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The Economy Of The Traditional City

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Chapter Summary

The Arab city is, above all, a market-city. It is proposed to make a study of economic functions within a group of Arabo-Mediterranean cities, with the cities of Morocco, Iraq, and Yemen naturally included in the analysis; corresponds to the Ottoman period (sixteenth to eighteenth centuries). These cities were the places of exchange for local and regional production, for manufactured products from Europe, and, traditionally, for exotic products: the celebrated spices imported from the East were supplemented by Yemeni coffee; the oriental cloths brought from India continued to be the subject of active trade; products from the heart of Africa came via Algiers, Tunis and Cairo. The Mediterranean Arab city was marked by a high degree of centralization and by the pronounced separation that existed between, on the one hand, and, on the other, a residential zone almost totally bereft of economic activities, and which might be regarded as &t;private.&t;.

Keywords: Arab city; Arabo-Mediterranean cities; Ottoman period; traditionally; Tunis and Cairo



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