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Chapter 1: Attaba Market Hall in Khedive Cairo, Egypt: Pivoting Urban Grids, Ambiances and Socialities

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Neveen Hamza



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of a book chapter that has been published in its final definitive form by Routledge, 2022.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


The nineteenth century market halls of Cairo, Egypt, were built as places where the social elites could buy hygienic food in a secure environment. Today, after decades of decay, these market halls represent opportunities to restore their socio-economic role as places for encounters, trade, and social inclusivity (Gonzalez, 2018; Watson and Studdert, 2006). The Attaba market hall was strategically positioned between two urban grids and two urban socialities, bordering Cairo’s medieval Islamic city and the nineteenth century Haussmannian quarters of Khedive Cairo. The building once espoused presents an architectural language that reflects its function, with impressive massing and subdued decorative elements. Contrary to its European equivalents, the tree-lined avenues, street grid, and market hall itself created an intangible social dichotomy between two radically different cultures of the elites and locals, yet adjacent communities. After the 1952 revolution, the hall and its surrounding areas witnessed changing hegemonies and social policies leading to intrusive urban planning decisions that altered movement flows and prioritized cars. Informal and formal trading expanded in and around the hall and changed the social dynamics, ambience, and provisions, creating social divisions between local and in-country migrants.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hamza N, Elkerdany D, Imam S, AlSadaty A, ElSerafi T

Editor(s): Hamza N.

Publication type: Book Chapter

Publication status: Published

Book Title: Architecture and Urban Transformation of Historical Markets: Cases from the Middle East and North Africa

Year: 2022

Print publication date: 05/09/2022

Online publication date: 05/09/2022

Acceptance date: 01/05/2022

Edition: 1st

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.4324/9781003143208

ePrints DOI: 10.57711/0mxy-f630

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9780367697815