Engagement with Place: Cairo as Classroom

By Fayyaz Vellani.

Published by The International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations: Annual Review

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Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: October 12, 2015 $US5.00

Based on fieldwork in Cairo, this paper reflects on ways of seeing and engaging with the city. Locating research as a cultural activity which necessitates reflexivity and enables those conducting it to carefully consider how they see the city—acknowledging the multi-faceted relationships between researcher and subject—the paper elucidates these processes of reflection in a city in flux. While all cities are fluid and changing (Massey 1994; Valverde 2011), these processes are more immediately apparent in present day Cairo than they were before January 2011 or than they might be in other less transitional places. In part, this is due to the volatile nature of revolutionary movements, but it is also about how we see Cairo in light of representations of it, an undertaking which requires sensitivity given the various competing claims and discourses about this city (Lynch 2013; Korany and El-Mahdi 2012).

Keywords: Cairo, Sense of Place, Research, Intercultural Understanding, Geopolitics

The International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations: Annual Review, Volume 15, 2015, pp.1-12. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: October 12, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 556.730KB)).

Dr. Fayyaz Vellani

Senior Fellow, Critical Writing Program, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA