From the Railway to the Highway: The History of (Un)Free Movement in the Arab Mediterranean
The Metropole Blog
by themetropoleblog
2w ago
Editor’s note: This is the final entry in our theme for the month, Cities of the Eastern Mediterranean by Ingy Higazi In September 1923, Egyptian writer al-Sayyid ‘Abd al-Mu‘min Kamil al-Hakim set out on a journey from al-Qantara, east of the Suez Canal on Egypt’s northeastern border, to Palestine, Lebanon, and Syria. His month-long journey from Egypt to the Levant, which he embarked on “in fulfillment of the duties of nationalism and neighborliness,” was entirely by rail.[1] In his travel account, Riḥlat Misrī ila Falastīn, Lubnān wa Sūriyya, published in Cairo in 1924, al-Hakim vividly desc ..read more
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Reading ‘Akka’s Khans
The Metropole Blog
by themetropoleblog
3w ago
Editor’s note: This is the fifth entry in our theme for May, Cities of the Eastern Mediterranean. by Francesco Anselmetti Entering ‘Akka in November 1693, ‘Abdel Ghani al-Nabulsi was overcome with disappointment. “We arrived at ‘Akka—a ruined town”, the Damascene intellectual writes, “its walls destroyed, the eye of its castle gouged out, the fruits of its industry absent. A few houses remain here and there: bundles of sticks of little consequence.”[1] Al-Nabulsi could perhaps be forgiven for his high expectations. Having no doubt read the triumphal accounts of the Mamluk reconquest of the Cr ..read more
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The Jewish Quarter of Saïda: Intertwined Displacements and Memories of Absence in a Southern Lebanese City
The Metropole Blog
by themetropoleblog
3w ago
Editor’s Note: This is the fourth entry in our theme for the month of May: Cities of the Eastern Mediterranean by Molly Oringer “The rabbis prayed here, in Saïda’s synagogue,” recalled Basma, a Palestinian woman in her mid-thirties. It was early 2020, and we stood gathering in a courtyard typical of the medieval neighborhood, Ḥarat al-Yahūd (The Jewish Quarter), an area within the city of Saïda (Sidon) in southern Lebanon. Basma gestured toward a nearby alleyway while telling us (Janan, my friend and research assistant; Ahmed, a Palestinian cafe owner and our neighborhood guide; and myself, a ..read more
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The Center at the Edge: The Beach in Mid-Century Alexandria
The Metropole Blog
by themetropoleblog
1M ago
Editor’s note: This is the third entry in our theme for May, Cities of the Eastern Mediterranean. by Alexandra Camille Schultz Introduction: From Edge to Center[1] In the early twentieth century, more people began to spend organized leisure time at the beach, including in Egypt. Indeed, by the end of World War II, the Mediterranean beach at Alexandria was central to the city’s identity. Especially for Cairenes (residents of Cairo) and regional tourists, Alexandria became synonymous with summer and beaches.[2] Women were key to the rise of Alexandria’s beaches and Egyptian beach culture. This ..read more
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Urban Huts, Sickness, and Mobility: Finding Immigrants in Haifa and Jaffa in the 1930s and 1940s
The Metropole Blog
by themetropoleblog
1M ago
Editor’s note: This is the second post in our theme for May, Cities of the Eastern Mediterranean. by Lauren Banko Public health officers in Palestine could not find Adam Mohammad, a man diagnosed with leprosy. As it did with others in Palestine with the same diagnosis, the department of health wished to monitor Mohammad’s condition. By the early 1940s, his name was known to health officials in Jerusalem although unlike a number of other men and women with the condition, Mohammad’s name never appeared in the nominal rolls of the Moravian Church Mission’s Leper Home in Talbiyeh. Under the medic ..read more
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The Urban Tapestry of the Eastern Mediterranean—An Overview
The Metropole Blog
by themetropoleblog
1M ago
Editor’s Note: This is the first in our theme for the month of May: Cities of the Eastern Mediterranean. by Zeead Yaghi The social, urban, and political fabric of cities across the Eastern Mediterranean have long shared material, cultural, and architectural commonalities, influenced by factors such as travel, commercial capitalism, and shared governance. Whether the longue durée role of imperial governance of the Ottoman or Hapsburg states, centuries of trade between the port cities of Italy and the Levant forming an essential cog in the network of global capitalism, or the millions of people ..read more
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Beyond the “Doom-Loop”—A Review of “Kids on The Street: Queer Kinship and Religion in San Francisco’s Tenderloin”
The Metropole Blog
by erichaeusler
1M ago
Plaster, Joseph. Kids on the Street: Queer Kinship and Religion in San Francisco’s Tenderloin. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2023. Reviewed by Alex Melody Burnett At the height of the coronavirus pandemic, national media outlets developed a powerful new narrative about San Francisco. After years of tech-induced prosperity, San Francisco had supposedly entered a dangerous period of urban decline characterized by alarming rates of homelessness and drug addiction—a “doom loop,” as the San Francisco Chronicle declared in March 2023. According to the doom-loop narrative, San Francisco was rapi ..read more
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Announcing The Eighth Annual UHA/The Metropole Graduate Student Blogging Contest
The Metropole Blog
by themetropoleblog
1M ago
Connection The Metropole/Urban History Association Graduate Student Blogging Contest exists to encourage and train graduate students to blog about history—as a way to teach beyond the classroom, market their scholarship, and promote the enduring value of the humanities. This year’s theme is Connection. We are looking for blog posts that highlight connections that occur within, among, and between cities and their residents. This might be literal physical connections, like roads, bridges, subways, or sidewalks. It might be connections forged among people within a single city or commonalities bet ..read more
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Demystified Tokyo Offers an Alternative Paradigm of Urban Planning—A Review of “Emergent Tokyo: Designing the Spontaneous City”
The Metropole Blog
by erichaeusler
2M ago
Almazán, Jorge and Studiolab. Emergent Tokyo: Designing the Spontaneous City. Novato, CA: ORO Editions, 2022. Reviewed by Eric Häusler Emergent Tokyo is the result of the collaborative effort of Studiolab, an architecture studio at Keio University that combines interdisciplinary research with socially conscious architectural practice. Emergent Tokyo’s authors argue that Tokyo is a vibrant and livable city and that its development offers an aspirational concept for urbanists and cities across the globe. What exactly is a “city”? What characterizes a thriving city? How do cities develop? Can cit ..read more
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A River Runs Through It: The Anacostia and Residential Displacement in Postwar Southeast DC
The Metropole Blog
by themetropoleblog
2M ago
Editor’s note: This month we are featuring work by historians that extend Beyond the Urban. This is our third post in the series. by S.D. Hodell There are two main waterways in the Washington, DC, metro area: the Potomac and the Anacostia. The two rivers are a study in contrasts. The Potomac separates Maryland and DC from Virginia, flowing from Harpers Ferry, where Thomas Jefferson called its confluence with the Shenandoah River “one of the most stupendous scenes in nature,” to a crescendo at Great Falls, just ten miles west of the DC line. The long-polluted Anacostia bisects the District’s P ..read more
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