Planning and Organising Cairo since its Establishment
.عبد الوهاب، حسن. تخطيط القاهرة و تنظيمها منذ نشأتها. القاهرة: مطابع دار النشر للجامعات المصرية، ١٩٥۷، ۷٩ص

ʻAbd al-Wahhab, Hasan. Takhtit al-Qahirah wa Tanzimuha mundhu Nashʼatiha. Cairo: Matabiʻ Dar al-Nashr lil-Jamiʻat al-Misriyyah, 1957, 79pp.


Planning and Organising Cairo since its Establishment

تخطيط القاهرة و تنظيمها منذ نشأتها

This text could be considered one of the most important books illustrating the historical development of the physical environment of Cairo. The topic was originally presented as a lecture by its author Hasan ‘Abd al-Wahhab, one of the greatest archaeologists in the history of Egypt. Interestingly, this book intertwines both the author’s archaeological findings and his extensive citations from different disciplines to provide the reader with a range of views and descriptions. Hence, the author’s style of writing reflects his originality, confidence, and critical, comparative and analytical skills.

This book highlights the organised establishment of Cairo since the Arab conquests, and shows the large extent to which the progress of this city is connected to Islamic instructions and laws. The author shows how health, social, economic, religious, and military domains contributed to the physical design of the city. The linkage he makes between areas he identifies in references and their locations in modern Cairo is a valuable contribution to an interested audience. 

Regarding the structure of the book, certain subtitles are unclear and unnecessary since the content of some digresses from the main subject. Furthermore, the use of images and maps in pages following their in-text references would have been more convenient rather than listing them at the end of the book. Though his rich quotations are highly valued, a table of references at the end of the book would have been of high interest to most readers. 

This book is remarkable due to its interdisciplinary approach whereby the plan of Cairo is defined by resorting to history, archaeology, literature, law, and religion. 

Jaydaa Wardeh
Wardeh, Jaydaa. “English abstract of 'Planning and Organising Cairo since its Establishment'". Translated by Jaydaa Wardeh. In Cities as Built and Lived Environments: Scholarship from Muslim Contexts, 1875 to 2011, by Aptin Khanbaghi, 127. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2014.
Muslim Civilisations Abstracts - The Aga Khan University
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