Skip to main content Skip to main navigation menu Skip to site footer

The (No-)Public Space. Reviewing the Transformation of Al-Qaed Ibrahim's Urban Image

Abstract

Public spaces are defined as places that should be accessible to all inhabitants without restrictions. They are spaces not only for gathering, socializing and celebrating but also for initiating discussions, protesting and demonstrating. Thus, public spaces are intangible expressions of democracy—a topic that the paper tackles its viability within the context of Alexandria, case study Al-Qaed Ibrahim square.

On the one hand, Al-Qaed Ibrahim square which is named after Al-Qaed Ibrahim mosque is a sacred element in the urban fabric; whereas on the other it represents a non-religious revolutionary symbol in the Alexandrian urban public sphere. This contradiction necessitates finding an approach to study the characteristic of this square/mosque within the Alexandrian context—that is to realize the impact of the socio-political events on the image of Al-Qaed Ibrahim square, and how it has transformed into a revolutionary urban symbol and yet into a no-public space.
The research revolves around the hypothesis that the political events taking place in Egypt after January 25th, 2011, have directly affected the development of urban public spaces, especially in Alexandria. Therefore methodologically, the paper reviews the development of Al-Qaed Ibrahim square throughout the Egyptian socio-political changes, with a focus on the square’s urban and emotional contextual transformations. For this reason, the study adheres to two theories: the "city elements" by Kevin Lynch and "emotionalizing the urban" by Frank Eckardt. The aim is not only to study the mentioned public space but also to figure out the changes in people’s societal behaviour and emotion toward it.
Through empowering public spaces, the paper calls the different Egyptian political and civic powers to recognize each other, regardless of their religious, ethnical or political affiliations. It is a step towards replacing the ongoing political conflicts, polarization, and suppression with societal reconciliation, coexistence, and democracy.

Published:
Pages:177 to 192
Section: Systems
How to Cite
Hegazy, I. (2020) “The (No-)Public Space. Reviewing the Transformation of Al-Qaed Ibrahim’s Urban Image”, The Journal of Public Space, 5(1), pp. 177-192. doi: https://doi.org/10.32891/jps.v5i1.1257.

Author Biography

Bauhaus University Weimar
Germany Germany

Iman Hegazy is a PhD candidate in Urban-sociology at the  Bauhaus-Universität Weimar on the topic An Urban Setting in Contest: Reviewing the refugees' Impact on the Material Culture of Alexandria, Advisor: Prof. Frank Eckardt. She holds  an International Master of European Urban Studies (EU) program at Bauhaus-Universität, with a thesis on Beyond the Religious Denotation: A study on the development of Al-Qaed Ibrahim’s socio-urban denotative meaning, Advisors Prof. Frank Eckardt and Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Philippe Schmidt; and a Bachelor of Architectural Engineering & Environmental Design, AASTMT Alexandria, Egypt. Graduated from RIBA1 certificated school - General grade: Excellent with honor. She speaks Arabic (mother Tongue), English, German, French

EMPLOYMENT / ACADEMIC
2013 – Up to date AASTMT, Alexandria and Smart Village Cairo, Egypt.
Lecturer assistant in the topics relate to conservation, environmental design and urban sprawl
2018 – 2018 Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Germany and German Jordanian University, Jordan Research assistant in the field of urban-sociology. “Discovering cities” project: funded by DAAD under the category of Higher Education Dialogue with the Islamic World. The project works on paving communication channels between Germany and the MENA-region—that is to advance the process of sharing knowledge and exchanging ideas. Exchange students (German, Jordanian and Syrian).
2016  - Bauhaus-Universität Weimar und der Universitätsbibliothek Weimar, Germany Department of urban-sociology. “We help” project: translating "Info-Blättes/ Bibliotheque brochure" from German into Arabic. The project aims at helping the Syrian refugees to be more involved in the German society.
2015 - Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Gemany Department of urban-sociology. “Willkommensstädte/Welcoming Cites” project: Discovering the unrecognized socio-urban structures of Thüringen cities. The topic relates to the Syrian refugee-waves proceeding to Germany.

References

Arnstein, S. R. (1969). A Ladder of Citizen Participation. 35, pp. 216-224.

Assala, A. (2014/2015). whose city?. Master essay, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar.

Carlstrom, G. (2013). Egypt declares Brotherhood 'terrorist group'. aljazeera, NEWS/MIDDLE EAST, 25 December 2013. Available at http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2013/12/egypt-declares-brotherhood-terrorist-group-201312251544398545.html [Accessed: 17 October 2015].

Cp. William M. Tuttle, jr. (1978). Race Riot Chicago in the Red Summer of 1919. New York.

Eckardt, F. 2013. Die Emotionalisierung der Stadt.

El-Taraboulsi, S. N. (n.d.). Al-'adalah ijtima'iah in Transition: Social justice Philanthropy and the Arab Awakening.

Hafez, K. (2013). Egypt's revolution: Egyptians still cry for bread. بوابة الاهرام, ahramonline, 24 January 2013. Available at http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/63140.aspx [Accessed: 17 October 2015].

Hendawy, H. (2014/2015). The diverse modes of transformation in the roles of urban public spaces. Module: Urban, Policy, Planning and Sustainable Urban Management (UPPSUM). Master essay, University of Stuttgart, Germany - Ain Shams University, Egypt.

ILO (2011). Youth Unemployment in the Arab World is a Major Cause for Rebellion. Retrieved from International Labour Organization. [online] Available at: < http://www.ilo.org/global/about-the-ilo/newsroom/features/WCMS_154078/lang--en/index.htm > [Accessed 25 October 2015].

Levy, A. (1999). Urban morphology and the problem of the modern urban fabric: some questions for research. Urban Morphology, 2, pp. 79-85.

Lynch, K. (1960). The Image of The City. Massachusetts: Massachusetts Press.

Moussa, M. M. (n.d.). Mario Rossi and the Egyptian school of architecture in Alexandria. pp. 105-102.

Nagati, O., & Stryker, B. (2012). Archiving a City in Flux: Cairo’s Evolving Urbanism Pre- and Post-Revolution. Revolts and Transitions in the Arab World: Towards a New Urban Agenda? Conference. Cairo, Egypt. Unpublished paper
Open Access Journal
ISSN 2206-9658