New suburbs such as New Cairo received strong support from President Mubarak, the government, elite businessmen, and a group of members of the National Democratic Party, who surrounded the president. I argue in this thesis that urban segregation has existed in Cairo for quite some time. However, since the last decade's adaptation of neoliberal polices by the government, the implementations of these polices have sharpened the dichotomy in the urban fabric, which is crystallized in the support given by the Egyptian government to local and foreign construction companies to build gated communities in the suburbs Cairo. Private security systems and various other neoliberal pulling factors have motivated individuals and families to move to gate communities in Greater Cairo. This thesis argues that unlike during the last decade, people now relocate to gated communities for class and safety reasons. However, living in one of these secured and privatized gated communities in the suburbs of Cairo, in this case Al-Rehab City, intensifies the mood of moral panic felt toward â the other', as found in interviews with my participants. Neoliberal policies have encouraged classed-based urban segregation, leading to polarization in the urban fabric. In addition, the thesis argues that despite the residents' usage of extra security measures to protect their homes within the gated community, the residents' sense of moral panic is not alleviated. By taking the gated Al-Rehab community as a site of symbolic consumption, where people go to symbolically consume other lifestyle and cultures, the thesis demonstrates how the community stimulates the desire and practice of consumptive habits for both its visitors and residents. I also argue that the new markets of commercial activities in this gated community enforce isolation among the residents from the greater city of Cairo. By examining the relationship between political events occurring in Egypt, I argue that the residents are politically detached due to the Egyptian governments' neoliberal policies. Some of Al-Rehab's youth however do want to be part of the world outside their gated community.


School of Humanities and Social Sciences


Sociology, Egyptology & Anthroplology Department

Degree Name

MA in Sociology-Anthropology

Graduation Date

Spring 2011

Submission Date


First Advisor

Westmoreland, Mark

Committee Member 1

Abaza, Mona

Committee Member 2

Fahmi, Kamal


142 leaves

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Not necessary for this item