Tuesday, December 23, 2008

curiosity-to-survive fm in cairo: kahire'de altıncı gün

doğu akdeniz'in kutsal üçlüsünü tamamladım çalışkan çocuk olarak.

internet kesildi de dört gün herkes kendini şehre, toplantıya, yüzyüze diyaloglara verdi.

alltimes favorite is:


Cairene new rich followed by the rising middle classes have opted for departing from the centre of Cairo to the satellite cities and the gated walled-off communities in the desert. The American middle class suburban dream—advertised as villas and condominiums with swimming pools, privatised golf tracks, gyms and reinvented Disneyfied landscapes—has been Egyptianised. The urban expansion of the city of Cairo looks more than ever like an expanding huge slum. Wist al-Balad (Downtown) looks like it has been depopulated from its well to do middle classes. Furthermore, a decentralisation of the professional world has been occurring through the recreation of alternative centres such as the Smart Village, Mohandessin, or the recent move of the American University in Cairo. But Downtown Cairo is repopulated in the evenings but sha'abi (popular) youngsters and there are a few endeavours in reclaiming the centre for arts and intellectual life. Would Downtown face a process of gentrification which many European capitals have undergone, or would it simply wither away following the logic of the neo-liberal government's agenda aided by the discourse against 'Ashawaiyyat, as cancer and as an essential evil that has to be removed? This process of eliminating slums, seems to be paring with the idea of erasing history especially if it is a history related to the khawagat culture of the Ismailliyya quarter and Belle Epoque architecture. On the other hand, a nostalgic trend epitomised in Alaa al-Aswani´s Jacoubian Building tells us that the cause is not totally lost. However, the question remains where is the interest of developers? Let us imagine scenarios...

Born in Egypt, Mona Abaza attained a B.A. in Political Science at the American University in Cairo, Egypt, an M.A. in Sociology from University of Durham, UK, in 1986 and a Ph.D from the University of Bielefeld in 1990. Currently, she is associate professor and department chair of Sociology, Anthropology, Egyptology and Psychology at the American University in Cairo. She has been a visiting scholar in Singapore (ISEAS), Kuala Lumpur, Paris (EHESS), Berlin (Wissenschaftskolleg), Leiden (IIAS), Wassenaar (NIAS) and Bellagio (Rockefeller Foundation). Her research interests are religious and cultural networks between the Middle East and Southeast Asia, the Hadhrami diaspora in Southeast Asia and consumer culture in Egypt. Her publications include: Debates on Islam and Knowledge in Malaysia and Egypt, Shifting Worlds, (RoutledgeCurzon Press, UK. 2002); Islamic Education, Perceptions and Exchanges: Indonesian Students in Cairo, (Cahier d'Archipel, 23. EHESS, Paris. 1994); The Changing Image of Women in Rural Egypt, (Cairo Papers in Social Science, The American University in Cairo, 1987). The Changing Consumer Culture of Modern Egypt, Cairo’s Urban Reshaping, (Brill/AUC Press, 2006).

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