The medina of Kairouan is one of the oldest and most revered in all of Islam, with some parts dating back to the ninth century. Yet it wasn't until most of its buildings were crumbling and abandoned that the Tunisian government set up an agency to restore the city-a situation that happens all too often in Muslim countries, where the poor, not the well-heeled (as is the case in the West), make their homes in historic neighborhoods, and where modernization has almost always meant new construction, not urban reuse. This has been a source of enormous frustration to the Aga Khan, who would like to see these urban relics preserved. The restoration of the old city of Kairouan, which was awarded the AKAA in 1992, is an example of what can be done. Conservation required not only the careful rehabilitation of buildings, but the inspired resurrection of a city. While the work continues, a museum, a clinic, and school have moved in, drawing life into the once deserted neighborhood.