About al-Madaq


This website presents the history of Cairo through various texts, maps, photographs, and artworks. It relies on digital technologies to make historical maps and photographs available to the public and to rediscover them as sources for historical writing. Al-Madaq contains three main components. First, an archive that features a collection of some of Cairo’s most important historical maps, from the French Expedition map of 1809 to a map from 1920, that are geotagged onto satellite images. Second, a series of articles that presents the author’s doctoral research on the history of modern Cairo, particularly during the British colonial period, which will be published gradually over the course of this and the coming year. Third, artworks and texts by collaborating artists and writers.

The articles utilize visual media to take a "virtual tour" of Cairo’s history, through which we explore the city’s geography and the forces that contributed towards its growth since the middle of the nineteenth century. They highlight the role of real estate investment and public health in shaping Cairo during this period. They uncover the various links between these developments and engineers, infrastructures, and maps, and they recount how Cairenes interacted with a changing city.

This website is based on the fundamental assumption that knowledge is an inherent right. Its conceptualization was a result of many influences, including the January 25, 2011 revolution, which raised questions about the role of knowledge during moments when society erupts and attempts to shed the past, as well as other questions about the frameworks and conditions that govern the production of knowledge.