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Protests planned to save Cairo, Alex historical sites from demolition

Activists in Egypt's two largest cities call for Wednesday protests aimed at saving local historical landmarks from destruction

Ahram Online, Wednesday 19 Jun 2013
"The People want their city" (Photo: Courtesy of Save Alex initiative)
Views: 20146
Views: 20146

Heritage activists in Cairo and Alexandria are planning protests on Wednesday at 5pm to demand that government officials take steps to prevent local historical landmarks from being demolished.

In Alexandria, the 'Save Alex' group will organise a rally outside the Bibliotheca Alexandrina. In the capital, meanwhile, the 'Save Cairo' group will organise a similar protest outside the Cairo governor's office in Abdeen Square.

In Egypt's post-revolution security vacuum, the practice of illegal construction has soared, taking a particularly heavy toll on both cities' heritage sites.

Protesters will demand a six-month freeze on all demolition orders and building permits in Alexandria, and twelve-month freezes in Cairo; a halt to water and electricity services to illegally-built structures; the removal of extra illegally-built floors on buildings; the creation of a committee to study the issue and compile reports; and the setting of long-term plans to improve urban living conditions in general.

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Sam Enslow
19-06-2013 12:43pm
Save Your Heritage: It brings money and improves the quality of life.
The fast buck artists are destroying assets that could bring new fortunes to Egypt. The restoration and reuse of historic buildings adds character to neighborhoods and serve as a draw for tourists and locals. If properly restored, these building can become luxury apartments, luxury stores and clubs as well as cultural centers to display Egypt's more modern history. In America once run down cities like Key West, New Orleans, Savannah, Charleston, and many more are now thriving because people took care and preserved what was almost lost. DuPont Circle once a slum is now a fancy DC address as is NYC's former Hell's Kitchen. A year of Morsy's rule and no one noticed the illegal buildings and how ugly they are? No one noticed the extra electricity and water being used or the increased number of cars? The government has been spending its time protecting us from ballet dancers? Or is it still, "Give me two stores on the street and two apartmenta and build what you want"?
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