- The Dynamic Influence of Symbolism and Meaning in Urban Design, the Case of Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt    click here to open paper content520 kb
by    Kafafy, Nezar | nezarkafafy@yahoo.com   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
Written by an eye witness on the Egyptian revolution, this paper demonstrates the dynamic role of city's urban space, and the evolvement of meaning and symbolism dimensions from a major square to act as the inspirer of revolution and social justice.
This paper drops the shed on the important influence of symbolism in the space perception. The paper argues that there is an important dimension that have been under researched, that needs to drop the lights on, this dimension is the symbolism and meaning dimension, as some spaces are perceived as refuge spaces and symbolises heaven on earthy grounds, others are frightening and symbolises imprisonment, in a more in-depth analysing, the spaces that have evidenced great events have always something extra to be narrated.
In addressing this issue the paper demonstrates the case study of Tahrir (liberation) square, Cairo, which witnessed the civilized white revolution of the Egyptians’ youth, which have sparked on 25th of January 2011. This urban space have witnessed many important events, such as the brutal repression of the police forces to the protestors and the falling of many causalities, the urban space became the symbol for freedom of speech, liberation and a place to celebrate and glorify the martyrs of the revolution and paying all the due respect to them.
In the process of studying the influence of symbolism in Tahrir square, a number of interviews have been conducted on-site in the space with different users, asking about the interviewees emotions in the space and the reason(s) for their visit(s), and whether the square symbolises any feeling for them, the interviewees replies and comments help in drawing a real in-depth perception of what sort of symbolism and meanings the Tahrir square have for them, and the importance of these feelings.
The contribution of this paper lies in highlighting the tangible influence of symbolism in urban space, as urban spaces are not only what we see, as they can –and they do- carry much more embedded meanings and symbols that cannot be neglected and should not be
Symbolism , urban space , Symbolism in urban space , Meaning in urban space, Tahrir square
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