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Distributed for Reaktion Books


City of Sand

Distributed for Reaktion Books


City of Sand

Cairo is a 1,400-year-old metropolis whose streets are inscribed with sagas, a place where the pressures of life test people’s equanimity to the very limit. Virtually surrounded by desert, sixteen million Cairenes cling to the Nile and each other, proximities that color and shape lives. Packed with incident and anecdote Cairo: City of Sand describes the city’s given circumstances and people’s attitudes of response. Apart from a brisk historical overview, this book focuses on the present moment of one of the world’s most illustrious and irreducible cities.

Cairo steps inside the interactions between Cairenes, examining the roles of family, tradition and bureaucracy in everyday life. The book explores Cairo’s relationship with its "others", from the French and British occupations to modern influences like tourism and consumerism. Cairo also discusses characteristic styles of communication, and linguistic mêmes, including slang, grandiloquence, curses and jokes.

Cairo exists by virtue of these interactions, synergies of necessity, creativity and the presence or absence of power. Cairo: City of Sand reveals a peerless balancing act, and transmits the city’s overriding message: the breadth of the human capacity for loss, astonishment and delight.

Distribution by the University of Chicago Press only to customers in the USA and Canada. Customers elsewhere should visit the UK website of Reaktion Books.

224 pages | 6.15 x 9.25


African Studies

History: African History

Sociology: Social Change, Social Movements, Political Sociology

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"Well-researched, reflective. . . Golia crams her book with anecdotes and personal experience, giving us an intimate picture of an inimitable, modern city."

The Good Book Guide

Table of Contents

I. Vanishing Point
II. Artifice and Edifice
III. The Guests
IV. Listening
V. Ensemble
Select Bibliography
Photographic Acknowledgements

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