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Technical Report
Programme of participation in
the activities of Member States
for the preservation and
presentation of the cultural
and natural heritage

The Conservation
of the old City
of Cairo

Jim Antoniou
Stephano Bianca
Sherif El-Hakim
Ronald Lewcock
Michael Welbank

Serial No. FMR/CC/CH/80/182

A United Nations Educational,
Ullt SCO Scientific and
Cultural Organization
Paris, 1985



by Jim Antonioti
Stephano Bianca
Sherif El-Hakim
Ronald Lewcock
Michael Welbank

Report prepared for the Governatnt of

The Arab Republic of Egypt by the
United Nations Educational, Scientific
and Cultural Organization (Unesco)

Technical Report
Rp/w/m9-a .
o/ 4/7 6/os
FMR/CC/CH/80/18 2 (Antonioa etc. )
First printed in London on 5 November 1980
Reprinted 15 November 1985
0Unesco 1980
Printed in France

&e designations employed.and the presentation of the material in this

document do not impiy the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part
of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization con-
cerning the legal or constitutional status of any country, territory or sea
area, or concerning the delirattation of frontiers.



2.1 The Present Situation

2.2 Approach to the Problems
2.3 Priorities for Action


3.1 Choice of Study Area
3.2 The Study Area Components
3.3 Environmental Setting of the Study Area


4.1 Social Economic Issues

4.2 Administrat ion
4.3 Infrastructure


5.1 Present State of Buildings

5.2 Building Conservation
5.3 Priority Zones

6.1 Aims and Techniques of Conservation
6,2 Operational System
6.3 Other Action. ..- - -


Fig. 1 Historic Cairo 22

Fig. 2 Study Area 25

Fig. 3 Environmental Setting 26

Fig. 4 Pattern of Population Loss 35

Fig. 5 Migration within Gamaliya 36

Fig. 6 Study Area Population 36

Fig. 7 Commuting 38

Fig. 8 Location of Activities 40

Fig. 9 Before and After Example 48

Fig. 10 Before and After Example 49

Fig. 11 Examples of Neglect 50-51

Fig. 12 Ground Water 55

Fig. 13 Foundat ions 61

Fig. 14 Roofs 63

Pig.. 15 Walls 63

Fig. 16 Building Decay 64

Fig. 17 Monuments of the Study Area 69

Fig. 18 Monument Selection 71

Fig. 19 Structure of Zones 79

Fig. 20 Zone 1 and 2 81

Fig. 21 zone 3 82

Fig. 22 Zone 4 84

Fig. 23 Zone 5 as
Fig. 24 Zone 6 86
. .
Fig. 25 Possible Technique of Wall 97
n i

1.1 The Mission
1.1.1 In response to a request from the Egyptian
Government, UNESCO undertook in February
1980 to provide a mission to prepare a report
on a conservation strategy for the old city .
of Cairo. The members of this mission made
a number of visits of varying lengths of time
ofer the period February to August 1980.
1.1.2 In this study the mission was assisted by
many members of the Egyptian Antiquities
Organisation, and in particular
Dr. Shehata Adam has given the greatest
help. The work of the study has gained
enormously from his personal interest,
support and advice.
1.1.3 It is not the purpose of this report to
provide detailed planning proposals for all
listed monuments in all the historic areas of
Cairo, but rather to formulate a practical
conservation strategy for specific areas as
part of an emergency action over a period
of five years.
1.1.4 The Team
The study team was assisted by the following
key field staff:-
Mr. Husain El Din Ismael
Mr. Sarneh Mohamed Fathy
Mr. Fahmy Abdel Alirn
Mr. Ahmed Adel Al Sayed
Mr. Osama Sayed Hafiz

1.1.5 Acknowledgments
During the course of the mission, the study team
was assisted by many people and the following
were particularly generous in giving of their time
. and knowledge :

The Egyptian Antiquities Organisation

Dr. Shehata Adam
Mr. Suliman Ahmed Suliman
Mr. Mahmoud Hadidi
The Governate of Cairo
Mr. El Ghoury
General Organisation for Physical Planning (GOPP)
Mr. Michel Fouad
Society for the Protection of
Architectural Resources of Egypt (SPARE)
Dr. J. Rodenbeck
The Egyptian Association of Lovers of Antiquities
Ms. Laila Ali Ibrahim
Dr. Mirrit Butros Ghali
Mr. Said Zulficar.

1.2 Cultural Significance of Historic Cairo

1.2.1 The cultural significance of historic Cairo has been
accepted internationally. The old city was in-
cluded in the world Heritage List by the World
Heritage Convention in 1979. Consequently, historic
Cairo ranks with the main Pharaonic monuments of
Egypt and others of international significance in
the world.

1.2.2 Although traditionally strong emphasis has been
given in Egypt to the wealth of Pharaonic heritage
there is now a growing interest by many individuals
and organisations.in the Islamic heritage. Such
organisations include:
The Egyptian Association of Lovers of Antiquities
The Society for the Protection of Architectural
Resources of Egypt
The Centre for Egyptian Civilisation Studies
The World of Islam Trust
The Aga Khan Foundation
Etc , etc.
1.2.3 However the attitudes of the local people, who live
and work in the old city, towards the heritage around
them is a more difficult and complex matter to
assess. To some it is an outdated urban fabric,
but to others it is a precious and significant
heritage. In any study of the old city it is important
to realize that there are differing attitudes to the
question of conservation of this heritage.



s u m m r q y arm conclusíons
2.1 The Present Situation
2.1.1 The study area, with an overall population of
some 320,000 (1976) consists of an area approxi-
mately 3.7 sq.km. and is bounded by Bab al
Futuh and Bab al Nasr to the north, the Ibn Tulun
Mosque to the south, the Port Said Road to the
west and the Salah Salem road to the east. Over
the period 1966-1976, the residential population
of the study area has declined by some 8.6% Cor
some 30,000 people) in a period when Cairo as a
whole expanded by some 3.5% per year. There are
indications that the rate of loss may be
2.1.2 This loss of residential population can be directly
related to the loss of dwellings in the area.
This is due to a number of factors including the
impact of rent control leading to lack of maintenance
and eventual destruction of dwellings; the pressures
from commercial interests seeking expansion space:
voluntary building demolition by occupants to gain
rights to the new accommodation elsewhere; the
deterioration of the building fabric ariskng from
general decay and rising ground water leading to
building collapse; inadequate maintenance and
the use of inappropriate building technology.
2.1.3 Commercial interests are flourishing, expanding
and becoming the dominant force in the old city,
and this commercial' activity is changing in
character. The traditional pattern of crafts-
men and small workshops is changing over to small
manufacturing industries, leading to an increase in
the employment of unskilled workers at the expense
of craftsmen and skilled workers. A steadily
increasing bulk of materials and goods flows through
the study area, while some 94,000 workers travel
daily in and out from outlying residential areas.
2.1.4 The traditional pattern whereby craftsmen, merchants
and workers lived and worked in integrated com-
munities is being rapidly replaced by a new pattern
of larger manufacturing establishments which does
not fit well into the old urban fabric. If this
new pattern is not checked it will result in these
newer commercial interests dominating all aspects
of the life in the old city over the next decade.

2.1.5 Within the study area, there are 450 listed
buildings out of a total of 620 for the whole
of Cairo. The resources available for the
conservation of the heritage of these historic
monuments are totally inadequate to the magni-
tude of the problem. Historic monuments were
well maintained until about thirty years ago,
but the rising water table combined with the
serious lack of maintenance, particularly of the
roofs, has led to rapid deterioration of the
masonry and wooden ceilings leading in some
cases to the total collapse of buildings.
2.1.6 The built fabric currently divides into those
constructions which are more than thirty years
old, in various stages of deterioration, with
the vast majority surviving only at single storey
height, and those newly built in the last thirty
years which are of relatively low quality of
construction and design, also like the former,
deteriorating rapidly as a result of basic lack of
appropriate maintenance.
2.1.7 The type of new construction now being built is
usually alien to the traditional urban form of
the old city; is insensitive to the conditions
of the old city and interferes with the finely
balanced pattern of the traditional urban develop-
ment. If the general pattern of the new develop-
ment continues, then the traditional urban fabric
will also rapidly disappear.
2.1.8 The cobbled streets are not receiving adequate
maintenance and have become uneven so that the
local inhabitants add layers of clay and rubbish
to smooth them out, resulting in concentrations
of mud in times of rain and heavy dust during
the dry season.
2.1.9 The dense development of the study area, with
narrow congested streets, does not allow adequate
access and parking to the level demanded by the
activities now flourishing in the study area.
Routes with fast traffic, including motor bicycles,
small noisy vehicles and heavy pedestrian flows
create danger and inconvenience to the people who
use them. Large noisy buses use narrow streets
adding further to congestion and environmental

2.1.10 The scale of commercial activity encourages large
vehicles for delivery purposes within the study
area and has a detrimental effect on the
structure of the monuments. The main traffic
route, Sharia El Azhar, and to a lesser extent
Sharia El Qal'a, physically divide the study area
and interfere with the flow of movement of people
through the area. Midan Al Husayni is heavily
congested with parked and moving vehic1es;further
limiting the access of people on foot.
2.1.11 Although the area has an extensive network of
services covering water supply, electricity and
drainage to nearly all premises, these networks
are overloaded and in need of maintenance. In
particular the trunk sewer along the Sharia Port
Said, acting as the principal collector for the
area, is critically overloaded, creating a back
flow which affects at least half the study area.
It is unlikely that this problem will be
alleviated within seven to ten years.
2.1.12 The limited infrastructure facilities in the
cemeteries to the east of the old city, where
large numbers of people now live, results in
seepage into the study area created by the natural
falls of the ground. The leakage from the sewer
and water distribution spstem add to the saturated
condition of the top layer of soil and aggravate
the acute problems of the high water table. In
many parts of the city the water table has already
reached ground level. Seepage can be seen freely
on the streets and on the ground floor of buildings.
This is one of the most important contributing
factors to the rapid deterioration of the monuments
and of all buildings in the study area and indeed
affects the whole of Cairo.
2.1.13 There is considerable confusion and overlapping
responsibilities between the various authorities
with roles in the study area related both to the
historical monuments and to the general adminis-
tration of the old city. There is currently no
coherent overall policy or plan for the guidance
of the future development of the old city. In
this situation the de facto control of the area
interests in the area -
lies in the hands of the dominant and most active
namely the commercial interests.

2.1.14 The public authorities are in a weak position
to maintain adequate control over the area.
Some thirty per cent of new construction in
the area takes place without valid permissions.
Indexed historical monuments continue to be
destroyed at a steady rate. Examples of neglect
and decay abound.

2.2 Approach to the Problems
2.2.1 Attempts must be made to reverse the flight of
the residential population, to improve the
housing conditions of the residents and to limit
the expansion of commercial and industrial
activity. The continuance of a thriving and
contented residential community is a proper ob-
jective in itself but it will in addition act as
a brake on the expansion of the commercial interests
and create a more balanced community in the area.
It will also reduce the growth of traffic, the
journey to work of employees and the general
demands on the infrastructure of the area. The
existing housing stock should be improved and new
housing must be developed to meet the needs of the
residents. Further there should be programmes
developed to encourage the continuance of small
scale crafts and trading compatible with the
character of the old city, to bring in appropriate
new useS.and to exploit the tourism potential.
2.2.2 What is required is not simply another master plan
but immediate action proposals. The situation in
relation to the historic monuments has now reached
a serious position. An emergency programme of
action for the next five years shoulã be launched,
concentrated on specific areas. This can maximise
the use of limited resources available, stimulate
interest and encourage the inflow of further funds.
Immediate action will ensure that a critical corpus
of monuments is saved.
2.2.3 The existing list of monuments should be re-
examined and all maps and indexes should be brought
up to date. The protection accorded to all in-
dexed monuments in the area should be strengthened.

2.2.4 The programmes for the progressive improvement
of the water, electricity, drainage and sewerage
networks, as proposed by the organisations respon-
sible for these services,should be continued at
the fastest possible speed.
2.2.5 Research and study of the ground water position
in the Nile Valley around Cairo is vital and the
current programmes on this subject should be
strengthened and accelerated.
2.2.6 The road system of the old city must for the
foreseeable future be accepted as it stands
and all improvements in accessibility and move-
ment must come from traffic management. The
old city should not have to bear the traffic
whose origin or destination is outside the area.
2.2.7 Concentrated control and development in clearly
defined areas must be undertaken by a powerful
authority. Emergency procedures to achieve the
reversal of the rapid deterioration of monuments
should be introduced within these defined areas.

2.3 Priorities for Action
2.3.1 Two levels of action are proposed: firstly at the
level of the study area as a whole and secondly
with specific clusters of monuments within the study
area chosen for an immediate programme.
2.3.2 Within the study area a programme of housing up-
grading and improvement must be initiated. This
must be integrated with the conservation policies
of the study area.

2.3.3 Traffic management measures should be
instituted to achieve a limitation of vehicles
not exceeding 1 ton axle weight and 4.5m in
length and to restrict speed of vehicles. A
limitation should also be imposed on the con-
struction of new roads. Particular emphasis
must be given to safeguarding the traditional
thoroughfares in the study area: Sharia
Mu'izz li-Din Allah, Sharia al-Gamaliya, and
Sharia Darb el Ahmar.
2.3.4 The programes currently established to repair
and improve the distribution networks of water
supply, electricity, drainage and sewerage
should be accelerated, together with the improve-
ment of road maintenance, street cleaning and
rubbish collection.
2.3.5 Information and education programmes should be
established to enlarge awareness of the situation
in the study area.
2.3.6 This report defines six priority zones con-
taining clusters of monuments for an initial
five year emergency programme. Within each
zone action is required to deal with restoration
of monuments, to control the design and con-
struction of new buildings, to rehabilitate
and improve existing sites and buildings, to
introduce new compatible functions for monuments,
and to improve and contribute to the social
facilities of the neighbourhood.
2.3.7 A Cairo Conservation Agency (CCA) should be
established without delay by Presidential decree
to act in the six zones. The CCA should be a
co-ordinating and implementing technical
authority, for which it is highly desirable to
seek international support and involvement. The
CCA should also consider the expansion of the
zones, as well as the establishment of new ones,
after the first five year plan is complete.

2.3.8 All land owned by the Waqf, (other than mosques
in use), within the six zones should be "exchanged"
with other lands outside the historic area at
appropriate market prices by the public authorities.
This can lead to a unification of land ownership
in these zones and can thus ensure appropriate
and compatible development within the six zones.
2.3.9 Further studies should be launched as soon as
possible to include:
i) a comprehensive review of the index of
listed monuments with a view to adding a
number of monuments of worth not now in-
cluded in it.
ii 1 planning and conservation proposals for
the following areas:-
a) the Northern Cemetery
b) the Southern Cemetery
C) the Fustat Zone
d) the Coptic area of Old Cairo
e) Bulaq.
iii) detail design studies of specific areas
in and around the study area.
iv) research studies to establish the precise
impact of manufacturing industry in the
study area and to determine policies to
allow its continued development without
damage to the historic heritage by re-
location, by regulation and by the
provision of incentives.
V) a range of economic, commercial trading
initiatives to benefit the residential
population without damaging the historic
heritage, including the tourism potential
of the old city.
vi) through the Cairo Conservation Agency, the
development of effective and acceptable
local techniques for overcoming the ground
water problem around monuments and buildings
in the old city.

vii) social studies to gain a full understanding
' of the position, problems and aspirations of
the existing residential population.
vii'i) programmes to improve the housing conditions
of the residential population in the area.

A -
0 250 500 750 1000 metres.

3.1 Choice of Study Area
3.1.1 The various components of this unique historic city
which still survive today are grouped as follows
(see Fig. i):

i) the area loosely defined as the Fatimid

ii) the mainly uninhabited areas of Fustat,
in the extreme south.
iii) the area known as Old Cairo to the south,
with its many Coptic monuments.
iv) the northern and eastern cemetexies.

3.1.2 It was not possible to make proposals for all these

districts and the team therefore concentrated its
efforts in this first pilot study o n examining the
situation of the Fatimid City where the greatest
concentration of historic buildings exists. However,
it must be stressed that similar studies are urgently
required in all the districts mentioned, and it is
strongly recommended that such studies should be
initiated as soon as possible . Moreover,
it should be noted that each of the abovementioned
districts has its own distinctive characteristics,
requiring a different approach to dealing with its
particular problems. For example Fustat
is primarily an uninhabited area and an archaeological
site: Old Cairo contains mainly Coptic monuments,
and the cemeteries contain many fine mausoleums
with their distinctive domes. Bulaq has been ab-
sorbed into the fabric of modern Cairo and is lacking
in the characteristics of a homogeneous historic
community, but monuments survive there as individual

' - The Study Area Components
3.2.1 The study area, with an overall estimated population
of some 320,000 (1976) consists of an area approxi-
mately 3.7 sq.km. and is bounded by Bab al-Futüh and
Bab al-Nasr to the north of the I h TÜlÜn Mosque
to the south, the Sharia Port Said to the west
and the Salãh Salem Road to the east (see Fig. 2).
The table below gives the areas of a number of
wellknown districts and large spaces in different
parts of the world as a means of comparison of
Comparison of Sizes
District Approx. Area (sq.km.1
Montmartre, Paris, France 1.2
Greenwich Village, NY, USA 1.75
Historic Aleppo, Syria 2.0
The City of London, UK 2.5
Medina, Tunis, Tunisia 2.7
The Study Area, Cairo, Egypt 3.7
Historic Venice, Italy 4.5

3.2.2 Within the context of the study area, three levels

of analysis have been considered:
the extent of the study area as defined
above and its setting in Cairo. Relevant
information on this area has been gathered
mainly from other studies and census material.
The limitations on resources did not allow
the team to undertake detail studies of the
whole area, although the environmental
setting was examined.
ii) a strip approximately 50Om wide along the main
spine of the study area was examined to assess
the age and conditions of historic buildings
(both listed and unlisted) to determine which
of these were worthy of conservation. A short
study was also undertaken to record the
comercial activities along the spine itself
which acts as the main shopping thoroughfare.
A broad analysis was also made relating to the
spine in terms of urban design concepts.



Fig. 2 STUDY A R E A

' Fig. 3 E N V I R O N M E N T A L SETTING

iii) Within this 50ûm strip, 'clusters' or groups
of buildings for conservation were identified
in some detail; further studies were under-
taken to extend the 'clusters' into coherent
zones which include buildings other than
those worthy of conservation in themselves.
Some indication is also provided as to how
these zones might be expanded or how new
ones might be identified in the future.
Within three of the zones, short pilot studies
were undertaken to provide criteria relating
to social indicators to guide rehabilitation
3.3 Environmental Setting of the Study Area
3.3.1 The key features of the environmental setting of
the study area are as follows and are shown on Fig.3.
i) the land form is distinguished by the hills
to the east, the cemeteries to the northeast
and south and modern Cairo to the west with
its high rise buildings. It is important to
retain this clear distinction between the
unique historic part and the new scale to
development emerging in modern Cairo.
ii) the extent of the study area is strongly
defined on three sides: to the north by
the gates and walls, to the east by the line
of Saläh Salem Road and to the west by Sharia
Port Said. In contrast, to the south, the
boundary of the study area is not clearly
defined until the open area of Fustat is
reached. For the purposes of this study an
east/west boundary line running just to the
south of the Ibn TÜlÜn Mosque has been chosen
for convenience at a point where the fabric
of the old city changes.

iii) the urban texture of the study area is
a homogeneous one, characterised by tight
busy streets with continuous development,
mostly of even height. Over these
bustling streets hover the much larger-
scale buildings of mosques with their
towers and minarets. Certain buildings
and spaces are so massive that they stand
out as separate entities from the general
texture of the study area. These include:
a) the al Hakim Mosque and the open
area used for the garlic market
inside the Bab al Futuh,
b) the al Azhar Mosque and its large
open square,
C) Bab Zuweila,
d) the Mosque of Sultan Hasan,
e) the massive Citadel,
f) the Mosque of Ibn Tulun.
This fine balance of homogeneous texture
and isolated large buildings should be
retained and further new buildings should
respect this relationship.
iv 1 strong routes within this tight, 'urban
grain make connecting links through the
area and are intensively used, thus pro-
viding a clear differentiation from the
mass of local streets. The most dominant
route for pedestrians is the north/south
spine running through the study area, from
Bab al Futuh to the Mosque of Ibn Tulun,
reflecting its historic development. There
is a temporary brake in the continuity
of the route as a result of the Sharia al-
Azhar and the subsequent footbridge pro-
vided to separate vehicular traffic for
pedestrians. This route has the greater
concentration of activities from the Street
of the Tent Makers to the Bab al Futuh. There
are also two sub-routes which in addition to
vehicular traffic carry large numbers of
pedestrians: one runs parallel to the main
north/south spine from Bab al Nasr along the
Sharia al Gamaliya and the other leads from
Bab al Zuweila to the vicinity of the Citadel.

There is also the swathe through the city
created by the Sharia al-Azhar, a relatively
modern street of greater dimensions than
the other streets, busy with traffic
and commercial activity. For much of its
length, it has the Sharia Muski.running
roughly parallel to it on an east/west
axis. In addition the Sharia El-Qal'a
runs diagonally, cutting through the study
area from the Sharia Port Said to the
Sultan Hasam Mosque.

4.1 Socio-Economic Issues

4.1.1 A socio-economic study was undertaken and there is

close interaction between this part of the study and
others more specifically related to the conservation
of buildings.
The study undertook an examination of the socio-
economic scene at a number of levels simultaneously,
namely: -
i) central Cairo indicating the context of
the old city
ii) the study area providing a brief picture of
the position within the study area as a whole
iii) three specific zones giving a more detailed
understanding of the local situation
iv) commercial interests and activities within the
study area were also examined.

4.1.2 The basic data for the first two of these levels of
the study was obtained by the utilisation of existing
data sources and previous studies in the area.
The data for third and fourth levels of study was
derived from field studies. In addition there was
archive research and meetings held with interested qroups
involved in the area of the old city:
Although this study does not lay any claim to be a
Comprehensive socio-economic study of the area, it
does attempt, within the resources available, to
identify the key issues, to provide relevant data: to
draw.preliminary conclusions; and to indicate the
direction and scope of further necessary studies.

4.1.3 Central Cairo

In the past two decades Cairo's population has been
expanding at an average rate of 3.5% per year. The
overall expansion of Cairo is taking place as a result
of two different factors; firstly migrants from the
rural areas and other towns in Egypt who come to
Cairo; and secondly the natural increase of the popu-
lation of Cairo. In physical terms this population
is being absorbed by the peripheral expansion. In
contrast, Cairo is losing population in its centre.

4.1.4 Analysis of available census data shows a strong
outward movement of population from the central
part of Cairo encompassing the old city. Fig.4
shows the central districts that have been
losing population since 1960.
This is partly a result of the transformation.of
the central city's upper-income residential dis-
tricts to commercial areas and partly by the flight
by low-income groups from old, badly maintained
crowded housing to the more comfortable and less
dense quarters provided at the periphery. This
general pattern of migration can also be detected
within those Kisms which spread from the centre
to the periphery. For instance, the population of
Gamaliya increased by 10.6% over the last ten years.
However, on closer inspection at'shiekha level, it
is clear that the central Shiekhas of Gamaliya have
suffered a net average loss of 2.8% over the same
period. Gamaliya in total registered an increase
due to the very large increase obtaining in the
shiekhas at the periphery (see Figure 5). Internal
migration is thus occurring within Cairo as a
whole as well as within the old city.
4.1.5 The Study Area
Population data for the study area were derived
from the census data as officially published by
the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and
Statistics (CAPMAS). Historical data for the
study area are not readily available because of the
changes that have been made to shiekha boundaries
over the years and the creation of new shiekhas.
But the data available are adequate to indicate
the trend in this area which follows the same
pattern as that for central Cairo. Because the
socio-economic forces responsible for much of
this change have probably gained greater momentum
since the 1976 census, it is almost certain that
the rate of exchange has already increased.
4.1.6 The total population of the shiekhas of the study area
according to the 1976 census was 320,426 (162,679 males
and 157,474 females) which is an 8.6% loss on the 1966
figures when the population was reported to be 350,717.
The area therefore lost roughly 30,291 people during
this period. If the natural increase of the area popu-
lation is taken into account (say at 2.38% annually)

Shubra Ei Kheima

Misr El Kadima
Cairo Onert

Kisms that have lost

population between 66 76
Kisms that have lost


Comparison of growth rates of Gamaliya as a whole and of the
Shiekhas within the study area 1966 - 1976:

1966 % of 1976 % of % Change

Total Total
Gama 1iy a
Total 130873 (100%) 167000 (100%) - 10.6%

Shiekhas of
Gamaliya in
Study Area 93781 ( 70%) 91123 ( 54%) + 2.8%


Source: Capmas





1 00.ooo


lm 1976 1980 2000



Shiekha Population Average
~~~~~ ~

Trend continued
1976 annuel % 1980 2Ooo
decrease Population Population
since 1966
Khdita 84.970 -1.63 79.430 51,730

133,404 -0.68 129,776 111,831

Shareva 10.929 -1 .o4 10,473 8,193

ûarnaliva 91,123 -0.28 90,103 85,001

Total 320.426 309,402 254,282

4.1.6 Cont'd
the implications are that some 37,258 people have
effectively left the area during that ten year period
leaving behind them at a minimum some 6,600* dwelling
units assuming an average household size of 5. A
crude projection of this trend to present an indication
of its implications is given in Fig. 6.
4.1.7 Three Specific Zones
A programme of field work was undertaken in three
specific "zones" related to conservation concepts
described later in this report. The fieldwork was
three selected
- -
by means of interviews with residents within the
Nos. 2, 4 and 6 covering different
of the study area. The aim was to provide a
detailed picture of the people who lived there and
their conditions in order to establish how their needs
inter-related with the requirements of conservation in
the zone.
4.1.8 Within the zones the general picture that emerged is
that about one half of the families were living in
conditions of severe overcrowding. Between one
quarter and one third of the dwelling units had neither
water supply nor toilets. The highest rentals and
poorest facilities arose in the 'private rented'
sector. Occupations of the residents were very varied
but about one quarter of the households had incomes
of less than 250 LE per annum. Housing conditions
were worst in zones 2 and 4,which have a major
commercial and manufacturing component.
4.1.9 Commercial Interests and Activities
The study area itself contains the greatest density
of commercial and small-scale manufacturing enter-
prises in all Cairo. It has roughly 200 more shops
per resident than the average for the city (one shop
for every 23.9 residents as complared to 34.7 for
Cairo as a whole).
4.1.10 Some 30% of the resident population is active in the
labour force, constituting some 96,734 workers
(83,567 males and only 13,167 females). Of these
resident members of the labour force, roughly 53%
(51,269) work within the area itself while 47%

*This figure is derived by assuming that the average

family size of the population of 30,000 who left the
area was 5.


4.1.10 Cont'd
(45,465) have jobs outside the area. At the same
time some 48,463 workers (49% of all workers employed
in the area) come in to the area to work from places
outside. These figures indicate that there are roughly
100,528 jobs in the area derived from the Kism level
rates. The majority of the workers (41%) who live
in the area hold jobs in small-scale manufacturing
industries while 14.9% are engaged in sales and
related activities. This breakdown does not
necessarily characterise the types of jobs available
since many residents work outside and many workers
commute into the area.

4.1.11 There is extensive commuting and about 94,723 workers

move in and out of the area twice a day. Much of
this commuting is a direct result of the centre to
periphery migration (See Fig. 7). Most of the outward
migration to work is to the areas containing manu-
facturing and industrial estates, while most of the
inward migration to work comes fr'om thg new peri-
pheral residential development districts.

4.1.12 An establishment survey was carried out along the main

spine of the study area during April 1980 which shows
the importance of this commercial/manufacturing
activity taking place in the area.
Because the survey was carried out only along the
main spine it tends to over-represent the extent of
the retail trade in the area. From this field survey,
in conjunction with examination of previous generalised
land use surveys of the area,it is possible to present
a broad distribution of the activities in the area
(see Fig. 8).
There is a concentration in the established pattern of
retail trades along the spine of the study area. New
premises and the extension of associated manufacturing
and warehousing uses expand behind the spine within
the boundary of the study area.
4.1.13 The distribution of activities creates considerable
traffic movement. The number of vehicles,coupled
with heavy pedestrian movement,produces acute
congestion at a number of points in the study area.
There is, in addition,the commercial vehicular traffic
in and out of the .study area each day connecting it
with Alexandria, 57% of the traffic, and Ismalia and
the Suez Canal, 27% of the traffic. No data was
available regarding the commodities transported by


4.1.13 Cont'd
by this means but from observation it is clear
that much of this is the movement of outward-bound
finished products to markets and inward-bound raw
4.1.14 The comercial and manufacturing activities in the
area are for the most part highly interdependent and
are not "foot-loose" activities. Commodities are
produced here by workshops, located near to each
other, that treat the same item in the process of
production. Leather, for example, is tanned, dyed,
embossed and printed by separate workshops before it
is sold wholesale in the form of leather goods. It
is the retailer who commissions the separate
specialised workshops. Such complex interdependency
is true for many items including silver work, brass,
copper and woodwork.
4.1.15 The process of production therefore depends on multiple
activities carried out by interdependent workshops in
the same area. The main markets for the items
produced are within the area and also within Cairo as
a whole. For this reason it is almost impossible
for expansion to take place in any of the activities
outside the area. New workshops can only be success-
ful if set up in the area with access to supporting
workshops and clients. The pressures for such
expansion are now great and will continue to be so
in the future. The space for such expansion is
limited resulting in high increases in land prices
and acccarnnodation for such activities.

4.1.16 Although much machine-aided production has been intro-

duced during the past decade, the same interdependent
manufacturing structure has persisted. This is
because workshops have not expanded horizontally to
diversify the nature of their essential capabilities.
The replacement of skilled craftwork by machine-
aided volume production, involving less specialised
workers, is to a great extent a result of the massive
expansion of the tourism industry. In 1968, the
total number of foreign visitors to Egypt was 318,000,
increasing to 1,052,000 by 1978 (an average rate of
increase of 12.7% a year). For the year 1978, 46%
(146,280) of the visitors came from Europe and America.
This proportion has increased as the number of Arab
visitors declined since 1975. The
majority visit the old city, especially the Khan al-
Khallll' area for shopping and sightseeing. The
commodities bought by the visitors, whether purchased

4.1.16 Cont'd

in the Khänal- Khalili area or in other parts of

Cairo or even Egypt, are items usually manufactured
in the study area (i.e. copper, glass and leather
goods). For this reason there has been a large
increase in demand for the commodities produced in
the area resulting in strong pressures towards
4.1.17 Another type of social s b u c t u r e connected with
comercial activities is the productive co-operatives
and associations formed by owners of workshops working
with particular raw materials. These associations
serve to protect the interests of their members'
respective business by co-operation with Handicrafts
Industries Productive Co-operative Organisation
(HIPCO). A partial list of owners' association
illustrating the range of such organisations has
been assembled.
4.1.18 The study area is also rich in organisations of various
types ranging from charities to migrant associations.
There are also many productive co-operatives formed
specifically to facilitate business transactions and
provide access to cheap raw materials. The heads of
these have a tendency to be the wealthiest of the
owners of workshops or retail business in their
respective fields and have considerable influence
among the members. Further more, there is a great
deal of solidarity between the leaders of the
different associations and these conditions, coupled
with their monopoly of the cash flow of the area,
make it possible for these groups to have political
power locally.
4.1.19 The picture that emerges is that there are major
changes occurring in the study area.. Field survey
work indicates that the outward-flow of residents is
even greater than recorded statistics, since there
has also been an influx of new migrants to the area.
These immigrants, replacing some of the older
residents, occupy the marginal niches of the local
economy and tend not to re-occupy the vacated houses.
They live in temporary shack-like structures on lands
not disputed by commercial interests. Indeed,in some
instances,these people are actually brought in by
merchants as a source of cheap labour. This influx
can be as high as 25% of the total population for
some of the zones surveyed within the study area.
4.1.20 The established resident population is pressured
to leave by the commercial interests of the area
which can thus expand their commercial property
holding and can acquire cheaper new immigrant
labour if required. The comercial interests of
the drea appear to take positive action to qet
residents to move out if it suits their interests,
and details of a number of examples have been
4.1.21 This pressure is exerted by commercial interests
either as landowner, or building owner or some-
one interested in using or acquiring the residential
property for commercial usage.
This is a significant and powerful factor in
coming to any understanding 'of the depopulation of
the area. A further factor is that as a result of
this process many residents try to leave voluntarily
before the pressures actually impinge on them
directly. This usually takes the form of making
themselves homeless by some means or other and seeking
the help of the public authorities in rehousing.
4.1.22 It is possible, however, to classify a variety of
methods by which the comercial interests encroach
on the territory and the structures of the area,
from the field survey data. In most cases the process
involves the harassment of the residents and/or a
deliberate effort to destroy part of the structures
concerned. In almost all cases, once complete
control is obtained the buildings are demolished
or modified to suit the intended purpose. If
new structures replace the old, many will be illegal
structures, since only about 60 out of every 250 new
structures every year are legal; they are invariably
designed primarily as workshop/comercial premises
rather than residential buildings.
4.1.23 During 1977-79 this process of expulsion of residents
and/or loss of dwellings reached almost crisis pro-
portions, when many residents lost their homes and
were forced to squat in the mosques of the area.
Details have been assembled of the occupational
backgrounds of those residents who lived in the mosques
of the area, as a result of being made homeless through
the process described. The majority of these people
came from the lower-income groups and do not represent
any of the most active commercial interests of the

4.1.23 Cont 'd
area. A total of 755 heads of households was
registered during the census of the mosques
concerned. Assuming a family size of 5 persons
this figure represents about 3,775 people who for
various reasons had lost their homes.
4.1.24 Due to the pressure for expansion from commercial
interests and the interdependent character of
commercial activity, there is little willingness
on the part of commerce to move out. This is
despite the difficulties of access and constraints
on ;edevelopment of property. Thus organised
commercial interests dominate the study area and
and many of the existing residents are forced to

4.2 Administration

4.2.1 The main authorities acting in the study area are

as follows:-
i) The Egyptian Antiquities Organisation
is responsible for giving permission for any
alterations and additions to all "indexed"
buildings in whosoever ownership they may be.
The procedure is through the referral of such
items to the Antiquities Organisation by the
Governorate which accepts the Antiquities Organi-
sation s views in issuing a decision.
Ownership of such buildings will be mainly in
the hands of the Waqf authbrities but some will
be owned by private owners and some by the
Antiquities Organisation themselves. The
Organisation is also responsible for undertaking
restoration works on such buildings and for
licensing and monitoring restoration works on
"indexed" buildings undertaken by others.
ii) Waqf Authorities (Ministry of Endowments) owns
large numbers of Islamic monuments of signi-
ficance in the old city which may or may not be
"indexed". For those monuments not listed, the
Waqf authorities can act without reference to the
Antiquities Organisation.
U)The Governor of Cairo has the responsibility for
giving permission for new buildings and licences for
alterations to existing buildings and demolitions.
The Governorate is also the public authority
responsible for the provision of public sector
housing and social services in the area.

4.2.2 This system of interlocking authorities could well

work but alas does not, The reasons for such failure
can be said to arise firstly from a critical lack of
technical, administrative and managerial resources,
and finance: secondly,from a basic lack of co-operation
between various authorities: and thirdly,from flagrant
flouting of regulations by individual building
owners, absence of strong local community feelings
on the issues, remoteness of the authorities involved,
general apathy and, not least, the pressures of
commercial expansion.
4.2.3 The position, however, has not always been like this
over the last hundred years or so. In 1860 the
responsibility for surveying, indexing and conserving
Islamic monuments was entrusted to the Comite de la
Conservation des Monuments de l'Art Arabe. This

4.2.3 Cont'd
was an effective,vigorous and serious professional
body, enjoying a high reputation for the conservation
of Islamic art and architecture. It controlled
all indexed monuments in the area and had a strong
influence in decisions affecting the setting of the
4.2.4 All indexed buildings were finally put under the
ownership of this Committee but unfortunately this
separated the buildings from the endowments intended
to provide their financial support - the former being
in the hands of th? Committee and the latter in the
hands of Waqf authorities. The system operated well
enough as long as the Committee received adequate
funds from central government. Later the respon-
sibilities for the indexed monuments themselves were
handed on to the Egyptian Antiquities Organisation
but since the 195O's, inadequate funds for the task
of conservation have been available from government.
4.2.5 Moreover, the Antiquities Organisation is concerned
only with the "indexed" monuments themselves. There
are two resultant problems. First, many important
and interesting buildings which did not have a place
in its original index are being demolished, changed
and vandalised by their owners without reference to
any one. This is of particular significance for the
residential buildings of the area because the Committee
in its original listing neglected residential buildings
generally. There is a strong case for a review of the
index after a hunäred years in use. Secondly, the
control of the general development in the area came
under the control of other bodies. To establish any
plan or planning approvals for a medieval city is a
daunting task in any event and in Cairo there had
been a serious lack of resources to take any action.
In the late 1960's the problem was studied by the
Greater Cairo Planning Commission but no significant
policies emerged.
4.2.6 More recently in the 1970's,following the adoption by
the Gcvernorate of an overall plan for the area prepared
by the General Organisation for Physical Planning
(GOPP), a special committee of members from all the
key bodies involved, was established for dealing with
al1 applications for construction in the old city.
This committee received applications for development
from the Governorate for examination. If necessary the
Committee had the power to refer applications to experts
for modification and revision and to pay the fees for
the professional work so incurred. When finally
approved by the Committee it was returned to the

4.2.6 Cont'd
Governorate to issue the decision. This system
ceased to operate sometime in 1979 due to lack of
funds .
Thus,although there is need for a high level of
co-ordination and for specialist expertise in
considering all proposals for building in this
special area, it does not exist,although the staff
of the Governorate and the Egyptian Antiquities
Organisation continue to attempt to cope with this
difficult and overwhelming workload.
4.2.7 Examples of the damage and destruction which was in-
flicted on listed monuments are shown in Figs. 9
and 10. Examples of neglect and inadequate main-
tenance are shown in Fig. 11.







Madrasa of Gamál a l - D h Yusuf al-Ustädãr (1408/&11)
The entrance, showing advanced state of decay due to corrosion by the
salts in rising ground water.

Madrasa of Gama1 al-D’in
yüsuf al U s tãdár

Interior of the
entrance, showing the
gaping crack in the
threshold, indicative
of the movement caused
in the foundations
by rising ground water.


Mosque of Aqsunqur (1669/1080)
Showing the degree of disintegration of the paving in the prayer hall
and the courtyard, and the distortion of the superstructure, both
results of the high water table.

Mosque of Aqsunqur

The mimbar with the top

3f the mihrab behind.
Note the damage caused
by corrosion and the
poor techniques used
in repairing it,which
themselves will result
in further corrosion.

4.3 Infrastructure
4.3.1 Water
There is a General Organisation responsible for the
provision of potable water in the city. In general
terms, the water distribution network reaches all
buildings. In many buildings one tap serves a whole
building and in others there is an extensive internal
distribution system providing outlets to all individual
dwellings. Accurate information on the extent of the
network in the old city is hard to find and indeed
may not exist.
However the condition of this distribution network
is poor, much of it requiring renewal and giving
rise to very high losses in distribution.
4.3.2 Sewerage
There is a General Organistion responsible for sewerage
systems in the old city which consists of drains and
collecting sewers, connected to the Cairo main sewerage
an6 waste water system. There are problems arising
from the condition and capacity of this system which
result in back-flowing sewage being a recurring
feature of many parts of Old Cairo. This is offensive
to the senses, a danger to health and a factor in
the deterioration of buildings.
4.3.3 The General Organisation has launched a major scheme
for the rehabilitation, improvement and development
of the waste water system of Greater Cairo. This
will provide, on completion, a modern system for all
parts of Cairo which will cater for the total require-
ments of the city but this is a long term programme.
associated with the lower part of the town -
The sewerage back-flow problems in the old city are
that is
on the west side adjacent to Sharia Port Said and
extending inwards for about half of the width of the
study area. The problem arises from the capacity
limits of the collecting drain in the Sharia Port
Said and the capacity of the trunk sewers from thereon.
Thus a high priority task is the improvenient of the
Sharia Port Said collector. This would allow the
discharge from the old city to be taken off effectively.
This work is expected to be completed by 1990 and
little improvement in the situation will occur before
that date.
4.3.4 The network of drains and connections in the Ga&liya
area also will be improved by a series of minor works
and improvements over the next five years. Thus
improvements are under way.

4.3.5 Solid Waste
Disposal in the old city is undertaken by individual
operations collecting rubbish from premises for a
charge and gaining further remuneration from the
disposal af reuseable material for which there is a
market. Its effectiveness in the old city is dimi-
nishing for the following reasons:-
i) the amount of rubbish is increasing and its
potential value is declining.
ii) congestion in the streets is making the task
iii) there is confusion of responsibility in that
the municipality collects the rubbish f r a the
market areas and open spaces but not from
4.3.6 The result is that there is an accumulation of rubbish
through the old city. There are large rubbish d u m p s
on any unused areas of land,sometimes around the
mosques, and throughout the area there exist small
rubbish tips and compressed rubbish forms a top
surface to all roads.
4.3.7 Roads
Traffic is concentrated on a small number of streets.
The density picture based on observations and not on
surveys indicates that peak traffic density occurs
at the following locations:-
i) Sharia Al-Azhar.
ii) the market areas.
iii) the main commercial streets of Sharia
XU’iZZ li-Din Allah and Sharia Bab
4.3.8 From this superficial analysis it is contended that:-
i) the Sharia Al-Azhar route must be accepted and
its disruption to the users of the area mini-
mised. The capacity of this route must not be
increased through the intrcduction of any high
level road.

4.3.8 Cont'd
ii) congestion in the market and commercial
streets may have to be accepted as a
self regulating system.
iii) no programme of new road construction
within the area generally chou12 be
iv) traffic management schemes should be
encouraged to achieve the best results
from the existing network and the speed
and size of vehicles traversing the area
should be limited.
v) no further cross routes should strike
through the area nor any increased
capacity encouraged on the existing cross

R.3.9 The surfaces between buildings fall into the

following categories:-
i) Numerous Internal Courts within building
groups are extensive and' varied. Their
condition relates entirely to that of the
buildings around them. Such courts must be
viewed as an integral part of the building
and treated as such.
ii) Streets and Paths are important as the main
areas of public activity. Although originally
in the main built as stone paved roads which
they still are underneath the layer of rubbish -
they are neglected. Until civic pride and the
demand of the local population require it then
they will remain in this state. Their improve-
ment will only come with the general improvement
of the area.

Sub-Surf ace C O . ~. - inJ the

4.3.1 O
of clay surface layer lm - ~ valley at Cairo consist
4m thick over sands of up
to 100m depth. Each has its own water table and each
behaves independently,affected by different factors
(see Fig.12). The clay layer gains water from rain,
leaking water mains, sewerage and drainage pipes and
also surface water. When the top layer is saturated
any further, water remains on the surface. The
natural drainage is impeded by the dense development
in the area. Furthermore, higher land to the east

Sat Urat ed

1 - 4m
4 b


Sands 4- Ground Water

up to Source :
Nile feeding
into ground

Long terin investigation

of pattern of behaviour
of water in this strata

- Pressure

i '

This level rising and in

many places 'X' is less than lm

Fig. 12 G R O U N D WATER

4.3.10 Cont'd

drains into the old city, with increasing population

creating more water. The sand strata gains
its water from the Nile river and ground water
sources. This ground water level has risen over the
years and its level is complicated to determine
because of pressure zones within the strata. A
programme of longterm research on the behaviour of
water in this strata is under way by the Ministry of
Irrigation and the Academy of Scientific Research.
in places the water table in the sands comes close to
the underside of the clay layer. Due to pressure,
if the clay layer is pierced, water sometimes rises
into (and perhaps even above) the clay layer, thus
contributing further to this saturation.(See Fig.12).
4.3.11 Repair works to piped services will only affect the
saturation of the surface clay layer zone. The water
table of the sand strata will remain.

5.1 Present State of Buildings
5.1.1 Two factors may be adduced to have contributed
as much as any to the present dilapidated state
of buildings in the old city:
i) The decline in the practice of the
traditional buildinq technology within
the area.
Builders and their clients alike were
aware that the building methods were such
as to necessitate constant vigilance and
repair. The substitution of imported
technologies led to two deleterious results:
a) the new materials were used over the
top of, or as substitutes for the old
materials, e.g. the use of cement
plaster to patch lime or gypsum plasters.
Whereas the older materials had a
great capacity to absorb the effects .
of diurnal or seasonal expansions or
contractions, cement
more brittle material
--a much harder,
does not
possess these qualities. Thus either
it cracked away from the other materials
or a plethora of cracking took place
within the area of cement plaster. In
either case the protective purpose of
the layer of plaster was destroyed.
b) the imported technological innovations were
not conceived in terms of continuous
vigilance and repair but were supposed
to last for many years. The habit of
annual inspection and repair was
gradually lost and the accepted
traditional method of continuous main-
tenance as a fundamental aspect of the
ownership of any building was forgotten.

The presence of deleterious forces did not
exist more than thirty years ago. The
most serious of these is the high water
table. It used to be accepted that the
buildings in the Middle East were dry at
ground level an2 often dry even in sirdabs
or basement rooms. But with the migration
of large numbers of people into the urban
centres and the introduction of piped
water supplies and waterborne sewerage,
this situation changed drastically. This
lavish use of water, which was often im-
perfectly drained, meant that water be5an
to accumulate in the ground within the
urban areas.
5.1.2 Before 1950 the water table was over one and a
half metres below ground level in the old city.
Capillary attraction rarely drew the dampness
up to the height of the foundation walls to
above ground level, Since the dampness in the
wall did not come within reach of the oxygen
irl the atxcsphezc, trny acids it might have con-
tained had little chance to form salts which,
because of their expanding volume, could break
up the materials of the wall.
5.1.3 However with the water table now almost at
ground level, the capillary attraction up into
the hitherto dry porous materials of the masonry
aboye ground is considerable, reaching on many
occasions heights of 4 or 5 metres and in extreme
cases heights of up to 10 metres above ground
(see Fig. 13). The acids in the ground water,
more concentrated now because of sewerage
leakage, interact with chemicals in the masonry
and with the oxygen in the air at the wall face.
This interaction forms salts which reduce the
strength of the material and continuously spa11
off the surface, until the whole of the fabric
is destroyed to the height which the ground
water can reach. -

Capillary attraction
1 - I f metres


A) Situation before c:1965 in old city

capillary attraction seldom led water
to above ground level where interaction
of acids in water with oxygen in air
could produce salts which would destroy

(-Capillary of watar. attraction

--- ---Y- 4
2p cm

. .

BI Situation c:1975 -
1980 in old city
high water table means increasing
height of capillary attraction from
i f metres upwards above ground level.
Resulting salts are destroying masonry,
mortar and plaster.


5.1.4 It is ironic that in such a relatively dry
climate as that of Cairo, it is water which
does so much damage. In fact the dryness
accelerates the problem, draining any water that
is within the building to the outer surface
together with the salts which it contains.
Water enters the fabric in two ways: rainwater
from above through the inadequately maintained
roofs, and water rising from the ground below.
Although the rain falls during only a short
period of the year, its effects are magnified
in Cairo by the following factors:
i) Accumulation of dust on surfaces: this
dust has its own chemical reaction with
oxygen going on without the presence of
water and is often highly acid. Once
rain has dissolved these acids damage to
surfaces beneath can be considerable in
a short time.
ii) Lack of maintenance of the roofs leaves
an expose8 layer of clay, the latter
being part of the traditional construction
technique until recent times (see Fig. 14).
With rain this becomes saturated and
remains damp in its lower layers long after
the rains have ceased and the upper layers
have dried out. The lower layers in turn
are in contact with the wooden beam and
plank construction of the ceiling which
supports the roof. These wooden members
then become damp and rot is produced in
the upper, hidden surfaces of the wood.
Often the first that inhabitants of the
building know of the rottenness of the
roof structure is when it collapses.
Damage to irreplaceable decorations of
historic monuments through the same causes
is widespread.

Traditional hard waterproof
compacted plaster annually RAIN
checked for crackinq and maintained.
Patches of damage or eroded
plaster (due to lack of maintenance).

Exposed clay layer

weathering rapidly.


Fig. 14 ROOFS

Rain penetrating through cracks

and joints in top stones.

,Decaying and cracked plaster.

&-Water logged stones disintegrating
:hrough acid action in dampness
formtng salt at surface at contact
with air.

Clay core of wall dissolving in

water and washing down leading
to cracking and eventual collapse.

Fig. 15 WALLS

-.. .a:
e -,
Ar -

Original roof of plaster over a clay layer was
repaired every year before'the rainy season.
Lack of maintenance allowed clay layer to
become waterlogged and dissolve, leading to
decay of wooden beams and eventual collapse.

Once water penetrated onto internal floor decay

and disintegration is accelerated, owing to
lack of any provision for waterproofing..

Building becomes uninhabitable, as upper floors

collapse filling lower levels with debris and
dust. Low price fixed rents discourage owners
from making any repairs.

Finally building is temporarily waterproofed

at first floor lev21 to safeguard high rents
from ground floor shops.


iii) Lack of maintenance of parapets crowning
the walls leads to the introduction of
water into the clay core which is part of
the traditional technique of construction
in old Cairo ( see Fig. 15). The clay is
dissolved and flows down within the wall,
leaving a void which can result in cracking
and eventually in collapse.
At the same time the dampness induced in
the upper walls brings salts due to the
presence of acids in the rain and the dust:
these can disfigure the wall and induce
corrosion of the masonry or plaster
surfaces. It should be pointed out that
gypsum and lime plasters and mortars, the
traditional building materials, are parti-
cularly susceptible to corrosion by the
acids contained in both rainwater and
rising damp. The strength of the plasters
and mortars is reduced almost to nothing,
and the materials become powdery. Hence
the marble revetments of so many Cairo
mosques and fine Mameluke and Ottoman
houses have come loose from the walls and
fallen to the ground. And there are
countless other effects of this lessening
of the binding strength of the building
materials. The use of cement to repair
such damage only makes matters worse. The
alkali in cement prodices much worse
chemical reactions with the acidic ground
water or rainwater if they can reach it,
e.g. if there is dampness behind or below
the cement. Low alkali cement is
available but it is rarely used by builders
as it has to be specially obtained and is
more expensive.

iv) The collapse of the upper storeys of the
houses: lack of maintenance of the roofs
leads to the collapse of the roof beams
as already explained. Should the inhabitants
of a dwelling then abandon the topmost
floor but continue to live in the floors
below they lose their ceilings even more
quickly because the floor surfaces above
were not meant to be weather resistant.
Very soon other storeys collapse until the
ground floor ceiling is reached. At this
point the progressive decay has often been
stopped because there are lucrative shops
or workshops at ground level, and rather
than lose these premises and the resultant
rents, the owners have usually been prepared
to go to considerable lengths to provide
waterproof protection of the ground floor.
VI In this way more than half the old buildings
in Cairo now survive only up to the first
storey floor level (see Fig. 16).

5.2 Building Conservation
5.2.1 Faced with the problem of some 450 indexed monu-
ments of cultural and historic significance
within the study area, it became necessary to
establish some form of priority or grading system
in order to allow the scale of the problem to
be reduced to manageable proportions. The
dangers of establishing any priority system at
all are that it can be inferred that monuments
low on the list are condemned to lack of attention,
rapid deterioration and even destruction. This
is not the intention even though, regrettably,
in some instances this may well be the result. The
need for a system of priorities springs from
seeking to gain the maximum benefit from the
resources available.

5.2.2 Assuming for the moment that all 4 5 0 monuments
were of the same size and condition and that on
average each required the expenditure of LE 1M
to effect its basic restoration, a total of some
LE 450 million would be required. This gives
some measure of the scale of the problem on
extremely crude assumptions. It would be very
simple to deploy an argument that the total
should be very much higher.
5.2.3 From published government budget figures, the
total budget of the Egyptian Antiquities Organi-
sation for 1979 was LE 3.5M to cover all running
costs and all capital expenditure on all the
monuments in Egypt (Pharaonic, Islamic, Coptic
and Graeco-Roman). No more than a quarter of
this sum would be directed to Islamic monuments,
say LE lM, although in addition there are
sums being expended on Islamic mcnuments by the
Waqf authorities and various national institutes
involved in restoration programmes. Assuming
that this amounts to a further LE 1M,the total
figure expended on the restoration of Islamic
monuments in the old city is LE 2M.
This contains a large margin of error, but even
if the total were understated by 100% the gap
between this figure and the initial estimate of
the minimum required is enormous. Thus if the
available resources were spread amongst all the
monuments the impact on any single one would
be infinitesimal. The argument therefore is
to concentrate resources to achieve something
worthwhile on fewer monuments.
5.2.4 Successful restoration is also the means of in-
creasing the total resources. If conservation
of any monuments is successfully undertaken it
stimulates attention, establishes confidence in
further conservation work and hopefully stimulates
the inflow of financial aid. Thus the need to
establish a priority system is inescapable.

5.2.5 The monuments listed in the Index contain a
number of wellknown buildings in current use
which are in no immediate danger of disappearing
and which would be regarded by everyone as major
monuments of Cairo. They are sprinkled
throughout the city forming its landmarks.
For the moment they are not "at risk". The
total of such buildings may well be only some
2% or 3% of the total number, say 10
- 20
This leaves some 420 other indexed
buildings in the area.
Five groups of monuments were selected for placing
in this catego.ry. These were:
1. The northern gates and al-Häkim Mosque,
2. Al-Azhar Mosque and its appendage buildings,
3. The Citadel,
4. Sultan Hasan Mosque, and the other monuments
around the Maydän al-Qal'a,
5. Ibn TÜlÜn Mosque and the buildings Unme-
diately relating to it.
It must be emphasized that all the monuments
should receive the full protection accorded to
"indexed" buildings. But in terms of receiving
positive attention there must be some priority
system to direct effort and resources in a first
phase of an emergency conservation drive and
when this is successful to move on to a second
5.2.6 Because of the uniform distribution of the
monuments throughout much of the fabric of the
old city, as shown in Fig. 17, it was determined
that some strategy should be adopted to help in
deciding which buildings most merited immediate
action for conservation. Unless there is
careful selection of the monuments into which
immediate action and funds are directed, their
value to the community, and to future programmes
of conservation will be dissipated, and ultimately
may prove ineffective.
Fig, 17
o 250 500 710 1000 metres

5.2.7 It was also felt to be extremely important that
this choice should be related to the vulnerability
of the urban context in which the buildings were
situated. Major monuments in close proximity
to each other were in addition felt to be mutually
enhancing. These and a wide range of other
criteria were used in the selection process.
The most important of these criteria may be
summarised as follows:
i) the degree to which the building is a
significant monument in architectural
or cultural history;
ii) the quality of its original design;
iii) the aesthetic quality of its.visual
appearance and character today, particularly
in-terms of its authentic mellowness and
the patina of aging;
iv) the completeness of the surviving building
in comparison with the scope and nature of
its original design;
V) the extent to which the mediaeval setting
and context survives;
vi) the vulnerability of the monument or its
context to irreversible change in the near
vii) the degree to which it clusters with other
monuments worthy of a relatively high
priority for conservation;
viii) the seriousness of the condition of its
fabric and decoration relative to its
importance ;
ix) the cost of bringing the building back to
a reasonable state of repair and visual

5.2.8 Using these criteria, a map was prepared of the

central strip of the mediaeval city indicating
those buildings which had achieved the highest
rating (Fig. 18). Although a widespread
scattering of monuments still remained, it became
apparent that certain of the high-priority
monuments formed natural groups or clusters which
could be taken as the basis for further studies.





5.2.9 As the accuracy of the assessment of these criteria
in relation to each building was fundamental to
the subsequent decisions in .this study, the judg-
ments involved were not left solely to the members
of the mission who prepared the report, but also
involved consultation with a number of distinguished
architectural historians, architects and other
experts, both Egyptian and foreign.
5.2.10 Six clusters of monuments have been selected to
form a first phase of an emergency programme.
These are considered to form potential conservation
and rehabilitation zones and are spaced out at
almost equal distances between the northern gates
and Ibn TÜlÜn Mosque, each focussing on a single
street about 250 metres long. Each group is
thus tightly integrated, yet they are so spaced
apart that their upgrading may have the maximum
impact on the whole of the central area of the
old city.
5.2.11 The numbers of indexed monuments in the clusters
is as follows:
Cluster No. of Indexed Monuments
1 13
2 14
3 9
4 13
5 16
6 12

5.2.12 One or more of the following considerations
led the team to adopt this decision in each case:
i) the need to focus action on those areas
thought to be most vulnerable:
ii) the desire to limit the scope of the
special action recommended over the next
five years to reasonable and manageable
proport ions ;
iii) the extent to which the group was independent
of the living fabric of the old city:
iv) the degree to which the group was already
so well maintained, protected or otherwise
less liable to be seriously threatened
by decay during the next five years.
5.2.13 It is important to stress the urgency with which
action in these six clusters should begin -
without further delay if the built fabric is to
be saved. It is recommended that it is within
these areas that all available resources and
effort should be concentrated. In the case of a
disaster befalling the rest of the old city, it
should be possible within these zones to perceive
the image of mediaeval Cairo and to experience
its atmosphere.
5.2.14 The great majority of the remaining classified
monuments warrant ufgent conservation no less
than the monuments within the clusters. The
Antiquities organisation'.^ powers should be con-
solidated and strengthenedto deal with the rest
of the monuments in the study area. This is
necessary both financially and in relationship
to other departments.
5.2.15 In summary the conservation strategy for important
buildings and their setting can be stated as
i) the index must be reviewed and revised:
ii) the existing procedures for indexed buildings
must be strengthened:
iii) key monuments, buildings and landmarks
throughout the old city must be retained,
restored and enhanced through the normal

iv) redevelopment of sites up to existing
plot-boundaries and up to existing heights
to be permitted;

VI six clusters of important buildings are

to receive priority treatment over an
emergency period of five years.

5.3 Priority Zones

5.3.1 The policy of conservation cannot be isolated
from the acceptance of change. The continuity
of the traditional way of life in the study area
must be taken into account as far as possible.
All conservation and rehabilitation schemes, as
well as the inclusion of new buildings, will
take this factor into consideration. Of prime
importance is the preservation of the physical
context, as well as the selected monuments.
Each cluster of monuments therefore provides a
focus for defining pri0rit.y zones which inckude
rehabilitation, upgrading as well as conservation.
5.3.2 Once the six clusters of monuments were identified
as part of the conservation strategy, all buildings
in the vicinity were examined in order to define
the potential extent of each zone. An environ-
mental assessment of each zone was carried out,
analysing the existing character by means of
diagrams and sketches (as illustrated throughout
this report). From this and other relevant
factors, the extent of the six zones was defined
(see Fig. 19).
5.3.3 The Six Zones
The six priority zones are defined as follows,
together with their general character:

Foot Bridge

9 7:
:Al Azhar






of the
Open Space Citadel.

6 Fig. 19


5.3*4 Zones One and Two (see Fig. 20) are interlinked
by narrow streets as well as a number of indivi-
dual and small groups-of historic buildings worthy
of conservation. Of particular significance
is the Midan Bayt Al-QäCr which acts as a strong
link between the two zones.
5.3.5 Zone One centered on Sharia al -Mukzz 1 i- Din
Allah covers the heart of Fatimid Cairo and is
the site of the former Fatimid palaces, which were
replaced by other major buildings during the
Ayübid and Mameluk periods. Historically the
zone demonstrates the development of the typical
Cairene madrasa-mosque with attached mausoleum
of the founder. Major public buildings and
commercial structures prevail, with shop-
fronts often obstructing the view of important
monuments. Due to the vicinity of Khan al-
KhalilF and the Sharia al-Azhar, this zone is
the most frequented tourist area and, with its
unique architectural heritage, represents a
"showcase" of Islamic Cairo.
5.3.6 Zone Two centered on Sharia al-Gamäliya represents
one of the finest and most homogeneous street
scenes of the old city. It includes fine wakallas
and sabil-kuttabs on the north-south spine of
Fäsimid Cairo, leading from Bab al-Nagr to the
shrine of Hussein. The street is also a sub-
centre for the adjacent housing districts which
are accessible through the many lanes branching
off from the spine.
5.3*7 Zone Three (see Fig. 21) centered around the Ghouriya
contains the buildings of the Mameluk Sultan al-
Ghoury and a series of traditional suqs. These
originally extended from the Sharia Muski south-
wards until the Mu'ayyad-complex (Zone 4) and
were cut by the Sharia al-Azhar. To the east
close to the Sharia Hamm'm al-Ma@aja is a
vegetable market which acts as a local focus for
the surrounding area. Further east,the-Al-Azhar
mosque is adjacent to this zone, both a major
tourist attraction and an important religious

Historic buildings to be restored Sas and buildings adiacent to monu-
(bothlisted and unlisted) ments, requiring control over methods
of abutrnena and c o n m u d o n .
New buildings on vacant or dilapidated Buildings in need of height control in
sites requiring the mtal control of the vicinity of the zones (eg. in order
design. to safeguard impottant views).
Substantial building which are likely ' Exrent of pavedarea.
to remain forrome time. In need of
surface treatment control íeg. colour,
texiure, etc) with eventual design
control when retuilding takes place. ' N.B. Scales to figurar vary.

Fig. 20 ZONE 1 A N D 2



m Historic buildings to be restod

(both listed and unlisted)

New aiildings on vacant or dilapidated

d m requiring the total control of
cites and buildings adjacent to monu-
ments, requiring control over methods
of abutments and cornmiction.
Buildings in need of height control in
the vicinity of the zonas (eg.in order
.* to safeguard imporunt vim).

U Substantial buildings which are likely

to remain for some time. In need of
surface treatment control leg. colour.
texaire,etc) with wentual design
control when rebuilding takes placa.
Extent of paved ama.

N.B. Scales to fiwm vary.

Fig. 21 ZONE 3

5.3.8 Zone Four (see Fig. 22) is centered round
Bab Zuweila, the southern gate of the Fásimid
city, linking the old walled city with its
southern extensions. immediately south of the
gate, the spine features a unique sequence in
the old city, from the small open space outside
the gate to the covered street of the Tent
Makers, Due to industrial activities nearby
this zone suffers from the impact of heavy
vehicular traffic. and contains many dilapidated
and abandoned plc -s.
5.3.9 Zone Five (see F g. 23) stretches along the
Sharia Bab al-Wazrr, a section of the street
running from Bab Zuweila to the Citadel, which
is itself a ramification of the main north-south
spine of Islamic Cairo. This street has kept
much more of its traditional character than the
main spine south of Bab Zuweila. With several
Mameluk mosques and mausoleums projecting
diagonally into the street space and with some
fine specimens of traditional housing structures
survivingthe area offers an important potential
for rehabilitation. This zone includes a number
of modern housing blocks and a large irregular
open space behind the Blue Mosque which is used
as a youth centre. Vehicular traffic is less
of a problem than in the other zones, although
large buses operating. on this spine often
cause congestion.
5.3,lQ Zone Six (see Fig. 24) contains a fine sequknce
of Mameluk and Ottoman monuments on the road
leading from Ibn ? Ü l k Mosque to the Citadel.
The zone is crossed by the main north-south
spine leading from Bab Zuweila to the cemetery
of Saida N a f h a , and offers therefore possi-
bilities of future extension. More than any
other zone it has suffered from the impact of
change and redevelopment, due to the fact that
Sali'ba Road is today a major traffic artery.
To the northeast there are fine views of tlie





Historic buildings to be restored Sites and buildings adjacent to monu-

(both li
stad and unlisted) mens. requiring control over methods
oi skiunenna and construction.
N e w buildings on vacant or dilapidated
rites requiring the total comrol of
design. U üuildlngs in need ofheight Comrol in
the vicinity of the zonas (eg.in order
to safeguard important Wewt.

U Suùstantial kiildings which are likely

to remain for some time. In need of
surface treatment control (eg.colour,
texture,etc) with eventual design
control when rebuilding taka place. '
Extent of paved area.

N.E. :;ales to figuresvary.

Fig. 22 ZONE 4

Historic buildings to be restored Sites and buildings adjacent to monu-
(bothlisted and unlisted) ments. requiring control over methods
of a h m e n t o and construction..
New buildings on vacant or dilapidated
sites requiring the total control of
design. U Buildings in need of height control in
the vicinity of the zones (ag. in ordsr.
to safeguard important views).

U Substantial buildings which are likely

to remain for some time. in need of
surface treatment control íeg. colour,
texmre,etc) with eventual design

c o m o l when rebuilding takes place. '

Extent of paved area.

N.E. Scales to figures vary.

Fig. 23 ZONE 5

m. Historic buildings to be restored
(both lined and u n l M l

New buildings o n ’ v m t or dilrpidatad

sites requiring the tom1 control of
Stas and buildings adjacent to rnonu-
rnene,requiring control over methods
of a b u m and construction.
Buildings in nead of height control in
the vicinity of the zones (eg.in order
to safeguard imporrant viewrl.
Substantial buildings which are likely Extent of paved area.
to remain for some time. In need of
a i r f a treatment control leg. colour.
texmre,etc)with eventual design
comrol when ?bildins takes p l m . N.B. Scales to figJres very.

Fig. 24 ZONE 6

5.3.11 General Categories of Treatment
Five categories of treatment were identified
within.the zones :
i) historic buildings to be restoEed
(both listed and unlisted);
ii) new buildings on vacant or dilapidated
sites requiring
- the total control of
iii) substantial buildings which are likely
to remain for some time, in need of
external surface treatment, internal
upgrading and provision of new services;
iV) sites and buildings adjacent to monuments,
requiring control over methods of abut-
ment and construction;
V) buildings in need of height control in
the vicinity of the zones.
5.3.12 It is important that during the five-year
emergency period these zones are kept compact,
with clearly-defined boundaries. This approach
has the following advantages:
i) the meagre resources available are
concentrated in specific locations;
ii the administrative procedures are simplified
to maximise effective control over each
iii) the initial concentration of restoration
and rehabilitation activities into
relatively small zones will create the
minimum resistance from the study arealas
strong and influential commercial interests,
and will provide an opportunity to esta-
blish these principles for future expansion;
iv) other interested agencies who have already
expressed an interest in parts of the
study area can participate in housing,
upgrading and rehabilitation projects
to complement the conservation strategy
proposed in this report. Thus the appro-
priate organisations in the Egyptian
Government, together with the international
agencies, can formulate briefs which take

iv) an active part in the future improve-
ment of conditions in the study area
as a whole, without being restsicted
to a rigid overall traditional plan;
VI .immediate action within specific zones
is a much more practical approach to
the problem in the study area, rather
than the preparation of traditional
master plans. Such plans have been
prepared for the study area in the recent
past, but without success of implementation.
5.3.13 Urban Deciqn Policy
The detail proposals for the restoration of
individual historic buildings within each
defined zone must remain the responsibility
of the conservation agency proposed for the
control of the zones. The same applies to
individual uses of all buildings, as well as the
future expansion of the six zones, and the
establishment of new ones for which preliminary
proposals are made. In formulating
policies recommendations are made here relating
to an urban design policy for the fiveyear
emergency period.
5.3.14 To formulate a rational policy for "managing"
the inherent qualities of the six zones, it is
important to examine the particular way they
are laid out and the influences which operate
within them and then decide to what extent
redevelopment or expansion (including traffic
requirements) can be absorbed and the impact
they will convey. Inside each zone, the
essential visual elements must be established
vital to maintain its quality.

5.3.15 In particular, the role which external spaces
play in each zone's activities must be carefully
considered within the study area. Such spaces
range from the pavement of a street to the minor
square. Some streets are important thorough-
fares, acting as a means of communication between
one part of the historic city and another as
well as giving access to buildings (Shariaal-
Mu322 1i-DIn Allah in Zone i). In other
local spaces, there is a contrast between people
who use them and those who live around them
(e.g. Sharia al-Azhar in Zone 3). The clear
composition of spaces may also convey a sense
of enclosure, continuity or compactness and
include many items of street furniture.
5.3.16 The surface treatment of streets and spaces
covering the extent of each zone is also necessary
in terms of colour, texture and materials. It
has been estimated that, when in motion, two-
thirds of the field of vision is occupied by
the surface which is being walked on. A clear
floor pattern for example will immediately.
identify. the extent of each zone.
5.3.17 The relation of buildings to each other and to
the surrounding spaces is also an important
factor. The manner in which new development is
made to blend is the fundamental architectural
problem which most historic towns are having
to face up to in many parts of the world. For '

example, a street facade may emphasize the need

to retain an element of continuity (e.g. the
covered street of the Tent Makers in Zone 4);
in the case of a focal space the particular style
may be more significant. It is therefore
important to evolve a discipline for sympathetic
design of high architectural standards.

5.3.18 To prevent further deterioration in the environ-
ment and to improve conditions for residents
priority must be given to improving internal
conditions of the buildings in each zone by
developing a strategy for the relief of over-
crowding, the upgrading of sanitary facilities
and giving encouragement and advice to carry out
repairs and improvements to make buildings safe
and fit to live in. Improvements to the quality
of the external environment should include the
provision of social facilities and the upgrading
of the water supply/sanitation, refuse disposal
and street cleaning services within each zone.

5.3.19 In addition to the six priority zones, there are

a number of areas within, or adjacent to the study
area ,
which contain a lower concentration of monuments.
They also occupy key locations within the urban
pattern: many of these areas provide links
with the proposed six zones and in future could
be considered for expansion, providing continuity
throughout the study area.

6.1 Aims and Techniques of Conservation
6.1.1 This major subject is beyond the scope of this
study but important aspects relating directly to
the problems outlined in previous sections and
to the situation in Old Cairo are briefly examined.
6.1.2 Aims of Conservation
So much experience of conservation has been gained
in the last one hundred years, and particularly in
the last thirty-five, that it is now possible to
speak of a "philosophy of conservation" which is
generally applied through the world. Briefly this
aims to interfere with the surviving building as
little as possible and in particular, to avoid
replacing the unique qualitites produced by time in
an ancient monument with those qualities associated
with a new building. Even small pieces of decoration
cannot easily be replaced without falsifying the
character and the evidence of history. These aims
are in conflict with the need to find a means of
keeping an aging fabric standinq, often in the face
of problems entirely unforeseen by the original
builders, as is the case in Cairo. This can only
be resolved by thought, skill and patience.which
need understanding, training, experience and time.
It is difficult and unwise to rush conservation.
6.1.3 The Means of Achieving Good Conservation
It is virtually necessary to train men to direct
and to undertake conservation works. A wide range
of skills is required,namely:-
il Architects: conservation is a highly specialised
skill backed by the accumulated international
knowledge of the vast amount of conservation
which has been undertaken in recent years.
The ordinary training of the architect is
no longer regarded as adequate to enable
him to undertake responsible conservation
work. It is recommended that scholarships be
made available to enable a programme of
training of Egyptian architects in the
latest techniques of conservation to be
undertaken at one of the post-graduate
institutions established for this purpose
in Europe.

6.1.3 ii) Technicians and Material Scientists: modern
conservation work depends heavily on the
application of modern chemical developments
for the study of materials, their weathering,
consolidation and protection. It is recommended
that scholarships be given to enable graduates
in the chemical sciences to undertake
post-graduate training in Europe or America
in modern conservation technology
iii) Engineers: similarly the general use of
modern trained structural engineers should
be avoided unless they have had specialist
, training in conservation, understand and
are proved sympathetic to the subtleties
and technical problems of the traditional
buildings. In normal circumstances, the
experienced architect/conservers will
have been trained tci handle the structural
problems associated with traditional
buildings. The number of large-scale
problems requiring consultation with a
structural engineer is likely to be
rather limited and probably the services
of one or two specialist conservation
enquiries would be adequate to provide
all the services needed during the
proposed five-year period.
iv) Craftsmen and Briilding Tradesmen: it cannot be
stressed too strongly that modern contractors
and their workmen are unsuitable for use in
conservation projects. Not only are the
techniques involved different from those
normally in use but the entire emphasis
should be slow, patient, metnodical work
rather than speed and efficiency, In most
countries two alternatives are possible.
First, there are the small builders who
still use traditional methods of construction
and repair. In Egypt and particularly in Cairo,
these are becoming difficult to find. The
second alternative is to train tradesmen
in traditional building technologies and
craftsrnen in the more skilled finishing
and ornamenting of the buildings. The
latter is already being undertaken by the
Antiquities Organisation but probably not
on the scale necessary for future work.
Training the building tradesmen should be
a separate activity, organised partly on
the apprentice-journeyman system but also
involving formal training in a- small school
of traditional building technology. As the
number of monuments of the mediaeval period
justifying conservation is vast, the future
employment of men trained in this work, if
only for maintenance, seems assured.
6.1.4 The Solution of the Technical Problem
i) By research and study: it is envisaged that
the rapid programme of conservation recommended
in this report would necessitate the establishment
of a technical services laboratory. This could
undertake accelarated experiments to determine
the different reactions of the materials used
in the buildings and in conservation work to
the conditions under which they will be exposed.
Techniques of conservation specific to Cairo
problems could thus be developed fairly quickiy.

ii 1 By monitored experiment: the introduction of

experiments in the technical laboratory
should be accompanied by monitored experiments
in the buildings themselves. These would
necessitate co-operation between the supervising
architects and the materials technicians and
iii 1 Co-ordination of the Technical Developments:
it is anticipated that a Technical Committee
should be established to advise on the
accelerated programme of restoration undertaken
within the six zones. This would direct the
technical work of the architects and materials
scientists and co-ordinate the research
activities of all the participants.
6.1.5 The Likely Direction of the Solutions.
i) Corrosion of the lower fabric by ground
water risinq from the high water table:
while the obvious solution would seem to be
the lowering of the water table over the whole
of the Old City, the relevant research and
planning agencies are not convinced that this
is likely to be achieved. For the purposes
of the emergency action envisaqed in the next
five years, some alternative solution has
to be found. This could be achieved by
isolating each wail, building, or group of
buildings. Of these, the first is probably
the most immediately feasible, using a
method of isolation (See Fig 24). This will
add considerably to the cost of conservation
work throughout the Old City, but to
continue with conservation work without
controlling the effect of ground water on
the fabric will quickly prove a false economy.

6.1.5 ii) Breaking up the plaster waterproofing of the roofs
and the subsequent damage to the wooden ceilings
and the core of the walls: the solution appears
to be reversion to the use of the original hard
plaster layer, made of a gypsum lime mix, which
had the property of containing diurnal expansion
and contraction without cracking. The difficulty
is that to make such a plaster waterproof it had
to be laid in at least five thin layers, each
compacted over the other by prolonged beating into
place with a heavy block of wood. This laborious
task would be prohibitively expensive today.
Yet without sone such plaster the appearance
of the roofs is likely to be drastically
altered. A solution to this problem can be
found by careful experiment with the use of
modern chemical additives to see if a plaster
can be produced with the flexibility, long
life,say 80 years, waterproof characteristics
and appearance of the original, but much
easier to lay. This is likely to need
support in its waterproofing function by the
addition of a waterproof membrane hidden in
the thickness of the structure.
iii 1 Weakening of the Core of the Walls: two
alternatives exist for dealing with this
problem. The first involves the traditional
method of rebuilding only short sections of
the wall at a time (about 1 metre wide) so
that the stability of the whole structure
is not impaired while the work is in progress,
providing adequate shoring is provided. The
second method involves the modern technique
of injecting plasticized sulphate,resisting
cement into the core under pressure. The
implications of both techniques would have to be
studied, and their disadvantages taken into
account before a decision was taken in the
case of any particular building. It is
necessary to stress that having a detailed
brief for conservation work, with a detailed
specification, is not enough. It is essential
to have highly skilled, continuous supervisions
(by specially trained architects) to ensure
that the brief is adhered to in every detail
and more importantly to deal with the
unexpected developments and problems which
are an inevitable aspect of conservation

Silicone waterproofed masonry
layer c. 1 metre high

vious stone)


6.2 Operational System
6.2.1 In another part of this report it has been
indicated that the existing public authorities
are unable for various reasons to deal with
the current situation in the old city. Some
have the necessary laws at their disposal but
lack the political strength to enforce them;
other more powerful departments are beset by
conflicting priorities so that the safeguarding
of the setting of monuments becomes only one
of many peripheral interests: others have the
financial means but lack the clear vision to
use their resources in the right way.
6.2.2 In this section an appropriate operational
system to effect conservation within the six
zones is considered. The system must ensure
that there is a simple, clear definition of
roles for the authorities involved to achieve
the following aims:-
to undertake conservation work;
ii) to co-ordinate the activities of all
programmes of activity in the six zones;
iii) to train and develop the requisite levels
of expertise in conservation;
iv) to attract further funds into conservation
6.2.3 Three alternative approaches present themselves:-
i) great effort should be directed into
making the present system work;
ii) an entirely new and independent institution
should be introduced with complete
authority to undertake conservation;
iii) an organisational arrangement should be
developed which can co-ordinate the
activities of existing institutions in
limited areas and also undertake tasks
directly in defined areas.

6.2.4 Decision on the implementation system is entirely
a matter for the Egyptian Government. However, the
proposal on the last basis set out above put forward
for consideration is that a Cairo Conservation Agency
should be established by Presidential Decree to deal
with the six priority zones as quickly as possible.
6.2.5 The Cairo Conservation Agency should be directed
by a high-level committee with responsibility to
co-ordinate the work of all authorities acting
within the six zones. Further, the Agency should
have its own executive technical department to under-
take conservation work, recruiting the best available
expertise in the field on a national and international
basis. It would be desirable to seek aid and
assistance from international agencies in the
selection., appointment and funding of the director of
this executive department and its key staff members.
6.2.6 In addition to its co-ordination function the
following executive duties of the Cairo Conservation
Agency within the six zones are proposed:
i) to apply the conservation policies and
update them if necessary;
ii) to undertake conservation and restoration
work on all buildings within the priority
zones as appropriate:
iii) to give permission to other competent groups
or organisations to undertake approved
conservation and restoration work;
iv) to hold and disburse funds held in trust
for conservation purposes deposited by the
Egyptian Government, by other Egyptian
bodies, by international organisations and
other; bodies outside Egypt:
V) to undertake detailed studies to effect the
rehabilitation of each zone,including the
regeneration of the economic and social life
of the inhabitants, the renovation of the
physical fabric, and the design and con-
struction of all new buildings.

vi 1 to undertake other detailed studies as
defined in this report and any others as
vii) to examine all applications for building
viii) to examine proposals for activity in the
zones from all other departments;
ix) to maintain records of all changes in the
zones by means of documents and updated
maps ;
X) ta ensure all development and building
is in accordance with permits issued and
take enforcement measures for all unauthorised
xi ) to catalogue and hold archives, surveys
and records of the old city and its
buildings in co-operation with the
Documentation Centre;
xii) to develop the best available knowledge
on the architectural design and construction
techniques for the zones;
xiii) to develop any necessary regulation or
control procedures for the priority zones.

6.2.7 The Cairo Conservation Agency is an Egyptian-

based organisation operating in Cairo and in
collaboration and co-operation with the existing
institutions and organisations. It would be
desirable to seek the participation of the inter-
national community in the conservation programme
for Cairo.

6.2.8 Such an authoritative Egyptian co-ordinating
and executive organisation should be established
quickly to deal with the problems of Old Cairo
for the following reasons:
i) conservation will not succeed without
authoritative means backed by high
ii) if further funds are to be attracted into
conservation programmes donors will seek
a clearly-defined responsible body to
receive and disburse the funds;
iii) a separate and identifiable organisation
helps to attract the best experts and
skills available in the world, whether
from within or without Egypt, to con-
tribute to conservation projects;
iv) the concept of a conservation agency
enhances the status of the work and
stimulates the extent of conservation

6.3 Other Action
6.3.1 Information and Education
In order to give status and impetus to the pro-
posals for the conservation and rehabilitation
of the old city, there needs to be a positive
programme of information dissemination and of
The responsibility for ensuring that the
proposals for the old city are fully covered
in the media generally both within Egypt and
throughout the world should be assigned to the
Ministry of Information. They should be
charged with developing an overall programme
over a period of two years or so to give
coverage in the following ways:-

news articles in papers;
programmes on radio and television;
feature articles in magazines;
regular press releases on events in
Old Cairo;
lectures, conferences and meetings
should be arranged for speakers informed
about the position to talk to interested
groups ;
the publication of guide books and com-
mentaries on the old city.
6.3.2 Efforts should be directed into developing
in Egyptian schools a very widespread interest
about the Islamic heritage and, in particular,
the old city. Such action should be commended
to the Ministry of Education with a view to .
making it an integral part of the general
education programme.
6.3.3 Tour ism

Although not directly a 'conservation issue'

the tourism potential of the old city should
not be neglected.
In collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism,
studies should be instituted with the Cairo
Conservation Agency, the Egyptian Antiquities
Organisation and the Governorate of Cairo to
examine how greater access by tourists to the
area could be achieved without damaging the
monuments, firstly to increase knowledge and
respect for these monuments and secondly to
exploit the economic tourist potential of the
area for the benefit of the local population
and Cairo as a whole.

6.3.4 UNESCO s Role
It is recommended that the Egyptian Government
should seek the continued involvement of UNESCO
in the conservation of the old city.
The role UNESCO might be requested to under-
take should include the following:

i) to advise on the formation of the Cairo

Conservation agency;
ii) together with UNDP to advise on the
appointment of key technical staff;
iii) to sponsor, launch and develop an inter-
with the normal arrangements for advisory
and technical committees;
iv ) to provide expert'missions to undertake
further specialist studies as required;
V) to provide scholarships and grants for
the training and education of the required
6.3.5 However following the debate and discussion on
the present UNESCO Cairo pilot study there will
be a number of immediate tasks to undertake in
order to launch the proposals. These can be
summarised as follows:
a) to provide continuity and a focus for
activity prior to the establishment of
permanent arrangements for implementation;
b) to revise and finalise this report as a
result of the discussions;
C) to provide expertise to bring into effect
the agreed recommendations with respect
to implementation;

d) to provide briefs and to undertake
the briefing of all individuals and
organisations involved in future activity
in the area, including collaboration with
other international agencies and funding
sources ;
to establish and to run for an initial
trial period monitoring arrangements for
the activity in the area.
6.3.6 It is recommended that UNESCO is requested to
take steps now to ensure the engagement of a
team through the year 1980 and 1981 for this
purpose, working in collaboration with the appro-
priate Egyptian authorities. It is further
recommended that a conference is held in December
1981 to review the results of the work to that
date and to agree further action.
APPENDIX A Nomination submitted for Inscription
of 1slami.c Cairo on World Heritage

APPENDIX. B Historical Context

APPEND= C Kisas and.Sheikhas of Study Area

APPENDIX D Data.related to Socio Economic


APPENDIX E Examples of Encroachment on Monuments

and Residential Property

APPENDIX F Data Available from Field Susvey

of Zone5 2, 4 and 6

APPENDIX G U s t s of Monuments within Groups

APPENDXX H Complementary Planning and

Rehabilitation Proposals

APPENDIX J Further .Studies


SZIXNTI3'IC AND C U L m L Identification No. : 89
ORGANIZATION OrigiPal :Eaglfsh

Convention concerning the Protection of the

World Catara2 and Natamal Heritags


lomiaation 6nbmitted by E m f

Islaniic Cairo
b) Stati*.Pmvìtice or Cairo -Governorate

fslmic Cairo: the historic centre of the City of

Cairo (= aLqZhira), capita of Egypt

300C6' B latitude
31 26' E longitude
(see maps attached = Appendixes 1-3/5)=

2. Juridical data

State property, partly private

The historic monmnents are legally protected by

Law no. 215 of 1951 (see the Brabic text attached).=


Ei Xesptmsibie
uiiiniiiistratioir Egyptian Antiquities Organisation

r Sea note oa page 10

, Identifkation The historic city of Cairo covers ap area of ca. 8 x 4 k~
on the eastern bank of the Sile, surrounded by the
a) Desctiptiori and modern residential and commercial quarters of Greater
iitventory Cairo,
Kost of the registered historical monwneats dat- from
641 L D , up to the mid-19th century are located within
this area, They were for the last time listed in 1951 :
Survey of Zgypt (ed.): Inder to Mohamxuadan monuments
in Cairo, Cairo 1951 (= Appendix 4).x
About 600 buildings are classified,
The architectural wealth of historic Cairo is enhanced
b s the fact that vast areas of the urban fabric that has
dëtenuiaed the physical appearance as well as the
function of the btailrlfs are still istact. Zithip the
historic fabric the following focal points emerge
(from south to north):
A, a-fistãt i n c ì u u the mosque oî 'AIU n n ~L'XS
'-grin 641), the Roman fortress Qasr ash-Sü&nc/
Babylon with the Coptic churches, the rÜins 8pd the
excavation area of the settlement,
B. #The m o s m e of Abnad Iön El& (founded ia 876) and
the surmundizg*area of k a m a and al-Xabsh with
several mador Mamluk monuments,
C. The citadel area with the surrounding Mamluk palac;es:
the mosque of Sultan Hasan (1356-1359), and Darb
al-Ahmar with the thohugfieares SÜq as-Sila and
-fx-Tabb%a lined with W u k and Ottonan
monSent a ,
D. The Fatimid nuclens of Cairo from Bab Zuwaila to the
'North Wail with the city gat gates Zab al-FutE@ and Bãb
an-nagr, and with the concentration of maj6r major A m
Fbid ä
and M d u k monuments on the m& street (She& .
E, The necrooolfS fram al-Fus?& to the norther9 l b i t s
of Zatimid C u r o , including a large nnmber of
mausoleums and funerary complexes of all periods-
(See the m a s a ~ a c h e d , roughly defining these areas =
naiv zì

The Islamic monunents of Cairu were mapped out for the

last time in I W / l 9 r O :
Survey of m t (ed,): Map of CaLm showfag
Mohanxmedan moauments (two sheet8 iP scale 1 :5000),
Cairo 1944 (Arabic versioo) 'I 1950 (English version)
(- Appendix 31 Z
'phis map was based*on two detailed togographical w e g

of csiro:
S m e y of "Lggpt (ed,): Map of Cairo in scaìe I :loco, .
Cairo Igllff 0,1929ff ,
Survey OE Egypt (ed,): Map of Cairo in scale 1:5Qû,
Cairo 1936ff , (various corrected reprints) ,

3. Identification ícont'd)

m e great number of exist- moauznents has until now

prevented a full scale documentation (but see the
publications mentioned ia the bibliographyzbelow,
anã the selected samples of Appendix 7/8).

The fmportance of Cairo as the dominant political,

cultural and religious centre of the Islamic world is
the result of an exceptional historical development.
Founded after the h s i h conauest in 641 A.D. under
the-name al-Ebtät (theTentj as the uovernmeatal
seat of the pr*ce of Egypt the c i 6 was constantly
enlarged' by the succession of powerful
dynaaties urstiï it became the bigzest Islapuc citg
h mediaeval times: the capital Õ? a oast empire -
i n c ì u u Syria, Palestine and northern Hesopotamia,
the Hejaz with the Holy Cities Mecca and Medua, apd
the Suùan.
The first peak of the development of the city was
reached as early as 870 under Ahmad Ibn TÜï.Üa, who
had gained independence from th6 CbbbSsid caliphate
and built a new residential town, aï-Qa$ä'ï, north
of al-f?lstS$. Eis monunentaï Friday Mosque is stili
the mni.n h h a r k of the area. The most imprtant
step b the history of the city, however, was the
foundation of ai-eahira (i.e. Cairo "The Victorious")
by the PStimids in 969, since this became the nucleus
of mediae+& Cairo, in this period, particuîarly aftez
the establishment of the al-Azhar Mosque - as a
universie. Caira became a centre of loamiag.
followina and develoainn the classic traditions iP
all fields of litera-&; and the exact, the ghysical
and the medical sciences. The Pä$3.dds, clni?nfng to
be the true caliphs, established themselves as the
major power of the region, rivalling and eclipshg
the importance of Baghdad, the seat of the 'Abbasid
caiiphs. Tùe architectrrral splendour of this new.
fouodation is still ta be witnessed at such f a m a s
mosques as those 02 aï-Azhar, a bv i n ,al-dqmar, aod
the impressive fortifications, auch as the city gates
Bab =-Hagr, Bab &-Putufi and Bab Zuwaila. Fat-bnìd
city planning seems to have set the stasdasd lor the

- -
architecture of the foilowing dynasties, both iP.the
siting of the nwuments within the urban context
a anique feature trithin the Islamic world and thé
- --u;L---
artistic quality of every siagle monumeat.
z See note OB page
d) History Ia an ambitious scheme the &yÜãid Sultap c
al3 ad-D*
(coat *d) (or Saladin) started to comect the two ciEies of
al-Fus$ã$ and ai-Qãñira by an extensive fortification
centring in the citadel built in 1176. Wit- these
'boundarias of azr axea extepdfrrg nearly four kiïometres
from BOrth to sooth 'bUilàiag activities increased =der
the llanluks (1250œ1517) to au extent iïnpralïeled ia
aay other Islamic city. IZLthis geriod Cairo reached
its climnl as a metropolis: after: the fall of Baghdad
to the Mongols the seat of the caliphate was traasfersd
to Caizw (1261) and copsequeatlg was regarded the mais
cent= of Islam, Tñe city's popuìation drastically
iacreased to the influx of rtf'ilgees from the
had gained t i ~this way -
endangemd lands to the East. The mortance the city
aa well as its wealth that was
based part13 on the cmntry's ncirroyoly of the Red Sea
trade was demonstrated by the foandation of numerous
ambitious architeettirraï campleres which still today
dominate Cairn's skyline with their high facades,
elaborate minli.6t8 d domes.
BTthougb after the Ottaman conquest of m t in 1517
the C i e was no longer the maia centre for the Islamic
world a conscious attitude towards the architactara1
heritage can be traced in this period: not only were
the mediaeval stractares maintaisecf in thait originai
functions, but especiaïly the religious b i r i l ~ swere
faithfully prasemed. Herchants anà varioas Ottoman
officials also added to the aschitectural wealth of the
city, thereby following the oatstaPdirrg local
&eo Cair0 regained some of its previous iprportazrce
under Enhamad =Bu: (18051S8) and his foUowers
the r i a d phase of the city's development wag achieved
e t h e constmction of the nodem Europennized cítg
to the west and to the north of the old city. Tiras the
ùistoric parts of m e ä i a m d and ottoman Cairo were
left PirtPallg rmtauched, Cairo was spared the
frreversible aod deglorablc destruction that has been
witnessed fn most other cities of m a t historic past,
Aad tbns, tiil todacs the uneaaalleü wealth of Cafro's
historic& moamenti is iiTressiva testbony to the
ksteational rank of C a h o kr the mediaeval period.

e) Bíbîior Hiiplerous monographs and articles have been devoted to

the historic city of Cairo and its monuments, Po= a
detailed list see:
L L C , CresweU: A bibliograghy of the architeetaré,
arts and craîts of Islam to Ist Jan- ?%O, C a b ~
- 1961, colls. 45-96,
=Abd ar=€k&iãn Zaks: A bibliography of the literature
- or the city of Cairo, Cairo 1964 (= Appetldix 61,
LA,C, Cresnell: A bibliography of the architecture,
arta and crafts of Islea Supplement: Jan, ?%O to
Ja. l972, Cairo 1973, CollS, 17-22.
a see note op page M
- -- - ----. -
-.-- L - ,U?
_-_- ._
3 e) aiblio- The followiag is oalp a selection of the most inportat
c a t Id) -- -
publications concernisg Cairo :
Louis Hautecoeur Gastoa Wiet: Les mosquées du
Caire, m i s 1932..
L L C . Creswell: Early Muslin architecture 1-11,
-W o r d I932 (1%9)/1943.
Basan CAbd al-Wahhab: Tarfkb al-masäjid ai-~thar~ya,
- c e 0 7946-
Ministry of ‘rlaqfs (ed,): The mosques of Eggpt, from
- 21 E, ( S I ) to 1365 H. (I%),
Cairo 1949.
Creswell: ‘Phe Muslim architecture of w t
- I-II, orford 195U1959.
Janet I;, Abu-Lughod: Cairo, 1001 years of the City
Victorious, ?rinceton 1971

The historic fabric of Islamic Cais0 has been
4. Shte of pmcrvationl preserved ia some areas UT to two fifthsof the
consewation originai. Such a state of preservation can be
considered as exceptional,
But the socío-economic changes of modern times pose a
t h a t to the survfoirrg structures, owing to the
mounting denaitg of population and the consequent
stress of aa overburdened infrastructtrre, However, the
Egyptian Aatiquities Organisation is now paying great
attention to solving this problem in order to preserve
these historical monuments for generations to come.
The restoration of indiddad monuments ia now glanned
Q -
to be acccmyanied br measares of area conservation,
PO n q a p i ~ i t i n nn 9 t h a r n 4 r n e t m d w - *

-tian btiqaities Orgaaisation.

In 1881 the "Comité de Coasemation des Monnments de

1'- Brabe" was founded for the safeguarding of the
monuments ia Caim, Through this organisation up to
the 199's vtrtualiy every registered building has
been restored; see the series of proceedings and
records of restorations:
Duiletfo du1 Comité de Conservation des Monuments
de 1'Art Arabe, 4A vols., Cairo 1883ff.
Since 4952 the task of consemation has been trans-
fered to the Islamic Department of the vagptian
Aatiquities Organisation,
In view of the progressive dilapidation of the vast
-be2 of monuments lately &y the most urgent
Cairo as a world heritaga
- -
considesing Islamic
iadted other nations to
participate in the saîeguaräing of Cairo's Islamic
and Coptic monuments, Currently bilateral restorations
are carried aut by Polish, Geman, Italian and
Ipdian missions, Other projects szonsored p9 the
U.S.A., Denmark, Holland, Great Sritain and France
are in various stages of pregaration,

~ c c o r to ã ~Law 00. 215 (4951) d i the registered

monuments of Cairo are under the iegal grotection of
d) Meana for the -tian Antiquities rganfsatfon (see the ASaDiC
preservatior text of the Law attached)! This protection agplles not
corisem a t for orrly to the properties owned by the Organisation, but
also to those of other governmental bodies (eqecially
the m s t r y of Waqfs/Beligious Boundations) and'
private properties as weil,
r See note as page Z
. .-- ----.--
--_-.. d- ___ ~
d ) Means for For the different tasks of conservation several
-conservat ion
preservatiod rnr5divisians have been created witbha the Islamic
Jegartmenr: of the Sgy-ptian Antiquities Organisation;
(cant ä) for exzmple: the Cent= of Docunentation for Islamic
and Coytic ktiquizias, ttre Cent= for the L e c h i c a l
conservation of Honuneniss irr Cairo, and the
C a t r e for 'Zzaatioaai Buildizq 2rafcs-

e) Management The futare grotection cf the 'kis~oricaimo-enta of

Pl- Islamic C a *U be based oo Zsasi'oiiiry sr;&as
orchestra- arc'aitecmzaï reszarztiorzs anà measures

- ..."._ ....-
Justification for Islamic Cairo as an urban entity must be regarded as
iiidwion in the Woda mique, according to both the quantity anã the quality
MtqC List of monuments prtaerved,
Already the provisional list of classified monunents,
nadag about 600 W ä i n g s of historic aad artistic
value, ipdicates the &que state of preservation of

the historic fabric. In B;P unbroken sequence, all
periods of architectural developeat from early
Islamic times till the 19th centuy are richly
docttmeatated, Most remarkable of all is the amount O f
conatructions dating back to the Xiddle Ages, which
a c c m t s for nearly haïf of the sumiving monuments.
'phus Cairo is graced öy the greatest density of
mediaeval manumats to be fourrd kr any Islamic cityt
aaà is Likevfse BP outataading example o ï a mediaeval
city -here irr the world.
%e historic fabric of the old metropolis of Cairo is
to 8 large ertent stili unàisturbed the resuits of
mod- city planaing. The main streets, w U c h have not
been alterad ia the* course fol: centuries, are still
donbatad by large complexes or groaps of historic
structuzes integrated in tbe nost favourable way into
the urban enrimnmeat, As a matter of fact, Cairo's
mhitecture is a nost. sophisticated type of urban
uchitecture determined by the urban context of
&sting streets and structures and the requizements
of urban functions, Host of the monuments are still
iunctioning today, at least partly, according to their
original _oarpose. This is especially the case with the
religious buildings like mosques and madrasas/colleges,
monasteries (which have been adopted as mosques), and
funerary complexes, but also with domestic anä
commercial stmetares like païaces, tenesent houses,
baths, caravanserais and market streets, Together with
the bordering fortifications, consisting of the city
walls apd gates ami the citadel, the Islamic city of
Cair0 has retained much of its m e d i a e d character.
The homogenity of Islamic Cair0 is further based upon
a consistent architectural style of great artistic
refinement, As a leading golitical and cultural centre,
aod due to the preteatfous architectural projects of
its aristocratic patroas, Cair0 has always attracted
artists aad scholars of other Islamic countries.
Stylistic achievements of other regions were assimilatec
into the highly developed ïocaï architectural tradition,
and thus attained the highest grade of artistic and
aestetic perfection, 10 asme onïy two significaat
features of the Cairene monuments, one can cite the
advanced t e c m g a e of stone azchftecture and its
decoration, especially the richly ornamentateà
recessed facades, and likewise the elaborate domes
and mtnnrets, as well as the variety of high quality
iaterfor decoration of stucco, lavishly applied marble
bcrustations, wood work, much of which is still in
Situ. Thus the individual n o m e n t of Cairene
architecture has to be estimated both for its
outstanding value as a piece of art and for its
significance within the urban context.
:he characteristic style of decorated stone
architecture in the cagital of the P?a;ni.uk emgire became
exemplary for the countries within its doninion.
Distributed by migrznt artists the iqerial
architectural style was reflected in the architecture
of the cities in the HeJaz, S m a , Palestine and
Eastern Trirkey, althoagh it never reached the &que
standards of the capital.
The Islamic c i w of Cairo in its totality must be
regarded as aa exceptionally well preserved e x a q l e
amongst the historic and artistic centres of the
world, As a site of outstanàing universal. value it
meets all the criteria for inclusion in the World
Heritage List. Besides, the test of autheaticity is
conviacingly met due to the excellent preservation
of both the individual monuments and the historic
fabric of the city.

xtk President, Orgaaization of Egyptian Aptiquit5cs

Documentation su~oortinathe naminatiou of
Isïamic Cairo

The documents and other material listed below vhich have been
r8C8iYed from Egppt in sopport of the above-aentioaed nomination
cun be examined in the Diviuion of Cultural Heritage at Unesco
and wiU he available îor consultation at the meetings of the
Burhau of the World &rftrge Committee and of the Committee
itself :

I. Map showing location of Caira,

2. Hap of the City of Cairo, 1:12000 41962).
3- k p of Cairn l:5ûûû, indicating Islamic monument8 and the
hiutoric arema (1948).
4. Iadex to Hohammedaa monuments in Cairo (19%).

5. Hag for the preliminary planning ‘of Cairu, 1:50.000 (ï9781,

uith indication of focal points of historic interest,
6, á Bibliograph7 of the literature of the City of Cairo (1964).
7, Setfes of photographs.
8- 2 publications :
- A practical guide to Islamic monuments in Cairo by Zichard
B, Parker and Robin Sabia; American Pnioersity ln Cairo

- The Ebsques of Cairu/Les HosquQea du Caire (English and

French versions) by ûaston Wiet, Librairie Hachette, 1966-
9- Lam NO- 215 Of 19%.
Islamic Cairo worláwide counts among the sites richest in monuments, and
perhaps only Rome can rival with the importance of its architectural
heritage. Within the Islamic world, there are other cities such as íez,
Tunis, Sanaa or Aleppo
.. which have conserved a more homogeneous historic
fabric, but Cadroeis m i q u e in terms of number and quality of individual
monuments and groups of monuments. The number of monuments listed in
1951 amounts to sixhundredtwentytwc and although some of them have
disappeared in the meantime, there are others which were not even listed.

The major part of this heritage stems from Lie Mameluk (1250 1517 a.d.)
and.0ttoman (1517 T798) period, but as a whole the surviving sites
and monuments provide the visitor with a picture of a continuous deve-
lopment from the early Islamic times down to the nineteenth century, and
reflect the rare longevety of Cairo as an Islamfc cultural centre. Other
Islamic capitals such as Damascus, Cordoba, Baghdad or Isfahan have known

similar periods of'spendour, bui: none of them has managed to maintain'

such a continuous high level of commercial, cultural and artistic acti-
vities, and none of them has preserved similar architectural evidence
of past glory. Cairo's vitality is further stressed by the nanner how
it adopted and developed new styles introduced by foreign dynasties, by
refugees and craftsmen from all over the Islamic world. It therefore
contains an unparalleled variety of various Islamic building types and
artistic styles.

There is no need, in this document, to relate in detail the history of

Islamic Cairo. A previous report by Michael Mein.ecke2' , whose draft was

2 "The quarter of al-Gamaliya in Cairo: Rehabilitation of the historic

centre", report to UNESCO by Michael Meinecke, Mai 1980. Al though
120 /
kindly made available to the writer, may be consulted in this respect
as well as the ample specialized litterature cited in that report. But
in order to prepare for the subsequent chapters, it must be pointed out
. -.
that Islamic Cai rr), as it stands today , is made up of a number of
distinct urban enti ties, as described in the fol lowing paragraphs:

The Fatimid nucleus of al-Kahira

It was founded in'969 a,d. as a fortified residence by the conquering

dynasty. Initially intended-as a closed city, it was set aside from the
preexisting town of ,Fustat, which had been founded after the Arab con-
quest in 641 a.d. near the existing Roman port of Babylon and was de-
stroyed by fire in the twelfth century (today a mere archeol ogi cal si te).
lhe separation corresponded. to a well-known pattern of Arab urbanization,
according to which the seat of power with all its dependencies settled
apart from the common people's town and its commercial activities.

However, after the fail of the Fatimids in 1171 a.d., and with the
Ayubid and Mameluk dynasties building new palaces on the Citadel and on
the island of Rowda, al-Kahira was gradually opened to the papulation
and converted into a city of comerte and crafts, where the Sultans and
Emirs rivalled in erecting mosques and madrasas. Many of them yere. ..
cocnected with o mausoleum of the founder and with other welfare buil-
dings, such as the Sabil-Kuttabs so typical of the Cairene townscape.

The superposition of building activities of several dynasties on the

same ground has led to the disappearance of tne Fatimid palace, but has

the report is focussed in surveying and evaluating the subsisti..g

architectural heritage of al-Gamaliya, which is only a part of is-
lamic Cairo, it gives excellent insight into the historic develop-
ment of the medieval city as a whole and its conservation problems.
3 The Sabil-Kuttab contains a covered fountain at the ground floor
and a balcony for teaching children in reading the Quran at the
upper level. It is a particular architectural structure not found
in other is1 aiiic ci ties.

resulted in a unique Clustering of major monuments from the Fatimid to
the late Mameluk period, all contained within a relatively narrow strip
leading from the northern Fatimid gates of ,Bab Ftüh and Bab al Nasr to
Bab Zuweila on the south, with a m a o r COncentWition in the quarter of
al-Gamaliya, The record is further enriched by a number of surviving
private palaces, some of them dating back to the Mameluk period. Like
the many "~akallas"4 , they give an excellent picture of the refined
urban life of Cairo during the Ottoman period, when the city, in spite
of its political and a relative commercial decline (due to the shift of
the capital to Istanbul and to new routes of trade being used by
European commerce.) , sti 11 maintained much of its previous fl avour.

The layout of al-Kahira and its connection with the previous centres af
Fustat and of al-Askars is determined by two natural constraints: The
Nile to the west side and the fracture line of the Moqattam plateau to
the east, both together imposing a north to south development upon the
city, which is reflected by the major north south spine of al-Kahira
connecting the various phases of urbanization. The constraint of the
. .
'Moqattam was a permanent one and was later stressed by the northern
cemetery, which occupied the vacant land between the city and the
desert plateau. The Nile, on the other hand, was a "flexible" constrzint,
due to its changing water table and to the fact that its borders were
. gradually moving westwards between the eighth and the nineteenth century

(see map). Since Fatimi d times, a natural western boundary resulted

from the canal called Khalij; which linked the port of Fustat with the
Red Sea provi diug the city with a permanent
water supply. inundations during the flood period of the Nile used to
produce the lakes of Eirket al Fil and al Erbekieh, whicn were exempted
from urbanization until the nineteenth century.

4 Like the Sabil-Kuttab, the Cairene "Wakalla" or khan shows particiilZr

features inasmuch as it combines pemanent mu1 tlfl oor 1 i vi ng units on
the upper storeys with commercial use on the ground level.
5 Al-Askar was the foundation of the Tuluniäs who acted as representa-
tives of the Abbassid dynasty in Egypt and then established an
dependent dynasty. Nothing of it remains ecxept for the Ibn Tulun
mosque itself and the large dumps running parallel to the main spine.

Plan showing the shift of the eastern
shore of the Nile end the various
foundations of Cairo

Plan showing the Fatimid nucleus in

relation to its later extensions up
to 1300 a.d. (both from J. Abu-Lughod,
"Cai rol' , Princeton 1971 )

The extensions of al-Kahira

For the above reasons, urban development after the Fatimid period
naturally tended to grow towards the South’; wh-re it joined the northern
end of al-Askar and the Citadel of galah al Din. After the destruction-
and abandon of Fustat, the centre of gravity of the agglomeration moved
northwards with the result of growing pressure in the zone bevdeon the
northern wa.11~of al-Kahira and the quarter of the Ibn Tulun mosque.
In fact, the unified urban structure was surrounded by ceir!teries from
the east, tne north and the south by the end of the sixteenth century.
As a result, expansion to the west of the Khalij canal started developing,
while- Wle older quarters increased in density6 .
Of the extensions of the Fatimid nucleus: the southern one contains a
high concentration of monuments a7ong Suq al Siiah and Darb al Ahmar
Streets, featuring some of the most exquisite Mameluk builcings. The
extensions west of the Khalij have been victims of the development of
modern Cairo. Only a small number of isolated monuments survive, whereas
. traditional urban fabric has almost totally disappeared. In fact,
the covering of the canal in the late nineteenth century, and even more
so the construction of the new Port-Said highway along the former canal
have set a claar division line between the partially preserved historic
area to the east and what has become a redevelopment area nest o f the
f o m r canal. The m a p drawn in 1830 by Pascal Coste (see pichire) .
gives a complete record of the extension of Islamic Cairo before the
intervention of new town planning schemes, as happened during the reign
of the Khedive Ismail in the mid of the nineteenth century.

The Citadel

This relatively small area stands out of the urban fabric of IslmiC
Cairo, due to its prominent topographic position on a spur of the

6 AS pointed out by Michael Meinecke, it‘is typical that the ‘late M m e i u k

monuments were much reduced in size, due to the obvious ShOrtzÇe in
avai 1 ab7 e bui 1 ding pl ots .

Map of Cairo showing the extension of the built fabric in 1825
(from Pascal Coste, "Architecture Arabe on Monuments du Caire",
Paris 1839) 125
Moqattam. It was chosen by the Sul tan Sal ah al Din to contain his re-
sidence, after taking over the Ernpire from the Fatimids. The erection
of the new Citadel was combined with the building of larger city walls
which unified the whole of Islamic Cairo.

The site of the Citadel, crowned with the artistically insignificant

mosque of Muhammed A l i , offers a magnificent view over the old city
and today ser.ves both as a military area and a tourist attraction.
Beside important monuments such as the walls, the towers and the
Mameluk mosque of Nasir Mahammed, no significant urban fabric remains.

Bu1 aq

This quarter owes its existence to the fact that the eastern bank of
the Nile >as slowly shifted weskvards since the foundation of al -Kahi ra.
Bulaq was created in the fourteenth century by Lhe Mameluk Sultan al
Nasir Muhammed, in view of the rowing importance of east-west trade
mutes passing #rough Cdi ro, anduStock! ng goods before dispatching .
to the Mediterranean countries. It then becane the main port of Cairo
s of the fifteenth century, supplementing and gradually rep1 acing the
old port of Fustat which was too distant after the centre of gravity
of the city had moved north.-Its development was intensified after the
Ottoman conquest and at the beginning of the nineteenth centurp Bulaq
covered a surface almost half as large as the Fatimid nucleus of Cairo,
being separated from al-Kahira by a stretch of fields and gardens
about one kilometer wide.

Although not to the same point as the Capital, Bulaq was and still is
rich in monuments, namely from the late Mameluk and the Ottoman periods.
Like the western extensions of the Fatimid city, it has greatly suffered
from the modern urban development initiated when the Khedives started
Creating the European style town,which gradually filled all the vacant
-land between the old city and the Nile.

The cemeteries

Perhaps nowhere in the world the wish to be remembered after death

_. ts as in Egypt. This
has fostered such extraordinary architectural .resul
is also true for the Islamic period,'notwithstanding the fact that
orthodox Islam does by no means encourage funeral monuments. Yet, the
architecture of Cajro since the late Fatimid period and specially
during the Mameluk period was strongly marked by the erection of
mausoleums, either freestanding or connected to a masque, madrasa,
khanq or othar wel'fare buildings sponsoured by the builder of the tomb.

This tradition, initiated on a larger scale by the Ayubid Sultan Salih

has led to the development of the prestigious Cairene dome architecture
and was instrumental in producing large monumental complexes such as
the ones of Sul tan K a h n , Baibars, Barquq and others, which were al 1
supported by corresponding endowments (waqf). Theytherefore represented
social and economic microcosms of their own, providing for a large
number of staff engaged in maintenance, teaching and praying, and often
.. .
students and pious men who would live in the building.
In the same time they were economically linked to suqs, houses or
agricultural land which made part of the endowment and served as source
of income.

While some of these complexes were bui1 t inside the town, many, and. ..
mostly the later ones were erected on the cemeteries, where they formed
small nuclei of urban life. The Cairene cemeteries were never clxi-
ceived as dead areas but as "cities of the dead", where the people would
visit their relatives and occasionally stay overnight in small houses
connected wi th the tombs. This semi -urban deve1 opment is special 1 y
obvious in the case of the mausoleum of the much venerated Imam Chafi
which became the focus of a small permanent settlement within the
ceme te ri es.

'According to the geographic conditions and to the movement of the city

centre , the cemeteries of Islamic Cairo are divided into two major
areas: The southern cemetery, east of the site of Fustat and south of

the Tulunid city of al Askar is the older one, still ccntaining many
monuments from the Fatimid, Ayubid and early Mameluk period. From the
fifteenth century on, the northern cemetery north of the Citadel and
east of the Fatimid city was favoured because it-offered more easily
available space.

Today both cemeteries cover almost the same surface as the remaininç
historic fabric of Islamic Cairo. They are bordered by a new highway
(Salah Salem Road) designed.to relieve pressure from the modern city
centre and to link .the southern suburbs and the westbank developments
with the northern parts of the metropol i tan area (Hel iopol is and air-
port). Due' to demographic pressures and to the shortage in housing,
they are now in danger of being turned into permanent settlements by
hundreds of thousands of squatters or even of being used for new
deve1 opments .

Modem Cairo
i .

iogeaer, ail these urban entiti fom d Islamic Cairo, as it was re-
corded during the Napol eoni c expedi ti on in 1802 and later by Pascal
Coste in his "Archi tecture Arabe on Monuments du Caire", (Paris 1839).
A few decades later, the hitherto homogeneous structure of the city
e .

started changing by the impact of western planning ideology an4 . .

corresponding models, introduced by the successors of Muhammed Ali and
especially during the reign of the Khedive Ismail, whosembitiön' was to- present
a'modenï Cairo to the visitors expected for the opening of the Suez
Canal in 1869.

Being an admirer of the transformation of Paris started by the Baron

Haussmann, he imported the French Bou1 evard concept for the 1 ayout of
the new town. The fact that the new development took place west of the
old city, on the land uncovered by the Nile, meant that physical
.'destruction of the historic fabric Was at that time avoided. However,
the rapidly growing new town soon caused heavy redevelopment pressures
on the western fringes of the historic fabric and in 8ulaq, and even

wifhin the old city. This accounts for the many, nineteenth centupj
buildings within Islamic Cairo, many of which were disruptive to me
historic fabric by introducing an alien architectural typology. tt’,GG5n
they complied with the previous fabric i n terms Of building highr; and
street alignment, they often did not offer the courtyard space needed
to make up for the narrowness of the public space, and their façzdes
were rather related to European historic styles than to the local tra-
dition. If this is true for the late nineteenth and the early twentieth
century, it applies even more to the development of the last three
decades, when .pienty of new apartment blocks sprang up, disturbing the
homogeneity of. the fabric by their exceeding hight and their gaor
architectural qual ity.

But the most serious impact on the old city came from the large streets
originated by the new urbanization concept. New avenues and squares kern
cut. .into the o1 d city with no understanding for the difFerent sense of
space and order that had governed the growth of the Islamic pattern. Ïo
some extent..these intrusions were motivated by new traffic needs, bu:
no less by the 2bsession with creating straight and farreaching vistzs
as offered by the axes of European townplanning. Military reasons may
also have been implied, as was the case with the French Boulevard.
Fortunately enough, not all of the Khedive Ismail ‘s ambitious plans
were realized. However, some were executed and are now irrevocable
urbanistic facts, such as the Muhamed Ali Street connectini Ataba
Square with the Citadel, and the enlargement of Midan Beit al Kadi in
the very heart of the Fatimid city. It was made in order to open a new
vista onto the Kalaun-complex, sacrifying for this doubtful purpose t k
madrasa of Sul tan Baibars , one of the most precious Mameluk monuments

The trend was pursued by the construction of the Sharia al-Azhar in tfie
twenties of our centuryiperhaps the most deplorable of all these
Urbanistic interventions, because it brutally interrupted the main Spi fie
of the Fatimid city and the attached suqs. The clearing of a quarter in
order to create the large al-Azhar square jn front of the mosque in tfie
fifties was only a lsgical result of the previous interventions. It

shows the actual tendencies which are to diminish and to disturb the
"interior" open space of the traditional fabric (pepresented by the
old pedestrian network and integrated courtyards) while increasing
"exterior" space for roads, vehi cul ar traffic and parking. These 1 a tter
ones do not contribute to the quality Of the environment and inevitably
.entai1 the b u n t of the historic fabric if increased beyond certain
1 irni ts.

Map showing the tawn planning projects of the Khedive Ismail, around
1870 (after J. Abu-tughod, "Cai rol' , Princeton 1971 )


i) Kisms
ii) Shiekhas
iii) Population Changes
i) The study area falls across four kisms within the
Cairo Governorate: DARE EL AHMAR, EL KHALIFA,
fi) The specific Shiekhas within each of the above
Kicms falling within the study =ea are as
follows .

1 BATNIA 1 El Azhar
2 El Dowaria 2 El Hamzawi
3 El Mogharbili 3 El Shaarani
4 El Gharbia 4 El Atouf
5 El Ghouria 5 Bab El Fatuh
6 Darb El Saada 6 El Yahoud el Kara'in
7 Harat El R o m 7 El Yahoud el Rabaan (El Gawhar el Raaid)
8 Darb El Ahmar 8 Kasr El S h o e
9 Bab El W a z k 9 El Gamalia
10 Darb Shaalan 10 El Mashhad El Hussein
11 Taht el: Rabaa 11 Khan El Khalili
12 El Sorougia 12 El Khoronfis
13 Souk El Silah 13 El Darassa
14 El -=Y

1 El Mahgar
2 El H a m a
3 Darb El Husr
4 El Saliba
5 El Khalifa
6 El Bagla
7 El Saydia Aisha
1 Bab el Shareya

within Study Area 1976 % decrease
since 1966 . 1980 . , 2000

KHALIFA 84 ,970 -1.63 5 t 540 331240

DARB EL AHMAN 133,404 -0.68 3,628 21,772. a

BAB EL SHARIA 10 929 -1.04 456 2,736

GAMALIA 91 t123 -0.28 1,020.4 6 ,122.4

TOTAL AREA 320 426 -0.86 11 024 . 66,144

' 1980 2 00'0
ICRALIFA 79,430 511730

DARB EL AHMAN 129 776 111,631

BAB ELSRARIA 10 ,473 8,193

GAMALI&- 1 90t103 I 85,001

TOTAL I 309,402 I 254,282


i) Occupational Studies
ii) Place of Work
iii) Place of Residence
iv) Inter City Traffic
v) Establishment Survey
vï)' Trade, Charities and
vii) Commercial Associations
viii) Tourists

i i
ul m P
W m Co dp
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4 4
io cv al al
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v) Establishments on Cpkie by Type
of Ihdustry and Actïvlty
(Field Survey Results A p r a 'l9SQ.I.


. . . . .. .. . . . .. .. .. .. . . .. .. .. . .. .. .. .. . .. .. .. .. . .. .. .. .. . .. .. . . . . . . . .
___ ~-

Food 168 .41. . . . . 20.. 5 234

. . . . . . .. .. .. . . . . .. . .. .
. .. . .. .. ... . .. . .
. . .. .. . .
. . .. .. . .. . .. .. . .. . . .. .. .. . .

Misc. Consumer 112 17

3 - - 3

Textiles 188 59 47 1 295

~~ ~

44 20 3a œ

Go id/S ílver 124 - o

I 124

Leather 46 20 23 - a9

Wood 12 . . .
8 21 - 41

Electric 4 26 . . .
- 30

Paper 2 36 5 - 23

Tools/Repair Scrap 16 4 10 - 30

Spice/Oils 48 10 - - 58

Fue 1 1 3 4

TOTAL 1334
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. . . . . . . . . . .
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
d d d d r l r l 4 4 4 r l r l
. . . . VI. . m. . 00. . CO.
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. . . . . . . . . . . I
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nal m i o a
d p d rl
This Appendix gives a number of examples of the process
of encroachment on old.buildings and monuments. All
the information has been obtained by direct interview with
those involved.
A general survey is provided below.
System of Resuonsible Disp1acm e n t Ref. No.
Encroachment Authority of Residents of Case

Direct purchases of WAKF Yes 10

buildings by Il
merchants and
owners of work-
shops, etc.
Encroachment of POLICE 11
commercial enter- ANTIQUITY Yes
prises on DEPARTMENT
Obtaining false WAKF Yes 9
title to lands
and buildings
and claiming
Obtaining con-
cessions from 12
po 1itical1y
Deliberate demo- BUILDING OWNER Yes
lishing of buildings TENANTS

Case 1. Damage to a house in Gamaliya Street
The tenant, a soap manufacturer, knew that citizens
who were living in the mosque of Sa'eed el So'ada had
been given new apartments so he demolished the floor
of the water closet of his apartment and moved to a
room at Wekalet Al Rahla. He closed up his
apartment, refused to pay any further rent and brought
an action before the courts against the owner to repair
the damage. On the other hand, the house owner brought
an action against him because of damaging the house
and to obtain the rent due, which had not been paid
for three years. The tenant lost the case, had to
repair the damage and he returned to his apartment.

Case 2. Damage to a tenement house in Gamaliya Street.

In about 1974, a rice merchant bought a building in Gamaliya
Street from the Ministry.of Endowments consisting of a
tenement house with a yard. Some tenants, in the part
facing Gamaliya Street, damaged the floor of their
apartments, hoping thereby to obtain new apartments from
the municipalities. The owner seized this opportunity
to bring an action before the court asking permission to
demolish the house, thus giving him the opportunity to
build a new building in its place. The tenants
claimed that the building only needed repairing, but
the owner obtained the consent for demolition. The house
was actually demolished and a modern building is being
built in its place containing no residential

Case 3. Problems of a family living in Mabyada Lane.

This case relates to a family of five living in a very
small single room who were previously living in a nearby
house which was demolished. Following this demolition
most of the tenants moved to nearby mosques, but this family
rented a small room. Their neighbours were eventually
given new apartments, but this family wlas given nothing
because it was assumed they were not in need as they had
found a room, although it was so small it could not take
their furniture and the family was grossly overcrowded.

Case 6. Dispute over two houses at Atfet El Kayaty,
Al Soukareya.
This house is an endowment under the control of
the Ministry of Endowments. The rent was collected
from the tenants by the supemisor of that Mimesh
up to the beginning of the 1960's.
This supervisor then managed to sell the house for
2000 LE to the owner of some shops selling beans
and bean cakes neaz Ramses Square.
The supervisor told the tenants that he himself had
bought the house and wanted to establish contracts with them
and get the rent. Some accepted and some refused.
He distributed false announcements to frighten the
tenants and oblige them to establish contracts with him,
but one tenant: challenged thé position and sent a
notification including a copy of the announcement to
the following agencies:
a. The directorate of endowments
b. The public prosecutor's office
c. The committee for usurped endowments

After investigations by the Xinistry of Endowments, the

tenants were given notice not to pay the rent to anybody
till the above mentioned estate is restored to the Ministry.
However, the Ministry of Endowments did not receive the
house and no rent was coilected from the tenants for some
four or five years and in 1976, the same supervisor tried
once more to persuade the tenants to leave the house in
return for money so that he might demolish it. The tenants
refused to deal-with him telling him to fetch official
letters from the Ministry of Endowments informing them
that he was the new owner. .
The supervisor did not provide such authority but he
managed to obtain consent to demolish the house and
remove the tenants who were actually removed from the
two houses by the police in late 1979.
Till now nothing has been done officially to reopen the
dwelling and to allow the return of the residents. However,
some tenants returned by themselves to their appartments.
The house dates back to the 17th OP 18th Century and
may be earlier. It is worth registering as an Islamic
antiquity having a number of historic elements and in
addition, the house represents the traditional house
arrangements of the tenants.

Case 7. Problem between tenant and landlord
The family involved are professional carpenters
specializing in Arabic style carpentry.They hired
an area of land from the Ministry of Endowments and
built a two-storey house there some years ago, of red
bricks and concreta.
Three families Live in al1 the first floor. Two of
them are related to the owners I but the third is a
tenant. The owners took 350 L.E. from this tenant in
order to rebuild his part of the house with bricks and
concrete. Three months ago however the owner demolished
the water closet and one room from the tenants apartment
adding this area to the apartment of the owner's mother and
brother. The tenant is now living in a single room
without access to a water closet and further pressure was
applied to force the tenant to leave the house altogether.

Case 8. Problem between tha owner of ground floor shops and

the tenant of two apartments above.
The new owner of come shops renewed them, replacing
the old walls and columns by concrete columns.This
resulted in collapse of a part of the apartments above
because the new columns did not provide adequate support.
One room and the water closet collapsed. The tenants
asked the owner of the shops to repair the damage,
but he refused saying that he was satisfied with the
state as it is and that he would wait till all apartments
collapse so as to be able to build a new building in
its place.
This problem involves the facade of a historic house,
in the registers of antiquities. This house dates back
to the 18th Century and is an excellent example of the
arkitectural style of commercial anã residential buildings
in the Ottoman period. The facade contains an Fmportant
monumental gateway and rare decorations and the windows
of the upper storeys are ornamented with fine wooden

Case 9. The problem of a house due to disagreement among

This house dates back to the last century or the beginning

of this century as can be inferred from the style of the
facade. It consists of one storey except the northern
part which is formed of two storeys.
The owner died some years ago and since then his daughter
collected the rent. A little while ago, a person appeared
pretending that he is the owner and demanded that the
tenants paid their rent to him and not to the daughter,
because he claimed to be the legal owner of the house.
The tenants were so intimidated by this person that they
conformed although he produced no documents and they are
sure the daughter is the true owner. The tenants were
afraid to do anything more for fear of losing their home.

Case 10. Concerning Sale of the Public bath house together

with the Land around it by public auction
The Ministry of Endowments announced some time ago the
sale by auction of a bath kouse together with the land
on which it stood amounting to about 2500 square metres.
This bath house is registered in the index of antiquities
and dates back to the 18th Century.
The tenants living in single rooms are afraid that the
new owner intends to drive them out and demolish their
homes. There is also the pocsibklity that the new owner
may demolish the bath houses as has happened to the other
part of the bath house.

Case 11. Unauthorised alterations to a Sabil

in 1973, a merchant of the FaliamiII district purchased
an old building from the Ministry of Endowments, and after
paying an indemnity to the tenants he began demolishing
this huilding but he then realized that the Sabil at the
corner of the building belongs to the antiquities department.
Nevertheless, he started to demolish the Sabil from the rear
and the antiquity inspectors filed a case to the police
department, but in vain. The owner eventually broke into
the Sabil and the Police expelled him but he broke into the
property again and used it as a store and started again to
demolish the Kufab above the Sabil. He removed the door of the
old Sabil and installed instead a rollLngmeta1 shutter. The
inspector concerned stated that when he went to the police,
but is warned not to proceed with the caser because his efforts
would be lost in vain.
The dispute has been continuing since that date and has not yet
been resolved, not withstanding vigorous attempts to remedy
the position by the public authority. The case is well documented
in the files of the departments involved.
Case 13. Use of a Wekala Doorway by a merchant
About 20 years ago a Wekalet collapsed except for the doorway
and part of the structure overlooking the court. With the
help of a member of parliament a wood merchant was given
the doorway and he constructed behind it a workshop to make
wood crates. Also some of the craftsmen and merchants
who had previously occupied the building also built shops
in place of the ruins by the help of another member of Parliament,
The Ministry of Endowments then assessed a new monthly rent
on these people.

Case 14. Effects of Modern Town Planning

The widening of streets has caused much destruction.
The following are some examples:
1. The opening of Port Said Road.
"Rabat Abu Talab" registered A No. 141 and Sabil um
Hussein was displaced to the Qadi Yehia mosque on
. Sh. Port Said. Also in this way many other old
buildings of different peziods were destroyed (example
the Adawi Mosque near Bab el Sharia 59).
2. When Azhar square and the Hussein Mashhad were
formed the Zadawi Bath (R.A. 567) was demolished.
Other buildings destroyed were the Hulugi Fawla
and Bath.
3. The opening of Sh. Magsa el Aiyoun (Salah Sala
extension) the Sabil of Sultan Qayet Bey was
demolished. And when the flyover bridge was
constructed at the Intersection of this road
at Sayeda Aisha Square the doorway of Sultan
Qayet Building was demolished (R.A. 278)and
also part of the wall Magra el Aiyoun (R.A. 78).
' Also opening of this road destroyed part of the
Sayeda Nafissa cemetery and some old graves.
4. To extend Magiis el Shaab Street from Lazoughli
Square to Port Said Road a number of old mosques
and fawyas and houses were demolished.
5. The widening of the square and streets along the
Old Cairo N. wall. Zawyet el Sit el Soutohla
(18th century) and the Thahabi bath of the middle
ages and other old buildings.
6. The opening of the parallel road to Salah Salem
on the East the grave of Abu Kheir el Soufi was
demolished. R.A. 373 at the Kajet bey cemetery.


Availability of Survey results tabulated for the selected three
target areas.
Data from field results.
. . . . .. .. . . . . . . . . . . . .

Name of Table . . .

. .. .. .. . . . 6. 4

i. Place of residence of
establishment m e r &
J - J
type of establishment
2. Building inventôry J J J
3, Size of household by number
of rooms occupied
%/ J J
4. Duration of residence in
a. inside Cairo J J Y
b. Outside Cairo J J J
5. Availability of
ut ilities
6. Shared facilities by
type of ownership of J J J
7. Age/sex distribution of J J J
8. Reported Total household J J -J
income by source
9. Income of establishment
J - J
10. Type of ownerships of
units by amount of rent
Unit: A -- Total J J
J 5J
C - Residential
Commercial 5 J
11. Extent of raising animals
by Occupation
J - J
12. a. Occupation by place
of work
J 1
b.'Occupation by place
of work outside J J J



45 i
Madrasa of Mitqäl al-AnükI (c. 1368-9/770)
41 Mausoleum of Saikh Sin& (1585/994)
21. -
Sabb-Kuttäb & House of '=Abd al-Rahman Katkhuda (1744/1157)
562 Hamm& of al-Ashtaf ?na1 (1456/861)
428 Madrasat al-K&ilIya (1225/622y 1752-3/1166)
i87 Madrasa of al-&ah& Bar& (1384/786-1386/788)
44 Madrasa of al-Nasir Muhammad (1295/695-1304/703)
43 Märistän, Xadrasa and Mausoleum of al-Man& Qata'Ün (1284/683
animara a ï - N u a s I n (before 1800)
561 Sabil-Kuttab of U g h & &-Ala i (1346/747)
34 Palace of Bashtak al-NasirI with Masgid al-Fig1 (1334/735-1339/
402 SabIl -Kuttab Muhatmaad Al1 (1828-9/1244)
45 Qa a od Muhible al-& al-Muwaqqi (1545/951)
37 Madrasa of aï-Zahir Baibars (1262/660-1263/662)
38 Mausoleum & Madrasa of al-Sâlih Nagm a l - D h A& (1243/641,
52 SalaIl-Kuttab KhusrÜ Pasha (1535/942)


16 Sabxl-Kutta;b Oit% Bey and Wakalat al-Tha (1630/1040l

499 Hash Utäy (1817-1 8/1233)
32 Khänqah of Baybars al-Gashatrkh (1306/706)
479 anonymous F&imid Mausoleum (c.1133/527)
Kh&q& S d d al-suada (1173-74/569)
31 Madtasa of Qarasunqur (1300-1301/700)
17/356 Sabil-Kuttab Ödabashx and Gate of H&at al-Mabyada (1673/1084)
L Rouse No. 5 S&ì d-Gamãizya 62673/1084)
19 Wakãlat Dhu'l-Fiqk (1673/1O84)-
35 Madrasa of Gainal a&-& YÜsuf a l - U s t ~ d(1408/811)
398 Wakalat Bazara (end 17th c)
39 6 Portal of Wakãla Abbas Ä& (1694/1106)
30 Madrasa of MahmÜd Muharrara (1792/1207)
36 Maärasa of Tatar al-üigazzya (1348/748)
29 Mosque of M a n Ü q d.-AhSAd (17th C)
20 Palace al-Musafirkhäna (1779/1193, 1788/1203)

Group 3

189 Madrasa of al-Ashraf Q h Ü h al-GhÜx? (& the House ta the

North) (1504/909)
67/65/66 Mausolem & Maq ad of al-Asñraf &sÜh al-Gh3rZ(1504/909
I 15O 5/9 1 O )
64 Wakalat al-GhÜrI (i504/909-1~05/919)
Doorway of &H aï-Masbaga (before 1800)
351 Khan al-Zar&isa (before 15 16/9 22 1
98/62 Mosque & CabIl of Muhammad Bey Abu al-Dhahab (1774/1188)
69 SabEl-Xuttab Zayu al-AbidL (17thc/l lthc)


Mosque of al-Sul&
Hammam al-Muayyad

596 Ha~&m al-Sukkarzya (18th c/12th c)

39 5 Wakälat NafIsa al-Baydha (1796/1211)
358 SabIl Nafilsa al-Baydha (1796/1211)
368 Facade of house of Mun& al-Alayli and Shaykh al-QayãtI
(18th c/end 1 2 t h ~ )
199 B& Zuwayia (1092/485)
203 Zãwiya & Sabxl of Farag fin Barqüq (1408/811)
116 Mosque of al-Sãlih Talai (1160/555)
406 & 408 Qasabat Radwz Bey including facades on Mid& Bab Zuwayla
(17th c/l1 thc)
407 Facade of House lying to the north of Sab?l al-Wafazya
(17thc/l lthc)
117 Mosque of Mahma al-Kurd1 (1395/797)
557 ~ a b F ïaï-wafãIya (1442/846)
118 Mosque of Ïnäl al-AtabkI (1392/794-1393/795)
208 Maq 'ad Radwz Bey (1650/1060)

235 House of Ahmad Katkhuda al-Bazzäz (15th/9thc-i778/1192)
237 Minaret of Zäwiyat al-Hunfd (1260/660)
238 Sabzl Ibrahb Agha Muctahfizän (1639/1049 - 1640/1050)
12s Madrasa Unim al-Sult& Shabb (1368/770)
586 Tomb & Wakala of Ibrahh Khalzfa GuinäiG (i593/iOOi)
123 Mosque of I b r a h h Agha Mustahfizän (1346/747 -1347/748)
2 40 SabT1,Raba and Tomb of Untar Äghä (1652/1063)
24 8 Mosque, Sabil & Tomb of Khayrbak (1502/908)
249 Palace of Aïln Ãq [1'293/693)
593 Drinking Trough of Ibrahim Ägh% Mustahfizän (1659/1070)


S a b h Umm Abb& (1870/1284)

147 osq que of ShaykhÜ (1349/750)
152 Khanqah ShaykhÚ (1355/756)
323 Drinking Trough of ShaykhÜ (17th c/llthc)
452 House and Sabxl of E
& Abdallah (1719/1132)
15 1 Mosque of Q&I Bay al-MuhammadE (1413/816)
324 Sabrl-Kuttab Qãyt Bay (1479/884)
413 Sabll-Kuttab, Tomb & House of .Shaykh Abdallah
16thc/end l0thc)


-. * -

. . '
. .
... . - . .

. -The.six prfoaty zones were chosen

in view of conservation priorities and short term implementation. How-
ever, there are o h e r areas of the old city which show a lower concen-
tration of monuments, but are equally important for the rehabilitation
of Islamic Cairo, for the following reasons:
- Some of them contain impurtant single monuments which are not pru-
tected by the six zones, but are in urgent need of conservation and
envi ronmental control .
- Some of them occupy key positions within the urban system, and their
actual function as well as their future development have a strong
i nci dence upon the i sol ated zones of conservation.
- Most of them are in direct continuity with the proposed six conser-
vation zones and could therefore be used to extend or to inter-
connect them in the future.

During the present,mission, there was not enough time for a more systematic
planning approach,nor for recording in detail the problems and the pc-
tential of these complementary areas of concern. It is however recommended
that further study of them should be'initiated as soon as possible,
parallel to the detailing of the zoning concept. In fact, if these areas
were negleted in the future, this could well mean that the six con- .
servati.on zones would find themselves in a completely isolated position,
and without the necessary support from the environing urban system.

In the following, a first attempt has been made to single out a number
of such areas and to make a preliminary record on their content and
their relevance for rehabilitation. At the same time, a number of

nstrategic" plots along the historic spines (but outside the actual
conservation zones) has been spotted, which should be kept under con-
trol against imminent devel opment pressures (see separate map). Re-
development of these plots should by no means be-exluded; yet it is
important to ensure that corresponding projects match with the aaacefir
monuments (both in t e m of form and function), and that as a whole they
contribute to: the overall rehabilitation strategy of Islamic Cairo,
instead of undermining or obstructing the actions in the conservation

It should be added that the type of suggested control does not necessarily
imply large public investments, as is the case for the restoration and
rehabilitation projects in the six conservation zones. The projects would
rely on private investment, but planning and design assistance should .
be provided by the authority in charge of the conservation zones.

In a more comprehensive way, the following areas of concern have been


The northern gates

The large open space outside the walls and the two small squares i m e -
diately after the gates need special consideration, because they are
badly neglected and dumping is in danger of becoming' firm hahit'there.
From an urbanistic point .of view, these gateways are an entry and '

transition space almost as important as their southern counterpart at

Bab Zuweila. A special study would be needed to analyze if access to
the his-tokic centre could be improved from the north, and how proper
management of vehicular traffic and of merchandise transport, stocking
and dispatching could be achieved. The ruined commercial premises in
front of the entry gate of al-Hakim mosque are to be watched, because
their pl ace is extremely vu1 nerabl e, and thei r redevel opment Wou1 d
W e t o o m p l i s h d n important function. The enormous courtyard of the
Hakim mosque itself should be used as a green public space (garden or
park). Finally, attention is drawn on the large redevelopment potential
of the whole block south of Hakim mosque, where several semi-industrial

Shari a Bergawan

This'bended r'esidential ailey is entered from the spine through a

special doorway (attached to the mosque and sabil of Sulaiman Agha.
Silahdar). It leads into an area with a number af contiggiious ruined
or vacant plots and would therefore offer an excellent opportunity for
a pilot housing project,
. . if eventual land ownership problems can be
overcome. Rehabil i-tation of smal 1 er monuments in the same area cou1 d
be made part of the scheme. Additionally, In easier second access could
be provided through the Sharia Emir al Gitush, north of the area.

Surroundinas of al Akmar mosque

This jewel of Fatimid architecture, due to its modest dimensions and its
low ground floor, is specially exposed to the impact of highrise new
constructions. Therefore, precise guide1 ines are needed for the future
redevelopment of the two abutting wakallas of little historic iqterest;
of which only the ground floors are preserved. Development coittrol .or
rehabilitation of other neighbouring plots to the south and east of the
mosque (small row of shops and wakalla) could ensure a link with the
nearby conservation zone 2 (Sharia Gamaliya) and zone 2 (Sharia Muitz).

-. Midan Beit al Kadi, Khan al Khalili and Midan of Hussein

The unity of this area is given through its comercial and touristic
function and through a number of similar cases for rehabilitation, all
concerning the reorganization of trade and workshops and the reuse (or
reconstruction 1 of abandoned (or di 1 api dated) khans. The Hussein square

has an important function as arrival space, but is in great need of an
appropriate environmental treatment (trees, shade and pedestrian
connections with al Azhar). The markets of Khan al Khal i l i can be
regarded as filter space for entering the old.ci’ty, and the Midan
Beit al Kadi could be developed as a meeting point and resting place
for tourists.and inhabitants, relying on its pivot position. The
urbanistic treatment’of this zone as a whole is important because it
constitutes the natural link between the first three conservation
zones and makes them become a coherent block.

The “MooriSh Bazaar”

This series of local suqs south of the Ghouriya (mainly wool, clothes
and textiles) establishes the connection between zone no. 3 and zone
no. 4 (Bab Zuweila) and comprises the break of the spine in front of
the sabil-kuttab Muhammed Ali, which is an important landmark in the
. of Islamic Cairo. Most buildings in this area show completely
ruined or collapsed upper floors. Therefore, there is a danger of
imminent redevelopment which should be anticipated by an appropriate
development concept for the area. Beside improving the comercial
structures, there would be the case for a pilot project giving q modern
interpretation of the traditional wakalla structure (combinatTon of
comnerce in the ground floor’with housing units in the upper floors).

Sharia Ahmed Maher

The treatment of tfiis area is compimentary to conservation zone no. 4

(Bab Zuweila), inasmuch as it commands the access from the modern town
and contains activities which have an impact on the historic fabric
(large number of workshops and factories such as stone cutting, wood
wholesale, leatherwork, etc.). Again, the great bulk of the building
Stock is dilapidated or completely ruined, and redevelopment pressures
are to be expected, which need guidance and orientation. Given the im-
portance of the node in front of Bab Zuweila and the impact of vehicular
traffic crossing the spine, an urbanistic concept for this area is
urgently needed. Among other aspects, i t should study the possi bi 1 i ti es
for a public transport and taxi station, and suggest an optimal scheme
for organizing semi-industrial activities in the area, perhaps taking
into consi derati on the recepti on of some addi ti onal workshops which
wi 11 have to :be removedi from the conservati on zones.

D a h al Ahmar

The area around the

. late Mameluk mosque of Qijmas and down to the branching

of Suq al Silah is one of the most interesting areas of Islamic Cairo and
establishes a vital link between the conservation zones no. 4 and no. 5.
In view of possible future extensions and merging of these zones, a strict
development contra1 should be kept over the area. The little square on
the branching of Suq al Silah could become an attractive focus for the
whole district, if sroperly redes'gned.

Bab al Wazir

The spine of Darb al Ahmar ends in a very poor housing quarter'beneath

the Citadel. In this area, there are important objects for rehabilitation,
such as the magificent ruin of the Maristan (hospital) of the Mameluk
sultan Muayyad, which could be turned into a public park and playgrou~d
after consolidation. The whole block south of the Maristan, including
the very significant corner between the Bab al Wazir and the Citadel
streets would offer an excellent opportunity for a large housing project,
The area looks now very neglected, the majority of plots are ruined,
and it is to be feared that an unsensitive redevelopment would completely
change the aspect of this important part of Islamic Cairo.

Development -control
. and upgrading projects should also be applied tc
the vacant land of Bab al Matir with the Azdumur mosque in the back-

ground, which establishes the transition to the ceqgbry area. This
spacey with its View on the Citadel and on the Ayubid city walls,
could constitute one of the most attractive places of Cairo, if the
environment were improved. Furthermore, it *would be in: direct con-
tinuity with conservation zone no. 5.

Suq al Silah

The southern section of Suq al Silah, with its ancient monumental gate
opposite the Sultan Hassan mosque and with the/compiex of Ylgai also
offers an interesting rehabilitation potential. A number of ruined shops
and workshops would'have to be improved and the large vacant p k t s used
for storage would have to be controlled. It might be suitable to study
a pilot project for crafts and mechanized workshops in this area.

SharTa al Hilmiya / Sharia al Aukbiya

This area is part of the main historic north-south spine which has
been crossed by Muhammed Ali Street and has since suffered from heavy
redevelopment; to such a point, that large sections offer no more
historic elements worth of conservation at all. However, the group
of buildings around and south of the Mausoleum of Hassan Sadaqa (now
under restoration) has kept much character. Adjacent to the Sadaqa
complex lies the impressive ruin of the #ameluk palace of Yushbak,
which dominatzs the skyline and could easily be nade accessible from
the south-west side of Sultan Hassan mosque, once t h structure is con-
solidated. Similarly to the maristan of Muayyad, it could be turned into
an "archeological-park", or the lower floor could be used for rehabili-
tation purposes. Another partly ruined palace With two very large court-
yards, the palace of Amir Tat, could eventually be used for establishing
a school or a social centre. The whole area is *ow dominated by stores y
stocks and smi-industrialized workshops which O c c W Y large surfaces. A
more detailed study on these activities would reveal to what extent they
could be reorganized and improved, and whether there is capacity left
for workshops to be removed from the conservation area.

Beyond the crossing with Saliba Street, the-*spinecontains almost no

more monuments until the beginning of the cemetery. However, there wou7d
be the case for an urban design project on the small square at the
crossing with. Sharia Tulun, which is opie of the most vital and picturesque
market places of Cairo. It constitutes, as it were, the transition to
the cemetery spine (Sharia Ashraf), which should also be kept under con-
tro1,for its important heritage is exposed to a semi-urban environment.
Deve1 opment control should also be exerced on the old dumps of the
Tulunid city to the. west of Sharia al Ashraf; they now constitute a
most valuable green area, but will soon be exposed to the pressures of

* **


1. Bulaq
2. Babylon
3. Western GamaLiya
4. Citadel and Tourism
5. Housing Renewal and Improvement

The site of Fustat, the great city of are-Fatimid Cairo,
extended from the Citadel in a South-Westerly direction
to reach ancient Babylon,,the old, walled, Hellenistic-
2oman city. Today, the South-Eastern area of the site
is largely uninhabited and has been declared an archaeological
zone. Excavations have revealed a large area of the street
pattern as it was during the last phase of the habitation
of Fustat, during the tenth to twelfth centuries. Flanking
these streets, a number of houses have been excavated, each
with a characteristic planted courtyard containing a pool
and a fountain.
To the south-west, the first mosque, that of 'Amr Ibn al-As,
is in course of extension, with the erection of prayer halls
on three sides of the couryard, which did not have them
before. To the north of the mosque the ancient Moslem cemeteq
is preserved.

Situated at the southern extremity of Fustat, this

quarter of ancient Coptic churches and houses lies
within the remnants of walls erected by the Romans
oves the foundations of Hellenistic Babylon. The
Southern Roman gateway survives in its lower ?art,
as do the lower levels of two huge circular towers
on the western side, which may represent another
gate. Two narrow streets run garallel inside the
walls in a SW-NE direction, and a central street
NW-SE. These lead to a number bf historic churches
and a synagogue.
Come alterations to the quarter took place in the 19th
and early 20th centuries, íncluding the clearing of
houses for tke construction of the Cobtic Museum next
to the church of El-Xuallaffa and of St. Georges Monastery
over the faundations of the northern circular tower.
The remainder of the Coptic quarter remained intact until
recent years, but it is now in an advanced state of
delapidation, and urgently deserves rehabilitation.
Natural weathering and ageing has been compounded during
the last fifteen years by the rapid rising of the water
table so that the historic crypt of the 6th c. church
of Abu Sarga CSt. Sergius) is now permanently flooded,
and water has risen high in the walls causing marked
decay and threatening their stability. A number of houses
have actually collapsed, and many have been systematically
cleared in recent years. The ~ l a nof the authorities, which
involves clearing away the remainder of the houses,
should be questioned. A programme of silicon or aluminium
injections of the lower parts of the old walls against
rising damp might be investigated. Subsequently, a programme
of reconstlSution of those dwellings flanking the streets
to make them habitable once more might be contemplated.
which is unlike any other in Cairo
the enjoyment of posterity.
In this way, the unique visual character of this ancient part-
may be preserved for
The area to the west of el-Khan el-Khalili contains
a number of early synagogues and two churches which
merit consideration for conservation.
Many of the synagogues were rebuilt in the 19th and early
20th centuries, but some retain "lower" synagogues which
are now several metres underground and are considerably
more ancient. Of these, the most important seems to be
that in the Synagogue of Musa Ibn Maymun (Rambani Synagogue
in The Haral al-Raba Nayia)

Churches :
The most historic is the Church of al-Azra Miriam, which
was reputedly founded in the 6th c, and altered in the
loth, 14th and 19th centuries A.D. This building, like
its 18thc. neighbour, is seriously threatened because
its floor level lies below the watertable, and it is
only kept usable by continuous y m u i n g night and day.
The accelerating damage to the walls and columns and to
the priceless wooden screens and art works is disastrous.

Despite the number and the beauty of the Monuments in Old

Cairo., unless there be sane radical change in the urban
character of the area, they will always remain difficult
of access to people in large numbers. The development
of world tourism will primarily bring about an Fncrease
in group tours. Within cities *ese will usually be more
from place to place by coach wi* a minimum of walking
for the tourists. This mitigates against any mayor growth
of tourism related to the Islamic monuments in Old Cairo.
The puli of the bazaars, suqs and shops especially where
these abut major through routes on the perimeter will
continue but few tourists will penetrate to the inner
areas. Yet the attraction of the Old City will remain
and will continue to-fascinate tourists,
The Citadel is one place adjacent and overlooking the Old
City were tourists in large numbers could be accommodated.
It has a scale and ruggedness.which would not be harmed
by the presence of visitors, it has the spaces within it to
accommodate large numbers of people, there are few historic
monuments these in conservation terms and it overlooks the
Old City.
Studies should be instituted to examine the feasibility and
the appropriate brief to develop the Citadel as a major
tourist centre incorporating sane or all of the following:-

Visitors orientation centre

Restuarants and cafes
Son at lumiere performances
Exhibition Centres
Craft markets and boutiques
Theatres and lecture halls
Car Parks and Coach Parks


Ta ensure the continuance of the area of Old Cairo in a

overall fann camparable to its present form then three
objectives must be adopted:.
i) the prosperity of the existing. residential
papulation must be increased
ii) the living conditions of the existing
residential popu-lakionmust. be improved
iii) effective consemakion policies must be

The UNESCO report concentrates on the list of these

objectives althaugh some indications are noted in
relation.to progress on the other two. Neans to achieve
these other objectives however must he found as con-
conmidtments to-the consemation policies and without
which the conservation policies will not be firmly based
with Local support.
Thus it is important to undertake studies which would lead
to new economic initiatives and allow the existing residential
population to enjoy increased incomes. The appropriate
Ministries should be requested to undertake this study now
at the same time as the conservation policies are developed
and put into practice.
The last aspect is to find means to improve living conditions
of the residents of the area while the filed surveys carried
out under-the UNESCO study showed to be very poor in many of
the historic quarters.
Two main factors hava led to a decline and inhibited any
improvement of housing conditions over the. last few decades
namely :
a) fragmented ownership and little owner occupation.
b) rent control acting as a disincentive to landlords
to maintaln or improve residential property.

The conservation policies set out in the UNESCO report can

provide a initial step to make progress. A basic concept in
the report is to concentrate on a few number of priority
conservation zones and that action in these.areas should be
through the Cairo Conservation Agency.
Thus within these priority zones it is possible to envisage
progress to unification of ownership and from this base a
programme of housing improvaent can be instituted on the
following basis :

The CCA should fund or arrange funds for all
those works to buildings within the priority
conservation zones to ensure their structural
stability and other works stemming from
'consemation' requirements.

All tenants of dwelling units -in these zones

to be given security: of tenure for themselves
anä far the second-generation.

Acting as agent for the governorate and utilising

central government funds.or loans from international
agencies a programe of minimum internal dwelling
improvements should be launched to achieve (at the
minimum) :-
a) potable water to each dwelling unit and
and. sink with waste water disposal.
h) wc to each dwelling unit.
This investment should be made on a cost recovery
basis from the tenants of the dwellings through
increased rentals.
iv) Any gap of affordahiïity on the part of any tenant
this minirnum investment programme to be. met by one
or a mixture of following means:-
a) Gross subsidization within building
b) Gross .subsidizati,onwithin zone
c) Subsidization from levy on economic
enterprise of the area linked to a
econom.ic development programme.
d) Elongation of repayment periods.
e) Social welfare payment.
v) A programme of further discretionary improvements
should be launched in active and close participation
with tenants to achieve further improvements to meet
their needs, Again the investment for these Improve-
ments would be recovered through increased rentals but
they would be only put into effect with the agreement
of the tenant.
A furtherbenefit that can arise from the priority
conservation zones under the control of the CAA is that
they could become.nuclei of social facilities for the

residential areas around. Many of the buildings in the
priority zones will be monumental or non residential
buildings for which there is no existing use. The first
priority for the fut-@ new use case of such buildings when
conserved is the strengthening of the social infrastructure
of the surrounding area.