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Farha Ghannam

Cities Page Co-Editor

The Rise and Decline of a Heterotopic Space: Views from Midan al-Tahrir

“We are fortunate—the world is fortunate—that we had the Tahrir days, that for eighteen days we lived the dream, and so we know—absolutely—that life can be that dream.” (Soueif 2012:187) Centrally located in Cairo’s hectic landscape, strategically positioned near several national and global attractions, a busy hub that allows the mixing of different social groups, and an embodiment of the modern history of the Egyptian capital, Midan al-Tahrir became the site of massive ...

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

[Dreamland Egypt. Image by Author.]

“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 developments target the rich and present themselves as alternatives to the hectic, polluted, congested, and crowded Cairo. In their attempts to explain the increasing ...

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

[Cover of Farha Ghannam,

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 productive in that it generated a rich body of literature that countered many simplistic assumptions about women as passive and powerless, little attention has ...

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Farha Ghannam


Farha Ghannam is Professor of Anthropology at Swarthmore College. She is the author of Remaking the Modern: Space, Relocation, and the Politics of Identity in a Global Cairo (University of California press, 2002) and Live and Die like a Man: Gender Dynamics in Urban Egypt (Stanford University Press, 2013). Her work has appeared in the American Ethnologist, Visual Anthropology, City and Society, and the International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies. Farha is a co-editor of Jadaliyya's Cities Page. Click here to access her Swarthmore College profile.