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Hazem Ziada

Of Bounds and Coffers

[Bounds Map of Cairo, 1946. Credit: ©The British Library Board]

This map (Fig.1) shows a section of modern Cairo in 1946, developed from the 1860s onwards to the west of the historic city (founded 969 C.E.). The map focuses on the downtown area or roughly what came to be called Wist al-Balad—the middle-of-the-city (country?)—curiously bounded in pink on three sides. Intense curiosity about the boundary prompted this article: What did the boundary delimit and protect? What does it disclose about Cairo’s history? And what does it reveal ...

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What Brings them There? Reflections on the Persisting Symbolism of Tahrir Square

Cairo’s Tahrir Square presents a riddle. This irregular expanse of land and surrounding building surfaces has acquired a central symbolic place in Egyptians’ collective memory, demonstrated by its recurrent use for decades as the primary site for voicing people’s grievances and proclamations. To its romantics and its detractors, what happens in or around Tahrir Square remains crucial as an index to some perceived collectivity. Despite being a twentieth-century addition to a ...

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Bio

Hazem Ziada


Hazem Ziada is an architect, urbanist, historian and educator. He received his PhD in Architecture from the College of Architecture at Georgia Institute of Technology, 2011. He has taught in US and UK schools of architecture. Besides exploring pedagogical issues and the poetics of building systems and technologies in architecture, his main research focus probes the spatial morphology of political practices in various contexts: in early Soviet architecture, in congregational or assembly ritual and in Cairo’s urban history. Recent publications include: