Monday, September 12, 2011

A Revolutionary Duck


When walking along the waterfront in Garden City Cairenes and visitors wonder about one particular building across the Nile on the southern tip of Gezira (Zamalek) Island. If you take a falucca ride around here the boatman might tell you “that’s the museum of the revolution.” This might be confusing as there are now three junctures in the last century of Egyptian history that have been endowed with the title “revolution.”

The building in question was ordered in 1949 under King Farouk for the Royal Navy fleet and was completed in 1951. At that time it cost LE118,000. Needless to say, the building was never used as intended because the King was overthrown in 1952 by members of the army. During the early days of post-Farouk Egypt, the building was used by Gamal Abdel Nasser and the “free officers” as their headquarters and many historic meetings, laws, court rulings and decisions took place here. By 1956 the building was ignored and abandoned and stayed so until recently.

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