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AbdouMaliq Simone and Hiba Bou Akar

Counting the “Missing People” of Omdurman: Theatrics in Khartoum, Sudan

[Khartoum Skyline. Image by Mutaz Photography (Mutaz Elneel) via Wikimedia Commons.]

[The essay is based on collaboration between the two authors. AbdouMaliq Simone conducted and wrote the field research about the drama school; he then invited Jadaliyya Cities Page co-editor, Hiba Bou Akar, to contribute. Simone’s field research is based on his life in Khartoum in 1987-1990, and this contribution is part of a larger work in which he reflects on “black urbanism” across cities in Africa, the Middle East, and North America through the figure of Malcolm X. Bou ...

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AbdouMaliq Simone and Hiba Bou Akar


AbdouMaliq Simone is presently Research Professor at the University of South Australia, Visiting Professor of Urban Studies at the African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town and the Visiting Professor at Goldsmiths College, University of London.  Key publications include In Whose Image: Political Islam and Urban Practices in Sudan (University of Chicago Press, 1994), For the City Yet to Come: Urban Change in Four African Cities (Duke University Press, 2004), and City Life from Jakarta to Dakar: Movements at the Crossroads (Routledge, 2009), and the forthcoming Jakarta: Drawing the City Near (University of Minnesota Press).


Hiba Bou Akar is an Assistant Professor of Urban Planning and Middle Eastern Studies at Hampshire College. She has published articles on geographies of planning, war, violence, security, and religious political organizations. She was the co-editor of Narrating Beirut from its Borderlines (Heinrich Boll Foundation, 2011) and a special issue on “Security and the City” in City & Society (2012). She is currently working on a book project entitled Planning Beirut: For the War Yet to Come, focusing on the spatial practices of religious-political organizations in shaping post civil war frontier geographies. Hiba is a co-editor of Jadaliyya's Cities Page. Click here to visit her Hampshire College profile.