Cairo’s Street Stories

Exploring the City’s Statues, Squares, Bridges, Gardens, and Sidewalk Cafés

Lesley Lababidi

In 1872, Ismail Pasha, the khedive of Egypt, was the first to adopt the European custom of positioning heroic statues on public display as a symbolic

English edition
15 April 2008
152 pp.
Over 100 color illus.
16.5X23.5cm
ISBN 9789774161537
For sale worldwide

$24.95

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In 1872, Ismail Pasha, the khedive of Egypt, was the first to adopt the European custom of positioning heroic statues on public display as a symbolic message of the continuing authority of the ruling Muhammad Ali dynasty to which he belonged, but it was not until the early twentieth century and the determination of sculptor Mahmoud Mukhtar that such public art gained general acceptance, and today statues stand, ride, or sit in the streets, squares, and gardens of Cairo. Each sculpture adds a piece to the jigsaw of history spanning personalities and events that shaped the city and wider Egypt from 1805 to 1970, and here Cairo-based author Lesley Lababidi provides a unique perspective on Egyptian history through looking at more than thirty statues and monumental sculptures and the stories behind them. Between statues, she explores Cairo’s growth and its multidimensional identity, as manifested in the development and changing use of city space over the centuries, and examines the relationship of Cairo’s modern denizens with the landscapes, districts, palaces, archaeological sites, cafés, bridges, and gardens of their great and maddening city, the Mother of the World. Illustrated throughout with color photographs and archival pictures, Cairo’s Street Stories presents a unique and lively view of the history that fashioned the city’s streets and open spaces, and of the many and often unexpected uses to which its inventive inhabitants put them.

Lesley Lababidi

Lesley Lababidi is the co-author of A Field Guide to the Street Names of Central Cairo (AUC Press, 2018) and the author of Cairo Practical Guide (AUC Press, 2011, 17th ed.), Cairo’s Street Stories: Exploring the City’s Statues, Squares, Bridges, Gardens, and Sidewalk Cafés (AUC Press, 2008), Cairo: The Family Guide (AUC Press, 4th ed., 2010), and Silent No More: Special Needs People in Egypt (AUC Press, 2005). An active and well-traveled blogger, she currently lives between Cairo, Beirut, and Lagos. To visit the author's blog, click here.
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