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Monday, January 25, 2016
Re-Opening, Cairo: Four Medieval Monuments Inaugurated in Islamic Cairo After Renovation
medieval mosques and shrines in Al-Khalifa street have been restored. Written
By/ Nevine El-Aref.
Al-Sayeda Rokaya mausoleum
of Antiquities Mamdouh Eldamaty inaugurated four newly restored medieval buildings
in the Al-Khalifa area of Islamic Cairo on Sunday.
monuments include mosques and shrines dedicated to three celebrated women, and
one man: the Prophet Mohamed's granddaughter, Al-Sayeda Rokaya; Prophet
Mohamed's aunt Aateka; the wife of the Ayyubid sultan Nagm Al-Din Ayub, queen
Shagaret Al-Dur; and a relative of Prophet Mohamed, Al-Gaafari.
told Ahram Online that the inauguration of the four sites would help promote
tourism to Egypt.
restoration, which was funded by a US grant of $116 million, was carried out
over a year by the American Research Center in Egypt, the minister said.
Abdel-Aziz, deputy antiquities minister for Islamic and Coptic monuments, told
Ahram Online that the restoration work included the consolidation of the
buildings' foundations, columns and walls.
that have been growing over centuries were restored while salt accumulated in
several locations inside and outside the monuments' walls due to the high rate
of humidity was removed. Wooden decorative elements were restored while damaged
and missing ones were replaced.
next phase of the project would involve installing a new drainage system in the
whole area in order to prevent the leakage of subterranean water inside the
monuments," Abdel-Aziz added.
new drainage system was installed in the area surrounding these monuments as a
first step, and within a year the current inefficient system in the Al-Khalifa
area will be replaced with a new one, in collaboration with the housing
Shagaret Al-Dur Dome
development project encompassing the whole area is also set to take place soon,
in order to transform empty spaces in the area to improve the lives of
residents. The space will then house a hospital, an events building for wedding
parties and funerals, a nursery and a school," Abdel-Aziz said.
Rokaya Mosque and Mashad was built by Al-Sayeda Alam Al-Amireya, the wife of
Fatimid Caliph Al-Hakim Bi Amr Allah, in remembrance of Prophet Mohamed's
is located at the western side of Al-Khalifa street, adjacent to the Shagaret
Al-Dur mosque. The mausoleum has three arcades and two niches with gypsum
the Al-Sayeda Rokaya Mosque and Mashad are the shrines of Aateka and
Qubet (dome) Al-Gaffari was built in 1120 AD to commemorate Mohamed Ibn Gaafar,
the great-grandson of Prophet Mohamed's cousin Ali Ibn Abi Taleb. Qubet Aateka
was built in 1122 AD to commemorate Al-Sayeda Aateka bent Zeid, Prophet
explained that Qubet Aateka is very important because it houses the oldest
Fatimid dome in existence, while Qubet Al-Gaffari and Al-Sayeda Rokaya Mosque
and Mashhad display distinguished Islamic decorative elements.
The Shagaret Al-Dur dome
takes the form of a small shrine with three keel-arched entrances. The qibla
wall facing Mecca has a prayer niche, and the dome of the building still bears
some of its original ornamentation, including fluted lozenges and medallions
and keel-arched niches with fluted hoods