Khaled El- Enany, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities
Within the framework of the government’s attempt to develop and revive Historic Cairo to its original glory, Khaled El-Enany, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities inspected the development of a number of monuments in Historic Cairo.
The visit included the Sabil (water fountains) of the Shaykho Al-Hataba area along with Sabils of Rokaya Dodo, Mostafa Senan, Hassan Agha Kokolian in Souq Al-Selah street.
During his tour, the minister met with the area’s inhabitants and shop owners and talked about the government’s new development projects in Historic Cairo.
He also visited an old house, which has been rehabilitated as a venue for workshops to raise cultural awareness of the area’s inhabitants as well as teach them handicrafts.
The minister inspected the first phase of restoration work being carried out on the Al-Tanbagha Al-Mardani Mosque – which includes the prayer hall – in preparation for its official inauguration soon.
Khaled El-Enany also inspected the remains of the Fustat excavation site – the first Islamic capital in Africa – to check on the latest progress in transforming the whole area into an open-air museum that will add to tourists’ experiences in Historic Cairo.
Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquites Mostafa Waziri said that the monuments visited by the minister have been undergoing restoration for almost two years under the framework of the national campaign launched by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities to restore 100 monuments in the area. The campaign aims not only to rescue the monument's historical and archaeological value, but also to restore their role in the community by halting their deterioration, removing debris, and upgrading the sites and their surroundings.
The campaign also aims to develop the restoration skills of workers through their direct participation in the work, as well as provide investment opportunities to rehabilitate the ancient buildings. A permanent maintenance programme will be adopted after the completion of the campaign.
Hisham Samir, assistant to the minister for projects and supervisor of the Historic Cairo Rehabilitation Project, said that the restoration had been carried out according to the latest methods and after consulting original documents.
“Every effort was made to ensure that all the original architectural features were retained,” Samir said, adding that the restoration had been part of a project to see individual monuments preserved for future generations and neighbourhoods revived and upgraded.
The walls of the buildings were reinforced, the masonry cleaned and desalinated, and decayed parts of the mashrabiya windows restored and replaced with similar ones. The wooden ceiling was restored and its paintings retouched. A new lighting system was installed, giving the buildings a dramatic look.