Author:Anna Tozzi di Marco (Freelance researcher)
Paper short abstract:
The cohabitation between the living and the dead characterizes Cairo's Al Qarafa, the Muslim urban cemetery still in use. During the last century rural immigrants flowed into. The political power has dichotomized the relationship urbans/rurals in order to marginalize Cairene cemetery 's community.
Paper long abstract:
Since 1998 I have been working on Cairo's Al Qarafa", that is the urban cemetery commonly termed "City of the dead". I lived there - because of my field work - as resident till 2005.
I researched about the relationship between the urbanization of the cemetery and the death and burial rituals. As you know, Cairo's City of the dead is extremely interesting because of the close cohabitation between the living and the dead as an exclusive way with which Egyptians communicate their meaning of the sacred, their perception of the dead and the afterlife.
I usually participate to international and national conferences and academic seminars in order to spread the knowledge about this necropolis that is still in use as burial ground. Many prejudices on this cemetery and its resident community give a distort representation of it, even among scholars. So that I feel - as part of my job - to contribute with a different portrayal and interpretation of it.