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This is a new paperback edition of the first collected volume from the Cairo School of Urban Studies. Bringing together a distinguished interdisciplinary group of scholars, this volume explores what happens when new forms of privatization meet collectivist pasts, public space is sold off to satisfy investor needs and tourist gazes, and the state plans for Egypt’s future in desert cities while stigmatizing and neglecting Cairo’s popular neighborhoods. These dynamics produce surprising contradictions and juxtapositions that are coming to define today’s Middle East. The original publication of this volume launched the Cairo School of Urban Studies, committed to fusing political-economy and ethnographic methods and sensitive to ambivalence and contingency, to reveal the new contours and patterns of modern power emerging in the urban frame.