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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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Urban TransformationsSocial

Urban TransformationsSocial

Control at Al-rifa′i and Sultan Hasan Square

(p.295) 10 Urban TransformationsSocial
Cairo Cosmopolitan

Yasser Elsheshtawy

American University in Cairo Press

This chapter tells the story of the al-Rifa'i Mosque/Sultan Hasan Square located in an area of Cairo known as al-Khalifa at the foot of the Citadel. The space has undergone extensive transformations that are symptomatic of changing circumstances within Cairo, and were in turn a response to various globalizing tendencies, particularly the privatization of public space and the exclusion of certain undesired segments of the population. While this pedestrianization effort was carried out primarily to cater to the needs of tourism, the space was nevertheless “taken over” by people from the surrounding community. It became a popular hangout for the elderly and the retired, teenagers, women, and children—it truly became a people's space. The Supreme Council of Antiquities authorities grew alarmed by this and surrounded the entire area with a fence and two gates.

Keywords:   al-Rifa'i Mosque, Sultan Hasan Square, Cairo, as al-Khalifa, privatization, public space, pedestrianization, Supreme Council of Antiquities

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