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Cairo Cosmopolitan: Politics, Culture, and Urban Space in the New Middle East [Hardcover]

By Diane Singerman (Editor) & Paul Amar (Editor)
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Item description for Cairo Cosmopolitan: Politics, Culture, and Urban Space in the New Middle East by Diane Singerman & Paul Amar...

In the cities of the Arab world, while the media focus overwhelmingly on questions of religiosity and war, the future of urban modernity and political globalism is taking shape. As the Egyptian state reaches out to capture the apparent promises of neoliberalism, Cairenes struggle over and redefine their place, identity, and material welfare. Bringing together a distinguished interdisciplinary group of scholars, this volume explores what happens when new forms of privatization meet collectivist pasts, public space is sold off to satisfy investor needs and tourist gazes, and the state plans for Egypt's future in desert cities while stigmatizing and neglecting Cairo's popular neighborhoods. These dynamics produce surprising contradictions and juxtapositions that are coming to define today's Middle East. Luxury malls owned by the military or foreign investors compete with flourishing but criminalized open-air markets; Nubian, Upper Egyptian and labor-migrant identities confront a renaissance of Arab nationalism; and new chic coffee houses, crumbling movie palaces, and resurgent working-class cultures offer radically clashing versions of public and gender sociability. This volume launches the Cairo School of Urban Studies, committed to fusing political-economy and ethnographic methods and sensitive to ambivalence and contingency, to reveal the new contours and patterns of modern power emerging in the urban frame. Cairo shows us that divergent cosmopolitanisms--both elite and working-class--are emerging across a broad spectrum of the polity, making new claims for political space, recognition, and representation. Contributors: Mona Abaza, Nezar AlSayyad, Paul Amar, Walter Armbrust, Vincent Battesti, Fanny Colonna, Eric Denis, Dalila ElKerdany, Yasser Elsheshtawy, Farha Ghannam, Galila El Kadi, Anouk de Koning, Petra Kuppinger, Anna Madoeuf, Catherine Miller, Nicolas Puig, Said Sadek, Omnia El Shakry, Diane Singerman, Elizabeth A. Smith, Lela Vignal, Caroline Williams.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: American University in Cairo Press
Pages   542
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1.5" Width: 6.5" Height: 9.5"
Weight:   2.35 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Jun 30, 2006
Publisher   American University in Cairo Press
ISBN  9774249283  
ISBN13  9789774249280  

Availability  0 units.

More About Diane Singerman & Paul Amar

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! DIANE SINGERMAN is associate professor in the Department of Government at the school of Public Affairs at American University. She is the author of "Avenues of Participation" (AUC Press 1997).

Diane Singerman has an academic affiliation as follows - The American University.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Business & Investing > Economics > Economic Conditions
2Books > Subjects > History > Africa > Egypt > General
3Books > Subjects > History > Africa > Egypt
4Books > Subjects > History > Africa > General
5Books > Subjects > History > Middle East > Egypt
6Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Anthropology > Cultural
7Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Sociology > General
8Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Sociology > Rural
9Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Sociology > Urban

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Reviews - What do customers think about Cairo Cosmopolitan: Politics, Culture, and Urban Space in the New Middle East?

the nexus of the Arab world  Nov 3, 2006
Most of the book's chapters are written by Egyptians; specifically by Cairenes. They give the reader a feel for the immense size of Cairo and its vital significance as a metropolis of the Middle East. We see the myriad groups and ideas that populate Cairo. From Islamist fundamentalists to the westernised, secular elite. Two extremes that uneasily co-exist.

The book also describes the economy of Cairo. Especially its dependencies on international trade. But tensions are present. The biggest might not be religious, but economic. Cairo is seen as having a vast urban underclass, that struggles daily to merely survive. While there is also a small group of locals who enjoy First World lifestyles. The latter often move in semipublic spaces, like gated communities and fancy shopping malls. To which the majority can only dream about. Does not bode well for the future.
expansive, multifaceted view of contemporary Cairo  Aug 31, 2006
CAIRO COSMOPOLITAN - Politics, Culture, and Urban Space in the New Gobalized Middle East edited by Diane Singerman and Paul Amar. American University in Cairo, Cairo, Egypt and New York, NY;; distributed by International Publishers Marketing, Herndon, VA; 800-758-3756. 2006. 542+xviii pp. $34.50 hardcover, ISBN 977-424-928-3. photographs, tables, chapter notes, chapter bibliographies.
For Cairo at this time, "cosmopolitan" does not suggest a certain definition or image as it generally does with reference to say, New York, Paris, or Dubai. With Cairo, the term/concept relates to potentials and aspirations which have come to the surface with limited, yet unprecedented political turns in recent years. "Cosmopolitan" thus encompasses a diversified range of voices, ideas, and activism within this somewhat changed social space. "In Cairo, 2005, a new urban-based, cosmopolitan, radical democracy agenda began to emerge, as the product of a three-year convergence trend within and between leftist, liberal, and Islamic groups, and a myriad of city and transnational advocates." Individuals and groups organizing around communities and universities and human rights, religious, and feminist groups brought "attention to a set of dynamics and protagonists bustling at the urban crossroads of an assertive, outward-looking Middle East." Nineteen essays by authors associated with universities and research organizations from countries around the world report on many facets of this cosmopolitanism which has emerged in Cairo. Coffee bars, media, popular culture, economics, tourism, class, and ethnic groups are among these. Though the recent outbreak of warfare between Israel and Hezbollah is sure to have some effect on the Cairo cosmopolitanism as it is a central development of Egyptian society and experiment for other Middle Eastern countries, the essays make for not only a timely, but an incomparable view of phenomena in the Arab world which go largely unknown.

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