This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of the book. This book discusses the spatial concept, or metaphor, of Hezar-tu and examines its potential for realigning understanding of urban space and its arrangements in the context of the historic cores of cities in the Middle East and North Africa. It focuses on the notion of the Islamic city, whose meaning and points of reference are still disputed. The term first appeared in the early twentieth century as the product of the modern encounter with cities whose structure and space took shape in the premodern age. In the late nineteenth century, the first scientific conceptions of Islamic urban phenomena began to be developed in the texts of European historians or geographer-historians who sought to comprehend the cities they resided in, or visited, the Middle East and North Africa.