Architecture, memory and historical continuity in Old Cairo

Mohamed Gamal Abdelmonem, Gehan Selim

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    14 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The hawari (local communities) of Old Cairo resemble a unique societal context whose history is actively involved in the contemporary everyday production of local habits, traditions and social practice. By the virtue of its durability and ability to survive, Architecture brings events and traditions of the past alive into the present through the spatial transformation, social practice and the value of the historical-fabric. The presence of buildings and houses from different historical periods has helped the local community’s memory to carry social practices over from one generation to another. This article explores the relationship between architecture, memory and everyday social practices through determining the way architecture moderates community experiences and communicates narratives among generations in haret al-Darb al-Asfar in old Cairo. Architecture emerges as a moderator of cross-time communication and as physical elements that help visualize history, situate values and materialize local traditions in old Cairo. Architecture, as process and product this article reports, works as agent of continuity, which in conjunction with the narrators, brings the full experience of the past alive in the present and helps guide future generations.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)163-189
    Number of pages27
    JournalJournal of Architecture
    Volume17
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 01 Apr 2012

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
    • Architecture

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