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Tuesday, November 17, 2015
News, Cairo: Facelift Begins for the Tiled Grounds of Old Cairo's Khan Al-Khalili
of the ground of Khan Al-Khalili Street and Al-Sanadekiya area in Historic
Cairo will last for 18 months. Written By/ Nevine E-Aref.
Khan Al-Khalili Street at Night
Ministry of Antiquities has started renovation of the ground of Khan Al-Khalili
Street and Al-Sanadekiya area in Historic Cairo with a budget of LE5 million
provided in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism.
of Antiquities Mamdouh Eldamaty announced that the renovation works will last
for 18 months and come within the framework of the Historic Cairo Restoration
Project started in 2002.
Abdel-Aziz, assistant to the minister of antiquities for Islamic and Coptic
antiquities, told Ahram Online that the old tiles on the street, which are now
damaged, will be removed and replaced with a new ones made of basalt. New
inspection rooms for the area's drainage system will be established in order to
monitor and control any leakage of drainage water.
Damaged tiles of the floor of Khan Al-Khalili Street
Al-Khalili Street was originally the site of a mausoleum known as Turbet
Al-Zaafaraan (Saffron Tomb), which was the cemetery of the Fatimid caliphs.
the 14th century AD, when the first Circassian Burji Mameluk Sultan Barquq
ruled Egypt, Amir Jaharkas Al-Khalili, Barquq's master of stables, destroyed
the Fatimid cemetery and erected instead a large caravanserai known as Al-Khan
(market) in order to meet Cairo's great economic activity as many commercial
and religious buildings were constructed at that time. The Khan was a large
building housing merchants and their goods.
sultans, like Qayetbay and Al-Ghuri, built commercial establishments near the Khan,
which fast became a buzzing economic and commercial zone. During the late 15th
century, the district around Khan Al-Khalili became a major centre of foreign
trade, which included the sale of slaves and precious stones.
Khan Al-Khalili continues to be one of Egypt's authentic markets where a number
of shops are found selling souvenirs, antiques and jewellery, alongside
traditional workshops that continue to operate in the surrounding area and the
goldsmiths' market. Several
folk coffeshops and restaurants are also found there. Among the most well-known
coffeshops are Al-Fishawi and Naguib Mahfouz, named after the renowned Egyptian
author and 1988 Nobel Laureate.