By Nezar AlSayyad
From its earliest days as a royal payment fronting the pyramids of Giza to its present manifestation because the biggest city in Africa, Cairo has eternally captured the city pulse of the center East. In Cairo: Histories of a City, Nezar AlSayyad narrates the numerous Cairos that experience existed all through time, delivering a wide ranging view of the city’s heritage unequalled in temporal and geographic scope, via an in-depth exam of its structure and concrete form.
In twelve vignettes, observed by way of drawings, pictures, and maps, AlSayyad information the shifts in Cairo’s equipped surroundings via tales of significant figures who marked the cityscape with their own pursuits and their political ideologies. town is visually reconstructed and taken to existence not just as a actual textile but in addition as a social and political order—a urban equipped inside, upon, and over, leading to a present-day richly layered city atmosphere. every one bankruptcy makes an attempt to trap a defining second within the existence trajectory of a urban enjoyed for all of its evocations and contradictions. all through, AlSayyad illuminates not just the areas that make up Cairo but additionally the figures that formed them, together with its chroniclers, from Herodotus to Mahfouz, who recorded the deeds of significant and usual Cairenes alike. He will pay specific realization to how the imperatives of Egypt's quite a few rulers and regimes—from the pharaohs to Sadat and beyond—have inscribed themselves within the urban that citizens navigate today.
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Extra info for Cairo: Histories of a City
The Ayyubids brought the Sunni version to Egypt. As a development style, the madrasa differed from the mosque in housing lodgers. forty two It additionally included the Persian iwan, a public and ceremonial corridor open at one finish, lined through a vault, and devoted to instructing. each one iwan accommodated one of many 4 faculties of concept in Islam. often the most important was once devoted to the popular madhab, which in relation to Egypt below the Ayyubids used to be the Shafi’i institution. a distinct instance of this construction variety is the funerary madrasa of Sultan al-Salih Najm al-Din, al-Salihiya, which opened its doorways in 1242 and was once the 1st madrasa in Cairo to coach all 4 faculties of Islamic legislation. forty three In 1249, following the loss of life of her husband al-Salih, Shagarat al-Durr extra a mausoleum to this advanced, hence introducing the culture of burying benefactors within the institutions they'd as soon as funded and of incorporating mausoleums into present non secular associations. forty four Al-Salihiya had an inward-facing configuration, its dome and minaret partly obscured by means of its external façade. Its symmetrical plan accommodated madrasas orientated towards Mecca and separated by means of a valuable passage. forty five the perspective shaped among those structures and front façade resulted from a necessity to reconcile the structures’ orientation towards Mecca with the alignment of the road. the 2 iwans forming the north and south wings of al-Salihiya stood contrary one another throughout a courtyard, with multistoried residential structures on its different aspects. forty six The minaret of al-Salihiya used to be positioned above the doorway passage. Its configuration resembled a mabkhara, or incense burner, divided into levels separated via a balcony. forty seven The decrease tier used to be oblong, whereas the higher was once octagonal, aiding a ribbed dome. the pinnacle used to be richly 90 Cairo: Histories of a urban [To view this photo, consult with the print model of this name. ] determine five. three The minaret of al-Salih Najm al-Din Ayyub madrasa and funerary complicated. fort Cairo: From Salah al-Din to the Pearl Tree ninety one adorned with stalactite embellishes, whereas the oblong base was once marked via teams of 3 tall recessed niches, the critical one pierced through a window. The octagonal top sign in bore lobe-arched home windows on each one side of the octagon. The door on the base of the minaret used to be topped with an impressive keel-arched area of interest carved in stone, which contained a framed inscription within the ornate Naskhi calligraphic type. forty eight The flutes radiating from this panel shaped a stalactite ornament that echoed the varieties of the minaret above. [To view this snapshot, confer with the print model of this name. ] determine five. four The funerary mausoleum of Shagarat al-Durr. ninety two Cairo: Histories of a urban The mausoleum additional to this advanced by way of Shagarat al-Durr had a dome whose configuration was once just like that of the mausoleum of Imam Shafi’i, yet which differently was once fullyyt strange on the time. The curvature of the dome begun correct at its base, transitioning from a circle to an octagonal pedestal.