Chapter

Banished By the Quake Urban Cairenes Displaced From the Historic Center to the Desert Periphery

Diane Singerman

in Cairo Contested

Published by American University in Cairo Press

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9789774162886
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9781617970351 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5743/cairo/9789774162886.003.0011
Banished By the Quake Urban Cairenes Displaced From the Historic Center to the Desert Periphery

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This chapter explores what happens in the specific “moment” of the rupture of residential situations or their “precarious passage.” It reports the hypothesis that the relocated population, paradoxically, implemented strategies of adjustment and adaptation to overcome or at least reduce their uncertainty precisely because they were in a situation of uncertainty. Despite their status as peripheral, both geographically and politically, many relocated people transformed their urban spaces. The effects of displacement by the earthquake can be read on several levels. Because of the earthquake, moving from homes in the old town and Cairo's central neighborhoods to apartments in the new, peripheral desert cities implied an essential transformation for the victims' households. Despite the difficulties of settling down in Masakin al-Zilzal, an unfinished project far from the city center, those forced to relocate there demonstrated the ability to adjust to an entirely new situation extremely rapidly albeit with widely varying degrees of success.

Keywords: Masakin al-Zilzal; earthquake; Cairenes; urban spaces; Cairo; peripheral desert cities; relocated population

Chapter.  6358 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: International Relations

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