Cairo's historic Al-Muizz street slowly regaining its allure

Nevine El-Aref , Monday 24 Feb 2014

Egypt's antiquities ministry working to revive Al-Muizz Street in historic Islamic Cairo

workers at Al-Muizz

After three years of negligence, Al-Muizz Street in historic Islamic Cairo is step-by-step regaining its original allure.

On Sunday, the first phase of a redevelopment project for the street was completed and a second one launched immediately after.

Egypt's antiquities minister Mohamed Ibrahim told Ahram Online that the first phase included the repairing and repainting of the facades of the traditional workshops on the street as well as the restoration of damaged granite and basalt tiles. New garbage boxes and booths for security officers were also installed in different places along the street.

Mohamed Abdel-Aziz, director of the Historic Cairo Rehabilitation Project (HCRP), said that the second phase, which began a week ago, consists of repairing the hydraulic barriers erected in 2008 to prevent cars and vehicles entering the street.

Because the street is only for pedestrians, Abdel-Aziz said, special hours will be allowed for vehicle to transport goods or for business matters.

The second phase of the development project will also see the removal of all peddlers, fruit and vegetable vendors and cafeteria.

The project is being carried out by a special contractor company which was selected according to a development bid launched in March 2013 by the Ministry of State for Antiquities (MSA).

Abdel-Aziz said that the project will also be carried out in collaboration with the Tourism and Antiquities Police as well as Al-Gamaliya Police Station and Cairo Governorate.

The third and final phase will include the repairing of a street lighting system previously installed by Egypt Sound and Light Company.

The HCRP was given the go-ahead to restore Al-Muizz Street in 2000 and the street officially reopened in 2008. It then fell into disrepair in the political turmoil following the January 2011 uprising.

Al-Muizz Street runs for 1 km through the heart of Islamic Cairo, from the southern to the northern gates of the old city, and contains some of the most significant medieval-era Islamic structures in the world, notably Ibn Barquq and Al-Refaie mosques and Beit Al-Suheimi.

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