Friday, September 30, 2011

Restored Moez Street needs rescuing again

Al Masry Al Youm (Fatma Keshk)

Bearing the name of the first Fatimid Caliph ruling Egypt, Al-Moez Leddine Allah al-Fatimy, and founded in 969 AD, Moez Street is the oldest main street of the Fatimid capital Cairo. Three years ago a massive restoration project of the street was completed, but it has recently begun to fall into disrepair.

The Hakim mosque, the complex of Al-Nasser Mohamed Ibn Qalawon, the Barqouq complex and Wekalet Al-Rab'a are some of the most famous monuments on Moez Street, from the Fatimid period (969-1171 AD) all the way through the Ottoman period (1517-1805 AD). These monuments also present the diverse Cairene architectural styles at the time, from mosques, houses, and schools to sabils (public water fountains for drinking, installed as memorials for people).

Aside from its archaeological and historical uniqueness, Moez offers a lively narrative of the social history of the inhabitants of Hussein, one of the most densely populated districts of Cairo.

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