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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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The Giza Zoo

The Giza Zoo

Reappropriating Public Spaces, Reimagining Urban Beauty

(p.489) 18 The Giza Zoo
Cairo Cosmopolitan

Vincent Battesti

American University in Cairo Press

Urban life in Cairo manages to articulate its own local responses. If some green spaces dot the landscape of the city and its suburban area, it is the not-peripheral (and quite green) zoo that the popular classes adore, especially during holidays. The popular passion for the zoo and the way it is used today were not defined in the original vision for this park. The Zoological Garden was conceived within the same paradigm as the other gardens of the downtown area. This chapter discusses certain public spaces in Cairo that respond to the imperatives of spatial openness and accessibility, particularly the Giza zoo, with some comparison with the popularly claimed areas of wust al-balad, Cairo's central business district. Both spaces are very much frequented by the popular classes according to specific rhythms. These public spaces are where one goes to amuse oneself in a liberated, disinterested, and hedonistic way.

Keywords:   Cairo, green spaces, Zoological Garden, public spaces, Giza zoo, wust al-balad, spatial openness, accessibility

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