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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 »

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Public Spaces and Spatial Practices: Claims from Beirut

Public space seems to be back in vogue these days, especially in relation to social protests taking place in city squares and along major streets, occupying and claiming spaces, often violently. Why do public spaces matter in cities? Is the absence or presence of public spaces in cities related to the rise of ...  Read More »

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'Mapping Dubai' in New York City

A multimedia section from “Mapping Dubai,” a research project undertaken by Yasser Elsheshtawy, is currently featured in the BMW Guggenheim Lab exhibition in New York. “Participatory City: 100 Urban Trends” is on view at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum from 11 October 2013 to 4 January 2014. The exhibition is a ...  Read More »

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New Texts Out Now: Nelida Fuccaro, Histories of Oil and Urban Modernity in the Middle East

Nelida Fuccaro, editor, Histories of Oil and Urban Modernity in the Middle East. Special issue of Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East (April 2013). Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this issue? Nelida Fuccaro (NF): It was my interest in the urban history of oil producing ...  Read More »

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Defending Future Commons: The Gezi Experience

The 2013 uprising in Turkey commenced with a call by a handful of activists to guard a park located adjacent to Taksim Square–the most centrally-located public square in Istanbul–from the Istanbul Municipality’s bulldozers. As a part of the redevelopment plan for the whole square, the PM Erdoğan and the Istanbul mayor ...  Read More »

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Jadaliyya Launches Cities Page

Jadaliyya announces the launch of its new Cities Page. Cities are important economic, social, political, and cultural centers. They are the home of more than half of the globe’s population, and urban centers continue to grow rapidly in different parts of the world. Despite the central role of cities in a our global ...  Read More »

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Urbanists Can Never Afford to be Apolitical: An Interview with Nezar AlSayyad on Urbanization in the Middle East

In what ways is the study of cities important to the broader field of Middle East studies, and what are the broader trajectories of such forms of analysis? For insight into the issues that underpin such a question, the following interview was conducted on 30 August 2013 with Nezar AlSayyad, who is Professor of ...  Read More »

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Who is ‘Ain al-Hilweh?

Who is ‘Ain al-Hilweh? I ask not because I am interested in the answer, if we were to believe it exists, but for the reason that demanding one is enough to set a process of research in action. The title is a play on words highlighting the uneasiness that accompanies attempts at defining what places are. It combines ...  Read More »

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The Geography of Public Lighting in Arab Cities

Recent research shows that lighting in cities has become a salient public policy issue. I will argue here that this is also the case in numerous cities in the Arab world, using some original field observations and raising several research issues—namely the inequalities of service provision in urban areas, citizens’ ...  Read More »

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New Texts Out Now: Lara Deeb and Mona Harb, Leisurely Islam: Negotiating Geography and Morality in Shi‘ite South Beirut

Lara Deeb and Mona Harb, Leisurely Islam: Negotiating Geography and Morality in Shi‘ite South Beirut. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2013. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Lara Deeb (LD) and Mona Harb (MH): Leisurely Islam began as a series of conversations about how Dahiya—the area ...  Read More »

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Symposium Report: 'Gulf Cities: Space, Society, Culture'

From 22-24 March 2013 the Center for Gulf Studies (CGS) at the American University of Kuwait held a three-day Gulf Studies Symposium on the theme "Gulf Cities: Space, Society, Culture."  The symposium brought together forty regional and international scholars from diverse disciplinary backgrounds to ...  Read More »

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Activists Submitted Report Against Olympics in Istanbul

On Saturday, the International Olympic Committee opted to host the 2020 Olympic games in Tokyo rather than Madrid or Istanbul. All three cities have been plagued by issues that make them risky venues in the eyes of the IOC: a nuclear disaster, austerity and recession, and mass protest, respectively. Nonetheless, it is ...  Read More »

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Istanbul, Its People, and Their Limits

Ecumenopolis: City Without Limits. Directed by Imre Azem. Turkey and Germany, 2012. Almost exactly a year before the current protests in Turkey—commonly referred to as “Occupy Gezi,” after Gezi Park, located in the Taksim neighborhood of Istanbul—a film called Ecumenopolis: City Without Limits was screened in the ...  Read More »

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Taksim Commune: Gezi Park and the Uprising in Turkey (Video)

Taksim Commune: Gezi Park and the Uprising in Turkey A video by Brandon Jourdan and Marianne Maeckelbergh This short documentary tells the story of the occupation of Gezi Park, the eviction on 15 July 2013, and the protests that have continued in the aftermath. It includes interviews with many participants and never ...  Read More »

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Damascus: What's Left

One morning on a recent visit to Damascus, my first in a year, I went to the Umayyad Mosque. One of the oldest mosques in existence, the spectacular building was a Roman temple and then an early Christian basilica before it became what many Muslims consider to be Islam’s fourth holiest place of worship. As usual, it ...  Read More »

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Taksim Is/Is Not Tahrir: Comparative Frameworks in Managing Protest

Taksim is Tahrir. Taksim is not Tahrir. As the Gezi-Taksim protests began to escalate in early June, these comparative and contrasting statements were proposed in the media and amongst activists. Responding to this debate, the Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi (AKP) has continued to address the question of Taksim’s ...  Read More »

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The Challenges of Managing the Influx of Syrian Refugees into Lebanon

[The following recommendations were issued by the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies (LCPS) on 20 June 2013.] The Challenges of Managing the Influx of Syrian Refugees  Roundtable Discussion Series LCPS discussion group recommends six immediate actions on the Syrian refugees: The government must lead the ...  Read More »

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The Gezi Resistance as Surplus Value

Was it a few trees, was it the Turkish Spring, or was it a nationalist reflex? Attempts to label and appropriate the surplus value created at Gezi Park in Istanbul demonstrate that it will indeed be very difficult to subsume the mass of energy generated there under existing perceptional categories. The reason why I ...  Read More »

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Returning to Khan Yunis

The English translation of Rabai al-Madhoun’s acclaimed novel, The Lady from Tel Aviv has just been published by Telegram Books. It tells the story of a novelist returning home to the Gaza Strip for the first time in decades. Like Ghassan Kanafani in Returning to Haifa, Madhoun explores the difficulties of ...  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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