Mariz Kelada


To speak of space as a concept, how it is produced, de/reconstructed, and imagined is a process that involves multiplicities of understanding about the makings that take place. My concern is in this research is exploring the dynamic relationships that take place between cultural spaces in Cairo, the subjectivities of their participants and the possibilities that might be offered through these relations for a different social imagination that could be manifested in the details of their everydayness. The main question of my thesis is; In which ways and conditions can some of the contemporary cultural spaces in Cairo situate their presence and serve as a liberating spaces that nurture imaginations capable of transfiguring the status quo whether intellectual, social or political. My research questions are anchored in four focal theoretical concepts: space, subjectivity, imagination and how these concepts are manifested in everydayness. I will not deal with them as separate, linear or static concepts but as dimensions that are constantly in dynamic change in relation to each other. I will not attempt a cause/effect analysis and I am not after a comparative or a descriptive analysis of the two cultural spaces I chose ( Nahda Association- Jesuit's culture centre in Cairo, The Choir Project of Cairo). I believe this different and dynamic configuration of theorizing will enable different moods of thinking and greater capacity of exploration to acquire different kind of knowledge about the contemporary moment in Cairo's cultural scene, which is rapidly changing and how they can possibly provide fertile conditions for a different social imagination to take place.

Degree Name

MA in Sociology-Anthropology

Graduation Date


Submission Date

May 2014

First Advisor

Sabea, Hanan

Committee Member 1

Rieker, Marti

Committee Member 2

Rouchdy, Malak


83 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Library of Congress Subject Heading 1


Library of Congress Subject Heading 2

Cairo (Egypt) -- Intellectual life.


The author retains all rights with regard to copyright. The author certifies that written permission from the owner(s) of third-party copyrighted matter included in the thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study has been obtained. The author further certifies that IRB approval has been obtained for this thesis, or that IRB approval is not necessary for this thesis. Insofar as this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study is an educational record as defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 USC 1232g), the author has granted consent to disclosure of it to anyone who requests a copy.

Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Approval has been obtained for this item


For the thoughts yet to come… I've been with the impossible possessed Upon the sight of the moon, so high I jumped And whether I reach it or not, why should I ever care My heart is already with ecstasy drunk … How strange!! - Salah Jahine For the cigarette-break that made me meet the most inspiring strangers… The process and experience that culmited to this thesis has been intensely challenging and mesmerizing. It was possible because of the opportunity offered by the Engaged Scholars Fellowship. I am extremely grateful to my advisor Dr. Han Sabea, for the challenges she always throws my way that expanded and provoked my intellect immensely. Her support morally and academically made everything seem possible. I would never forget and will always treasure how reassured I felt when she reacted passiotely and excitedly reading my work. Every time I walked out of her office, I was loaded with books and passion for this kind of work. My sincerest gratitude to Dr.Marti Reiker for the inspiration and attentiveness she granted my work, for enriching my perspective and understanding of the many possibilities and hopeful potentials that I could see and experience now in my everydayness. I hope this spirit she ignited will continue to translate into my academic work and life. I am greatly thankful for Dr. Malak Rouchdy, for opening up my perspective and curiosity on different parts of the field. The enthusiastic and insightful discussions we had throughout the process, has been invaluable to me and my work. Thanks to Omnia Khalil’s for being the first one to cross the finish/start line of our academic life that motivated and encouraged me greatly. Forever thankful to the ‘Commune’: Noha Khattab, Maya El Helou and Da Alawneh, the long sleepless nights, the laughter and support that got us through the toughest of times. The transcendental conversations that contributed immensely to my work, it was the best of times. For all the members of Choir Project, the joy, music and inspiration they brought into my life and work. II For all my friends in hda: Youssef Ramez,William Sidhom, Reham Ramzy, and especially Victor Chamaa for the constant support and encouragement. The struggles we face together attempting to make our worlds different, made me live and think differently. For my parents who were brave and hopeful enough to bring me to this troubled world and know faithfully that it will be a better place somehow with us in it. For Maged my partner, his attentive care and endless reassurance that got me through it all.