Nezar AlSayyad, a Cairo-born professor of architecture, planning and urban history and the chair of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of California at Berkeley, talks about the history and design of Tahrir Square with Aaron Britt over at Dwell. It’s interesting to get a little historical (and design) perspective on this place that came to symbolize so much in the recent Egyptian uprising and now throughout the world. AlSayyad explains, from a design perspective, why the place proved such a successful point for the protests:
Twenty-three streets lead to different parts of it, which is why it was so successful with the demonstrators. There isn’t one big boulevard that you can block off, and there are two bridges that lead to it as well. One of them saw a clash between the regime and the demonstrators. It’s also the case that all of downtown Cairo, which isn’t that big, has a street that leads to side or another of Tahrir Square.