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  • "The terrified dignitaries find no safety even when locked in their fortress houses, those not already abandoned and squatted in by legions of the rural poor who break in and settle by force in those now degraded monuments to another time, former palaces become oukalas, palatial slums."

    Talismano by Abdelwahab Meddeb, translated by Jane Kuntz, pp 73-74 of the Dalkey Archive Press paperback

    September 23, 2011

  • http://archnet.org/library/sites/one-site.jsp?site_id=3951 says: "Oukala designates an in-town caravanserai, a type of hotel with rooms rented on a daily or weekly basis. Since the 1930s, the old city of Tunis, the Médina was strongly affected by a population shift; the intense rural migration and the departure of its urban gentry. Many private residences and monuments of the old city were "oukalaised", i.e., turned into multi-family dwellings that sometimes sheltered up to twenty households, often the less fortunate ones, in unacceptable sanitary conditions."

    September 23, 2011