• Private development vs. the public interest

    Across Cairo public service institutions are deteriorating due to severe corruption in the last two decades. The slow collapse of the state throughout the years, leading up to the uprising of last year, entailed the mismanagement of institutions such as schools and hospitals. The Bulaq General Hospital is a prime example of how private interests […]

  • Snapshot of an ancient city

    “Despite being very old, very big, very crowded and gloriously messy, it can’t quite claim to be the oldest, or biggest or grubbiest world metropolis.” This is how Max Rodenbeck, author of Cairo’s biography Cairo: The City Victorious (2000) describes his home city. “Cairo is not a city of superlatives,” he adds. However, it is […]

  • A city in danger of losing its heritage

    The question of urban heritage has become increasingly politicised in Egypt. Cairo is a city with traces of its built heritage going as far back as its founding in 969. In addition, the city’s Greco-Roman, Coptic and Ancient Egyptian heritages are all visible. Cairo is a city of many histories, reflected in many remains. However, […]

  • What future for Cairo’s satellite towns?

    When news of President Hosni Mubarak’s downfall first washed over the crowds in Tahrir Square, protesters began to jostle in front of the watching TV cameras and hold aloft handmade signs. Amid a thicket of slogans, one stood out: “A kilo of meat costs 100 pounds, yet a square metre in Madinaty costs half a […]