Cairo: Restoration? And the Limits of Street Politics

In this piece, I argue that the city of Cairo has witnessed unprecedented urban transformations for the past 4 years, owing to urban wars and confrontations during the two regimes that followed Mubarak’s ouster. Street politics, although mesmerizing, have been highly exhausting. With the reemergence of the army in civil life, after the ousting of President Morsi, street activism is becoming hazardous and highly costly in terms of human life. Whether Egypt is witnessing the persistence of a counter-revolutionary moment, firmly marching toward the uncompromising neoliberal city, exemplified in Dubai as a model and planned prior to 2011, will be difficult to answer, precisely because Cairo is not Dubai. Experts on Arab revolutions have spoken of the emergence of new “subjectivities” that have opened novel mental, visual, and physical interactions in the city, perhaps encouraging optimism in the long term.

Article available from Space and Culture. May, 2017 (Sub Required).

Photo: Protest in Tahrir Square on NOvember 18 2011. Wikimedia.


Publication Type Journal Article
Publisher Space and Culture
Year 2017
Author(s) Mona Abaza
ISSN 15528308
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