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New Texts Out Now: Neha Vora, Impossible Citizens: Dubai's Indian Diaspora

Neha Vora, Impossible Citizens: Dubai's Indian Diaspora. Durham: Duke University Press, 2013. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Neha Vora (NV): I have always had an interest in South Asian diasporas, particularly in the forms of identification, cultural production, and belonging that occur as people move ...  Read More »

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New Texts Out Now: Andrew Gardner and Autumn Watts, Constructing Qatar: Migrant Narratives from the Margins of the Global System

Andrew Gardner and Autumn Watts, editors, Constructing Qatar: Migrant Narratives from the Margins of the Global System. Smashwords, 2012. Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this book? Andrew Gardner (AG): Migrants in the Gulf states have been a central focal point in my research for more than a decade now. ...  Read More »

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Urban Utopias and How They Fell Apart

Taksim: A Political Ecology The uprising that started with Taksim Square’s Gezi Park in Istanbul on 28 May emerged as a unique movement of resistance in Turkey’s history and has continued without interruption in the last several weeks. The Gezi Park Movement will be remembered as a successful mass movement of youth ...  Read More »

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Call for Papers -- DiverCities: Contested Space and Urban Identities in Beirut, Cairo, and Tehran (12-14 December 2013, Beirut)

Call for Papers: DiverCities: Contested Space and Urban Identities in Beirut, Cairo, and Tehran Date: 12-14 December 2013 Location: Beirut Organisers: Orient-Institut Beirut (OIB) and Goethe-Institut Beirut Deadline: 31 July 2013 This conference aims to look at urban governance, its agents, agendas and options, ...  Read More »

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Producing Pera: A Levantine Family and the Remaking of Istanbul

In recent years, urban space has emerged as a critical point of political contention in Turkey. However, this is by no means a new phenomenon. The politics of urban transformation in Istanbul—Turkey’s largest city and the capital of the former Ottoman Empire—have offered a visible representation of the dominant ...  Read More »

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It Is About the Park: A Struggle for Turkey’s Cities

It is with alarming regularity that I read coverage of the protests and ensuing police brutality that erupted in Gezi Park and Taksim Square, Istanbul that emphatically insists that the confrontations are about “so much more than a park.” Reassuring their readers that the protests are not about something as silly or ...  Read More »

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New Texts Out Now: Daniel Neep, Occupying Syria under the French Mandate

Daniel Neep, Occupying Syria under the French Mandate: Insurgency, Space, and State Formation. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Daniel Neep (DN): Scholars who work on state formation have tended to have little to say about the phenomenon of ...  Read More »

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Is Everywhere Taksim?: Public Space and Possible Publics

    In a speech on 1 June, responding to the wave of protests sweeping through Turkey, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan proclaimed that “the issue is not the 5-10 trees that are being removed.” By calling the demonstrators “ideological,” and suggesting they were simply opposition cadres or opportunistic ...  Read More »

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Occupy Gezi: The Limits of Turkey’s Neoliberal Success

There are two telling, though widely neglected, details about what initiated and popularized the groundbreaking protests in Taksim Square, Istanbul: the protests started out as a response to the governing neoliberal party’s project of urban transformation or urban renewal; yet, urban questions quickly took a backseat ...  Read More »

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New Texts Out Now: Joel Beinin, Mixing, Separation, and Violence in Urban Spaces and the Rural Frontier in Palestine

Joel Beinin, “Mixing, Separation, and Violence in Urban Spaces and the Rural Frontier in Palestine.” Arab Studies Journal Vol. XXI No. 1 (Spring 2013). Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this article? Joel Beinin (JB): It grew out of a conference on late Ottoman Palestine at the University of Lausanne. I was invited ...  Read More »

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Theorizing the Arabian Peninsula Roundtable: Towards a Critical Cartography of the Political in the Arabian Peninsula

[This is one of seven contributions in Jadaliyya's electronic roundtable on the symbolic and material practices of knowledge production on the Arabian Peninsula. Moderated by Rosie Bsheer and John Warner, it features Toby Jones, Madawi Al-Rasheed, Adam Hanieh, Neha Vora, Nathalie Peutz, John Willis, and Ahmed Kanna.] ...  Read More »

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The Alawite Dilemma in Homs

Syria's Alawites are often portrayed as a monolithic religious community which has unconditionally and unwavering supported the Syrian regime through the crisis which has shaken the country since March 2011. However, very little attention has been paid to the community’s diversity and to reasons for its support of the ...  Read More »

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The Impact of World Bank Policy and Programmes on the Built Environment in Egypt

[The following report was issued by the Egyptian Iniative for Personal Rights on 20 March 2013.]  Despite billions of Egyptian pounds in infrastructure investment both from national and international sources, Egypt's cities, towns and villages continue to grow and function in much the same way they have over the ...  Read More »

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The Infrastructure of Israeli Settler Colonialism (Part 1): The Jordan Valley

Since its establishment, Israel has distinguished the persons under its civil and military jurisdiction based on religion. Throughout Israel Proper and the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), comprised of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, Israel applies a different set of laws to its ...  Read More »

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The Urban Subalterns and the Non-Movements of the Arab Uprisings: An Interview with Asef Bayat

This interview was conducted with Asef Bayat via electronic correspondence. In it, Bayat discusses the inside-out character of neoliberal cities in the Arab world and its influence on the recent wave of protests known collectives as the Arab uprisings. In addition, Bayat elaborates on the notion of urban subalterns, ...  Read More »

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Beyond the State: The Refugee Camp as a Site of Political Invention

Refugee camps have been at the center of radical historical transformations that have undermined the political existence of entire communities. Although states and non-governmental organizations have and continue to actively participate in conceiving and managing camps, we are still struggling to fully comprehend how ...  Read More »

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Petition: Stop the "Green Building" Draft Law in Lebanon

For the past six months, the Lebanese government has been stalling in implementing the salary adjustment and wage scale for public employees it had approved in September 2012. The last few weeks have seen an increase in workers’ unions' organized strikes across Lebanese cities demanding the immediate application of ...  Read More »

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Assarag: Habitat and the Imazighen of Morocco

(If the photo slide show does not appear above, please click here.) [The photos and text presented here are the result of my work in five Amazigh (also known as Berber) communities or distinct architectural ensembles in the south of Morocco.] My work in Morocco began in May 2002 when I was invited by a former high ...  Read More »

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Zaha Hadid: Black Square, White Cube, and the Twenty-First Century Museum

The staircase of Zaha Hadid Architects’ recently opened Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University in East Lansing is sleek and straightforward. Its intention is functional; its design is simple (as simple as a contorted, suspended mass can be). A departure from the use of a traditional grand ...  Read More »

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Fun, Football, and Palestinian Nationalism

Some of the most enduring memories of fieldwork in al-Wihdat refugee camp are the several evenings I spent watching football matches in the company of my friends.  Al-Wihdat is a Palestinian refugee camp established in 1955 on the outskirts of Amman, the capital of Jordan. The camp today is fully incorporated ...  Read More »

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Was There A January 25 Revolution?

The “January 25 Revolution” has already taken its place in Egyptian national historical memory along with the “1919 Revolution” and the “July 23 Revolution.” Assigning dates to these events, whose significance in the modern history of Egypt is undeniable, is perhaps a necessary convenience. Calling them all ...  Read More »

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The Dramaturgy of A Street Corner

Much like the ongoing revolutionary struggle in Egypt, this short piece is part of an in-progress work to chronicle the evolution of revolutionary art on Mohamed Mahmoud Street, also known as the “street of the eyes of freedom”—nicknamed as such since many protesters lost their eyes on that same street after being ...  Read More »

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Parallel Walks in al-Khalil: A Photo Essay

I last visited al-Khalil (Hebron) with my family when I was a child in the mid 1970s. I only have vague recollections of that visit, except for the place where Ibrahim (Abraham) was to sacrifice his son. For some reason, and maybe because as a child I was unable to comprehend why a father would be asked to sacrifice ...  Read More »

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Ordering the Disorderly? Street Vendors and the Developmentalist State

When President Mohamed Morsi issued his highly controversial extra-constitutional decree on 20 November, which he later partially annulled under mass public protest, he promised to use the extraordinary legislative powers it afforded him only within very limited boundaries. When he actually used these powers, he did ...  Read More »

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Baghdad: Mirages and Melancholia

It is well known that preeminent figures of early modernism, such as Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright, designed architectural proposals for Baghdad around the middle of the 20th century. Many may be surprised however to discover that several other important international architects were also involved with the city ...  Read More »

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Sons of Beaches: How Alexandria's Ideological Battles Shape Egypt

A Salafist Muslim intellectual, overlooking an Alexandrian beach last summer, tells me over coffee: “The cosmopolitanism of our city [Alexandria] may look like it has died, but the skeletal structure of cosmopolitanism is still there. It is this structure that underpins the spread and acceptance of ideas, including ...  Read More »

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The Severed Branches of Local Government

Sometime in the middle of last March, while I was still living in Cairo, I was working at my desk when I heard a noisy argument outside my window. The street in Zamalek where I lived was home to about a dozen little shops, along with a small café and a cafeteria, and I had long since learned to tune out the shouts and ...  Read More »

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Syrian Refugees: Reliance on Camps Creates Few Good Options

[The following report was issued by Refugees International on 5 December 2012.]  Syrian Refugees: Reliance on Camps Creates Few Good Options  Summary The civil war in Syria has forced large numbers of Syrians from their homes, and in many cases from the country entirely. Refugees continue to ...  Read More »

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Sanctuary in the City? Urban Displacement and Vulnerability in the Gaza Strip

[The following report was issued by the Humanitarian Policy Group of the Overseas Development Institute.] Sanctuary in the City? Urban Displacement and Vulnerability in the Gaza Strip Introduction In recent decades, many cities and towns around the world have seen dramatic population growth, with significant ...  Read More »

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Colonial Planning of My Grandfather’s Hilltop

Today, I walked onto an Israeli settlement for the first time in my life, one where most of the land it stands on once belonged to my grandfather. I needed the settlers’ permission to walk onto this soil. As I walked down the sidewalk, I felt alienation and contentment all at once. The first for the utter disconnect ...  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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