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This book looks at the politics and culture that shaped the preservation of historic Cairo. It argues that the historic city we know as Medieval Cairo was created in the nineteenth century by both Egyptians and Europeans against a background of four overlapping political and cultural contexts: namely, the local Egyptian, Anglo-Egyptian, Anglo-Indian, and Ottoman imperial milieux. Addressing the interrelated topics of empire, local history, religion, and transnational heritage, historian Paula Sanders shows how Cairo's architectural heritage became canonized in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The book also explains why and how the city assumed its characteristically Mamluk appearance and situates the activities of the European-dominated architectural preservation committee (known as the Comite) within the history of religious life in nineteenth-century Cairo. Sanders explores such varied topics as the British experience in India, the Egyptian debate over religious reform, and the influence of "The Thousand and One Nights" on European notions of the medieval Arab city. Offering fresh perspectives and keen historical analysis, this volume examines the unacknowledged colonial legacy that continues to inform the practice of and debates over preservation in Cairo.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9789774160950
ISBN-10: 9774160959
Format: Hardback
(229mm x 152mm x 22mm)
Pages: 240
Imprint: The American University in Cairo Press
Publisher: The American University in Cairo Press
Publish Date: 15-Mar-2008
Country of Publication: Egypt

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Author Biography - Paula Sanders

Paula Sanders is associate professor of history at Rice University. She is the author of Ritual, Politics, and the City in Fatimid Cairo. She has published articles in the fields of medieval Islamic history and historiography, gender, and the history of conservation in Cairo.