Cairo after 2011. The “Little” Story of a Building

28.02.2019, Public Research Seminar, OI Beirut

Mona Abaza (The American University in Cairo)

In my talk, I will be presenting two parallel tales about Cairo´s urban transformations. The first tale narrates a panoramic scene, which attempts to track the major urban transmutations after the military take-over in 2013. It raises sociological questions regarding global ideological orientations related to the emerging military urbanism and it pursues the following question: what if the military become the major future urban planners of cities on a planetary scale? (A question that was previously raised by Stephen Graham). The second tale narrates the material life and social interaction of a building located in the district of Dokki in Cairo, which witnessed a massive exodus of its previous residents. The two tales remain as two sides of the same coin.

Mona Abaza is a professor of sociology in the Department of Sociology, Egyptology and Anthropology at The American University in Cairo (AUC). Abaza received her BA in Political Science from The American University in Cairo, Egypt (1982), her MA in Sociology from the University of Durham, UK (1986) and her PhD from the University of Bielefeld, Germany (1990). In 2009, she was appointed full professor at AUC. From 2009 to 2011, she was professor of Islamology at Lund University. In Spring 2014, she worked as a research fellow at Morphomata, Cologne. Abaza formerly served as the chair of the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, Psychology and Egyptology at The American University in Cairo (from 2007 to 2009 and in spring 2014). Previously, she had been a visiting scholar at the Institute for South East Asian Studies, Singapore (1990-1992), Kuala Lumpur (1995-1996), l'École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris (1994), Fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg, Berlin (1996-1997), the International Institute for Asian Studies, Leiden (2002-2003), the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences, Wassenaar (2006-2007) and the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center (2005). She has published several articles and monographs such as The Cotton Plantation Remembered: An Egyptian Family Story. Cairo: The American University in Cairo Press, 2013 and Twentieth Century Egyptian Art. The Private Collection of Sherwet Shafei. Cairo: The American University in Cairo Press, 2011.

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