to further his Islamic education. But preparing oneself and experiencing oneself are two very different states; nothing in the books or travelogues described to Faris just how different Cairo was. His childhood was filled with trees that stretched to the skies; Cairo was surrounded by bone-dry landscapes. Up close, the city seemed like an endless labyrinth of roads and neighbourhoods, pell-mell with obstacles and overflowing with uncounted centuries of history. In any other place, the remains of the Fir’auns [1] standing close to saintly tombs and centuries-old houses would look unnatural, but here it seemed they all somehow fit amongst each another, like differing forms of life melding to form a living forest.

The people, too, were as different from his homeland of Sarawak as they could be: Bedouins and Arabs and dark-skinned Africans all milling about. There were the Cairenes whom navigate the dizzying roads and pathways like scrambling ants, the Khedives and Turkish officials whom seem to place themselves above the crowd, and the Europeans and Americans that looked as if they had plopped in from a different world altogether.

And the heat! And the cold! Why did no one ever mention the blasting heat and cold!?

“Now that’s settled,” His partner’s voice interrupting Faris’ musing, “Would you please consider what I asked this morning?”

Oh. “The Hajj or the Umrah?”

“Both.”

“Bello…” Now Faris was exasperated, but for a different reason. “You know I said I have to think about it for a while–"

“Well, is there any chance you can think sooner? All us Sokotans are already starting to think about food and accommodations, and the papers already report how the Suez and the Red Sea are safe enough for pilgrim travel again. I really want you with us, Faris. It’ll be the pilgrimage of a lifetime!”

“But…” the Sarawakian’s heart was now beating along with their footsteps. “It’s not that I don’t want to go, but–” But how could everyone see…? And as he thought that, he could almost feel again the sharp pricks on his upper arm, and how his shoulders are marked with a permanent sign of home.

But Faris’ words stopped upon a large shout that came from down the street. “Did you hear that?”

“What’s going on?” Bello craned his neck. A small commotion was forming near the Al-Hussein mosque, and it seemed to be centered around…

“…Oh no.” Not him…


********************

cairo - anger.jpg


Zaghoul was becoming furious.

It was one thing to see that man again, after weeks of trying to avoid him and his tiresome cohorts for the sake of his sanity. Now, the person of his anger was not just delivering a speech in front of a crowd, but the man was doing so in front of his favourite coffeehouse! The gall of him!

“…and that is why, no matter what, we must support the Turks through and through in this war. If not for them, then for ourselves–”

Zaghoul barked out, “How many times do we have to tell you!?” Pushing his way through the throng, he focused his glare on the Acehnese student. “The Khedive and the Turks don’t give a stinking damn about improving our livelihoods! Have you not seen the state of our public services? Or the poverty out in the fields?”

“Oh, you again.” The man known as Hasan di Tiro remarked, looking as if Zaghoul was some insolent pet that needed a scolding. “Then I wonder how you cannot see the canal works near Alexandria, or the new railways from here to Khartoum and to the Holy Cities, or the–“

“What! And you think a few ditches and railroads are good enough reasons to follow our dear Ahmad Rifaat and glorious Abdulhamid? [2]” Zaghoul would have laughed if he weren’t so frustrated. In all his past arguments with Hasan, he had a feeling that the student had a one-track mind. “I can’t believe I am repeating this again, but haven’t you wondered exactly what is paying for all these new things? Foreign loans! The pashas are so defunct they can’t even deign to use their purses to help us all!”

But with that last line, the Cairene instantly saw his opponent’s face twisting into a snarl. “Liar! Almost every railroad and canal that is recently built is funded from Egypt itself! I suppose someone like you is too proud and hard-headed to actually ask the government on whether they are spending correctly to help local Egyptians. You know, Zaghoul Effendi–” Hasan di Tiro seemed to spit out that particular Turkish-derived word. “–if it weren’t for the fact that you oppose the Italians now pushing into Egypt, I would have thought of you as the perfect example of something truly vile: a traitor.”

Around him, the crowd murmured and gasped, but Zaghoul couldn’t hear them above the pounding of blood now pushing through his ears. “YOU SON OF A WHORE!! Me, a traitor!? I want this land of Egypt to prosper and bloom! I want this city to be the ornament of this world! I want us, the actual Egyptians of Egypt, to stand tall and hold our heads high! And if you think chaining ourselves to the roiling Turkish empire is our path to that, than you. are. insane!”

And speaking of which…Considering that you came from Aceh, why do you care so much for the damn Turks anyways!?”

Because this roiling Turkish empire is the reason I am here!” To his surprise, tears were falling down Hasan’s anger-masked face. “Can you and your nationalists, for one single second, stop thinking about yourselves and Egypt and see just how much the Turks and this Ottoman Empire gives hope to us foreign Muslims!? When the Dutch took over my Aceh, Abdulhamid was the only person who cared enough to act! When no one else came to help us, he ordered his navy to protect our home! [3] The reason why I am here, shouting to you, is because Abdulhamid gave funds to promising students to study here to help my nation! This Empire of Islam is the reason why my family isn’t in the Afterworld, and every day I thank God and our Prophet that they stood up for us when no one did!”

Realizing how his voice was breaking, Hasan took a few deep breaths before wiping off the tears. “I don’t understand why you want this hopeful force to perish, Zaghoul Effendi, and I don’t think I ever will.”

The crowd murmured again, and Zaghoul realized that, for all their past encounters, only now have they come to heart of the matter. And he found it… uncomfortable. “I can see that, so let me say now that I wish I could share your sentiment. I really do. But I can’t. This Empire of Islam may have been kind to you, but what about the Serbs? The Greeks? The Armenians and Bulgarians and our own Copts? These people have suffered and starved and are killed by all that is happening! Have they seen any of the compassion that fucking Abdulhamid has for you and your Aceh!? I’m sorry, I really am, but I cannot see how the Turks and their empire can be anything but hopeful.”

“But that is why we must stand beside them now!” Hasan di Tiro seemed to recover fast from his emotional outburst. “I have never said that they are perfect, but that’s why we must now make our voices heard! This empire needs reform, not revolution! And you ask about the Christians, so let me ask back on one thing: how do you feel about the Russians and what they have done to the Caucasian Muslims?”

Murmurs of agreement filtered through the crowd, and despite the anger rising within him again, Zaghoul could hear a nearby Circassian muttering, “He has a point.” A point? Have none of them all ever seen how incompetent are the officials are when dealing with complaints!? Some reform!

“It is times like these that we, the Ummah, must stand together and unite against foreign threats!” Hasan now addresses the crowd. “And internal foes, too. Whomsoever who seeks a break with the Turkish order must be revealed for the hard-hearted hypocrites that they are!”

HYPOCRITES!?

Zaghoul didn’t answer Hasan’s bite this time. His fist did it for him.


********************

cairo - night.jpg


“Are you still thinking about what happened?”

“…No.” But from the tone alone, Bello knew his companion was lying.

The student from Sokoto checked the flow of the gaslight and settled in. Night has fallen, and ancient Cairo now shone with lights streaming from a million windows and doorways. The two had avoided the chaotic fight that ensued, but the words of the arguers seemed to follow the pair for the rest of the evening. Faris in particular seemed more affected by the argument; the creases on his forehead remained visible to Bello for a long while afterwards.

Now, in their rooms, the spectacle of the Acehnese student and the Egyptian nationalist seemed to cloak the very air. With the bathroom door open, Bello saw this friend standing bare-chested before the mirror, curiously fingering his upper arms.

Though not meeting his eyes, he knew whom the next sentence was concerned to. “I sometimes wonder, you know… that student from Aceh always liked to argue. About Islam, the Ummah… but also for reform. For purity.”

Bello looked on. On Faris’s upper right arm was a scrawling pattern, inked black onto his skin. Curved spikes and rounded whorls snaked across the limb, with the design of a flower colouring the area of skin near the collarbones. Despite the dim lighting, Bello could see the same pattern was repeated on his friend’s left arm, permanently signifying his true heritage as a son of the jungle. [4]

Bello had never seen anything like it.

“I wonder if Hasan, or his friends… or even that Egyptian man. I wonder what they would think of… people like me?”

Many months ago, he had stumbled upon Faris in an emergency, and so saw his partner without any shirt on. After the initial surprise, Faris took him to the chairs and slowly explained, haltingly, of where he truly came from. Unlike the Arabs of Egypt, he and his community grew up on a faraway island, near the eastern end of the world. He once lived near an unending forest so green and watered and alive, a single tree could have a thousand shrubs and trees growing on its branches. [5] Then he explained the significance of … skin-inking … that his people scrawled all over his upper arms – “protection,” Faris said, “From the harms of life. These flowers? They mark the moment I am journeying to the wider world.”

From his quivering tone and halting actions, Bello realized his dear companion was actually afraid of how he would react to such a sight.

He silenced that doubt by embracing the man afterwards.

He pretended not to hear the small sob that came out of Faris’s lips.

Now, Bello wondered whether this is why his friend is so hesitant to perform the pilgrimage with him. [6]

“What do you think would they say?” Faris’s eyes seemed to hold an abyss of uncertainty.

Bello wondered, then said the first thing that came to mind. “I think you’ll make them so speechless, we all can stuff rags down their throats to stop them shouting their mouths off.”

That brought out a smile. “Do you think there’s room in their pipes for something bigger?”

But as Bello returned to bed, he wondered on the nature of his companion. With the Great World War being as it is, more and more students across Cairo are having their own thoughts on what should be done about it. The Acehnese students under Hasan di Tiro are getting louder and louder, espousing how everyone must support the Ottoman sultan and caliph in the name of Islam. Meanwhile, a growing group of Egyptians are adamant that such events shouldn’t be Egypt’s problem, and that total freedom is a right to all peoples, even under their arch-empires.

But… what would that mean for Faris?

What do caliphs and unities and purities and Islam would mean for a man like Faris Rahun? Someone who lived in a place where rains are eternal, life is boundless, faith is fluid, and where the trees grow taller than the tallest minarets of Cairo? [A] Or he himself, Ahmadu Bello, who comes from a land where many peoples have their own ways of culture and faith that skirt Islamic purity, and whom are also under threat from European ambitions. And we have our own caliph, as well. I wonder how Hasan and that Cairene man will feel for another Commander of the Faithful.

As sleep crept up to him, Bello wondered if the Ummah of the radical Acehnese or Egyptians have room for people like them.


____________________


Notes:

And here we have one of most important updates in this timeline, for it confronts everyone with the paradox of the Muslim world and how should they all proceed. All in all, I’m not… exactly happy with this update, if only because I feel it’s not polished enough when compared to my previous interlude. But in any case, it’s better to have something be finished than rather be perfect.

If there is one thing I wish more Islamic timelines delve deeper into, it’s the interaction, discussion, and confrontation between different Muslims whom all share the same faith, yet are wildly diverse in how they lived, understood, and practiced it, as well as how politically different they are. There have been a number of mentions before regarding Sarawak’s syncretic brand of Islam, but never a comprehensive dive into the faith. And there was once a discussion regarding whether foreign Muslims are more aligned to the Grand Turk, but there wasn’t a deep dive into the subject either.

Well, we’re slowly diving into both topics in the future.

[A] An interesting side-note here: the tallest minarets of medieval Cairo are those of the Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan Hassan, which rises to a height of 68 meters. This puts them around the same average height of the Borneo rainforest’s upper canopy (60-75 meters). However, not even Sultan Hassan’s minarets can compare to that of the Yellow Meranti tree in Sabah, which can grow to an astonishing height of 100 meters, greatly overshooting Sultan Hassan’s minarets and making them the world’s tallest known flowering plants!

And yes, there will be a juxtaposition in this timeline’s future between Arabia, Islam, and the desert, and to Borneo, syncretism, and the tropical rainforest.

EDIT: Made some changes after a dive into the lunar calendar for 1906. Whoops.


1. Fir’auns = Pharaohs.

2. “our dear Ahmad Rifaat and glorious Abdulhamid?” = The current Khedive of Egypt is Ahmad Rifaat Pasha, whom survived the car float accident of 1858 and became khedive, though he is getting very old and might not make it till the end of the decade. Same goes for Abdulhamid (II).

3. See post #853 for the Aceh War and Sultan Abdulhamid II’s reaction.

4. I’ll try to link up the source if I can find it, but I distinctly remember reading somewhere that early accounts of Sarawak revealed how many Islamized Dayaks still continued practicing traditional customs that contravened the faith, such as fermenting rice wine and even raising and eating pigs! Faris Rahun is a creation of this syncretism; a youth who’s family is both Muslim in faith and Dayak in culture. To visualize Faris’s tattoos, here’s an example of a Dayak student bearing them while being taught in school.

5. Today, we call these plants epiphytes. Found most abundantly in tropical rainforests, a single tree can house dozens of different plant species along its trunk and branches.

6. Anyone who has performed the Umrah or Hajj knows this, but in a nutshell: when conducting a pilgrimage in Makkah, the pilgrim must only wear unknotted and unstitched cloth that is wrapped and draped around the body, especially on the upper half. When circumambulating the Kaa’ba, male pilgrims must expose their upper right arm and shoulders, align the exposed limb to the Kaa’ba in greeting, and walk counter-clockwise seven times.

For Faris Rahun, this poses a problem, because doing so would expose his upper arms – and thus, his tribal tattoos – to the world, and as anyone whom has been on the receiving end of a scolding from some religious conservative could attest to, there’s a chance Faris would not be received warmly by the Makkans or the other pilgrims.
 
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Pan-Islam, a silent and conflicting cries in the mist of chaos. Seeing how well Brunei 'condition' in this tl, i'm worried about the fate of that movement.

But yeah, great job author as always.
 
Probobly one of the most intimate updates on this thread. Thank you for showing such a unique perspective.
'Intimate' is precisely the word. I found this quite touching.
But yeah, great job author as always.
Thank you! My plan for a confrontation between competing ideologies was laid for months before this update, but I wasn’t intentionally planning for this piece to be intimate. But as the idea grew, I couldn’t help but wonder exactly how Sarawakians will think of this clash of ideas/feelings/emotions, plus my experiences at Makkah sealing the need for a closer introspection between the Islamic east and west.

As a result, the whole piece (especially with Faris and Bello) ended up a lot more raw and intimate due to all those perspectives.


Pan-Islam, a silent and conflicting cries in the mist of chaos. Seeing how well Brunei 'condition' in this tl, i'm worried about the fate of that movement.
Pan-Islamism is going to be a mindbender ITTL. The idea of a unified Ummah that could withstand colonialism and western influence is a powerful one, but it’s also an idea that opens a LOT of uncomfortable questions that TTL's nations couldn't ignore: What does it mean to be united? Does it mean supporting peoples that have done horrible things? Or Muslims who don’t feel like Muslims to you and me? (Borneo, India, and Papua will get this hard).

And then there’s the grayer and less-clear areas related to Pan-Islamism: What about the non-Muslims that live by the millions in Islamic states? What would Pan-Islamism mean for them? And what about the cultures and peoples whom blend Islam with traditional beliefs and practices and rituals? What would this ideology mean for them? What about the rules against compulsion vs. the need to mass-coordinate processes, events, and results?

Now, this does not mean that Pan-Islamism is dead ITTL. In fact, the interactions between so many different peoples may result in an alternate Pan-Islamist movement later on. But with all that's happened, it would be a different movement for Pan-Islam, and so different that we may as well call them alien, and maybe so alien that some Muslims will be against Pan-Islamism for being so alien.


The Clunies-Ross family might make a good marriage match? They are British with their own little kingdom out in the middle of the Indian Ocean in the Cocos (Keeling)islands? I think King Ross IV was unmarried at this stage. And he would have been familiar with Malay culture as he had many Malay workers (slaves?) on his plantations on the islands




Goddamn you.

DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH I ENJOYED CACKLING AT YOU ALL FROM BEHIND THE SCREEN? I WAS SO CLOSE TO SCREAMING OUT LOUD ‘YOU WILL NEVEEERR FIND OUT!’. YOU VILE, INSIGNIFICANT WORM. MAY ALL THE PLAGUES OF HEAVEN WASH UPON YOU AND SHOVE THEMSELVES UP YOUR A–

Nah, just kidding. Here, have a cake for being the first person in months – since I first got the marriage ball rolling, actually – to actually guess correctly. XD
 
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The past two updates are absolutely lovely. The feeling of being torn in two, where to fit in, you must deny part of yourself, or you must accept yourself and then deny others... I rarely feel emotional while reading these timelines, but these updates have been a great exception. The fact that you have been able to weave in the wider political story into this narrative is really quite something else. Thank you.
 
This Zaghloul, I assume? I imagine that Egyptian nationalism will play out differently ITTL, playing out against an Ottomanist counter-nationalism rather than a British occupation. In fact, I wonder if the Egyptian nationalist movement might end up mostly Coptic.

Pan-Islamism - yes, I can see many internal conflicts. OTOH, this is taking place at a time when Salafism was still a minor ideology in the Arabian Peninsula and when the neo-revivalist movements were still in the future; the dominant ideology of al-Azhar is still Islamic Modernism at this point, and I assume there is also influence from the Central Asian jadidists, the modernists in Turkey and the Balkans, and in this wider-reaching empire, Malays and West Africans. Ottoman cosmopolitanism may well kick off an earlier rise of strict neo-revivalism; OTOH, there might also be earlier thinkers along the lines of Fahmi Huwaydi (an Islamist who argued that non-Muslims should be full citizens of the state), and the Ottoman state institutions will probably favor the more liberal theologies simply because those better suit the realities of running a multi-ethnic empire. It will be interesting to see how it comes out.
 




Goddamn you.

DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH I ENJOYED CACKLING AT YOU ALL FROM BEHIND THE SCREEN? I WAS SO CLOSE TO SCREAMING OUT LOUD ‘YOU WILL NEVEEERR FIND OUT!’. YOU VILE, INSIGNIFICANT WORM. MAY ALL THE PLAGUES OF HEAVEN WASH UPON YOU AND SHOVE THEMSELVES UP YOUR A–

Nah, just kidding. Here, have a cake for being the first person in months – since I first got the marriage ball rolling, actually – to actually guess correctly. XD
The mystery is solved, and I have learned something new....i feel relieved for some reason
 
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