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Before Theory: In Memory of Janet Abu-Lughod

There is a lively debate in urban studies nowadays about the Eurocentricity of the field’s canonical theories. The efforts to trace new geographies of theory are heterodox and heterogeneous, but they have often relied on postcolonial thought and its critique of the universal histories and categories produced by ...  Read More »

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In Memoriam

The swirl of articles and books in graduate school, perused and ingested during a few years to shape and inform one’s courses and research, felt unending at times. On the other hand, there are some scholars whose books stop you cold as you realize they are just what you have been searching for, as they lead to many ...  Read More »

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A Scholar Open to the World

Janet Abu-Lughod was a remarkable woman whom I had the privilege of knowing over a long period of time. A person of enormous intellectual curiosity, she approached the task of learning with an openness that was admirable. Throughout her scholarly life, she listened to her interlocutors and wrestled with all the ...  Read More »

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The Janet Abu-Lughod I Knew

I first met Janet L. Abu-Lughod in December 1990 when I invited her to be a keynote speaker for the biennial conference of the International Association for the Study of Traditional Environments (IASTE) held that year in Berkeley, California. The conference theme, “First World/Third World,” was right down Janet’s ...  Read More »

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A Gentle and Generous Mentor: Janet Abu-Lughod

I first met Janet Abu-Lughod at a meeting of the Arab American University Graduates (AAUG). AAUG was co-founded in 1967 (disbanded in 2007), by Janet’s husband, Ibrahim Abu-Lughod, a leading political scientist of the Arab world. A graduate student at Columbia University at the time, I was rather in awe of scholars ...  Read More »

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البحث عن غابة في عمّان

  "والغابة الأَجمة ذاتُ الشجر الـمُتَكاثف، لأَنها تُغَيِّبُ ما فيها" - لسان العرب       ملصق على شبّاك يطل على عمّان صباح كل يوم، وفي نفس الموعد، يخرج ستينيّ ملتحٍ من منزله بملابس النوم يحمل كيس قمامة وحقيبة سوداء باتّجاه حاويات القمامة على زاوية منزل مهجور بحديقة كبيرة. ...  Read More »

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Cairo: The Myth of a City on the Verge of Explosion

Cairo is a crowded city. It is a truism that is easy to find in reportage about the city, which almost invariably begins with a description of Cairo as teeming, noisy, dusty, and polluted. Vendors and parked cars take over sidewalks for lack of space, while pedestrians walk amongst traffic. Shouts and car horns drown ...  Read More »

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Call for Participants: “Les Ateliers” Urban Planning Workshop in Nouakchott

The French association Les Ateliers is organizing an urban planning professional workshop in Nouakchatt, Mauritania, between 26 April and 11 May 2014, entitled “The Future as Challenge” (L’avenir pour défi.) Les Ateliers (International workshops of planning and urban design) is a non-profit organization created in ...  Read More »

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Counting the “Missing People” of Omdurman: Theatrics in Khartoum, Sudan

[The essay is based on collaboration between the two authors. AbdouMaliq Simone conducted and wrote the field research about the drama school; he then invited Jadaliyya Cities Page co-editor, Hiba Bou Akar, to contribute. Simone’s field research is based on his life in Khartoum in 1987-1990, and this contribution is ...  Read More »

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مدينة طرابلس: من يقوى على الحلم؟

"جحيم الكائنات الحية ليس شيئاً سيأتي. هناك جحيم موجود أصلاً وهو الذي نسكن فيه كل يوم. وثمة وسيلتان لتجنب ألمه. الأولى تنجح بسهولة وتناسب الأغلبية من الناس: قبول الجحيم، وأن تصبح جزءاً منه إلى درجة أنك لا تعود تراه. أما الثانية ففيها مخاطرة وتتطلب انتباهاً وتعلماً دائمين: البحث والتعرف على منْ وماذا، وسط الجحيم، ...  Read More »

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Matter Matters

Ralf Brand and Sara Fregonese, The Radicals' City: Urban Environment, Polarization, Cohesion. Surrey: Ashgate, 2013. The Radicals’ City is a rich and illuminating book on the intricate relations between the urban environment as a material setting and socio-spatial conflict-related phenomena, such as radicalization, ...  Read More »

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New Texts Out Now: Claire Beaugrand, Amélie Le Renard, Roman Stadnicki, Villes et dynamiques urbaines en péninsule Arabique / Cities and Urban Dynamics in the Arabian Peninsula

Claire Beaugrand, Amélie Le Renard, and Roman Stadnicki (eds.), "Villes et dynamiques urbaines en péninsule Arabique / Cities and Urban Dynamics in the Arabian Peninsula." Special issue of Arabian Humanities 2 (2013). Jadaliyya (J): Can you first tell us about Arabian Humanities, and why you chose to ...  Read More »

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Le Caire, laboratoire de l'urbanisme insurrectionnel

Review of Beth Stryker, Omar Nagati and Magda Mostafa (eds.), Learning from Cairo. Global Perspectives and Future Visions (Cairo: Cluster and The American University in Cairo, 2013). Faisant référence au succès éditorial mondial de Denise Scott Brown et Robert Venturi sur Las Vegas (Scott Brown, Venturi, ...  Read More »

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Crise politique et question territoriale en Tunisie

La question territoriale a été un des fondements du soulèvement en Tunisie à la fin de l’année 2010: développement des zones défavorisées de l’intérieur du pays et accès à l’emploi et aux services étaient parmi les principaux slogans de la révolte. Les inégalités régionales et le mode de gouvernance territoriale ont ...  Read More »

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2014 LSE Mellon Fellowship Competition for Scholars Conducting Research On Urban Environments

With the support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the London School of Economics is looking to appoint a Mellon Fellow as part of its innovative four-year programme that engages the humanities with the social and spatial dynamics of cities. We are seeking dynamic and engaged scholars and practitioners who ...  Read More »

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New CLUSTER Publications: Learning from Cairo and Archiving the City in Flux

CLUSTER (Cairo Lab for Urban Studies, Training and Environmental Research) aims at establishing a critical space for urban discourse. CLUSTER engages critical theorization while being grounded in professional practice, negotiating the blurred boundaries between formal/institutional regulations and everyday urban ...  Read More »

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في فلسطين

"إصحي يا بنت إنت في القدس"  هكذا أيقظتني صديقتي وأنا نائمة في الكرسي الخلفي في السيارة التي هربتني من رام الله إلى القدس بعد تخطينا الحاجز، وهذه الكتابة ليست أكثر من توثيق للدهشات التي تصيب فلسطيني شتات في لقاءه الأول بفلسطين المحتلة 1948، ومقارنة بين الصورة المرسومة في ذاكرة المبعدين والحقيقة. لكن ...  Read More »

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The Promise of the Wall: Reflections on Desire and Gated Communities in Cairo

“Gated communities,” which started to emerge in the US in the 1980s, have quickly spread around the world and became “a global commodity and cultural icon eagerly consumed by urban elites world-wide” (Genis 2007: 771). Since the mid 1990s, dozens of these communities have spread around Cairo. Most of these ...  Read More »

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The Delusions of Representing Male Homosexuality in Beirut

Journalistic and popular accounts have often extolled Beirut as a haven for gay men. These accounts of male homosexuality in Beirut–like this NYT article, this NPR recording, as well as these articles in The Guardian and the Huffington Post–produce a particularly problematic model of queer[1] life in the city. This ...  Read More »

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The Intricacies of Popular Housing in the Middle East

Book Review: Myriam Ababsa, Baudouin Dupret, and Éric Denis (eds.) Popular Housing and Urban Land Tenure in the Middle East (Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2012). It has become customary to claim that the debate on informal land and housing production and exchange is exhausted: the number of ...  Read More »

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A propos des mondes urbains de F. Navez-Bouchanine

Recension: Agnès Deboulet et Michèle Jolé (éd.) Les mondes urbains. Le parcours engagé de Françoise Navez-Bouchanine (Paris: Karthala, 2013). La littérature spécialisée en études urbaines vient de s’enrichir d’un ouvrage exceptionnel par la qualité des contributions qui le composent. Il s’agit du livre intitulé ...  Read More »

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الصراع على الحيز المديني: حوار مع ديفد هارفي

لماذا تهم الصراعات المدينية في مشاريع التغيّر الاجتماعي؟ ما أهمية استعادة الحيز العام في الحركات الاجتماعية؟ كيف نعيد التفكير بما هو ممكن في هذه اللحظة العالمية المظلمة من التفاوتات المدينية الحادّة واللامساواة الاجتماعية؟ من أجل أجوبة عميقة لهذه الأسئلة، أجرينا مقابلة مع ديفد هارفي David Harvey في 24 تشرين ...  Read More »

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Watch, See, Feel: Kasim Abid’s Whispers of the Cities

Whispers of the Cities, directed by Kasim Abid. Iraq/UAE, 2013. Iraqi filmmaker Kasim Abid’s documentary Whispers of the Cities, which premiered at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival in October, is the result of ten years spent observing life in the “conflict cities” of Ramallah, Baghdad, and Erbil. The director set up ...  Read More »

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New Texts Out Now: Ralf Brand and Sara Fregonese, The Radicals’ City: Urban Environment, Polarization, Cohesion

Ralf Brand and Sara Fregonese, The Radicals’ City: Urban Environment, Polarization, Cohesion. Farnham, UK: Ashgate, 2013. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Sara Fregonese (SF): The book is based on the research project “The Built Environment: Mirror and Mediator of Radicalization?” which ran from 2008 to ...  Read More »

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Conference: Contested Space and Urban Identities in Beirut, Cairo, and Tehran (Beirut, 12-14 December 2013)

Divercities aims to look at urban governance, its agents, agendas and options, through contested space and conflicting urban concepts, identity claims and social environments. Situated at the core of social and political fractions, contested spaces reveal insights into the dynamics of diverse societies and urban ...  Read More »

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Tel Aviv-Jaffa’s “City for All” – Is There Emancipatory Potential in Israeli Municipal Politics?: An Interview with Matan Kaminer

Max Ajl (MA): Start by telling us a little about the Ir LeKulanu campaign. Matan Kaminer (MK): Ir LeKulanu, “city for all of us” in Hebrew, is a municipal political party in Tel Aviv-Jaffa. It was founded six years ago by a number of activists who had been involved in different local struggles. Among the groups ...  Read More »

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Persian Translation of 'On Why Struggles Over Urban Space Matter: An Interview with David Harvey'

[This interview was originally conducted in English by Hiba Bou Akar and Nada Moumtaz with David Harvey. It was published as "On Why Struggles Over Urban Space Matter" by Jadaliyya. It was translated into Persian by Parvis Sedaghet and published by Naghd-e-Ightisad-e-Siyasi (Critique of ...  Read More »

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العدالة الاجتماعية والعمران في مصر

[ضمن سلسلة ”كتب“ التي تعنى بالإصدارات الجديدة.  تنشر ”جدلية“ مقابلة ومقاطع من كتاب ”العدالة الإجتماعية والعمران“ وهو إصدار جديد لفريق ”مبادرة الحق في السكن“ عن وزارة الإسكان الظل. تتصدر مقاطع الكتاب مقابلة مع الباحث يحيى شوكت، وهو عضو فريق ”مبادرة الحق في السكن“، تتناول أبرز النقاط التي جاءت في ...  Read More »

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Urbanism and the Arab Uprisings: Beyond the Square

Urban Research invites submissions on the topic of “Urbanism and the Arab Uprisings: Beyond the Square.” This special issue will explore the ways in which the urban has informed the on-going Arab uprisings.  In part, it will examine how urban spatial forms and phenomena-both material and discursive-have been ...  Read More »

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Eviction and Migration in an Institutional Vacuum: The Case of a Palestinian Gathering in South Lebanon

Lebanon’s Palestinian refugee camps and the plight of their inhabitants are well-known. The twelve Palestinian camps in Lebanon are often described as either spatially segregated “states-within-the-state” or as socio-economic “islands of marginalization” (Czajka 2012). The majority of Palestinians in Lebanon, however, ...  Read More »

About the Cities Page

The Cities Page is a Jadaliyya platform promoting critical understandings and investigations of urban life and space, beyond the dominant formal and physical narration on cities. The Cities Page publishes works from different fields that deepen our understanding of the social production of diverse urban geographies and the contestation around them. It aims to consolidate an interdisciplinary and integrated approach to reading and writing about space and cities, incorporating historical, social, cultural, political, legal, economic and technological dimensions. It welcomes contributions in various formats, languages, and on various urban geographies and histories.

Contact Cities Page Editors via

Submit to the Cities Page

The Cities Page Editors invite submissions that critically explore related topics, and are eager to feature debates within the field. Specifically, we welcome:

  • Essays exploring the relationships between space, power and social justice, and spatial practices and the built environment, etc.
  • Reviews of books, films, exhibits, blogs, and pundits
  • Interviews with practitioners, activists, scholars, government officials, and others.
  • Reports, press releases, statements, conference announcements, and other information.
  • Photo essays
  • Video clips

Submissions should conform with the general Jadaliyya submissions guidelines. The Cities Page accepts submissions in Arabic, English, French, and Turkish.

You can send your submission to



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