Egypt’s Desert Dreams

Development or Disaster?

David Sims
Foreword byTimothy Mitchell

Egypt has placed its hopes on developing its vast and empty deserts as the ultimate solution to the country’s problems. New cities, new farms, new i

English edition
15 September 2018
486 pp.
85 photographs, 15 maps
15X23cm
ISBN 9789774168574
For sale worldwide

$29.95

Egypt has placed its hopes on developing its vast and empty deserts as the ultimate solution to the country’s problems. New cities, new farms, new industrial zones, new tourism resorts, and new development corridors, all have been promoted for over half a century to create a modern Egypt and to pull tens of millions of people away from the increasingly crowded Nile Valley into the desert hinterland. The results, in spite of colossal expenditures and ever-grander government pronouncements, have been meager at best, and today Egypt’s desert is littered with stalled schemes, abandoned projects, and forlorn dreams. It also remains stubbornly uninhabited.
Egypt’s Desert Dreams is the first attempt of its kind to look at Egypt’s desert development in its entirety. It recounts the failures of governmental schemes, analyzes why they have failed, and exposes the main winners of Egypt’s desert projects, as well as the underlying narratives and political necessities behind it, even in the post-revolutionary era.
This fully updated paperback edition addresses the latest projects as well as the discourses relating to Egypt’s desert development since the publication of the hardcover edition nearly four years ago, particularly the scheme to built a gigantic new capital east of Cairo.

David Sims

David Sims is an American economist and urban planner who has led a number of studies about Cairo’s urban development and housing.
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