Mona Abaza is Professor of Sociology at the Department of Sociology, the American University in Cairo. She was a visiting professor of Islamology in the Department of Theology at Lund University (2009-2011). Visiting scholar at the Institute for South East Asian Studies, Singapore (1990 -1992), Kuala Lumpur (1995 – 1996), l’École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris (1994), the Wissenschaftskolleg, Berlin (1996 – 1997), The International Institute for Asian Studies, Leiden (2002 – 2003), the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences, Wassenaar (2006 – 2007) and the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center (2005). Research Fellow at Morphomata, Cologne, 2014.
Her Books include:
The Cotton Plantation Remembered: An Egyptian Family Story, The American University in Cairo Press, 2013.
Twentieth Century Egyptian Art: The Private Collection of Sherwet Shafei, The American University in Cairo Press, 2011.
The Changing Consumer Culture of Modern Egypt, Cairo’s Urban Reshaping, Brill/AUC Press, 2006.
Debates on Islam and Knowledge in Malaysia and Egypt, Shifting Worlds, Routledge Curzon Press, UK. 2002.
Islamic Education, Perceptions and Exchanges: Indonesian Students in Cairo, Cahier d’Archipel, 23. EHESS, Paris. 1994.
Dina Abou El Soud
Dina Abouelsoud has been an important catalyst for change in Downtown Cairo for more than a decade. In 2009, Abouelsoud opened the top-rated Dina’s Hostel. In addition to providing excellent accommodation at a reasonable price, Dina’s Hostel hosted cultural events and exhibitions. It quickly became a hub for travelers, artists, journalists, and activists. It was from this venture that Abouelsoud became committed to creating community spaces. She is the co-owner of Kafein and Eish + Malh, two relatively new food and drink establishments in Downtown. Kafein is a café that is serious about coffee. It also houses the K Project Space, which mounts bi-monthly exhibitions by local artists. Eish + Malh, an Italian restaurant, is Abouelsoud’s latest project. The restaurant is much loved by a loyal and ever-expanding clientele for its thin-crust pizzas, house-made pasta, decadent breakfasts and bespoke desserts. Abouelsoud recently completed her BA in Tour Guiding at Ain Shams University. She is a women’s rights activist and an inspiration to many. She grew up in Alexandria.
George Arbid is Associate Professor, Department of Architecture and Design, AUB, and Director, Arab Center for Architecture. George Arbid has conducted research on modern architecture in Lebanon and the Arab world and has lectured widely. He graduated in architecture in 1988 from the Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts, and in 2002 with a Doctor of Design degree from Harvard University. He holds a position at AUB, teaching design studios, regional architecture and history of modern architecture in the Arab world.
Riham Arram is the General Manager and founder of Cairo Heritage Preservation General Administration. Arram is an Archeologist, with a Ph.D. in Ancient Egyptian civilization and a long experience in tourism field. In 2013, she created “The Cairo Heritage Preservation Unit” captivated by Egyptian history and authenticity of the old city. Arram took the initiative to establish this entity within Cairo governorate organizational structure, and now she is responsible for coordinating and managing projects for rehabilitation and renovation of “Historic Cairo”. Slowly but surely, Arram leads a small team of architects, archeologists and young motivated employees to circulate the concept of heritage preservation among the capital residents.
In 2015, and after receiving a “full capacity building” training by UNESCO for the “Heritage Preservation Team”, the unit transformed into a general administration with a large variety of duties’ including heritage preservation, tourism, urban development, and international relations.
Tarek Atia is a journalist and early online innovator in Egypt in the late 1990s, Tarek Atia founded web portals cairolive.com and zahma.com, was Assistant Editor in Chief of Al-Ahram Weekly, and has had his writing published in prominent international media outlets including The Washington Post and Neue Zuercher Zeitung. Since 2006, he has worked in media development, designing and implementing capacity building programs for over 5,000 journalists, editors and managers working across print, broadcast and online platforms. He has also been an adjunct lecturer at Cairo University’s Faculty of Mass Communications, the American University in Cairo and the Intajour International Media Academy in Hamburg, Germany.
In 2011 he founded and now heads the new media training consultancy EMDP (Egypt Media Development Program), which offers professional development and management consulting services to the Egyptian and regional media sector. EMDP is also the publisher of Mantiqti (My Neighborhood), Egypt’s first hyper local print newspaper covering downtown Cairo.
Nathaniel Bowditch is an associate professor of Philosophy and dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at The American University in Cairo. He received his BA from the University of California at Berkeley, graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 1994, his MA from Johns Hopkins University in 2001, and his PhD from Johns Hopkins University in 2005. At Johns Hopkins he received a David Sachs Fellowship as well as the William Miller Essay Prize in 2001. Professor Bowditch taught at Goucher College and Loyola College in Maryland before joining AUC’s Department of Philosophy in September of 2006. Bowditch’s research focuses on three areas: ethics and the history of ethics, moral psychology and history of philosophy. He is currently working on a study of Hume’s account of the psychology of religious belief and its moral implications. He is an active member of the American Philosophical Association and the Hume Society. In 2009 he was elected to the American Philosophical Association’s Committee on International Cooperation. In 2009 he received the AUC Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award.
Aida El-Kashef is an independent film director and producer based in Cairo. She is the co-founder and Executive Director of Ganoub Film for production and distribution. As a director, her first short film, Rhapsody in Autumn, her graduation project from her alma mater the High Cinema Institute in Cairo, received the Dubai Muhr Silver Award. The films also received several other international awards. She has since then directed and produced A Tin Tale, a short fiction based on a true story of a young Egyptian sex-worker,that was premiered in the Dubai Film festival in 2011. She has also worked on several other productions for different directors as “Journalism Passage” by Basel Ramsis. El-Kashef has been active in several political campaigns during the Egyptian revolution, including Operation Anti-Sexual Harassment/Assault and No Military Trials of Civilians. She is also a co-founder of the Cairo-based, independent media collective Mosireen.
Mohamed Elshahed is a Cairo-based architect, independent researcher and writer. In 2014-15 he was an Art Histories and Aesthetic Practices post-doctoral fellow at the Berlin-based Forum Transregionale Studien. He obtained his doctoral degree from the Middle East Studies Department at New York University. His dissertation, Revolutionary Modernism? Architecture and the Politics of Transition in Egypt, 1936-1967, focuses on architecture and urban planning in Egypt during the period of political transition around the 1952 coup d’état. Mohamed has a Bachelor of Architecture from the New Jersey Institute of Technology and a Master in Architecture Studies from MIT. Elshahed is the founder and editor of Cairobserver.com.
Emad Farid is an architect with more than 25 years of experience in planning, designing, preparing working drawings, landscaping, hardscaping, softscaping, contracting works, and construction supervision. Under the Revival of the Egyptian Museum Initiative, he has been instrumental in coordinating with the various departments of the Ministry of Antiquities and Cairo Governorate, and overseeing the physical works. He participated in numerous projects in the Moqattam garbage collectors’ settlements; and in various components of the Siwa Sustainable Development Initiative. These include an acclaimed ecotourism resort in Siwa that has revived centuries-old traditional building systems and techniques, and other heritage preservation, planning, and beautification projects in the oasis. He was awarded the State Encouragement Prize for Architecture (2004) by the Egyptian Ministry of Culture, and the Hassan Fathy Prize for the Restoration and Re-use of the Babenshal Hotel in Siwa (2010) by Alexandria Bibliotheca.
Visual artist, filmmaker, curator of the “futuropolis” series of actions concerned with the future of our environment. He co-curated the “Studio Viennoise” exhibition which focused on the great downtown studios of the 50’s and 60’s and which featured a temporary photographic studio manned everyday by a different photographer. He produced for that show the “Last and Lost” series of photos and documentation as well as more than a dozen of videos. As a curator, he has also been digging the works and shedding the light on forgotten artists like Moshen Sharara and photographer Selim Youssef. His personal interest is in abstract landscapes, cityscapes and documenting urban and social change. His work has been widely published and exhibited locally and abroad and his films screened at the Berlinale among others. His professional interest is encyclopedic both as a cultural producer and as a magazine and map publisher. He is also the publisher of the Egypt Almanac, instructor of “intelligent design” and consultant.
Soheir Hawas, Professor of Architecture and Urban Design, Faculty of Engineering, Cairo University. She is also the founder and former Chair of the Research, Studies and Policies Department at the National Organization of Urban Harmony NOUH 2004-2013, Ministry of Culture in Egypt. She was the consultant expert and coordinator of Ministry of Housing and New Communities for the National project of upgrading and preserving of architectural identity of built environment in the Greater Cairo region (2000-2003).
Prof Soheir is a leading heritage researcher as she documented Cairo’s 19th & early 20th century architecture in the Encyclopedia of: “Khedivial Cairo Identification and Documentation of Urban-Architecture in Downtown Cairo (2002). In addition, she wrote her book “Urban Conservation-Regeneration of Heritage Areas in Egypt Aga Khan Darb Al-Ahmar Project Model” (2013). She is also responsible for listing and documenting valuable buildings in Cairo according to law 144, 2006. Since 2013, she started working as the consultant expert of Cairo Governorate for the regeneration project of Khedivial Cairo.
Galila El Kadi
Architect Planner Galila El Kadi is an emeritus research director at the French “Institut de Recherche pour le Développement”, IRD as well the chief of the architecture department at the French University in Egypt. She has specialized in heritage conservation and management and has successfully obtained European funds for projects focused on the management conservation of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries’ sites and buildings in southern Mediterranean countries. She has participated actively at the dissemination of the concept of Shared Mediterranean Heritage in the Med countries. El Kadi is currently member of the international UNESCO experts on the conservation of the urban and architectural heritage of modernities in Arab World, and consultant to the Cairo governorate for the on-going rehabilitation project of khedivial Cairo. El Kadi has relevant experience in teaching in Egypt and France. Besides worldwide lecturing on the issue, she has published and co-edited books and journals and written articles in scientific magazines.
Ernesto López-Morales is Associate Professor in the University of Chile and PhD in Urban Planning from the DPU, University College London. He is principal researcher in the CONTESTED CITIES international network and the Centre for Social Conflict and Cohesion Studies (COES) where he focuses on gentrification, neoliberal urbanism and housing in Chile and Ibero-American cities. He is author of an ebook named: Urbanismo proempresarial y destrucción creativa (Redalyc, 2013), also co-authored a book named: Global gentrifications and comparative urbanisms (Polity Press, 2016), and co-edited two books named: Global gentrifications: Uneven development and displacement (Policy Press, 2015), and Chile Urbano hacia el Siglo XXI (Editorial Universitaria, 2013), besides journal papers in JLAG (2010), IJURR (2012), Norte Grande (2013, 2014), EURE (2015), Urban Geography (forthcoming) and Housing Studies (forthcoming).
Ahmed Mansour is an architect with a bachelor degree from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Cairo. He has received his M.Sc. in conservation of monuments and historical sites at the Raymond Lemaire International Centre for Conservation (RLICC) at KULeuven, Belgium in 2009. His urban conservation thesis was about Heliopolis, a 20th century development in Cairo. Ahmed has been working in the rehabilitation of Historic Cairo (Fustat) and the Ibn Toloun area (quataea). His first working experience was establishing a database for the traditional Egyptian handicrafts, which had put him in contact with the Craftsmen working in the restoration projects and the upgrading of historic Cairo. He has worked on projects concerned with the rehabilitation and re-use of Historical buildings and the regeneration of traditional residential areas. From July 2010 to December 2014, Ahmed has been the Proxy Scientific Coordinator, a UNESCO consultant within the Urban Regeneration for Historic Cairo project, aiming at developing a conservation and management plan for the World Heritage site of Historic Cairo (www.urhcproject.org). As well he is a co-founding member of the Heliopolis Heritage initiative, founded in 2011, concerned with the safeguarding and protection of Heliopolis neighborhood built environment as well as the enhancement of its life conditions. Ahmed is currently a Partner in Mansour and Korachy Architects, formed out of a desire for design and heritage conservation, taking into consideration community, continuity, quality and context, as well as sustainable practices.
Omar Nagati is Co-Founder of CLUSTER (Cairo Lab for Urban Studies, Training and Environmental Research) a platform for urban research, architecture, art, and design initiatives based in Downtown Cairo. Omar is a practicing architect/urban planner with over 25 years’ experience working in Cairo. He has been the recipient of a number of honors and awards, including representing Egypt in the 6th Architectural Design Exhibition, Venice Biennale. A graduate of Cairo University, he studied and taught at the University of British Columbia and University of California, Berkeley, with a specific focus on informal urbanism. Nagati adopts an interdisciplinary approach to questions of urban history and design, and engages in a comparative analysis of urbanization processes in developing countries. Nagati’s practice spans projects in housing, institutional and interior design within Egypt and regionally, having particular emphasis on urban planning and community development. Nagati has lectured widely on Cairo both locally and internationally. In Cairo he has taught architecture and urban design studios at Mansoura University the Modern Sciences and Arts University and Cairo University, and is currently appointed as a Visiting Professor at the University of Sheffield.
Ahmed Ragheb is a lawyer and Egyptian human rights defender. He is a founder of the National Community for Human Rights and Law from September 2012. A group of young Egyptian activists aims to build a human rights movement in Egypt. Prior to that Mr. Ragheb was the executive director for Hisham Mubark Law Center from 2009 until 2012 and served a lawyer in the same center from 2003. Mr. Ragheb is a founder for different human rights groups and coalitions such as, the Front to Defend Egyptian Protestors, No for Military Trials and Let Us Write our Constitution. During his human rights work for more than 10 years Mr. Ragheb defended several victims of torture, accused of emergency law, virginity tests and military trials in Egypt. He also defended different victims in other Arab countries, such as Bahrain. In March 2011 he was a member in a fact finding mission for the Libyan revolution and in 2012 he was a member in the fact finding committee formed by the Egyptian president to investigate different incidents committed in Egypt from Jan25 Egyptian Revolution. His writing differs from transitional and revolution justice, military trials and reforming security sector reform in Egypt.
Karim Shafei is the Chairman of Al Ismaelia and the idea generator of the Downtown Rehabilitation Project. Mr. Shafei has successfully founded and managed several companies in industry and service prior to starting Al Ismaelia in 2008. Mr. Shafei launched the company as a means to develop a degenerating downtown through the creation of economically viable restoration and revival projects. He hopes and is working to see a vibrant and dynamic downtown accessible by all segments of the Egyptian society.
Fathya Shetawy currently serves as a full-time board member for technical affairs at Misr Real Estate Assets Company. Shetawy previously worked for the Arab Contractors and Heliopolis Company for Housing and Development.
Dirk Wanrooij is the co-founder of Ain Bicycles. Ain Bicycles specialize in urban bicycles designed for Cairo.
William Wells is co-founder and director of one of the most innovative art spaces in the Middle East region, the nonprofit Townhouse Gallery of contemporary art in Cairo, established in 1998. Under Wells’ guidance, Townhouse has played a pivotal role in nurturing creative talent in the region, supporting artists who have gone off to attain significant success and visibility abroad (including Wael Shawky, Hassan Khan, Iman Issa, Basim Magdy, Susan Hefuna and Lara Baladi) while also serving as an incubator and support for a number of non-profit spaces that have opened in Egypt in the last decade. Over the past 17 years, and ever adapting to changing socio-political circumstances, the gallery has grown from two floors in a downtown building to encompass a large Factory space, library, one of the only independent performance space in Cairo, artist studios and most recently Townhouse West, a gallery in one of Cairo’s new towns. Wells has served on the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Advisory Committee, is Advisor to the Fulbright scholarship in Egypt and sits on the board of the Foundation for Arts Initiatives (FfAI).
Khaled Abdelhalim graduated as an architect and planner from Cairo University in 1990, received M.A. in architecture: housing studies from the University of Newcastle, UK in 1995, and Ph.D. in housing policy, planning and practice from the University of Central England in Birmingham, UK in 2003. He worked for more than six years for German Technical Cooperation (GIZ-Egypt) in participatory upgrading of informal areas. He also worked as a consultant to UN Habitat for strategic planning of governorates in Egypt. Abdelhalim has been the director of the Local Development Observatory at the Local Administration Reform Unit and is now the program director. He is currently a visiting assistant professor of urban policy at AUC, in the Public Policy and Administration Department at the School of Global Affairs and Public Policy. He is also a founding member of the Egyptian Earth Construction Association since 1996, an NGO that promotes appropriate building technologies and sustainable development. He is also a co-founder of TAKAMOL, a foundation for integrated development.
Amr Abdel Rahman
Amr Abdelrahman is a researcher at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) and the Law and Society Research Unit, American University in Cairo.
Emad Abou Ghazi
Egyptian historian and archivist and Professor in the faculty of Arts, Cairo University, department of libraries, archives and information science. He held the position of the Minister of Culture from March to November 2011. Abou Ghazi was born in Cairo, January 3, 1955 and he received his BA in History from the Faculty of Arts, Cairo University in 1976. Later, he received a diploma in Modern History from the Institute of Arab Research and Studies in 1980 and a diploma in Archives from the Faculty of Arts, Cairo University in 1982. He received his MA degree in Arabic Medieval Documents from the Faculty of Arts, Cairo University in 1988. This was followed by a PhD in Arabic Medieval Documents in 1995, from the Faculty of Arts, Cairo University. Abou Ghazi began to research in the fields of history, archives, diplomatic, and cultural policies since 1974. He has authored more than sixty researches and seven books and has been writing in many newspapers and magazines in Egypt and the Arab world since the seventies.
Lisa Anderson (CASA ’76) was appointed president of The American University in Cairo in January 2011. A specialist on politics in the Middle East and North Africa, Anderson served as the University’s provost from 2008 to 2010. As the chief academic officer, she was responsible for shaping and implementing AUC’s academic vision and building the size and quality of the faculty. Prior to joining AUC in 2008, Anderson served as the James T. Shotwell Professor of International Relations at Columbia University and is the former dean of the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia. She also served as the chair of the political science department at the University and as the director of Columbia’s Middle East Institute. Before joining Columbia, she was assistant professor of government and social studies at Harvard University. Anderson is the author of Pursuing Truth, Exercising Power: Social Science and Public Policy in the Twenty-first Century (Columbia University Press, 2003), among other publications. Anderson holds a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MA in law and diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University. She earned a PhD in political science from Columbia University, 1981, where she also received a certificate from the Middle East Institute. She was awarded an honorary doctor of laws from Monmouth University in 2002.
Choucri Asmar was born and raised in Heliopolis, and has background studies in Economics and Masters In Business Administration from the Sorbonne and Paris Dauphine Universities. His career has encompassed different multinationals, and he is an active member in many public service organizations and bodies. Asmar is a founding member of Heliopolis Heritage Initiative since 2011. He now serves as Head of Heliopolis Heritage Foundation, with the aim of enhancing the quality of life in Heliopolis and protecting its Urban Heritage and collective memories. Choucri played an active role in the lobbying for the details of clause 50 in the Egyptian Constitution of 2014, which sought to Protect the cultural Diversity, tangible and intangible Heritage and the cultural and contemporary built Heritage in Egypt.
Lina Attalah is co-founder and chief editor of Mada Masr, Cairo based news website.
Sahar Attia is a Professor of Architecture & Urban Design. She is currently the Head of the department of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering, Cairo University. She has been lecturing and supervising researches and theses since 1988. She has 35 years of experience in academia and in practice. She coordinated several national projects with Egyptian authorities as well as international partners (e.g. GIZ, UN Habitat, UNDP). Her specializations and fields of interest include participatory approaches in Urban Development & strategic Planning, Community Development, Urban Regeneration, Upgrading the Informal Areas, and Governance. She is, or has been, member in 15 national and international committees and boards, many of them dealing with Education, Research, and Urban Planning in Egypt, and the Arab States. She is chairing the Steering committee of the UN Habitat Network Initiative (UNI), and recently was elected as chair of the Research and academia Constituent group in the general Assembly of Partners for Habitat III. She is also the Co-editor of, “Shared Mediterranean Heritage, concept, management and collective memory”, Bibliotheca Alexandrina, 2009.
Restaurateur Nadia Dropkin has lived in Cairo for most of the past eight years. Her entrepreneurial projects focus on Downtown, where she lives and works. She is the co-owner of Kafein, a popular café in Downtown that serves artisan coffee, tea, and food. Kafein also hosts the K Project Space, which aims to create a bond between innovative artistic projects and members of the community. Most recently, Dropkin opened Eish + Malh with her partner Dina Abouelsoud. The restaurant serves new Italian cuisine and hosts supper clubs, live music, and other events. Dropkin is committed to contributing to the café, dining, and cultural landscapes of Downtown Cairo by creating vibrant, relaxing, and inspirational spaces. She is the holder of an MA in Near Eastern Studies from New York University. While working on an MA in Anthropology at AUC, Dropkin researched masculinity and pigeon-fanciers in Abdeen. Dropkin is originally from New York.
Heba Raouf Ezzat
Heba Raouf Ezzat has taught political theory at Cairo University since 1987 and at the American University in Cairo 2006-2013 and as a visiting Professor at the University of Maastricht 2013. She has been visiting researcher at the Centre for the Study of Democracy (CSD), University of Westminster (1995-6) and Associate Researcher at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies (1998). In the recent years, Ezzat was also invited to be a visiting fellow at many universities: UC Berkeley 2010, Georgetown 2011, Oxford Center for Islamic Studies 2012, and London School of Economics 2015.She published widely in Arabic, English and German, and was awarded by the German Academic Exchange Office in Cairo 2014 for her efforts in fostering academic cooperation between Egypt and Germany. Her most recent work was co-editing the Oxford Encyclopedia on Islam and Women 2013, and the titles of her recent two books published in Arabic 2015 are: The Political Imagination of Islamists, and Towards a New Civility. Her academic interest is multi-faceted and include: notions of citizenship, multiple modernities , urban politics, sociology of the cyberspace, violence: hegemony and sovereignty, democracy and dialogue, history of Islamic political concepts, and the political implications of informality.
Mohamed A. Gawad
Mohamed A. Gawad is a filmmaker and editor based in Cairo, he holds an MFA in editing and scriptwriting. His work participated in several film festivals and art exhibitions, and he is also a co-founder of Cimatheque – Alternative Film Center.
Jane Hall is a member of Assemble, UK. Assemble are a collective based in London who work across the fields of art, architecture and design. They began working together in 2010 and are comprised of 18 members. Assemble’s working practice seeks to address the typical disconnection between the public and the process by which places are made. Assemble champion a working practice that is interdependent and collaborative, seeking to actively involve the public as both participant and collaborator in the on-going realization of the work.
Kareem Ibrahim is an architect, planner, and graduated from Cairo University in 1995. In 1997, he worked on the UNDP’s Historic Cairo Rehabilitation Project. He also worked for Aga Khan Cultural Services – Egypt between 1997 and 2010 as the Built Environment Coordinator of the Darb al-Ahmar Revitalization Project, one of Cairo’s most ambitious urban revitalization program. In 2009, he co-founded Takween Integrated Community Development and has been working on a range of issues including sustainable architecture, participatory planning, affordable housing, public infrastructure, and urban revitalization throughout Egypt with a number of local and international organizations.
May Al-Ibrashy is an architect with twenty-three years of field experience in implementation of conservation projects in Islamic Cairo. She was previously a founding partner in Hampikian-Ibrashy a Cairo-based conservation architecture firm with a five-year portfolio in conservation, documentation, consultation, training and research. Al-Ibrashy holds post-graduate and doctoral degrees in architectural history, archaeology and urban history from the University of London. Currently she is founder and chair of the Built Environment Collective, an Egyptian NGO working on issues of the built environment operating through its architectural hub and workspace Megawra. She is also adjunct lecturer of architecture at American University in Cairo and Ain Shams University.
Jerold Kayden is the Frank Backus Williams Professor of Urban Planning and Design at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. He writes, teaches, and consults about land use and environmental law, public-private real estate development, public space and cities, and climate change and the built environment. His book Privately Owned Public Space: The New York City Experience focuses, and his New York NGO, Advocates for Privately Owned Public Space (apops.mas.org) focus on zoning-created plazas, arcades, and other outdoor and indoor public spaces.
As urban planner and lawyer, Professor Kayden has advised governments, non-governmental organizations, and private developers around the world, including serving as consultant to the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation, the United States Agency for International Development, and the United Nations Development Programme in, among other countries, China, Nepal, Armenia, Ukraine, and Russia.
Samia Mehrez is Professor of Arabic Literature and Director of the Center for Translation Studies at the American University in Cairo. She has published widely in the fields of modern Arabic literature, postcolonial studies, translation studies, gender studies and cultural studies. She is the author of Egyptian Writers between History and Fiction: Essays on Naguib Mahfouz, Sonallah Ibrahim and Gamal al-Ghitani (AUC Press 1993) and Egypt’s Culture Wars: Politics and Practice (Routlege 2008, AUC Press 2010). Her edited anthologies A Literary Atlas of Cairo: One Hundred Years in the Life of the City and The Literary Life of Cairo: One Hundred Years in the Heart of the City, in which she translated the works of numerous Egyptian writers, are published by AUC Press (2010 and 2011) and in Arabic by Dar Al-Shorouk, Cairo. òShe is the translator of Mona Prince’s Ismi Thawra (Revolution is My Name, AUC Press 2014) and is the editor of Translating Egypt’s Revolution: The Language of Tahrir (AUC Press 2011) as well as Arts and the Uprising: A Culture of Dissent? (forthcoming, AUC Press; co-editor Mona Abaza).
Nancy Naser Al Deen
Nancy Naser Al Deen is a Cairo based architect and urban researcher. She graduated from the American University in Cairo with a degree in Architectural Engineering and a minor in Visual Arts. Her thesis proposal was the design of a utopia for street vendors in Ramses Station vicinity, in an attempt to legitimize their presence and redefine their right to the city. Naser Al Deen was part of the research team of Discovering Downtown Cairo…Architecture and Stories by baladilab, and is currently co-designing the documentation of “Malaab El Kobri” DesignBuild Studio Project at GUC that she was part of building. Nancy joined the CLUSTER team as an Urban Researcher in April 2015 and has been mainly working on CLUSTER’s Downtown Mapping Initiative.
Lucie Ryzova is Lecturer in Middle East History, Department of History, University of Birmingham. Lucie Ryzova is a social and cultural historian of modern Egypt, with particular interest in Egyptian popular culture and vernacular modernity. Having studied Arabic and Middle Eastern history at Charles University, Prague, she received her DPhil in History at the University of Oxford, where she held two postdoctoral positions. After joining the University of Birmingham in Fall 2014, her current research focuses on contemporary topics in three main areas: the production of cultural (and especially photographic) heritage in contemporary Egypt and the region; the nexus of class, gender and urban space in the context of revolutionary urban battles during the past few years; and an alternative social history of Downtown Cairo with particular attention to the social meanings of spatial practices such as hanging out, strolling, and loitering.
Youssef Shazli was born and raised in Cairo. He graduated with a bachelor degree in International Development from McGill University in 2011 and moved back to Cairo shortly after. Youssef worked in Research and Development for a year before entering the cinema industry. He has been working for Misr International Films since and currently managing two of MIF’s initiatives: The Panorama of the European Film and Zawya.
Beth Stryker is Co-Founder of CLUSTER (Cairo Lab for Urban Studies, Training and Environmental Research) a platform for urban research, architecture, art, and design initiatives based in Downtown Cairo. She has been the recipient of numerous awards and grants, including from the Graham Foundation, The New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Ford Foundation. Stryker has curated exhibitions and programs for the Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival in Cairo, Beirut Art Center, Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects, the American Institute of Architects/Center for Architecture in New York (where she held the position of Director of Programs), and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, among other venues. Her works have been exhibited widely, including shows at the Wexner Center for the Arts, the Walker Art Center, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Stryker received her B.A from Columbia University, and her M.Arch from Princeton University. She is currently a visiting Research Professor at SUNY Purchase in New York.
Tariq Zulficar is an environmental manager with experience in heritage conservation. Over the past three years he has been the principal force and dedicated Manager of EQI’s Site Management Plan for the Saqqara Archaeological Plateau, and the Egyptian Museum Revival Initiative. The success of these two initiatives is largely attributable to his managerial and technical and interpersonal skills. He has conducted and coordinated environmental and social impact assessments for transport, industrial, and tourism development projects, as well as for engineering works at cultural heritage sites. He has contributed to several projects within the framework of sustainable eco-tourism and development in the Oasis of Siwa, and throughout the Egyptian Red Sea coastal areas.