EVOLVING ARAB CITY, THE. TRADITION, MODERNITY AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT

EVOLVING ARAB CITY, THE. TRADITION, MODERNITY AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT.

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Studies of Arab/Islamic cities used to be the province of ‘outsiders’ who not only prematurely generalized to a genre, but encapsulated it in timelessness. In contrast, the case studies included in the earlier volume (Dubai, Sana’a, Baghdad, Algiers, Tunis, and Cairo), now supplemented in this volume by three older cities (Amman, Beirut, and Rabat) and five newer oil cities (Riyadh, Kuwait City, Manama, Doha and Abu-Dhabi), focus, often critically, on their rapid transformations.
Each case study traces its colonial and post-colonial history, the evolution of its distinctive social and physical structures, and its intersection with the region and the world. It pays particular attention to, inter alia, the effects of recent wars, migration patterns, petroleum prices, noting the increased role of ‘rulers’ in city planning/real estate investment both within and between Arab countries. Each traces the increased interactions between multinational firms and local developers as they strategize and compete to elevate themselves to global city status. Neoliberalism and State-sponsored advanced capitalism are all implicated in the painful task of balancing identity and post-modernity.

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