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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 »

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الجزائر إعادة تخيّل الحقبة الجميلة

 إعادة تخيّل "الحقبة الجميلة": تذكّر بناء الأمة في الجزائر الجزائر، صيف 1972. عَقْدٌ بعد الاستقلال، والصحف تزدهر. الجزائر هي أول دولة في المنطقة أمّمتْ نفطها واحتياطها من الغاز بنجاح؛ المواطنون يتمتعون بالتعليم الشامل المجانيّ للمرة الأولى؛ الإنتاج يبدأ في مصنع الفولاذ الجديد العملاق في الحجار؛ يُنجز ...  Read More »

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Nothing to Declare: A Review

Dictaphone Group, Nothing to Declare, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, 16-21 August 2013. The term “metaphor,” as an intellectual transfer between discursive planes, shares an etymological connection with “transport,” or the physical displacement of a body across space. Inherent to the two notions is an implicit ...  Read More »

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Ten Must-Watch Videos to Understand Egypt’s Urban Challenges

Right to Housing is an initiative that aims to link contemporary urban challenges with the notion of the “right to housing,” which, if that right is constitutionally protected and guaranteed, urban activists argue, could lead to the drafting of policies that will respond to the many negative aspects of urban and rural ...  Read More »

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جدار الفصل العنصري: خنق في الهوة وخلق للهوية

 لا شك في أن جدار الفصل العنصري، الذي بدأ العمل عليه منذ العام 2002 على الأراضي الفلسطينية المحتلة، كان ضمن مشروع ممنهج لخلق واقع جديد، عبر اختراقه أراضي المحافظات الفلسطينية، عازلاً لبعضها، ومحاصراً للبعض الآخر، وفي النتيجة ملتهماً آلاف الدونمات، ومفسحاً المجال لسياسات وعمليات تهويدية جديدة، على رأسها ضم الكتل ...  Read More »

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بيت المقدس مهدوم

«القاعد في القدس خسران والقاعد براها خسران» يقول أحد ركاب التاكسيات الصباحية التي توصل بين جبل الزيتون وباب العمود، البوابة الرئيسية للبلدة القديمة، واصفاً حال المدينة المطأطئة الرأس منذ سقوطها بالكامل قبل أكثر من أربعين عاماً. القدس التي قيل في وصفها الكثير، فاختلط الخيالي بالواقعي، والمبالغ به بالحقيقي، والمقدس ...  Read More »

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New Texts Out Now: Farha Ghannam, Live and Die Like a Man: Gender Dynamics in Urban Egypt

Farha Ghannam, Live and Die Like a Man: Gender Dynamics in Urban Egypt. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 2013. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Farha Ghannam (FG): The study of gender in the Middle East has been largely approached through the question of women. While this focus has been very ...  Read More »

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Constellations: Searching for the Global Suburb

Conference Review: A Suburban Revolution? An International Conference on Bringing the Fringe to the Centre of Global Urban Research and Practice Suburbanization is the crucial aspect of twenty first century urban development, as now most global urban growth is in the form of peripheral or suburban development. This ...  Read More »

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Blasti – C’est ma place

Blasti –C’est ma place is a cultural and social photography project about women’s and young girls’ perspectives on public places in Tunis and Tunisia. The project seeks to give women a voice, and simultaneously enhance dialogue between women from different backgrounds and with different visions. Women are asked to ...  Read More »

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جولة عبر محطات خط سكة حديد درعا ـ حيفا

[مرّت في الرابع من أكتوبر/تشرين الأول ذكرى افتتاح خط السكّة الحديدية الواصلة بين المدينتين حيفا ودرعا في العام 1905. كانت انطلاقة هذا الخط في عهد الدولة العثمانية جزءاً من مشروعها الحداثي لتعزيز سلطتها عبر ربط المناطق الاستراتيجية في هذا الشق من امبراطوريتها المتداعية حينذاك. حمل القطار معه تغييرات ...  Read More »

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On Why Struggles over Urban Space Matter: An Interview with David Harvey

Why do urban struggles matter in projects of social change? What is the importance of reclaiming public space in social movements? And at this gloomy global moment of extreme urban disparities and social inequalities, how do we re-think what is possible? For insights on these questions, we interviewed David Harvey on ...  Read More »

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Fugitive Markets and Arrested Mobilities: Gaziantep’s Iranian Bazaar

Under the auspices of ongoing negotiations between the Iranian state and the P5+1 over the former’s nuclear program and the crippling economic sanctions unleashed by the latter on Iran and its citizens, Moharram proceedings are nonetheless underway full-force in Tehran. Even in Meydoone-e Kajj of Tehran’s Saadat Abad, ...  Read More »

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The Civilian Administration of the Insurgency in Aleppo

While the human and financial means were limited, civilian institutions have nevertheless emerged in a few months in the zones conquered by the insurrection movement in Northern Syria. This experience of reconstructing an administrative system through the bottom-up has enabled to restart the public service system and ...  Read More »

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The Transforming Landscape of Doha: An Essay on Urbanism and Urbanization in Qatar

Doha is a boom city on the Arabian littoral and the singular pre-eminent urban agglomeration on the low Qatari peninsula. Like many other cities on the coast of the Arabian Peninsula, the city has long been entwined in the maritime trade routes of the Indian Ocean world. The city grew around the native pearling ...  Read More »

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Les villes petites et moyennes dans les revoltes arabes: un etat des lieux

Les villes petites et moyennes dans les révoltes arabes: un état des lieux. Compte rendu de: Karine Benafla (dir.), Dossier « Villes arabes: conflits et protestations », Confluences Méditerranée, 85 (2013), 9-164. Une des dimensions singulières des révoltes arabes est leur territorialité, qui a ...  Read More »

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Aesthetic Explorations of the Mundane: An Interview with Salwa Aleryani

While urban sociality seems at times to be ruled by the constancy of everyday practices, at others that reliability is revealed as artifice by the capricious instability of our economic and political structures. The routine intimacies of our lives are punctured by the dysfunction of the material foundations that make ...  Read More »

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Filling Every Gap: Real Estate Development in Beirut

Beirut usually conjures up images of conflict, tension, and warfare. While it is certainly not immune to these dynamics, media reports tend to overemphasize these aspects, just as their obsession with the city’s famous nightlife and glitzy shopping districts pays disproportionate attention to the lifestyles of rich ...  Read More »

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Reimagining the Belle Epoque: Remembering Nation-Building in an Algiers Neighborhood

[This is one of six pieces in Jadaliyya's electronic roundtable on the anniversary of the Algerian Revolution. Moderated by Muriam Haleh Davis, it features contributions from Ed McAllister, James McDougall, Malika Rahal, Natalya Vince, Samuel Everett, and Thomas Serres.] Algiers, summer of 1972. A decade after ...  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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