Monday, May 16, 2011

Heritage of modern Egypt

The Cairo Landmarks Preservation Commission
Cairo Observer

Imagine if there was such a thing! and there should be, after all Cairo has some of the world’s most important, beautiful and significant historic monuments. Many of Cairo’s historic buildings are not museum pieces, they are living, lived and inhabited elements of a complex urban fabric. historic preservation and landmark status (if we follow already existing and very successful models) help these buildings continue to be inhabited and part of the community, but landmark status and preservation can raise the economic, historic, cultural and touristic potential of Cairo’s endlessly interesting urban fabric.

From Khedive to Revolution
Al Ahram Weekly

One of Cairo's most visible city landmarks is destined never to be seen in the same way again. Before the 25 January 2011 revolution, Tahrir Square was just one of several important squares in the capital. Ramsies Square boastsed the train station and the minibus terminus. Ataba might have lost its former charm, but it was still home to one of the country's main commercial centres.

With the revolution, all this changed. Tahrir became symptomatic of revolution, a household name worldwide, and an inspiration to oppressed people everywhere. A French squaree has even been renamed Tahrir.

Cairo Observer
Al Ashraf Street

Al Ashraf Street is slightly south and east of Ibn Tulun Mosque. Historic cemetaries fall in the area between Al Ashraf Street and Salah Salem (right of the image) while to the west of Al-Ashraf are Nasser/Sadat era housing known as al-Masaken (left of the image)

Al Ashraf Street leads to midan Sayeda Nafisa. The street is about 4 meters wide and on one side has little shops (barber, cafĂ©, refreshments, etc) while on the other the street is lined by some of Medieval Cairo’s many shrines, mosques and historic houses in between more recent self-built houses. I went there last week with my friend Gamal who challenged me that he will take me to some beautiful buildings that I had never seen.

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