This chapter connects the “beginning” and “ending” of the neighborhood of Wadi Salib. In the early twentieth century, the construction of the Hejaz railway and the railway station at Haifa’s eastern entrance constituted the first act of recognition of the city’s economic potential, stemming from its topography and unique location. The transition to British control ushered in imperialist perception and colonial planning, represented by major infrastructure projects in the city—the harbor, the refinery, and the oil pipeline. These attributes which marked Haifa as a city with a bright future were lost with the transition to Israel’s sovereignty. By breaking up the chronological order and ending the narrative with the beginning of the historical train of events, the chapter presents an account of Haifa in general and of Wadi Salib in particular as counterfactual history, as a future shelved with the transition from empire to nation-state.
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