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Visions of the City: Urban Studies on the Gulf*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 March 2016

Nelida Fuccaro*
Affiliation:
University of Exeter

Extract

So Harran had been since the beginning of time, and so it was when Ibn Rasheed and his men arrived. The Company men, who had visited many places before Harran, chose it as a port and headquarters of the Company, as well as a city of finality and damnation.

Abdelrahman Munif, Cities of Salt

The cultural, physical, and socio-economic displacement of traditional Gulf societies has been strikingly portrayed by Abdelrahman Munif in his fictional account of the diaspora of a poor oasis community after the discovery of oil. Munif's oil city, seen through the eyes of this community, is a daunting and transient place of contrast and dual personality, a city whose historical memory has been swept away by the evils of modern technology and by neo-colonial forms of economic exploitation. Cities of Salt recounts the hidden tale of Gulf cities, a tale which, this article will argue, is too often neglected in urban studies on the region.

Type
Essays
Copyright
Copyright © Middle East Studies Association of North America 2001

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