The Right to Land: To Whom Belongs after a Reconciliation Law in Egypt




Reconciliation Law, Housing, Property, Regulations, Building Violations, Land Management, Egypt


A revolutionary book by De Soto to formalize land tenure by changing “dead capital” to “life capital” has become the trademark in Egypt of issuing a temporary reconciliation law of 2019 and its amendment to approve a legal certificate to the violators against a certain fee. The question is does this law legalize informal housing? Is it enough to introduce a legal certificate to secure land tenure for the violators? How would this law apply on the ground? Depending on the deductive methodology, this paper traces sociotechnical transitions concerning legalizing the status quo of building/land, tenure security, real-estate markets (formal/informal) caused by laws on buildings violations reconciliation. The idea is to take a step back and look at a wide-angle of the problem in the future to arrive at a clear picture of the influences of the introduction of a new law on the land market, before making a decision. The paper assumes that the temporary reconciliation law in Egypt is opening the debate on the alteration of land management to govern the status quo of the chaos of the right to land. It concludes this temporary reconciliation law has created a state of decayed/wealth, social inclusion/exclusion of the bottom of the social pyramid nevertheless to whom the justification is affected.


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Author Biography

Professor Dr. Ahmed M. Soliman, Architectural Department, Faculty of Engineering, Alexandria University, Egypt

Ahmed Soliman is a Professor Emeritus of Architecture, and Urban Planning at the Architectural Department, Faculty of Engineering, University of Alexandria, Egypt, where he also served as Chair for four years of the Faculty of Architecture of Beirut Arab University and served as Chair for five years of the Architectural Department, Faculty of Engineering, University of Alexandria. Currently, he is the head of the Scientific Committee of the Supreme Council of the Egyptian Universities. He is a founder of the Architectural and Planning Studies Center as a private firm by which he carried out several urban planning projects in Egypt and Lebanon. He has published enormous papers and contributed to book chapters on housing informality in international journals and distinguished books. He has authored numerous books among them Urban Informality (2021), A Possible Way Out (2004), The Poor in Search of Shelter (2013), and Sustainable Housing (in Arabic) (1996).


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How to Cite

Soliman, A. M. (2022). The Right to Land: To Whom Belongs after a Reconciliation Law in Egypt. Journal of Contemporary Urban Affairs, 6(2), 96–111.