No casualties in fire at endowments ministry, all records safe: Spokesperson

Zeinab El-Gundy , Sunday 6 Aug 2023

No deaths or injuries were caused by the fire that broke out in the old headquarters of the Ministry of Religious Endowments in downtown Cairo on Saturday, the ministry’s spokesperson said.

Ministry of Awqaf in downtown Cairo
Ministry of Awqaf in downtown Cairo


All the ministry’s assets, including documents, records, and work files, are safe, according to Spokesperson Abdullah Hassan Abdel-Gawad.

However, the ministry is still working to assess the full scope of damage to the historic 124-year-old building, which was designed by the pioneering Egyptian architect Saber Sabry in a neo-Mamluk style.

The fire was quickly brought under control by civil protection forces before it spread to nearby buildings.

The cause of the fire is still unknown.

The old building is no longer in use as the ministry had moved to its new headquarters in the New Administrative Capital on 1 July.

The endowments ministry is responsible for regulating religious endowments (awqaf in Arabic). Similar to the trust system, an endowment is a legal structure for managing resources for a specific purpose according to the will of its founders and donors.

As of 2018, the ministry was responsible for endowments worth EGP 1.04 trillion, or over $58 billion according to exchange rates at the time.

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