Cairo: A Cultural History (Cityscapes Series)

Overview

Foreword by Penelope Lively Cairo is a city of extremes. On its chaotic streets BMWs driven by sharp-suited businessmen compete for space with donkey carts laden with farm produce. In its mosques the wealthy and the destitute pray side by side. The largest metropolis in Africa since the Middle Ages, it was in Ibn Battutah's words "the mother of cities." With a present-day population of around eighteen million, this sprawling metropolis is home to one thousand new migrants every day, drawn to the seething ...

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Overview

Foreword by Penelope Lively Cairo is a city of extremes. On its chaotic streets BMWs driven by sharp-suited businessmen compete for space with donkey carts laden with farm produce. In its mosques the wealthy and the destitute pray side by side. The largest metropolis in Africa since the Middle Ages, it was in Ibn Battutah's words "the mother of cities." With a present-day population of around eighteen million, this sprawling metropolis is home to one thousand new migrants every day, drawn to the seething intensity of a modern, cosmopolitan capital that blends together the cultures of the Middle East and Europe. The fabled city on the banks of the River Nile, once home to pharaohs and emperors, now forms a focal point of the Islamic faith and of the Arab world. Andrew Beattie explores the turbulent past and vibrant present of this city where the enduring legacies of the ancient Egyptians, the early Coptic Church, British colonial rule and the modernist zeal of the post-independence era have all left their mark. — CITY OF WRITERS, CONQUERORS AND REVOLUTIONARIES: From Mark Twain and William Thackeray to Paul Theroux and Naguib Mahfouz, Alexander the Great to Napoleon, and Lawrence of Arabia to Colonel Nasser. — CITY OF MONUMENTS AND SPECTACLE: From the Pyramids of Giza and Saqqara to the Mosque of Mohammed Ali; from the teeming bazaars of the muski to Coptic and Islamic festivals. — CITY OF ANCIENT AND MODERN: Where ancient churches and mosques sit cheek-by-jowl with modern skyscrapers and busy highways; where prosperous suburbs lie close to areas of third world poverty and deprivation.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The city of Cairo has long been recognized as the epicenter of Egyptian culture. Today, Cairo's influence goes well beyond Egypt, as evidenced by the city's role as a trailblazer in Arab sociopolitical and cultural developments. The author of several travel books (e.g., Syria), Beattie here offers a highly readable cultural history of Cairo. Although several travel books on Cairo are available for Western audiences, this engaging book is something else, ranking as one of the best and most intellectually stimulating studies of the city. Readers will feel that they are walking through Cairo's myriad neighborhoods and surveying its cultural landmarks. Likewise, Cairo's heterogeneity and its many religious faiths come alive in these pages. Complementing similar books, such as Andr Raymond's Cairo: City of History and Max Rodenbeck's Cairo: The City Victorious, this book is highly recommended for all public libraries.-Nader Entessar, Spring Hill Coll., Mobile, AL Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195178920
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 10/1/2004
  • Series: Cityscapes Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 8.10 (w) x 5.40 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrew Beattie has traveled widely in the Arab and Islamic worlds, from Morocco to Borneo, and has written for Rough Guides and the Independent on Sunday.

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Table of Contents

Introduction : the view from the tower 1
Pt. 1 Pharaonic Cairo 7
Pt. 2 Christian and Jewish Cairo 62
Pt. 3 Islamic Cairo 87
Pt. 4 Colonial Cairo 141
Pt. 5 Towards the twenty-first century city 194
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