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Cairo ContestedGovernance, Urban Space, and Global Modernity$
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Diane Singerman

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9789774162886

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774162886.001.0001

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Extract from Diary Marginal Notes on the Soft Dialectics of Historic Cairo

Extract from Diary Marginal Notes on the Soft Dialectics of Historic Cairo

Chapter:
(p.235) 8 Extract from Diary Marginal Notes on the Soft Dialectics of Historic Cairo
Source:
Cairo Contested
Author(s):

Diane Singerman

Publisher:
American University in Cairo Press
DOI:10.5743/cairo/9789774162886.003.0009

This chapter examines some of the paradoxes, turf battles, opaque government policies, and weak governance through the saga of one nineteenth-century building in al-Darb al-Ahmar, as one of its tenants tries to save the building from the owner's bureaucratic and legal strategy to demolish it and build a new commercial building in its place. It explains the formal history of Cairo. It also addresses the socioeconomic dimension and governance as a missing element. The tale of 5, al-Qirabiya is similar to other dramas that take place on a daily basis in thousands of other buildings in Cairo. Despite the conflict between planning and conservation practices and theories, where Historic Cairo was a battlefield for this conflict, these two concepts, despite their contradictions, agreed on one thing. Planning and conservation came to a silent agreement to ignore and neglect “ordinary” buildings along with their occupants, even though they constitute the urban fabric of the cities.

Keywords:   Historic Cairo, al-Darb al-Ahmar, building, urban fabric, governance, government policies, planning, conservation

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