All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Jessica Dallow

Advisory Committee Members

Cathleen Cummings

Doris Dung

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Master of Arts (MA) College of Arts and Sciences


to Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser’s experimentation with modern architecture in 1956, Cairo experimented with the collective housing unit between 1867 and 1955. Privacy, a central value in middle-class Cairene society, permeated the architectural construction of the collective housing unit, primarily adopting screened fenestration to ensure women’s privacy. In this thesis, I argue that in the collective mid twentieth-century housing units of Nasr City, a utopian style city planned by the Nasser administration, a visual shift in the façade suggests a social shift in the public visibility of Cairene women. Further, I argue that the collective housing units in Nasr City liberated middle-class Cairene women through architectural elements previously present in domestic spaces of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Yet, while the living units of Nasr City break away from gendered conventions, state and commercial advertisements pushed in the press alongside women’s writings expose Nasser’s contradictory governance.



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