“What makes Argia different from other cities is that it has earth instead of air. The streets are completely filled with dirt… over the roofs of the houses hang layers of rocky terrain like skies with clouds. We do not know if the inhabitants can move about the city, widening the worm tunnels and the crevices where roots twist: the dampness destroys people’s bodies, and they have scant strength; everyone is better off remaining still…”
“Invisible Cities” a novel by Italo Calvino
Mamluk, which means slave soldier in Arabic, depicts a city in the outskirts of the densely populated metropolis of Cairo, which was raised on a tight grid of tombs and mausoleums that form the legendary expanse of cemeteries where it’s told ghosts ramble the streets at night. Many of the inhabitants who live among the Mamluk tombs have either emigrated from the farm fields or relocated to the periphery due to the collapse of the lower stratum of the middle class.