Cairo has been the center of culture and politics for Egypt and arguably the Middle East for several decades. This capital city houses various historical monuments that shaped and defined Egypt and the modern Middle East. Long before the unanticipated “Arab Spring” and the uprisings that took place in the Arab world, Cairo witnessed a number of events that earned her the reputation of a vibrant global city that became a desired destination for many around the world. However, it was the January 25th revolution that took place in Tahrir Square (Literally, Liberation Square) and other squares in Egypt that brought Cairo to the attention of viewers around the globe as we watched in wonder the fall of one of the Middle East’s longest serving dictators Hosni Mubarak.
Of particular interest to the Rethinking Global Cities project is the utilization of public space for political protest in Egypt. Experts in the fields of architecture, history and urban-planning focused on tracing the historical significance and relevance of Tahrir Square in particular and surrounding public structures in general.