copy Excellent Adventures in Egypt

Enter here to share Joni's adventures living and working in Cairo courtesy of the U.S. Fulbright cultural exchange program. Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and test of our civilization. - Mahatma Ghandi

10/28/2004

Welcome to Azhar Park. Last week I was fortunate to have a couple of people pass on the Sunday NY Times architectural review of this new "central park for Cairo," so I checked it out on Saturday. It's a beautiful place and an amazing project. The park is about 75 acres in size, located in one of the oldest and poorest quarters of Cairo. It's built on top of a mound of rubbish that has been accumulating - literally - for centuries. They actually uncovered large portions of the 12th century wall that surrounded Cairo in Salah el-Din's time, and restoration of this wall has eveolved out of the park project. The Agha Khan Trust has been working towards this project for the last 15 years or so, starting out wiht the idea of giving Cairo some green space (which, lord knows, it needs) and growing into an urban revitalization project. The landscape architecture is wonderful and there are some interesting architectural features as well, but I find the community links most interesting. In order to create a sense of connection with the Darb el Akhmar district right next doo, the Trust is undertaking several restoration projects - one them will convert an historic Islamic structure ionto a community center - and soem community empowerment activities. For more info. on the project go to There are some great "before and during" pix on line at http://archnet.org/library/sites/one-site.tcl?site_id=5060  Posted by Hello

41 Comments:

At 2:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding the post about the Al-Azhar Park, it was officially inaugurated a couple days ago - March 25th, 2005. For excellent pictures and other information, check out:

www.alazharpark.com

For press release of the opening, and the speech delivered by His Highness the Aga Khan (who is gifting this wonderful and massive project to Cairo, a city founded by his ancestors in 969 A.D.), visit:

http://www.akdn.org/

You'll have to read the project brief to gain an understanding of the entire project, which goes well beyond the park proper.

specifically ...
http://www.akdn.org/news/2005March25.htm

Enjoy!

 
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Al-Azhar Park is a major park in Cairo's Darb al-Ahmar neighborhood in Egypt. It was inaugurated in May 2005. The park project was not only the development of the park, but also included aspects of archeology (12th century Ayyubid wall), sportsbook, historic building rehabilitation (14th Century Umm Sultan Shaban Mosque, the 13th century Khayrbek complex, and the Darb Shoughlan School) and several quality of life improvement initiatives. Those initiatives included skills training, area rehabilitation, microfinance, and support in the areas of health and education among others. http://www.enterbet.com

 

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