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Cairo CosmopolitanPolitics, Culture, and Urban Space in the New Globalized Middle East$
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Diane Singerman and Paul Amar

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9789774162893

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774162893.001.0001

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Upper Egyptian Regionally Based Communities in Cairo

Upper Egyptian Regionally Based Communities in Cairo

Traditional or Modern Forms of Urbanization?

Chapter:
(p.375) 13 Upper Egyptian Regionally Based Communities in Cairo
Source:
Cairo Cosmopolitan
Author(s):

Catherine Miller

Publisher:
American University in Cairo Press
DOI:10.5743/cairo/9789774162893.003.0014

This chapter analyzes why Upper Egyptians residing in Cairo appear so often as the “internal Other” in the Egyptian media and in the various public narratives. Drawing from the Upper Egyptian case, the chapter investigates the relevance and the strength of regional-based communal networks in the social structuring of pre-modern and contemporary Cairo. Are communal networks/communities the expression of traditional local types of organization or are they the expression of new social constructs, induced by urbanization and migration? These questions raise the issue of identity construction in a modern urban context and echo a longstanding debate concerning the status of “communities” within Middle Eastern cities. Communities, like families, have often been conceived as rather static and specific entities. Like kinship, a regional sense of identity, sometimes known as 'asabiya in the Middle East can be a modern urban social construct.

Keywords:   Upper Egyptians, Cairo, Egypt, media, communal networks, communities, 'asabiya, Middle East

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