Refurbishing the Fatimid cityPRESIDENT Hosni Mubarak yesterday went on a surprise field visit to Fatimid Cairo where reconstruction is underway to restore the area to its former glory, reports Nevine Khalil.
After a brief meeting with ministers concerned with the project, headed by Minister of Culture Farouk Hosni, Mubarak toured the area to see first hand how the project is progressing.
The restoration project, costing LE850 million in its first phase, aims not only at renovating Fatimid monuments but seeks to develop the area.
Monuments to be renovated in the first phase of the project, which begins at Al-Mui'z Lidin-Illah Street, include Al-Azhar, Al-Fakahani, and Abu El-Dahab mosques, as well as the houses of Zeinab Khatoun, El-Harawi, Gamaleddin El-Dahabi and El-Ghouri. The area is expected to become a breath-taking open air museum for Islamic antiquities and buildings.
There are over 150 monuments on Al-Mui'z Street alone, including the complex of Sultan Qalawoun, left, though the appearance of many buildings is marred by a history of neglect.
From the budget for the first phase, some LE242 million has been allocated for restoration. The balance will be spent compensating residents and shop-owners required to move out of historic buildings.
(photo: Yves Paris)