Cairo: Histories of a City

Cairo: Histories of a City

by Nezar AlSayyad
     
 

ISBN-10: 0674047869

ISBN-13: 9780674047860

Pub. Date: 05/31/2011

Publisher: Harvard University Press

From its earliest days as a royal settlement fronting the pyramids of Giza to its current manifestation as the largest metropolis in Africa, Cairo has forever captured the urban pulse of the Middle East. In Cairo: Histories of a City, Nezar AlSayyad narrates the many Cairos that have existed throughout time, offering a panoramic view of the city’s

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Overview

From its earliest days as a royal settlement fronting the pyramids of Giza to its current manifestation as the largest metropolis in Africa, Cairo has forever captured the urban pulse of the Middle East. In Cairo: Histories of a City, Nezar AlSayyad narrates the many Cairos that have existed throughout time, offering a panoramic view of the city’s history unmatched in temporal and geographic scope, through an in-depth examination of its architecture and urban form.

In twelve vignettes, accompanied by drawings, photographs, and maps, AlSayyad details the shifts in Cairo’s built environment through stories of important figures who marked the cityscape with their personal ambitions and their political ideologies. The city is visually reconstructed and brought to life not only as a physical fabric but also as a social and political order—a city built within, upon, and over, resulting in a present-day richly layered urban environment. Each chapter attempts to capture a defining moment in the life trajectory of a city loved for all of its evocations and contradictions. Throughout, AlSayyad illuminates not only the spaces that make up Cairo but also the figures that shaped them, including its chroniclers, from Herodotus to Mahfouz, who recorded the deeds of great and ordinary Cairenes alike. He pays particular attention to how the imperatives of Egypt's various rulers and regimes—from the pharaohs to Sadat and beyond—have inscribed themselves in the city that residents navigate today.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674047860
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
05/31/2011
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

Related Subjects

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Preamble: Reading and Writing Cairo xiii

Road Map xvii

1 Memphis: The First Cairo 1

2 From Ancient Egypt to the Coptic Enclave 19

3 Fustat-Misr: The City of Arab Islam 39

4 Al-Qahira: A Fatimid Palatial Town 55

5 Fortress Cairo: From Salah al-Din to the Pearl Tree 77

6 The Bahri Mamluks: The City of the Slave Sultans 93

7 Governing from the Tower: The Burji Mamluks 117

8 A Provincial Capital under Ottoman Rule 149

9 A Changing City: From Napoleon to Muhammad Ali 171

10 Modernizing the New, Medievalizing the Old: The City of the Khedive 199

11 The Arab Republic and the City of Nasser 229

12 Escaping the Present, Consuming the Past 255

Appendix: Notes on Transliteration and Dates 281

Glossary 283

Endnotes 289

Figures and Credits 313

Index 317

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