Cairo

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Harvard University Press, 2011 - Architecture - 325 pages
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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‚e(tm)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‚e(tm)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‚e"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‚e"from the pharaohs to Sadat and beyond‚e"have inscribed themselves in the city that residents navigate today.

 

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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 ... Read full review

Contents

The First Cairo
1
2 From Ancient Egypt to the Coptic Enclave
19
The City of Arab Islam
39
A Fatimid Palatial Town
55
From Salah alDin to the Pearl Tree
77
The City of the Slave Sultans
93
The Burji Mamluks
117
8 A Provinvial Capital under Ottoman Rule
149
The City of the Khedive
199
11 The Arab Republic and the City of Nasser
229
12 Escaping the Present Consuming the Past
255
Notes on Transliteration and Dates
281
Glossary
283
Endnotes
289
Figures and Credits
313
Index
317

From Napoleon to Muhammad Ali
171

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