Cairo: Histories of a City
From its earliest days as a royal settlement fronting the pyramids of Giza to its current manifestation as the largest metropolis in Africa, Cairo has forever captured the urban pulse of the Middle East. In Cairo: Histories of a City, Nezar AlSayyad narrates the many Cairos that have existed throughout time, offering a panoramic view of the city’s history unmatched in temporal and geographic scope, through an in-depth examination of its architecture and urban form.
In twelve vignettes, accompanied by drawings, photographs, and maps, AlSayyad details the shifts in Cairo’s built environment through stories of important figures who marked the cityscape with their personal ambitions and their political ideologies. The city is visually reconstructed and brought to life not only as a physical fabric but also as a social and political order—a city built within, upon, and over, resulting in a present-day richly layered urban environment. Each chapter attempts to capture a defining moment in the life trajectory of a city loved for all of its evocations and contradictions. Throughout, AlSayyad illuminates not only the spaces that make up Cairo but also the figures that shaped them, including its chroniclers, from Herodotus to Mahfouz, who recorded the deeds of great and ordinary Cairenes alike. He pays particular attention to how the imperatives of Egypt's various rulers and regimes—from the pharaohs to Sadat and beyond—have inscribed themselves in the city that residents navigate today.
Friday mosque to the south of the palace. Initially named Jami’ al-Qahira, the mosque soon acquired its present name, al-Azhar—which both means “the magnificent” and is the masculine form of the honorific title Zahra, which refers to the Prophet’s daughter Fatima. The construction of the mosque began in 970 and was completed three years later. Al-Mu‘izz led the first Friday prayer and delivered the khutbah sermon on the first Friday of the Arab month of Ramadan in 972.26 The original core of the
his independence.49 When Shagarat al-Durr learned that he planned to take the daughter of the prince of Mosul as his second wife, she decided to have him killed, and although she was successful on that front, she also therein created the circumstances of her own downfall. Imprisoned by the Mamluks for Aybak’s murder, she neared a tragic end in the Red Tower. Though held captive, she would not allow another woman in the harem to wear the pearls given to her by al-Salih. It is alleged that,
demonstrate concern for the overall position of the complex’s elements. In particular, a conscious decision was made to place the mausoleum on the north side of the complex, separated from the madrasa by a long corridor, with the hospital located in the back. The minaret, too, was not situated at the entrance, nor was it connected to the madrasa, as was common in other buildings of the time. Rather, it was placed on the north, connected to the mausoleum, to serve as a landmark for processions
Mubarak ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Jabarti; David Roberts; Jean- Léon Gérôme; Edward William Lane Carsten Niebuhr; Jean de Thevenot Taqi al-Din al-Maqrizi Tomb of Sadat; City Stars Mall; 6th of October City; gated community of Rehab; medieval Cairo as museum From Cairo Tower to Nasser’s tomb; Cairo Tower; Nile Hilton; Arab Socialist Union; Nasr City; Mohandeseen; public housing Abdin Palace; Suez Canal; Pyramid Street; Qasr al-Nil barracks and bridge; Opera House; Muhammad Ali Road; Egyptian Museum
Histories of a City [To view this image, refer to the print version of this title.] Figure 7.5 The funerary complex of Sultan al-Mu’ayyad. Governing from the Tower: The Burji Mamluks 131 handlers of the Indian trade who used Cairo as an entrepôt between the East and West. In his writings, Maqrizi divides the population of Egypt into seven social classes: officers and high public officials; wealthy merchants and the upper classes; the lower middle class, composed of tradesmen, dealers, and