Control at Al-rifa′i and Sultan Hasan Square
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.
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