Festival celebrating Cairo's historic Al-Khalifa Street to begin Thursday

Nevine El-Aref , Tuesday 19 Jan 2016

'Spend the Day in Al-Khalifa 3' festival will begin on Thursday and last for three days

The logo of "Spend the Day in Al-Khalifa3" festival

A three-day festival called “Spend the Day in Al-Khalifa 3” will begin on Thursday, in collaboration with the antiquities ministry, Cairo governorate, the built environment collective Megawra and the volunteer project Mashroo3 Kheir.

The festival will include guided tours of Al-Khalifa Street in Sayyeda Zeinab, performances in the street and at its heritage sites, a craft exhibition, a sketching and photography workshop, and activities for children.

Mohamed Abdel-Aziz, the deputy minister for Islamic and Coptic antiquities, told Ahram Online that the festival is to last for three days, and it comes within the framework of a participatory conservation initiative called "Al-Athar Lina" (The Monuments Are Ours) launched in June 2012 to bring citizen participation into heritage conservation. The initiative is organised in partnership with Terre des Hommes, with funding from UNHCR.

According to Al-Athar Lina's press release, the primary aim of Spend the Day in Al-Khalifa 3 is to inaugurate the project to conserve the mid-13th century dome of Shajar al-Durr, funded by the American Research Centre in Egypt (ARCE) with additional funding from the Barakat Trust.

It will also inaugurate a project to conserve the mid-12th century shrines to descendants of the prophet Al-Sayyida Ruqayya, Al-Jaafari and Aatika, funded by the Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation.

The event will also showcase the results of two preparatory workshops, the first on mural art inspired by the street’s heritage and the second to redesign the traditional Ramadan lantern made of tin and glass using contemporary approaches and traditional techniques. It will also fundraise for the current efforts to clean the street and resolve its waste management issues.

The closing event will bring together Syrian and Egyptian children for educational activities addressing acceptance and tolerance through emphasising common historical ties.

The festival also received funding from AIC Finance and from private donations.

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