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Portland State of Mind: Middle East Studies Center Lunch & Learn: Gulf Cities: Sidewalk Stories: Informal Urbanism in Dubai
Friday, October 5, 2012 - 12:30pm
Portland State of Mind: Middle East Studies Center Lunch & Learn: Gulf Cities: Sidewalk Stories: Informal Urbanism in Dubai

East Hall, room 109, 632 SW Hall

Research on Dubai has typically focused on the city’s spectacular and rapid urban transformation. Yasser Elsheshtawy goes beyond the city as spectacle by exploring and uncovering its hidden spaces. In this talk, Elsheshtawy will present one such case providing a detailed, empirical account of a street in one of its low-income districts, Hor Al-Anz. The neighborhood is a locale for South-Asian migrant workers, for whom the street is the only venue for public interaction. The street-corner in particular becomes a site for social gatherings, and thus provides a microcosm for the lives of these migrant workers, framed within a larger context of informal urbanism where city residents take matters into their own hands and subvert established planning practices. Elsheshtawy will use census data and content analysis of media reports to provide a brief overview of Dubai’s urban development to contextualize the case study, in particular looking at immigration laws and the place accorded to such migrants. He will also discuss a unique mapping methodology utilizing GIS technologies, behavioral mapping and videography.

Yasser Elsheshtawy is Associate Professor at the United Arab Emirates University, Department of Architectural Engineering. He holds a Ph.D. in Architecture from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. His research is focused on urbanization in developing societies, informal urbanism and environment-behavior studies, with a particular focus on Middle Eastern cities.

The Portland State University Middle East Studies Center Lecture Series podcast features audio recordings from the series. Please subscribe to the podcast to receive future episodes.

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The Middle East Studies Center at Portland State University promotes understanding of the people, cultures, languages and religions of the Middle East. As a National Resource Center for Middle East Studies under the U.S. Department of Education’s Title VI program, the Center serves as a resource on issues pertaining to the Middle East through activities that reach students and scholars, as well as businesses, educators, and the media. The Middle East Studies Center supports academic conferences, workshops, cultural events, lectures, and a resource library.

The Center’s Lunch & Learn series offers students, faculty, and members of the community an opportunity to learn about events in the region from experts in the field.  Through informal presentations followed by discussion, scholars offer academic analysis of current events including subjects such as the Egyptian revolution, humanitarian aid in Libya, and the UN vote on Palestinian statehood.  These conversations provide a forum for the community to engage in thoughtful dialogue about the region, ask questions, and share their opinions.  This responsive series fosters an increase in international awareness and a community of learning with a shared interest in the Middle East.

pdx.edu/middle-east-studies | middleeaststudiescenter@pdx.edu | 503-725-4074

Co-sponsored by the Mark O. Hatfield School of Government

 Created in 2000 to take advantage of the synergy of uniting several interdisciplinary units, today the Mark O. Hatfield School of Government at Portland State University is a vibrant, high energy institution with unparalleled opportunities for students and faculty. Located in an award-winning new $40 million building, the Hatfield School offers students the latest in technological capabilities and exposure to a wide variety of courses spanning political science, public administration, and criminal justice.

pdx.edu/hatfieldschool | politicalscience@pdx.edu | 503-725-3921