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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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Cairo as Global/Regional Cultural Capital?

Cairo as Global/Regional Cultural Capital?

(p.153) 4 Cairo as Global/Regional Cultural Capital?
Cairo Cosmopolitan

Said Sadek

American University in Cairo Press

This chapter illustrates that some aspects of Cairo's traditional cultural prominence in the Arab world have been transformed in the context of technological innovation, pan-regional diversification, and the proliferation of new forms of consumerism. It asserts that Cairo's rich cultural traditions, which once dominated the Arab world, remain strong though now drained by political, social, and economic constraints at home, and by competition from emerging Arab cultural capitals. This needs to be interpreted in Egypt not as unhealthy competition but as a source for enriching and democratizing Cairo's culture and Arab culture in general. The transformation can be traced back to the 1967 defeat of Arab military forces by Israel. Using interviews and statistics, the chapter shows, empirically, that the presumed decline of Cairo as a global/regional cultural capital is debatable.

Keywords:   Cairo, culture, technological innovation, pan-regional diversification, consumerism, Arab world, cultural capitals, competition

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