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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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the Siege of Imbaba, Egypt's Internal ‘Other,’ and the Criminalization of Politics

the Siege of Imbaba, Egypt's Internal ‘Other,’ and the Criminalization of Politics

(p.111) 4 the Siege of Imbaba, Egypt's Internal ‘Other,’ and the Criminalization of Politics
Cairo Contested

Diane Singerman

American University in Cairo Press

This chapter explores how and why a large share of Cairo's residents has been deviantized and stigmatized. An answer to this puzzle can only be understood within the context of increased economic, political, and social polarization in Egypt. It starts by presenting the context of the siege of Imbaba. In the five years preceding the siege of Imbaba, the bureaucracy, the state, and the media had finally “discovered” the phenomenon of informal housing areas, despite the fact that millions of lower-class and middle-class people lived in these areas. It also discusses the colonial discourse in new clothes and the constructions of the “other”. Next, the criminalization of politics is explained. The methodology adopted in this chapter, which relies on an analysis of public discourse articulated in the print media, makes it impossible to consider the effect of this discourse on the residents of Imbaba and other informal housing areas.

Keywords:   Imbaba, Cairo, politics, criminalization, bureaucracy, informal housing areas, colonial discourse, public discourse

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