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....
|Title||:||Cairo: Histories of a City|
|Publisher||:||Belknap Press First Edition edition May 13, 2013|
|Number of Pages||:||352 pages|
|File Size||:||669 KB|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Cairo: Histories of a City Reviews
AlSayyad facilitates understanding of Cairo's long history by focusing discussion of historical epochs on corresponding districts, edifices, and architecture. Treatment of the eventful medieval and early modern periods is especially rewarding. The whirlwind evolution of Cairo since I spent a year there during '83-'84 (when there were merely some 10 million inhabitants) has produced a place that, I'm sure, I would scarcely recognize. Sic transit. And quid nunc....
Does anyone know the evolution of Egypt's eternal city better than Nezar AlSayyad? He has written books about Cairo before, "The Streets of Islamic Cairo" in the first flush of infatuation in 1981 and "Cities and Caliphs" in 1991 as his blind love ended. Now, we get AlSayyad's fond but clear-eyed expertise on his city when it is most needed to understand the revolution in process. The histories quickly move through Memphis, ancient Egypt and the Coptic Enclave to expand on the city of the Fatimids, Mamluks, Ottomans.
It's a surprise birthday present for me that I don't know about, but I bet I'll enjoy it. :-)
This book is on the Rorotoko list. Professor AlSayyad's interview on "Cairo" ran as the Rorotoko Cover Feature on August 31, 2011 (and can be read in the Rorotoko archive).