Keywords: Fatimid empire, Diversity, Governance, Imam-caliph al-Mu'izz, Imam-caliph al-Aziz, Egypt, Cairo, Egyptian Christianity,Towards a Shi�i Mediterranean Empire, Arts of the City Victorious
Abstract: The unfolding of the recent, people-led demonstrations across the Middle East brings to the fore the perennial question of what constitutes good governance and how the quest for good order is to be fulfilled. One way to respond to this question is to examine models of authority and leadership which Muslims themselves have crafted through the course of their millennial historical experience and to consider their relevance to the contemporary discourse on governance. This article focuses on illustrating one such model which the Fatimid dynasty, the founders of Cairo, instituted upon their arrival in Egypt in 969 CE.
Dr Shainool Jiwa is the Head of Constituency Studies and a Senior Research Fellow at The Institute of Ismaili Studies. Prior to this, she was the Head of the Department of Community Relations from 2005 to 2012. She was also the founding coordinator of the Qur’anic Studies Project at the IIS (2002-2005).