1st Edition

Living with Diabetes and Uncertainty in Cairo Sweetness Under Pressure

By Mille Kjærgaard Thorsen Copyright 2023

    Living with Diabetes and Uncertainty in Cairo offers an ethnographic exploration of the interactions of two different understandings of type-2 diabetes: one related to the notion of ḍaghṭ, translated as “pressure” or “stress,” and another related primarily to obesity. The book is set in Egypt but draws links to a diabetes clinic in Denmark and a multinational medical company, as well as engaging with international diabetes research and guidelines. It tells a story of uncertainty, not only among people in Cairo, but also within medical research, and considers what uncertainty may generate in both bodies and societies at large. The chapters provide valuable insight into the lives of those in Cairo who are diagnosed with type-2 diabetes, and explore how those lives are linked to global movements. The book ultimately reflects on the question of what is overlooked and why in prevention strategies and treatments of type-2 diabetes in Egypt. It will be of particular interest to scholars of anthropology, global and public health, and the Middle East and North Africa.


    1. Introduction
    2. Laughter
    3. Food
    4. Drugs
    5. Care
    6. Novo
    7. Final Notes



    Mille Kjærgaard Thorsen is an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at VIA University College in Aarhus, Denmark, where she teaches and conducts research in the cross-fields of health and social studies. She holds a PhD from the Department of Anthropology at Aarhus University.