Al-Imam Al- Shafei Mausoleum, one of the most important Islamic monuments in Egypt, was inaugurated Sunday after a restoration process that lasted for almost five years.
The mausoleum was inaugurated by Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Khaled El-Enany, accompanied by Minister of Endowment Mokhtar Gomaa Cairo Governor Khaled Abdel Aal and US Ambassador to Egypt Jonathan Cohen.
In statements, El-Anani said the mausoleum does not only embody Egypt’s commitment to preserve its heritage for the future generations but it is also a new tourist attraction to be visited along with its neighbouring Al-Imam al-Shafi’i mosque inaugurated in November.
The mausoleum is one of the most important Islamic monuments in Egypt because it has an ambitious wooden dome considered the largest in Egypt, he said. It is also one of the few remaining Ayyubid buildings and includes rare examples of Ayyubid stucco decoration and woodwork.
Ambassador Cohen said the United States was pleased to support the conservation of the Al-Shafi’i Mausoleum through the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation.
"This project is part of our $100 million investment, over the past 25 years, to preserve, restore, and protect more than 85 cultural heritage and religious sites throughout Egypt," Cohen added.
The aim of the 2016-2021 conservation project was to remedy a number of manifestations of damage, Hisham Samir, assistant antiquities minister said.
May al-Ibrashy, Director of al-Imam al-Shafi'i Conservation Project explains that In the course of the conservation project, new elements uncovered varied in scale and meaning.
The conservation project of 2016 – 2021 was implemented by Megawra, within the framework of Athar Lina, an initiative it runs in partnership with the Built Environment Collective.
Standing in the heart of the southern cemetery of al-Qarafa, the mausoleum of Al-Imam Al-Shafi‘i celebrates the renowned scholar and founder of one of the four Sunni schools of Islamic jurisprudence.
Although Muhammad ibn Idris Al-Shafi‘i only spent four years in Egypt, it is here, in the family graveyard of his colleague ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Abd al-Hakam, that he was laid to rest in 204 AH | 820 CE.