Kiswet Al-Kaaba house officially one of Egypt's archaeological sites

Nevine El-Aref , Wednesday 4 Sep 2013

The kiswa, cloth for covering the sacred Kaaba, used to be manufactured at the site

weaving kiswa

On Monday, the Ministry of State for Antiquities decided to put the Kiswet Al-Kaaba house on Egypt's heritage list for Islamic and Coptic antiquities.

The kiswa is a special cloth that is used once a year to cover the Kaaba, a building in Mecca sacred to Muslims.

Antiquities minister Mohamed Ibrahim explained that the building, located in Gamaliya in Cairo, was put on Egypt's heritage list because of its historical importance and spiritual significance.

The Kiswet Al-Kaaba house was constructed in 1816 as a residence for a Mameluk prince, but when Mohamed Ali conquered Egypt, he turned it into a workshop to fabricate the kiswa, which Egyptian monarchs customarily sent every year to Mecca.

Secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Mostafa Amin said that the building still contains equipment used in the fabrication of cotton, silk and other textiles.

The kiswa is embroidered with calligraphy in gold and silver thread depicting Quranic verses.

It was manufactured in Egypt from the 12th century CE until 1927.

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