This thesis examines the relationships between citizenship, space, and the state, using the Zabaleen community in Cairo as a lens of analysis. The thesis argues that citizenship is both an institution and a practice of exclusion. It explores the social, political, and economic exclusions that the Zabaleen experience due to their position in a state of exception.


School of Humanities and Social Sciences


Political Science Department

Degree Name

MA in Political Science

Graduation Date

Spring 5-21-2020

Submission Date


First Advisor

Molavi, Shourideh

Committee Member 1

Delatolla, Andrew

Committee Member 2

Edel, Mirjam


136 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis


The American University in Cairo grants authors of theses and dissertations a maximum embargo period of two years from the date of submission, upon request. After the embargo elapses, these documents are made available publicly. If you are the author of this thesis or dissertation, and would like to request an exceptional extension of the embargo period, please write to thesisadmin@aucegypt.edu

Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Not necessary for this item


I would like to thank my supervisor, Dr. Shourideh Molavi, for her help in this thesis writing process. Your guidance and feedback have been invaluable to me. I would also like to thank my committee, Dr. Andrew Delatolla and Dr. Mirjam Edel for their insight in improving my thesis. Dr. James Sunday, thank you for supporting me as an incoming CMEPS student and helping me stay sane and on track. To my husband, Aly Sultan, thank you for being beside me every day and through every step of this process. I wouldn't be where I am or who I am today without you. Thank you Vanessa Lawrence for giving me the friendship and support I needed to work on this thesis while I was in Egypt and for continuing to be there for me when we went back abroad. Lastly, thank you Dr. Marilyn Plumlee. Marilyn, I wouldn't have stayed in Egypt back in 2016 if I hadn't met you, and none of this would have been possible without you. You inspire me, every single day, to be more adventurous, open to new experiences, and to "bloom where I am planted". Thank you.

Available for download on Tuesday, September 26, 2023