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Egypt PM holds talks on plans for developing Islamic Cairo

June 12, 2023 at 3:37 pm

Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly on 25 May 2019 [MICHELE SPATARI/AFP/Getty Images]

Egypt’s Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly held a meeting yesterday to discuss the latest developments on the government’s plans to develop Islamic Cairo. The meeting was attended by several ministers and officials from various ministries, Daily News Egypt reported.

During the meeting, a strong emphasis was placed on the significance of safeguarding Islamic Cairo’s historical sites. Particular attention was drawn to the area encompassing the mosques of Sayeda Nafisa and Sayeda Aisha, whose historical and cultural value is deeply rooted. Notably, Sayeda Nafisa holds a significant position as the great-great-granddaughter of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) through his grandson, Hasan, while Sayeda Aisha, a daughter of Jafar Al-Sadiq, traces her lineage from the Prophet through his other grandson’s paternal line, Hussein. Additionally, discussions were held regarding the development of Salah Salem Street.

Madbouly is said to have emphasised the need to overcome the challenges facing the area, such as the problem of groundwater and pollution resulting from haphazard construction, while also facilitating traffic flow in Cairo.

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The report noted that the project, in addition to preserving the city’s heritage sites, will also aim to expand the areas of the “Ahl Al-Bayt mosques”, implementing squares, gardens and parks, and protecting the area from encroachment.

Also known as Old Cairo, Islamic Cairo, nestled in the heart of Egypt’s current capital, is a historic district with origins tracing back to the Fatimid dynasty, the city flourished under the rule of the Fatimids, who established their capital, Al-Qahira (Cairo), in the 10th century. Their architectural legacy includes the famed Al-Azhar Mosque and the Al-Hakim Mosque.

They were followed by the Ayyubids and the Mamluks who further adorned Islamic Cairo with their own influence. They were followed by the Ottomans who left their imprint on Cairo. This amalgamation of Fatimid, Ayyubid, Mamluk and Ottoman architecture has transformed Cairo into a remarkable testimony to the diverse Islamic heritage that has shaped Egypt’s history.

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