Download Cairo: Histories of a City by Nezar AlSayyad PDF

By Nezar AlSayyad

From its earliest days as a royal payment fronting the pyramids of Giza to its present manifestation because the greatest city in Africa, Cairo has without end captured the city pulse of the center East. In Cairo: Histories of a City, Nezar AlSayyad narrates the numerous Cairos that experience existed all through time, providing a wide ranging view of the city’s heritage unrivaled in temporal and geographic scope, via an in-depth exam of its structure and concrete form.

In twelve vignettes, followed by way of drawings, pictures, and maps, AlSayyad information the shifts in Cairo’s outfitted setting via tales of significant figures who marked the cityscape with their own pursuits and their political ideologies. town is visually reconstructed and taken to lifestyles not just as a actual cloth but additionally as a social and political order—a urban equipped inside of, upon, and over, leading to a present-day richly layered city setting. each one bankruptcy makes an attempt to trap a defining second within the lifestyles trajectory of a urban enjoyed for all of its evocations and contradictions. all through, AlSayyad illuminates not just the areas that make up Cairo but additionally the figures that formed them, together with its chroniclers, from Herodotus to Mahfouz, who recorded the deeds of significant and traditional Cairenes alike. He can pay specific recognition to how the imperatives of Egypt's a number of rulers and regimes—from the pharaohs to Sadat and beyond—have inscribed themselves within the urban that citizens navigate today.

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AlSayyad provides a deeply an expert but hugely own account of the city's heritage in its a number of reincarnations--from Memphis, the 1st capital of united top and decrease Egypt, based by means of the Pharaoh Menes round 3100 B.C., to the present...The e-book is profusely illustrated with maps and pictures, such a lot of them taken through AlSayyad himself. They upload vastly to the price of the textual content, bringing the descriptions of structures and streets alive with colour. simply because the textual content narrates the historical past of Cairo from a private standpoint, the images point out the perspective of the photographer up to they illustrate the textual content. a few are usual photographs of constructions usual to a person who has visited and walked round Cairo. the easiest comprise the folk of the town and their courting to its ancient monuments...[This is] a booklet of magisterial scope. those that plan to go to Cairo should still learn this e-book first. those that have visited frequently or lived there for years will locate new appreciations for facets of town they understand, in addition to beneficial properties they by no means formerly encountered. --Joel Beinin, San Francisco Chronicle

AlSayyad's e-book, a colourful sweep of over 3,000 years of city and architectural background, is as a lot a brief family tree of Cairo's many commentators and portraitists because it is of its constructions. He narrates a vast heritage of city improvement from the Pharaonic capital of Memphis, "the first Cairo," at the Nile's west financial institution, to the Ptolemaic, Roman-Byzantine and Arab-Islamic towns that built on best of and adjoining to one another at the river's east financial institution. each one bankruptcy starts off at an iconic Cairo landmark and tells a heritage of the building's period, bringing in either neighboring structure and modern voices. --Frederick Deknatel, The National

About the Author
Nezar AlSayyad is Professor of structure, making plans and concrete historical past, and Chair of the heart for center jap experiences on the college of California, Berkeley.

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Sample text

In religious terms, the Copts also opposed what they believed to be the heretic beliefs of the Malekites (also known as the Chalcedonians from the time of the Council in Chalcedon). 15 In an attempt to unify the empire, Emperor Heraclius tried to impose a new doctrine that decreed that Christ—as the Son of God—had two natures, human and divine, but that he had only one will and one energy. The position became known as the monothelite doctrine. 16 To enforce the new doctrine, Cyrus was forced to engage in severe persecution of the Copts.

However, ‘Amr was soon reappointed military commander, and he took back the city from the Byzantine army without any difficulty. 21 The Arab military conquest had come during a time of deep political and ethnic conflict among the Egyptian population. In hindsight, it is possible to argue that the religious schism engendered by the debates in the ecumenical councils ultimately allowed for the transformation of Egypt into a Muslim nation. Scholars also believe the Arab conquest would have been impossible without the capture of the fortress at Babylon.

A private, government-supported group of prominent Egyptians and resident Europeans, it claimed responsibility for the protection and conservation of the historic monuments of Cairo. The Comité was in charge of creating an inventory of these monuments and of evaluating the degree of care needed to preserve and restore ailing buildings. Coptic participation in the Comité began when Simaika and others argued that Cairo’s Coptic monuments should also be placed under the Comité’s jurisdiction. This constituted an important political step toward integrating the built heritage of the Coptic community with that of the rest of the Egyptian nation.

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