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Tahani Rached's exploration of a historic Cairo neighbourhood offers a fascinating capsule history of one hundred years of Egyptian history.
The Cairo neighbourhood known as Garden City was developed early in the past century as an elegant haven for the city’s colonial elites. Today, almost a century since the end of British rule, it still retains something of the flavour of a colonial outpost due to the presence of the US and British embassies, whose stringent security measures have made the neighbourhood’s residents almost a subject population, their rights of access and mobility greatly regimented and their movements rigorously policed. Tahani Rached’s Neighbors
delves into the history of Garden City through the anecdotes of its residents both rich and poor, not only capturing a microcosm of Egypt’s history— from the country’s independence to the Free Officers’ coup d’état, from Nasser’s revolution to its aftermath—but revealing the profound sense of belonging, shared across classes, that is the marrow of place-making.