Historic Cairo regains its historical glory

CAIRO — Egyptian Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouly mentioned Nov. 16 the newest developments within the initiatives of reviving Historic Cairo with the pinnacle of the Armed Forces Engineering Authority, Maj. Gen. Ihab al-Far, and the CEO of the Urban Development Fund, Khaled Siddiq.

Far said that the initiatives prioritize 5 major areas: the realm surrounding Al-Hakim Mosque, the realm south of Bab Zuweila, the realm of Haret al-Roum and Bab Zuweila, the realm surrounding Al-Hussain Mosque and the Darb al-Labana space.

He defined that six plots of land have been handed over and work has begun, noting that 190 plots have been evacuated within the areas of Bab Zuweila, Harat al-Roum, Al-Hakim Mosque and Darb al-Labana, by contracting with the homeowners and negotiating with the occupants; money or various items got as compensation.

Far identified that work has begun on 18 constructing facades within the areas of Bab Zuweila, Harat al-Roum, Al-Hakim Mosque and Darb al-Labana, whereas 28 archaeological buildings nonetheless want restoration.

He famous that Historic Cairo has about 110 archaeological buildings from completely different eras, and that preserving the cultural id of Historic Cairo, primarily the city cloth, is a prime precedence, in addition to specializing in course of structure to make sure the civilizational look of the facades.

Far added that waste has been faraway from an space of two,321 sq. meters (0.6 acres) round Al-Hakim Mosque, noting that the effectivity of the mosque’s courtyard must be elevated so as to appeal to extra guests and vacationers.

He identified that works within the Darb al-Labana space, which incorporates Al-Rifai and Al-Mahmoudia mosques, and lots of historical buildings, will contain constructing a backyard and a park, restoring the endowment constructing, establishing a craft complicated, leisure heart, eating places and a cultural instructional complicated.

The guide of the Historic Cairo Development Project, Mohamed al-Khatib, said Nov. four that the event work within the space of Al-Hakim Mosque consists of establishing vacationer amenities with the goal of reviving Bab El Nasr Square.

On Sept. 29, Khatib defined that the federal government intends to restore about 10% of the realm through the first section that may final two years and that it’s learning proposals to determine a single entity for Historic Cairo, with an space of approximately 30 sq. kilometers (11 sq. miles). He famous that the second section consists of coping with historic buildings that aren’t registered with the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, and work to register, restore and reuse them.

Mukhtar al-Kasbani, adviser to the Minister of Tourism and Antiquities and professor of Islamic Archaeology at Cairo University, advised Al-Monitor, “All development and restoration works in Historic Cairo are carried out under the supervision of UNESCO because Historic Cairo has been on the World Heritage List since 1979.

He said that this project aims to connect Historic Cairo’s neighborhoods and archaeological sites with a network of roads and paths that facilitate the movement of tourists, as well as to restore Cairo’s cultural and historical glory, and bring it back to life while preserving its urban fabric.

Kasbani noted that development work means maximizing the area’s efficiency, adding that traditional craft-makers will stay put unless restoration works pose any danger to them.

He said, “The architectural skyline will be taken into account in the development areas, as no building will be allowed to be more than four stories high in Historic Cairo, which will allow showing the beauty and splendor of archaeological and heritage buildings.”

Kasbani harassed that Historic Cairo encompasses an enormous heritage reserve able to attracting vacationers from all over the world, particularly because it incorporates about 537 registered archaeological buildings.

Archaeological researcher and founding father of the Cairo Biography Initiative, Zizou Abdo, advised Al-Monitor, “Historic Cairo is a unique city. Its topography dates back to 969 when it was built by Jawhar al-Siqilli, commander of the Fatimid armies. Construction later took place during the Ayyubid period, the Mamluk period, then the Ottoman era and finally the Muhammad Ali dynasty.”

He said, “It represents Cairo’s numerous historical layers and this is what created the archaeological diversity, which is unparalleled in the world; it can be clearly seen in the streets of Historic Cairo, such as Al-Moez Street and Al-Saliba Street.”

Abdo hopes that through the improvement course of, the idea of heritage will likely be preserved in its complete kind, not simply when it comes to monuments and heritage buildings.

“This process should include the rehabilitation of the urban fabric, traditional crafts and old industries because this is what distinguishes Historic Cairo,” he mentioned. “Tourists no longer want to see monuments and visit museums only. They also want to learn about the details of the city, its people and its distinctive crafts, which means getting to know the spirit of the place and interacting with locals.”

Abdo harassed that Historic Cairo will be capable to compete with main vacationer cities if there are appropriate vacationer paths that facilitate motion inside its streets and neighborhoods, along with periodically finishing up upkeep works and offering all varieties of companies that vacationers would possibly want so as to additional enhance the variety of guests to Historic Cairo.