Saturday, September 10, 2011

Chaos in the Caliph's Quarters

Ahram Online (Nevine El-Aref)

With three photos.

Al-Muiz Street in Islamic Cairo is now totally transformed. When it was first closed off into a pedestrian-only open-air museum, the architecture imposed a serenity and power. Unfortunately, this is no longer in evidence. Chaos reigns, instead.

The lack of security following Egypt's January 25 Revolution provided peddlers, vendors and grocers opened the path (literally) for them to sell their wares all over the street, often even on the monuments. They use vehicles as a short cut, transforming the open courtyards of the Fatimid and Ottoman mosques into parking lots.

“The atmosphere of the street has changed totally – for the worse,” Ahmed Mahmoud, a bazaar owner at Al-Muiz Street told Ahram Online. He added that vehicles pose huge threats to the monuments lining the streets the run along. Three days ago, a stone block from the Sultan Brqouq mosque fell off while a huge truck passed.

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