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Urban development in the Red Sea area, the case of Eilat and Aqaba

Shamir, N; (1990) Urban development in the Red Sea area, the case of Eilat and Aqaba. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This work is a comparative study of the evolution of Eilat and Aqaba over the last four decades in relation to the national and international spatial political organisation of Israel and Jordan. Such a comparison of towns in Israel and Jordan represents a pioneer step in the field of urban studies of the Middle East. This thesis presents a critical empirical study of two small urban centres, located in remote peripheral areas along an international border. Emphasis is given to the relationship between politics and the urban development of Eilat and Aqaba. It is hoped that this work will help to fill the immense gap in studies of small towns in the Middle East. Despite the undoubted differences between the two towns, due to fundamental differences in the political, social and cultural systems of Israel and Jordan, Eilat and Aqaba have throughout their development shown great susceptibility to political factors at a local, national and particularly international level. Aqaba is Jordan's only gateway to the sea. Eilat was for many years Israel's only outlet to the south, and an important base from which the government could consolidate its sovereignty over the Negev. Two wars (1956 and 1967), which were landmarks in the development of Eilat and Aqaba, were fought largely as a result of Israel's aim to keep its southern gateway open to international traffic. Moreover, events which appeared to be unconnected to this area eventually had great impact on Eilat and Aqaba. These included the superpower interest in the area, the Arab-Israeli and inter-Arab conflicts in the Middle East, the Palestinian problem, the civil war in Lebanon, the Iran-Iraq War and the peace agreement between Israel and Egypt. Thus this thesis is concerned with the implications of political processes at local, national and international level in Israel and Jordan for the urban development of Eilat and Aqaba. An important role in the development of these towns is played by the centre of political and economic power in both countries, namely Amman, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Many of the decisions regarding the various initiatives in Eilat and Aqaba originated in these centres. This work will describe the relationship between the core and the periphery and will examine the interaction between such decisions and the international political scene. The various political factors which have influenced Eilat and Aqaba illustrate, unfortunately, the threatening nature of the balance of power in the Middle East and beyond. On the other hand, they have also contributed to the creation of a fruitful atmosphere for the development of tolerant relations between Eilat and Aqaba. This work will also describe this aspect of the local reality

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Urban development in the Red Sea area, the case of Eilat and Aqaba
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10143387
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