Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Hawass meeting with the Ministry of Waqf (Zahi Hawass)

Today, I met with Dr. Elhussein, the Minister of Waqf to discuss the restoration of some Islamic monuments. We have spent 2 billion EGP on the conservation of Egyptian monuments over 20 years. We agreed that we will select a specialist company to provide security for 76 early mosques in order to protect them from theft. Many mosques have had pieces stolen, and working with this company is the first step in making sure that this does not happen again.

I agreed with Dr. Elhussein during our meeting today that it is important to find specialists to manage the 128 historical mosques that are all over Egypt. We also agreed to make a joint committee including high officials from both ministries that will meet monthly to discuss solutions and actions that need to be taken to restore the mosques. The restoration of the Islamic monuments would be under the MSA and then authority for these would be returned to the Ministry of Waqf so that regular religious activities could be reinstated in the mosques.

At the meeting, we also examined the problem of the people who are living inside the monuments. These historic buildings are concentrated in the area of historic Cairo, especially in Al-Ahazr, Hussein, the Citadel, Old Cairo, and the Rameses Districts.

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