Cairo Citizens Rescued Historic Building From Demolition

The mansion was saved from demolition thanks to social networks

A shot of Barsoum Palace.
Photo by Omneya El-Naggar.

The palace of Barsoum Pasha Hanna, an architectural and historical monument, is located in one of the ancient districts of Cairo. Local authorities had planned the construction of a transport interchange on the site of the building that would serve as a link between the eastern and southern parts of Cairo.

The palace of Barsoum Pacha Hanna in Abbasia was built in 1865. The architectural decoration uses domes, murals, painted ceilings, and stained glass. The mansion is also famous for the fact that political figures of the Wafd party hid there and kept archival documents in it in the 1920s. Sherif Hanna, the grandson of the owner of the palace, was surprised that they wanted to demolish the house in order to build a new road. He asked the local community for help through social media and received over 127,000 comments, and more than 8,200 people shared the news on their pages, many of whom Hanna did not know. “The enthusiasm of the people is something to be really proud of. Something that reminds you that there are still good things happening in this country” he commented about the incident.

Road projects in Egypt have often sparked outrage. Some of them threaten the existence of architectural monuments, for example, the construction of a bridge will obscure the view of the legendary Basilica in Heliopolis.