Virtual Book Talk with Yahia Shawkat, ‘Egypt’s Housing Crisis’ / March 9
Virtual Book Talk with Yahia Sahwkat
Wednesday, March 9
7:00PM Cairo Time | 5:00PM London | 12PM New York
Advocate and researcher of affordable housing will give a talk about his book Egypt’s Housing Crisis: The Shaping of Urban Space (AUC Press, 2020). The online event will be moderated by Ursula Lindsey, reporter, essayist, and co-host of BULAQ Podcast.
About the book
From the 1940s onward, officials deployed a number of policies to create adequate housing for Egypt’s growing population. By the 1970s, housing production had outstripped population growth, but today half of Egypt’s one hundred million people cannot afford a decent home.
Egypt’s Housing Crisis takes presidential speeches, parliamentary reports, legislation, and official statistics as the basis with which to investigate the tools that officials have used to ‘solve’ the housing crisis—rent control, social housing, and amnesties for informal self-building—as well as the inescapable reality of these policies’ outcomes. Yahia Shawkat argues that wars, mass displacement, and rural–urban migration played a part in creating the problem early on, but that neoliberal deregulation, crony capitalism and corruption, and neglectful planning have made things steadily worse ever since. In the final analysis he asks, is affordable housing for all really that hard to achieve?
About Yahia Shawkat
He is an advocate and researcher of affordable housing. He is co-founder and research director of 10 Tooba, a Cairo-based research studio where he has developed social housing programs, policies and strategies. Yahia edits its housing and spatial justice focused Built Environment Observatory, and has authored a number of works including Egypt’s Housing Crisis: The Shaping of Urban Space (AUC Press, 2020), and co-edited Nashtari kul shay’ (We Buy Everything), (Dar al-Maraya, 2022).
About Ursula Lindsey
She is a reporter, essayist and book reviewer who has lived and worked in North Africa and the Middle East since 2002. She has a long-standing interest in the built environment and urban development of Cairo. She has lived in Egypt and Morocco and reported for Newsweek, The New York Times and The Chronicle of Higher Education. Today she lives in Amman, Jordan, writes for The New York Review of Books and co-hosts a podcast on Arabic literature in translation, BULAQ.