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Sulayman Agha Al Silahdar mosque Cairo

Sulayman Agha Al Silahdar mosque

Sulayman Agha Al Silahdar mosque Cairo information, tours, prices, booking

Sulayman Agha Al Silahdar mosque situated in Qasaba district. It is northward Darb El Asfar in Cairo. The mosque established by Prince Sulayman. He occupied many prominent posts in the days of Mohammed Ali. Moreover, these posts include the Armor or the supervisor of the arsenal. He credited to building other buildings in Cairo at that time. In fact, Sulayman Agha Al Silahdar mosque distinguished by the variety of decorations. Moreover, it combines between the Cairene style of decoration and other styles from Istanbul. This appears in the facade’s decoration and the windows over it.

Besides to the plant forms and the wooden eaves that appear in the mosque and the Sabil alike. Moreover, the interior plan of Sulayman Agha Al Silahdar mosque consists of a central courtyard. It also divided into three main aisles and forecourt. Both of them directed to Mecca. Furthermore, next to the entrance, there is a balustrade for reciting Holy Quran. Sulayman Agha Al Silahdar mosque has shallow keel-shaped arcades. They support the interior plan. The large marble inlaid Mihrab. In the upper floor of the mosque one can find the Malqaf. Malqaf is window scope. It designed for allowing the fresh air to enter the mosque.

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Sulayman Agha Al Silahdar mosque dates back to 1839. It renowned for its “pencil-like” minaret. It is a tall and thin structure and which built in the Ottoman style. Sulayman Agha Al Silahdar mosque appears so elegant. This is because of the mixture of Ottoman, Cairene and other unexpected architectural styles. You might even spot some Baroque features on the mosque’s pillars. The refined window grills featuring arabesque patterns. They are also something you should pay attention to. The mosque also includes a beautiful round Sabil. The fountain not located under the Kuttab, but next to it.

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Imam Al Busiri mosque Alexandria and tomb and Burda

Imam Al Busiri Mosque Alexandria Egypt

Imam Al Busiri mosque Alexandria information, tomb, Burda

Imam Al Busiri mosque Alexandria located in Alexandria city, Egypt. Different biographers present slightly different versions of Imam Al Busiri’s life. Certain facts agreed upon by all North African to the Sanhaji tribe of Morocco. Historian al Maqrizi claimed that Al Busiri’s family was from Hammad Citadel in Morocco. Furthermore, it was a part of the Banu Habnun tribe. Little known about Imam Al Busiri childhood. It is although scholars surmise that he received the usual education for children of his time. He would have attended a Qur’an school and memorized the entire Qur’an.

Kilani asserts that Imam Al Busiri’s family was poor as he forced to search for work from a young age. Sometime during his youth, he made his way to Cairo, where he pursued his studies. There, he exposed to the important Islamic sciences. They are Arabic language and linguistics. They are also literature, history and the biography of the Prophet Muammad. Even as a young man, Imam Al Busiri began to compose poetry which was not of a religious nature. In 1240 at the age of 30, he composed a poem to petition the King Najm Al Din Al Ayyubi. It was when he failed to allot a generous endowment to Imam Al Busiri mosque Alexandria.

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An accomplished poet, he would often recite his poetry and give lessons at mosques in Cairo. Many young poets studied under him. They are such as Athir al-Din Muammad Ibn Yusuf Abu Hayyan al-Andalusi 1325 AC. And Abu al-Fath Ibn Sayyid al-Nas al-Yamari 1334 AC and Izz al-Din b. Jamaah 1335 AC. His best known for the deeply religious are Burdah and the Hamziyyah poems. Imam Al Busiri’s complete diwan is still extant. It includes poetry that reveals the transition from a rough and terse youth. It also include a mature man with a deeply spiritual disposition. Based on his poetry, one can map out his spiritual development. He records his experiences in life, interactions with people, complaints, and insights.

Imam Al Busiri’s short and slender stature led the people ridicule him. It led also to be the source of their jokes. Early on in his career, he wrote a number satire poems. They revealed his feelings about being ridiculed. He also had a hard time accepting criticism from other poets. Moreover, he even wrote a rebuttal of a poet, one Zayn al-Din who had insulted his work. He known to have a harsh tongue. Furthermore, he took pleasure in composing hijaa, or satire, poetry to insult his enemies. The historian al-Shehab Mahmoud wasa contemporary of Imam Al Busiri. He wrote that he was a misanthrope who would attack others with his words. He also added that he had a bad reputation in the courts of princes and viziers.

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Imam Al Busiri lived in various locations in Cairo and in the Delta region. He worked primarily as a scribe and poet for the local rulers. At one time, a ruler offered him the position of a muhtasib, or market inspector, in Cairo, but he rejected it. From this job offer, we can find out that Imam Al Busiri had a decent knowledge of Islamic law. It is because the job requires a thorough knowledge of Islamic jurisprudence and law. He lived for a long time in the Lower Egypt town of Bilbis 1261-1265 AC. Moreover, he worked there as a scribe and manuscript copyist. He seems to skilled in accounting. That was although al-Maqrizi claimed that he made a lot of mistakes and was not competent in this skill.

Imam Al Busiri interested in religious polemics. He read the Hebrew Bible, New Testament, and religious history of Judaism. He also read Christianity primarily. It was defend Islam and the position of the Prophet Muammad. Some of his colleagues at work were Jewish and Christian. In fact, he known to engage in fiery debates with them. He interested in proving to them that the Gospels did not indicate that Jesus was a god. And that it contained signs of the coming of the Prophet Muammad. He was also concerned with correcting what he believed to be mistakes. It was in the Hebrew Bible that told stories of the prophets and of their sins.

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In addition to being a poet, Imam Al Busiri was also a fine calligrapher. He was also a composer of prose, although nothing of his writing or calligraphy is extant. It said at one point, he made a living designing the engravings for tombstones. In an attempt to make money, he also opened a Qur’an school for children in Cairo. But this venture failed and he forced to close it. As for his domestic life, his poems paint a hellish impression of living. It was with his constantly pregnant wife and gaggle of children. He talks of his wife conspiring with his sister-in-law. It was to get him to divorce her by hitting him and pulling out the hairs from his beard. Moreover, he also complains in detail about old age. He also does about his inability to provide his children with enough food and the problem he faced.

In fact, he could not provide his daughter with furnishings for her home for her marriage. Moreover, he spent some time in the central Delta town of al-Mahallah. It was where he was the poet and scribe for the mayor. He received a monthly wage for composing panegyric poems of the ruler. In al-Mahallah, Imam Al Busiri clashed with the local Christian scribes, copyists and poets. He wrote verses complaining of his treatment at their hands. Sometime during his stay in al-Mahallah, it seems he broke his leg. It was on a visit to the public baths and complained bitterly about his leg in many poems.

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His relation with others was so bad that it reached the point where they wished he would die. Once, when he became very sick, a rumor quickly spread that he had died. Upon recovering from his sickness, he wrote a satirical poem. It was to mock his enemies who spread rumors of his death. The phrase was “I am not the one who would die before them”. I will survive them and weep over their graves. It’s true that I had almost lost my life but the generosity of this vizier gave me a new life.”

Imam Al Busiri had enemies among Jews, Christians and among his coreligionists. In fact, he also had enemies among those closest to him, including his wife. He wrote satirical poems attacking anyone who criticized or insulted him. He recorded each event and rebuttal in a poem. According to al-Maqrizi, Imam Al Busiri would befriend important members of the court. It was such as the vizier Zayn al-Din. al-Zubayr. And would support them no matter if they were just or oppressive rulers. He supported the Mamluk rulers. He wrote zealous panegyric poems . The poems praised Turkish Mamluks that also affronted the local Arab population. The only positive characteristic of Imam Al Busiri recorded by al-Maqrizi. It was that he was generous.

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It not known when exactly Imam Al Busiri became a disciple of Al Mursi Abu Al Abbas. It can posited that this happened later on in his life. Itis at least some years before the death of al-Mursi in 1287 AC. Imam Al Busiri seemed to have struggled to follow Sufi principles. He desired to live in isolation from people. In fact, he had a large family and was often unable to feed them due to his poverty. He said “If I were on my own, I like to be a disciple in a Sufi hostel”.

His later poetry consists mainly of panegyric poems praising the Prophet Muhammad. And he bears little similarity to that of his earlier satirical poems. Perhaps after becoming a Sufi disciple, he underwent a spiritual awakening. It seen in the form the Burdah and the accompanying story of its composition. Moreover, it also was from his previous harsh and misanthropic nature. It seems to be conflicting information about Imam Al Busiri ’s life. It seen in the biographies of non-Sufi historians. Furthermore, it also seen from hagiographies written by Sufi scholars. Sufi hagiographies always describe him as an older man with a head of white hair.

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The time line of Imam Al Busiri’s life is not clear. It known that as a grown man, he drawn towards Sufism. He joined the Shadhili order under the guidance of his Shaykh Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi. It was in Alexandria. And which at the time was a center for North African Sufis. At this time, the Shadhili Sufi order was still in its infancy and founded by al-Mursi. Imam Al Busiri was fond of Al Mursi Abu Al Abbas. He studied Sufi thought and practice under him. This background would have a strong influence on his later poetry. He was faithful to his order. He wrote poems full of praise of al-Shadhili and al-Mursi. They were in their spiritual attributes and ranking. Imam Al Busiri was the contemporary of Ibn al-Farid, the great Sufi poet and mystic.

It also said that he was a friend of Ibn Ata Allah Al Sakandari. Al Sakandari is Sufi scholar and jurists. He wrote the famous Hikam, or collection of Sufi aphorisms. It is as well as a spiritual biography of A Shadhili and Al Mursi. In Sufi hagiographies, Imam Al Busiri painted as a saint-like figure. It is the person who had reached the high spiritual station (maqam) of Al Ghawthiyyah Al kubra. They claim that when he walks down the street, the young and old come out to greet him. They also kiss his hand. It said that his bod has emitted a sweet scent. He wore fine clothes, had a head of snow-white hair and humble smile. He was ascetic in his lifestyle. Moreover, he also had a respectable and virtuous character.

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Kilani disregards these attributes of Imam Al Busiri based on his readings of his poetry. Imam Al Busiri was indeed an unpleasant person. It was for much of his life until he discovered Sufism. He mended his ways, and reached a high spiritual station. This station respected and acknowledged by his fellow Sufis. Imam Al Busiri’s praise poetry of the Prophet Muhammad divided into two periods. The first from before Imam Al Busiri’s Hajj and the second after his return from the Hajj. Imam Al Busiri did not perform his pilgrimage until at least after 1255 AC. Before going on Hajj, he composed many praise poems. Some of them referred to his longing to visit the tomb of the Prophet.

Upon his arrival to Madinah and Makkah, he composed poems revealing his joy. The joy is at the tomb of his beloved and other places which Prophet visited. Although buried in Alexandria, it not known if Imam Al Busiri spent his last years in Cairo or Alexandria. His official tomb located in Alexandria, there are some dispute about where he buried. Al-Maqrizi recorded that he died in al-Mansuri Hospital in Cairo. Al- Ayyashi is a North African traveler who visited Cairo in 1663 AC. He mentioned that he visited Imam Al Busiri’s tomb in the area of the jurist Imam al-Shafii’s tomb. It located in the southern cemetery of Cairo. Imam Al Busiri indeed buried at the foot of al-Muqattam hills. It is where historians presumably thought the younger poet Imam Al Busiri buried.

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Al Mursi Abu Al Abbas mosque

Al Mursi Abu Al Abbas Mosque Alexandria Egypt

Al Mursi Abu Al Abbas Mosque Alexandria, tours, Booking

Al Mursi Abu Al Abbas Mosque is the most historic and most beautiful mosque in Alexandria, Egypt. In fact, Al Mursi Abu Al Abbas Mosque built primarily in 1775. Moreover, it built over the tomb of a Spanish scholar and saint. Furthermore, it stands on Mosque Square overlooking the eastern harbor. In fact, Abu Al Abbas (whose full name is much longer) born to a wealthy family. It was in the Andalusia region of Spain in 1219. Furthermore, in the wake of increasing Christian control of Spain, he and his family left for Tunisia in 1242. Moreover, he later went on to Alexandria, a popular destination of many Muslim scholars at the time.

In fact, Al Mursi Abu Al Abbas lived in Alexandria for 43 years. He lived as a scholar and teacher until his death in 1286. Moreover, he buried in a small building near the eastern harbor in Alexandria. In 1307, El Sheikh Zein El Din, one of the richest traders of Alexandria, visited the tomb. He funded a mausoleum and dome for the tomb, along with a small mosque. The tomb of Abu Al Abbas indeed became a place of pilgrimage for many Muslims from Egypt and Morocco. They are who passed through Alexandria on their way to and from Mecca.

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In fact, Abu Al Abbas Mosque periodically restored over the centuries. It was by rulers who built themselves tombs next to the saint. Moreover, most of the present structure dates back to 1775. It was when the Algerian Sheikh Abu el Hassan El Maghreby built a much larger mosque on the site. Moreover, Abu Al Abbas Mosque renovated in 1863. Furthermore, an annual festival established to celebrate the birth of Al Mursi Abu Al Abbas. The mosque again beautified in 1943. In fact, it was under King Farouq I (1937-1952). The king built the Midan el Masged, or “Mosque Square”.

In fact, the square covers some 43,200 square meters. Moreover, it includes five other mosques centered around Al Mursi Abu Al Abbas Mosque. In fact, the mosque renovated in the Arabian style. The style was popular when the saint came to Alexandria in the 13th century. In fact, the total cost of about 140,000 LE. The cream-colored of the mosque stands 23 m high. It dressed in artificial stone, with a minaret on the southern side rising to 73 m. Situated near the shore of the eastern harbor, the mosque and its neighbors. In fact, they clearly seen from the sea. The minaret has an Ayoubids design, with four sections of different shapes. The mosque has an entrance on the north and one on the east, both of which overlook the square.

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The main part of Abu Al Abbas mosque is an octagon. with internal walls. They dressed in artificial stone except for a 5.6 m-high mosaic. The high ceiling decorated with arabesque. It contains a great octagonal skylight known as a Shokhsheikha. Each side of the skylight has three windows of colored glass in arabesque designs. They set into aluminum frames. This skylight surrounded by four domes, placed over the four mausoleums within the complex.

The floors of Al Mursi Abu Al Abbas mosque paved in white marble. The doors, minbar and windows made of joined and finely carved teak, citronia and walnut. The minbar (pulpit) capped by a dome and has verses from the Qur’an written at the top in French gold. The mihrab is niche indicating the direction of Mecca. In fact, it stands at the base of the mosque’s minaret. It flanked by the creed “There is no god except Allah and Mohammad is the prophet of Allah”. Furthermore, it written in Arabic script. Also on other side of the mihrab are two columns of Egyptian granite. They are with the name of Muhammad which written in Kufic Arabic calligraphy at each end.

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Nabi Daniel mosque Alexandria

Nabi Daniel Mosque Alexandria Egypt

Nabi Daniel mosque Alexandria Egypt information, tours, prices, booking

Nabi Daniel mosque Alexandria located in Nabi Daniel street in Moharram Bek in Alexandria. In fact, Nabi Daniel is not popular among the Muslims globally. The present Nabi Daniel mosque Alexandria built at the end of the 18th century. It restored in 1823 by Muhammad Ali. A smaller shrine preexisted on the site. It maybe was the mosque of Dzoul Karnein – the Sire with the two horns -. In fact, Nabi Daniel mosque Alexandria contains the remains of the scholar and venerated teacher Prophet Daniel. It also has his companion Sidi Lokman el Hakim, a religious story teller. The Arab legend of the Prophet Daniel appeared during the 9th century.

He told by two astronomers: Mohammad Ibn Kathir el Farghani and Abou Ma’shar. It mentioned that “a young Jew, Daniel persecuted and chased from Syria. It was by the idolaters whom he tried to convert. Moreover, an old man appeared in a dream urging him to go to war. The war was against the infidels and promising victory over all Asia. In fact, Nabi Daniel acquired many followers in Egypt. It is where he sought refuge and built Alexandria. Obeying what the old man ordered him in his dream, he made war against the infidels. After a successful expedition, he returned to Alexandria and died of old age. Furthermore, his body placed in a golden sarcophagus inlaid with precious stones. But the Jews stole it to mint coins and replaced it with a stone sarcophagus”.

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Vassili Grigorovich Barskij, visited Alexandria in 1727 and 1730. In fact, he was Russian monk. He made a plan of the city. Near the Kom el Dekka mound, he drew a small Mohammedan shrine. It could be the predecessor of the Nabi Daniel mosque Alexandria. We cannot refer to his written description of the city. Barskij’s work only translated and only fragments studied. Moreover, the Danish Captain Norden visited the town in 1737, but tried in vain to find the tomb of Alexander. James Bruce looked for the tomb of the Great Macedonian. It was 30 years later in 1768. He asking the Arabs, the Jews, the Greeks and others, but none were able to show him the location”. At the end of the 18th century, Sestrini shown the sarcophagus in the Attarine mosque.

Moreover, Archimandrite Konstantios tried without success to locate Alexander’s Mausoleum in 1803. He was a Russian prelate from Kiev. He noted that he… ” looked in vain for… the tomb of Alexander the Great. It was the tomb of the man whose life’s course was above the faith of common mortals…;”. He stated that “until the 15th century the location known. But now even the tradition of this tomb has lost…”. He added that “beyond any doubt the remains survived under the great masses of the city’s ruins”. Konstantios, in his writing, and Barskij in his plan do not mention either of the Mosques. A new impulse given to the legend of the tomb of Alexander the Great. It was in the middle of the 19th century.

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Looking through the cracks of the planks he saw a body with the head rose lying in a crystal coffin. On the head, there was a golden diadem. Around scattered papyri, scrolls and books. He tried to remain longer in the vault. But he pulled away by one of the monks of the Mosque. In spite of his repeated attempts to return, he forbidden the area of the crypt. Scilitzis made a written report to the Russian Consul. He also did to the Greek Patriarch of Alexandria. Scilitzis read Dion Cassius and had access to the passage under Nabi Daniel mosque. In fcat, he did not tell the truth. In the humid climate of Alexandria, papyri and books survived for over two millennia.

Mahmoud Bey el Falaki was Egyptian astronomer and engineer. He visited the crypts under the Nabi Daniel mosque Alexandria some ten years after Scilitzis. He tried to carry our the difficult task of drawing a map. The map was of the ancient town. In fact, it ordered in 1865 by the Khedive Ismail. From this paved room inclined corridors started out in four different directions. Because of their length and their bad state I could not survey them. The rich quality of the stones used in the construction. Other indications confirmed a belief. It is that these subterranean passages must have led to the tomb of Alexander the Great. El Falaki was not an archaeologist. So we can be skeptical about his conclusions. But one would not question his sincerity and he must considered as a reliable witness.

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His description raises some questions. Who decided and why, to force El Falaki to suspend his survey of the subterranean passages? Falaki was working for a project sponsored by the reigning Khedive. Why did he not appeal to his powerful patron? Why did he drop his investigation. There was allegation of a discovery. It made in 1879 by a chief mason and the Sheikh of the Nabi Daniel mosque Alexandria. The story was that while doing masonry work in the basement, they entered the vault. They and reached an inclined subterranean passage. They both walked for some distance and could discern some monuments. Monuments made of granite ending with an angular summit.

In fact, the mason wanted to proceed further but the Sheikh ordered him to return. Moreover, the entrance walled up and the mason asked not to reveal that incident. About 6 meters down, finished with marble and granite, one could find at least two other chambers. They are on the north and on the east side of the Nabi Daniel’s crypt. Sidi Luqman el-Hakeem’s crypt is on the right side of the Nabi Daniel’s crypt. It attached to the marbled wall.

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Qaitbay Fort Alexandria Al Ashraf Qaitbay Sultan El Ghoury

Qaitbay Fort Alexandria

Qaitbay Fort Alexandria information, tours, prices, booking

Qaitbay Fort Alexandria indeed is one of the most important defensive strongholds. It is not only in Egypt, but also along the Mediterranean Sea coast. Moreover, it formulated an important part of the fortification system of Alexandria. It was in the 15th century AC. Qaitbay Fort Alexandria situated at the entrance of the eastern harbor on the eastern point of the Pharos Island. It erected on the exact site of the famous Lighthouse of Alexandria. Alexandria Lighthouse was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The lighthouse continued to function until the time of the Arab conquest. Several disasters occurred and the shape of the lighthouse changed to some extent. But it still continued to function.

Restoration began in the period of Ahmed Ibn Tulun in 880 H . During the 11th century an earthquake occurred, causing damage to the octagonal part. The bottom survived, but it could only serve as a watchtower. A small Mosque built on the top. In the 14th century there was a destructive earthquake. The whole building completely destroyed. Sultan Al Ashraf Qaitbay fortified the place as part of his coastal defensive edifices. It was against the Turks, who were threatening Egypt in 1480 AC. He built the castle and placed a mosque inside it. Qaitbay Fort Alexandria functioned during most of the Mameluke period, Ottoman period and Modern period. After the British bombardment of the city of Alexandria in 1883, it kept out of the spotlight.

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Qaitbay Fort Alexandria became neglected until the 20th century. It restored several times by the Egyptian Supreme Counsel of Antiquities. The founder of Qaitbay Fort Alexandria is Sultan Al-Ashraf Abou Anasr Saif El Din Qaitbay. He reigned Egypt from 1468-1496 AC. He born about 1423 AC. Moreover,he was a Mamluke, less than 20 years When he came to Egypt. He bought by Sultan Al Ashraf Barsbay. He remained among his attendants until Al Ashraf Barsbay died. Then the Sultan Djaqmaq bought Qaitbay and later gave him his freedom. Qaitbay then went on to occupy various posts. He became the Chief of the Army during the rule of the Sultan Tamar bugha.

When the Sultan dethroned, Qaitbay appointed as a Sultan. He titled Almalek Al-Ashraf on Monday 26th Ragab, 872 H. (1468 AC). He was one of the most important and prominent Mameluke Sultans, ruling for about 29 years. In fact, he was a brave king. He tried to start a new era with the Ottomans by exchanging embassies and gifts. He was fond of travel. In fact, he made many prominent journeys. Qaitbay was so fond of art and architecture. He created an important post among the administrative system of the state. It was the Edifices Mason (Shady Al-Ama’er). He built many beneficial constructions in Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem. In Egypt, there are about 70 renovated edifices. All of them attributed to him.

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Among them are Mosques, Madrasas, Agencies and Fountain houses (Sabils). They also include Kuttabs, houses and military edifices. The military edifices are like the Citadels in Alexandria and Rosetta. Nowadays Rosetta is the city of Rashid). They built to protect the north of Egypt, against the Ottomans. Ottoman power was increasing in the Mediterranean. Qagmas Al-Eshaqy, The Edifices Mason, was the architect of the Qaitbay Fort Alexandria. Before his arrival in Egypt he was a Mameluke of Djakmaq in Syria. During the rule of Qaitbay he became the edifices mason, and then the Viceroy of Alexandria. He appointed governor of Syria (Damascus).

In fact, he built a mosque outside the gate of Rashid (Bab Rashid). He also did a Cenotaph and a Khan. He also renovated the mosque of El Sawary outside the gate of Sadrah (Bab Sadrah). Qagmas was intelligent and modest. He also was the overseer of many constructions during the time of Qaitbay. In 1477 AC, Sultan Qaitbay visited the site of the old lighthouse in Alexandria. He ordered a fortress to built on its foundations. The construction lasted about 2 years. It said that Qaitbay spent more than a hundred thousand Dinars for the work on Qaitbay Fort Alexandria. Ibn Ayas mentioned that building of this fort started in Rabi Alawal 882 H.

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He stated Sultan Qaitbay traveled to Alexandria, accompanied with some other Mameluke princes. It was to visit the site of the old lighthouse. During this visit he ordered the building of Qaitbay Fort Alexandria. In Shaban 884 H, the Sultan Qaitbay traveled again to Alexandria. It was when the construction finished. He provided the fort with a brave legion of soldiers and various weapons. He also dedicated several waqfs from which he financed the construction works. It was besides the salaries of the soldiers. Qaitbay Fort well maintained by all the rulers who came after Qaitbay. It was due to its strategic location. Sultan Qansoh El Ghoury gave Qaitbay Fort Alexandria special attention. He visited it several times and increased the strength of the garrison.

He provided it with various weapons and equipment. It included a large prison made for the princes and the state-men. These whom Sultan kept away from his favor for some reason. In the episodes of the year 920 H, the Sultan El Ghoury traveled to Alexandria with other princes. They watched some man-oeuvres and military training on the defensive weapons in the fort. He issued a military decree to forbid weapons from taking out of Qaitbay Fort Alexandria. It was when he felt the approach of the Ottoman threat. Death penalty would be the punishment to those who try to steal anything from Qaitbay Fort. He ordered the inscription of this decree on a marble slate fixed to the door leading the court.

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It says: ” Bism Ellah El-Rahman El-Rahim”. A decree by the order of our master, the noble rank, King Al Ashraf Abou El Naser Qansoh El Ghoury. May God eternalize his reign. No body should take Makahel weapon, gun powder or tools. No body should anything from the noble tower in Alexandria. Any one of the tower party breaks this (decree) will hanged at the tower gate. And will deserve the curse of God. Whether he is Mameluke, Slaves or Zarad Kashia”. Dated Rabei Alawal 907 H.

After the Ottoman Turks had conquered Egypt, they cared for this unique Qaitbay Fort. They used it for shelter, as they had done with the Citadel of Saladin in Cairo. Moreover, they also did for the Citadels of Damieta, Rosetta, Al Borollos and El Arish. They kept it in good condition and stationed it with infantry and artillery. They also did with company of drummers. and trumpeters, masons and carpenters. When Ottoman military became weak, the Qaitbay Fort began to lose its military importance. In 1798 AC, during the French expedition of Egypt, it fell into the hands of the French troops. It was because of the weakness of the Qaitbay Fort garrison and the power of the French modern weapons. Inside Qaitbay Fort Alexandria, the French found some crusader weapons.

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They dated back to the campaign of Louis IX. Maybe it was a spoil after the battle and capture of El-Mansoura!. When Mohammad Ali became the ruler of Egypt in 1805, he renovated the old Citadel. He restored and repaired its outer ramparts. He provided the stronghold with the most modern weapons of the period. They were particularly the littoral cannons. In fact, the reign of Mohamed Ali indeed was another golden era for Qaitbay Fort Alexandria. Qaitbay Fort Alexandria retained the interest of Mohammed Ali’s successors until the year 1882. In this year Orabi revolution took place.

British fleet bombarded Alexandria on 11 July 1882. They damaged a large part of Alexandria, especially in the area of Qaitbay Fort. This attack cracked the fortress, causing great damage. The north and western facades damaged as a result of cannon explosions. The western facade completely destroyed and left large gaps in it. Qaitbay Fort then remained neglected until 1904. In this year, the Ministry of Defense restored the Upper floors. King Farouk wanted to turn Qaitbay Fort into a royal Rest house so he ordered a rapid renovation on it.

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Zeinab Khatoun house Cairo

Zeinab Khatoun House

Zeinab Khatoun house Cairo information, tours, prices, booking

Zeinab Khatoun house indeed is one of the most remarkable houses which left nowadays. In fact, the house occupies a distinguished location at the back of Al-Azhar Mosque in Azhary alley. Zeinab Khatoun house named after its last owner. Two other important houses are near to Zeinab Khatoun house. They are El Harrawi house and Sitt Wasila house. In fact, most of Islamic houses had the same architectural design. They composed usually of a central open courtyard around. The rest of the house chambers distributed. This is including the main spaces such as the “Salamlik” and Haramlek. Salamlek is men quarter and Haramlek is women quarter. Zeinab Khatoun house features simple stone facade with small windows. It is missing the presence of the luxurious wooden Mashrabeyya windows.

To the right of the entrance space a small room called “Maguaz”. It always found in old Islamic Houses. Moreover, it has a function of preserving the privacy of the household from curious eyes. Furthermore, two other separate chambers accessed through the “Maguaz”. Both men quarters used to attend to business affairs away from the house activity. On the ground floor is another Mashrabeyya screen behind which lies the men quarters. Usually the “Mandara” had a middle section of a slightly raised area. It arranged and decorated for the Master of the house. It seated in the middle of his guests elevated in a position of honor. The room found next to the “Mandara” looks on to a backyard. It is with an inner staircase leading to the main women hall.

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The presence of the two storerooms next to the backyard on the northern wall leads to the assumption. That area used as the kitchen. The ground floor all built with clean cut stones. The upper floors used with the “Maqaad” on the first floor of the Southern facade for an exception. It is where stones also used. The “Maqad” (an open loggia) reached through a few steps in the “Hosh”. In fact, it leads to a tall monumental portal. Its proportions are kind of unsuccessful. The most impressive hall in Zeinab Khatoun house is indeed the main women hall. It is a majestic hall with perfect proportions and marvelous decorations. Moreover, it composed of the usual three sections. They are the Durqaa with two unequal iwans from each side at a higher level. In fact, Durqa is the central section.

Iwans are sitting areas. In the middle of the marble tiled flooring of the Durqaa is a mosaic. In fact, it inlaid octagonal fountain. The hall distinguished for its beautiful carved wooden ceiling and rich colors. The elegant architectural style and simplicity of the lines used in Sultan Qaitbay era. A part from the doorway linking the hall to the private chambers of the master. It also has a door which leads to a private bathroom and another to the secondary hall. It is on the northern side of Zeinab Khatoun house. Moreover, it is less important than the main hall. It constructed due to the need to expand as is the case for the second floor which built later on.

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The main hall probably constructed due to the need. It is to expand as is the case for the second floor which built later on. One can almost picture those Bourgeoisie Houses in big numbers. As they were in old times, one next to the other forming the Urban fabric of old Islamic Cairo. It is where the most important figures of Cairo lived. Zeinab Khatoun house is a fine example of the Ottoman era. It restored lately by Egyptian officials. Now it reused as a cultural center. Many social, musical activities and exhibitions held in Zeinab Khatoun house.

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Al Salih Ayyub complex Cairo

Al Salih Ayyub Complex Egypt

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Al Salih Ayyub complex located on the famous Moezz Street in Cairo. It dates back to the mid-13th century. In fact, Al Salih Ayyub complex named after its builder, Al Salih Najm Al Din Ayyub. He reigned over Egypt from 1240 till 1249. Al Salih Ayyub was last Ayyubid sultan of Egypt. He died defending Egypt against the Crusader attack that led by Louis IX. He was the grandson of the more famous Salah Al Din Ayyub. In fact, he known in the West as Saladdin. Before his death, he built a rather unique school (madrasa) between 1242 and 1244. He then built a mausoleum. They now called Al Salih Ayyub complex. The mausoleum at the complex built in 1250 by Shajarat Al Durr. She was the wife of Al Salih Ayyub.

She outlived him and became famous as she ruled with the first of the Mamluk sultans after his death. Several madrasas built in Al Fustat (Cairo) during this period. Many of them are among houses and palaces. The construct of Al Salih Ayyub complex indeed is unique. It was the first known example of a tomb which attached to a madrasa. The transitional zone of the mausoleum has the earliest example. It is the example of a Cairene three-tiered brick. Another notable feature of the mausoleum at Al Salih Ayyub complex is that its Mihrab. It is the earliest extant example of an Egyptian prayer niche. It is with a marble lining. There are two carved wooden Qaranic friezes around the chamber. A part of the mausoleum protruded into the street. On this side were windows which fronted by iron grilles.

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The Mausoleum at Al Salih Ayyub complex became a site of grand Bahri Mamluk ceremonials. The madrasa at Al Salih Ayyub complex was the first to house all four Sunni legal schools. In fact, each was in a separate Iwan. Other schools of this period dedicated to either the Maliki or Shafi’i rites of Islamic law. This once also included the Hanafi and Hanbali rites as well. In doing so, it followed the example of the Madrasa Mustansiriyya in Baghdad (1233). In 1330, under the Mamluks, the Friday sermon introduced to this madrasa. The madrasa at Al Salih Ayyub complex became more than just a center of worship and scholarship. Moreover, the Madrasa of Al Salih Ayyub complex occupies part of the site. It is where the Great Fatimid Palace once stood.

Moreover, it is within the heart of the Fatimid city, as does part of the famous Khan El Khalili bazaar. It is rather difficult to spot because only the minaret remains visible behind a row of shops. Furthermore, this minaret is the only one to have survived intact that dates from the Ayyubid Period. The minaret rests upon the roof of a passage. They consists of a rectangular shaft. It receding into a second story in the shape of an octagon. It topped by a ribbed, angular roof resting on stalactites. The minaret rests the passage upon. In fact, it today known as Haret Al Salihiya. It separates the two wings of the madrasa. The entrance to the ally is actually the doorway to the madrasa. Some relics of wooden beams state that this passage covered.

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The passage entrance crowned with a beautiful keel-arched niche. Moreover, it is of carved stone with a foundation inscription of Naskhi script in its center. Flutes radiate from this decoration outward evolving into a frame of
stalactites. They are on the the border of the niche. Flanking this large central niche are two somewhat smaller recesses. They have fluted hoods within a rectangular frame with stalactite cresting. The facade that fronted both wings still stands, adorned with niches, reliefs and inscriptions. The decoration of this facade is somewhat like that of the nearby Al Aqmar Mosque. It hidden by shops. Its most visible adornments are panels. They consist of a keel-arched central section and rectangular panels over the rest.

Each of these panels recessed. Moreover, it also includes a windows, a style first appearing at Al Salih Talai mosque. The lintels of these windows carved in stone. Furthermore, the plan of the madrasa reconstructed by Creswell. Creswell found that it was a near duplicate of the earlier ruined madrasa of Al Malek Al Kamel. His plan shows that the two opposing wings on either side of the passage each had their own courtyards. Al Kamel had only one courtyard with two Iwans. In Al Shaih Al Din’s madrasa, the courtyards each had two vaulted Iwans. They facing each other across the courtyards. These four Iwans divided between the two wings. They served as study areas. Each designated to one of the four schools. Teachers actually taught in their own houses.

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The courtyard in the wing with its back to the street was smaller. In fact, the other larger wing oriented to Mecca. The Qibla orientation of the interior of this larger wing followed the street alignment. It accomplished by increasing the thickness of the wall of the Qibla facade. Thus, the windows became deep recesses. The lateral sides of each courtyard occupied by two stories of living units for the students. Today, only the northwest Iwan has survived. A doorway just to the left of the passage entrance. It gives access into the open courtyard at Al Salih Ayyub complex. In fact, the remains of the madrasa are evident in the form one of its Iwans. They still stand on the street side. A small, recent mosque was at one time which built into it.

Al Salih Ayyub complex represents the architectural and institutional transition. It is between the Fatimid monuments and the next Mamluk complexes. The minaret of the madrasa at Al Salih Ayyub complex, also known as Al Salihiyya. It has undergone recent restoration. Clean and sparkling, it shows a patchwork of old and new stone. It revealing the layers of its history.

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Sabil Kuttab Sultan Qaitbay Cairo

Sabil Kuttab Sultan Qaitbay

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Sabil Kuttab Sultan Qaitbay is freestanding and elegant. In fact, it situated on Saliba street. Moreover, it is between Amir Shaykhu complex and the square below Cairo Citadel. Sultan Qaitbay ruled Egypt for some 29 years. He known as a patron of art and prolific builder. Of his many other structures, the best known is his mausoleum at the “City of the Dead”. It depicted on the one pound Egyptian note. His military edifices that crown the harbor in Alexandria. Sabil Kuttab Sultan Qaitbay is the first example of a freestanding version of this type of institution. Moreover, it usually incorporated into a corner of a mosque or madrasa (Islamic school).

In fact, this type of independent structure became a favorite type of urban endowed building. It was during Othman Period. Two mercies most commended by the Islamic faith. It is that of water to the thirsty and instruction to the ignorant. Sabil Kuttab Sultan Qaitbay offers indeed a good example of the trend in the later Mamluk period. Moreover, it applies a variety of rich decoration to the exterior of buildings. Sabil Kuttab Sultan Qaitbay built by Sultan Qaitbay in 1479. The upper structure is A kuttab, or elementary school. It has a trilobed portal on its western facade and large iron-grilled windows. Furthermore, below the facades of the Sabil, all decorated with poly-chrome marble. It inlays and carved stone in a style that approximates used in the later mosque of Qijmas al-Ishaqi.

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The ablaq courses of red, white and black renewed on the groin-vaulted trilobed. Its inlaid pattern and carved detail became more visible. It thus restored to its original glamour. Moreover, to either side of the portal vault carved medallions. It is with the name and epithet of Sultan Al Ashraf Abul Nassr Qaitbay. Today, this entrance of Sabil Kuttab Sultan Qaitbay is no longer in use. The interior of Sabil Kuttab Sultan Qaitbay now accessed through a plain door in the back of the building. The lintels of Sabil Kuttab Sultan Qaitbay joggled in the tradition of the Bahri Mamluk period. They inlaid with blue and white marble. They forms a variety of intricate arabesque patterns on the facade.

Above each window is two such decorative slabs. One is over the other. Both surmounted by medallions inlaid with arabesques in the same style. They framed by carved moldings. There are also bits of red stone and ceramic. In fact, they enhance the effect of stone and marble interaction. It is worthwhile to take a few minutes at Sabil Kuttab Sultan Qaitbay to examine the roundels, lintels and joggles. It is also for the corner columns of the facades. The marble veneer and carving are fine. Today, Sabil Kuttab Sultan Qaitbay neither used nor generally open to the public. In fact, its main attraction at any rate is its exterior.

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Sabil Umm Abbas Cairo

Sabil Umm Abbas Cairo

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Sabil Umm Abbas built by the grand-daughter of Abbas I. Abbas I ruled Egypt from 1848 to 1854. In fact,  Sabil Umm Abbas located in quite a remarkable spot off Saliba Street in Cairo. Moreover, it is at the corner of the side alley Al Siufiya. The same alley lies the Palace of Amir Taz. In fact, Sabil is an Arabic word means fountain. It provides the walker in the street with the fresh water. One who builds Sabil, aims to get closer to God according to Islam teachings. Saliba Street reached from Cairo Citadel square. Moreover, it also called Mohammad Ali Square where Sultan Hassan Mosque and Al Rifai Mosque stand. This street recommended for a day walk. It is indeed rich with a flow of interesting monuments. Many of them date back to the Mamluk period.

Sabil Umm Abbas built in 1867. It was upon the order of the Turkish Princess Bambah Qadin, mother of Khedive Abbas II. She known to be a beautiful, kind and distinguished lady. Moreover, she also called Umm al-Mohsenin, which means mother of charity. It was because she gave away so much of her considerable fortune. Sabils were common structures which found in many parts of Islamic Cairo. They date back to Mamluk and Ottoman Periods. In fact, they are small buildings. Moreover, they decorated with elaborate marble facades and bronze window grills. The purpose of the building was of great religious significance during the Islamic periods. It was a way of providing free water for all to drink. In fact, it something regarded in the Quraan.

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Quraan is the holy book of Muslims. Quraan refers to the value and importance of water in paradise. Cairo’s first Sabil attributed to Sultan Al Nasir Mohammad. In fact, it built in 1340 as a memorial to his famous father and it’s ruins still remain today. The second Sabil built in Cairo is that of Amir Shaykhoun. It dates back to 1344. Moreover, it located against a rocky cliff on what was once a royal route. It is at the foot of the Mountain Citadel. The purpose of its construction was to quench the thirst of desert travelers. It was also to water people passing between Cairo and the eastern City of the Dead. Another important section of Sabils was a drinking trough for animals.

Sabil buildings were almost a fashion in Cairo. For long periods of time, sultans, princes and rich merchants gifted the city with many of them. They built on busy street corners and whenever possible on the northeast side of a building. It was to provide greatest shade and coolness. It then also became a trend to construct a second story above the Sabil used as a kuttab. Kuttab is a small religious school. It is where the poor could still taught reading and writing Quraan. Umm Abbas spent too much on this little structure. She turned it into an distinguished building. Sabil Umm Abbas is rounded. It shows much influence of Turkish imperial fountains. It is with its historic inscriptions, bronze window grills and carved wooden hoods.

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Sabil Umm Abbas facade shows beautiful gilded Ottoman inscriptions. They set above each window grill and circulating around the whole facade. They are on blue and red backgrounds and provide color accents for the white marble faces. The facade also decorated with flowing lines and growing. They are forms of leafy spray and blossomed flowers. Sabil Umm Abbas held its supply of fresh water in a cool huge stone cistern underground. Once it rises to the surface. Moreover, the water flows out from a small arched marble niche high in the interior wall. It then flows over a beautiful sloping marble slab. It inlay with dazzling mosaic patterns and pours into side water basins. Many had quite a complex and fascinating underground flowing system.

Some Sabils were open only at certain hours. Others remained open day and night. It is except during the fasting hours of Ramadan, when the entire city’s Sabils closed. Sabils all run by a manager or a keeper who makes sure it functions well. He also keeps it clean. Sabil Umm Abbas built as semicircular pavilions. Its decoration was more of an Italian rococo style. The entrance of Sabil Umm Abbas leads to the fountain chamber. It also leads to the staircase of the upper floor. In fact, Sabil Umm Abbas recently restored. Today, the upper floor rooms occupied by a community service organization. The best view of Sabil Umm Abbas is from the western end of the street. In fact, it is the direction of the Citadel.

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Roda Island Nilometer Cairo

Roda Island Nilometer Cairo

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Roda Island Nilometer Cairo located on the southern tip of Roda Island. It faces Old Cairo. It has the properties of being one of the oldest structures in Cairo having a link to Egypt’s pharaonic past. Roda Island Nilometer Cairo built after the Arab conquest. In fact, Roda Island Nilometer Cairo and other Nilometers used to measure the flood levels of the Nile River. It is a heritage of Egypt’s distant past. Such structures doted the course of Egypt’s grand river. These types of devices continued to be useful up until the modern era when the Nile tamed by modern dams. Roda Island Nilometer Cairo used to regulate the distribution of water. In fact, it was during August and September.

It also computes the levy of taxes paid as tribute by Egypt to the the Arab Caliph. It was since the generosity of the Nile was in large part a sign of Egypt’s prosperity. There is an evidence that a Nilometer exited in this location since the Pharaonic Period. The Umayyads under Sulayman Abd El Malek had built a simple Nilometer. It was like those of the earlier period in 715 AD. In fact, it restored in 815 by Caliph Al Maamoun. Moreover, it destroyed by an high flood in 850 AD. Roda Island Nilometer Cairo built by order of the Abbasid Caliph Al Mutawakkel (847-861 AD). It was under the direction of Ahmad Al Hasib at the end of his reign in 861 AD. It devised by Abul Abbas Ahmad Ibn Kathir.

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Ibn Tulun restored Roda Island Nilometer Cairo between 872 and 873 AD. It again restored in 1092 by the Fatimid Caliph, Al Mustanser. Moreover, it remains original, except for the wooden painted conical dome roof. It is a modern restoration. This cupola in the shape of today modeled from an earlier example. It built after the Nilometer bombarded by French troops. It was during their occupation of Egypt. The earlier dome destroyed by a nearby factory explosion in 1825. It refitted by using an 18th century painting. It was by the Danish traveler, Fredrik Ludvig Norden as a reference. Roda Island Nilometer is a more sophisticated instrument than the the one on Elephantine Island in the Nile at Aswan. It consists of a pit that extends well below the level of the Nile.

It connects with the Nile through tunnels dug on three levels on its eastern side. These tunnels now blocked off from the Nile. That is why Roda Island Nilometer Cairo no longer functions. The pit lined with stone, circular at the bottom and rectangular at the top. It accessed by a staircase on the interior walls. Its walls have four recesses with pointed arches and thin columns to either side. They adorned with two types of zigzag framing decorations carved on its stone voussoirs. These arches are the same type as those used in Gothic architecture. They proceeded the Gothic arch by some four hundred years. In the center of the pit, there is a marble, octagonal column with a Corinthian capital. It rises from its depths surmounting a millstone. At the top, there is a wooden beam spanning the Nilometer.

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To measure the Nile flood, this column graded and divided into 19 cubits. A cubit is more than half a meter. Hence, it was capable of measuring floods up to about 9.2 meters. The flood which measured by Nilometer was important to the rulers of Egypt. It also was so for the whole population. An ideal flood filed the Nilometer up to the sixteenth mark and less than this could mean drought and famine. If the measurement exceed the 19 cubits, a catastrophic flood was at hand. In the days before to the expected flood, this column would anointed with saffron and musk. It was to help induce a good water level. Plain Kufic inscriptions adorn the walls of Roda Island Nilometer Cairo. They are the earliest surviving examples of architectural epigraphy in Egypt.

In fact, they taken from Quranic texts. They refer to water, vegetation and prosperity. Thus, they have a talisman meaning, but there is also secular text as well.  These inscriptions executed in white marble on a blue background. The letters themselves left in the natural stone color. The inscription recording the establishment of the Nileomter by Al Mutawakkel has removed. Creswell is a well known historian of this period. He believes that this done by Ibn Tulun. Ibn Tulun was the one who replaced it with extra verse. It was as part of a campaign to assert his independence from the foreign Caliphate. Roda Island Nilometer Cairo has a big importance in determining the prosperity of Egypt.

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It was the departure point of the greatest of Cairo’s celebrations throughout the medieval period. In fact, it was the Fath al-Khalij. Moreover, it was the festival of the Opening of the Canal. It ceased in 1899. It was when the Khalij (Khalig) filled in. Roda Island Nilometer Cairo continued to used up until the last flood in 1970. The Khalij Canal started opposite Roda Island and bordered the medieval city to the west. It irrigated its outlying gardens and fields. The Khalij canal blocked with an earth dam and cleaned before the flood. It would then opened when the water level reached the sixteenth cubit level. The caliph, later sultans and pashas would inaugurate the celebrations. They lasted for several days. The summer flood from the Nile would then fill this canal.

It was together with many ponds that would have winter beds green with vegetation. During the celebrations, decorated boats would crowed the waters. Among these, the most splendid would be that of the ruler. Those who seen this event refer to it as Cairo’s most spectacular celebration. During the hot summer months, the Khalij and the ponds remained filled with boats. Its shores lined with entertainment. Near Roda Island Nilometer Cairo was a mosque. It was for prayers during the flood celebration. There was also a palace for banquets which held by the various rulers. The grand celebration not guaranteed as an annual event. When the water failed to reach the sixteenth cubic mark, the celebrations canceled. Prayers and fasting held instead to ward off the expected drought and famine.

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