[This is a monthly roundup of news articles, and other materials related to urban issues in the region, and beyond. It does not reflect the views of the Cities Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send recommendations for inclusion in the Cities Media Roundup to email@example.com, mentioning “Roundup” in the subject line. We also welcome your submissions to the Cities Page: please check details on cities.jadaliyya.com]
Saudi Arabia Seeks New Economy with $500 Billion Business Zone with Jordan, EgyptAndrew Torchia reports for Reuters on Saudi Arabia’s plans to free itself from dependence on oil exports, and its intention to build a business and industrial zone which extends into Jordan and Egypt.
CMA CGM annonce l’ouverture d’un port sec à Taanayel L’Orient Le Jour reports that the leading container transportation and shipping company CMA CGM plans to open its first dry port in Lebanon’s Bekaa valley, which will facilitate import/ export operations to Arab countries such as Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
The new capital initiative Abdelmonem Alzu’bi discusses the pros and cons of a recent initiative the government of Jordan recently announced to create a new capital that would built and managed by the private sector, in order to unlock existing bottlenecks on residential and commercial development as well as mitigate pressures on infrastructure.
A Symbol of Egypt Stefan Weichert explores the symbol of pride for Egyptian people, the Mohamed Ali Mosque, which serves as a memento of the making of modern Egypt, in a report for Al-Ahram Weekly.
Every Nation Needs a Capital: How Erbil turned Itself Kurdish Alexander Dziadosz reports for The Guardian on the systematic adoption of the Kurdish culture to the city of Erbil, and the domination of the Kurdish identity in the city’s public spaces since the construction of a new gate and the fall of Saddam Hussein.
Lebanon Activists Cite Win For Heritage Preservation Daniel Hilton reports for Al Jazeera on the new law approved by the Lebanese government concerning the protection of archaeological and heritage buildings, and sites of historical and cultural significance.
Ghalghoul: A Neighborhood Erased Habib Battah reveals before-and-after photos of the reconstruction zones of the old city of Beirut; in a portrayal of the demolition which was sanctioned by the Solidere plan.
الاثنين " الأسود " .. وسط العريش ساحة الحرب Murad Hijazi reports for Mada Masr on the impact of armed conflict on downtown Al-Arish, the capital city of Northern Sinai in Egypt.
Treasure out of Trash Farah Al-Akkad reports for Al-Ahram Weekly on the efforts of various initiatives to address Cairo’s chronic garbage problem and advocate for recycling and the protection of the environment.
The Waste Crisis and Urban Fabric in Beirut Eric Verdeil analyzes the metabolism of waste management in Lebanon, revealing both its political challenges and social dimensions, whilst emphasizing the diverse range of actors involved in the crisis.
Élias Azzi, auteur d’une thèse sur la filière des déchets au Liban: “La crise est juste devant nous” Le Commerce Du Levant conducts an interview with waste management specialist Elias Azzi on Beirut’s garbage crisis.
La crise des déchets comme métaphore de la catastrophe moyen-orientale Geographer Eric Verdeil reviews the short film ‘Submarine’ produced by Mounia Akl, which uses the waste crisis of Lebanon as a metaphor to describe the collapse of the Middle East.
Diaries of a garbage bag Journalist Ranine Awwad analyses the multiple dimensions of the waste crisis in Lebanon by exploring the content and the life of a garbage bag.
L’énergie renouvelable au cœur des projets de le Fondation René Moawad Ornella Antar reports for L’Orient Le Jour on the sustainable energy projects which aim to reduce the cost of electricity for villagers in the north of Lebanon, and limit their exposure to intermittency.
Urban Planning and Inequality
The Other Side: How Highways Divided Beirut’s Neighborhoods Khalil Hariri reports for Executive Magazine on the torn communities of Beirut through an examination of the Charles Helou Avenue, which divided Mar Mikhael into two halves, and drastically impacted the economy, identity and development of the Medawar neighborhoods of Beirut.
القاهرة أخطر مدن العالم على النساء .. وحكايات "# أنا _كمان " تعيد فتح ملف التحرش الجنسي Mada Masr addresses the report submitted by the Thomas Reuters Foundations, which classifies Cairo as one of the most dangerous megacities for women, and examines sexual harassment in the Egyptian capital.
Bidding Farewell to the Terminally Troubled City Mohamed Elshahed reports for Cairo Observer on the sense of disenchantment felt by the people of Cairo, the Levant and Iraq, and their lamentation for the birth of the modern city and its layered experience of urbanity.
Video: À quoi va ressembler le tramway de Rabat-Salé en 2019? Le Site Info addresses the extension plans of the Rabat-Salé tramway in Morocco, and its implications on traffic flows and the connectivity between the two cities.
Amman’s Balconies Come Alive with Music Mohammad Ersan reports for Middle East Eye on the surprise concerts and interactive sketches that are performed by local artists on the balconies of historical buildings and old houses of Amman.
Being an East Syrian Laborer in Lebanon Khalifa Al-Khuder reports for Al Jumhuriya on the aspirations, sufferings and occasional joys of the largely voiceless Syrian worker community in Lebanon.
Human Rights Watch: Jordan is Deporting Refugees Without Due Process Oscar Jarzmik reports for Muftah on the unacceptable and illegitimate methods used by the Jordanian government in their treatment of Syrian refugees, and their strategic use of the deportation campaign to deflect attention away from pre-existing national challenges.
Conflicts and Reconstructions
It Will Take Years to Clear Up the Rubble in the Middle East The Economist assesses the destruction endured by the built environments of both Syria and Iraq in the wake of war, and the estimated time and tools required to clear the wreckage and detritus.
EU Aid and Development Planning in the Occupied West Bank Instituto Affari Internazionali releases a report on the international seminar hosted in Rome which addresses Italy’s and the EU’s evolving strategy towards Area C, and highlights the primary impediments, risks and constraints impacting humanitarian and developmental projects in the area.
The Winners and Losers in the Reconstruction of Syria Lina Khatib reports for Middle East Monitor on the growing debate within Western and regional political circles regarding the reconstruction of Syria, and their erroneous assumptions of equitability.
For the 119th Time, Israel Demolished the Palestinian Bedouin Village al-Araqib Mathew DeMaio reports for Muftah on Israel’s repeated attempts to demolish Al-Araqib, a Bedouin Village that predates the Nakba.
Kurdistan ‘Healing Gardens’ Aims to Help Iraqis Deal with Trauma Alex MacDonald reports for Middle East Eye on a new project in Iraq which aims to help survivors of atrocities come to terms with their experiences and loss through the use of animal-assisted therapy.
Alive and Kicking: Sirte Rebuilds from the Ruins of War with IS Maryline Dumas reports for Middle East Eye on the reconstruction attempts made by the residents of Sirte after decades of violence and control.
New New New Cairo Adham Salim reports for Cairo Observer on the strategic design of the New Cairo city, which attempts to uproot and reallocate the center of the city in a re-representation of history.
“Rakka occupe une place considérable dans l’histoire arabe” Fanny Arlandis conducts an interview with Middle East specialist Myriam Ababsa on the destiny of the Syrian city for Le Monde.
Gramsci géographe: entretien avec Stefan Kipfer Selim Nadi conducts an interview with geographer Stefan Kipfer who uses a Gramscian approach to interpret the Arab revolution.
Salam! La politique en surface dans le street art arabe Yves Gonzalez-Quijano reflects on the contemporary use of murals and street art in Arab cities, and argues that the revolutionary discourse of graffiti has lost its place in urban spaces to the commercial and fashionable use of street art, which is in favor of a consensual discourse.
فيديوا الدنيا فابريكا: المصبغة Mustafa Darwish documents one of the last and dying fabric and string workshops in Al-Hussayin, Cairo in a video for Mada Masr.
ستة معماريين أردنيين يتكلمون عن الستة مشاريع الفائزة بدورة 2016 لجائزة الآغا خان للعمارة Six Jordanian architects discuss the six winning projects of the 2016 Aga Khan Award for Architecture in a video.
Video: Living With the Past: Old Cairo ‘Living With the Past’ is a filmic portrait of Darb al-Ahmar, a historic Egyptian district which lied in the heart of the old city, and is now facing a process of radical change.
Call for Paper: World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies (Andalusia, 16-22 July 2018), Deadline: 9 December 2017. The Three Cultures of the Mediterranean Foundation welcomes the Fifth World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies (WOCMES) to present, debate and share the latest studies on the Middle East on a wide range of topics including conflict analysis and resolution, water and the environment.
Recently on Jadaliyya
Maghreb: l’Etat d’injustice en question Mourad BenJelloul reviews the book by Irene Bone, Béatrice Hibou, Hamza Meddeb and Mohamed Tozy that discuss State and the politics of (un)justice in Tunisia and Morocco.
Presentations and Exhibit- Water Urbanism: Amman (Amman, 14 October 2017). The Urban Design Program at Columbia University will be hosting a series of presentations and an exhibition to investigate climate response at multiple scales, towards achieving action and defined, replicable climate adaptation projects in the world’s most vulnerable regions.
Lancement d’un livre: Vers l’appropriation du littoral, Sébastien Lamy et Cynthia Bou Aoun (Beyrouth, 8 novembre) (Beirut, 8 November 2017). MAJAL has organized a conference on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the book ‘Le Littoral’ written by Sébastien Lamy and Cynthia Bou Aoun.