MARRIOTT BUZZ NO. 6 - 2015 - page 8

River eachyear causing the land to
Ismail startedhis campaign to
DowntownCairobegan to take
onanew form. Duringa trip to
Paris, Khedive Ismail sought the
expertiseof BaronHaussman, a
Parisiancityplannerwhowas set
to lay the framework for thenew
district. The ideawas tocreate
amodernurbancitycentre that
would rival thoseof Europe. To
thisday,many feel nostalgicabout
howCairo resembledamodern
Europeancitywhich later became
knownas “Parison theNile”.
Although thatmayhavebeen
trueat thebeginningdue to
Haussman’sdesign, Downtownhas
very little todowithFrance. The
districtwas influencedbyavariety
of cultures, architectural designs
andcontemporary trends that
helped shaping it intowhat itwas.
Europeans andLevantines joined
Egyptians inpurchasing landand
buildinghigh-quality structures. By
Century, thecosmopolitan
district started taking form that
is sodiverseandgrand in its
architecture. Among themost
involved indesigningDowntown
CairowereMarcel Dourgnon,who
designed the infamousEgyptian
Museumnear Tahrir Square, and
whodesignedKhedivial Palaces
suchasPrincessNimetKamal El
DinPalacewhich is currentlyunder
renovation. Theareawasbuzzing
century, itwashome
tomanyEgyptians and foreigners
whomainlywere statesmen,
artists, intellectuals andvendors.
Theneighbourhood transformed
intoabeatinghubof cultural,
commercial andpolitical activity.
By then, it seemed likeKhedive
Ismail’s visionhadcome to life.
Much like the recent times,
Cairenes look to the streetsof
Downtown for celebrations aswell
aspolitical ramifications. Protests
werecenterd inTahrir square, the
first ofwhichwas the revolutionof
1919against theBritishpresence.
Also in 1952, the streetsflooded
withEgyptians celebrating the
successof theFreeOfficers and
of course themost recent 2011
revolution. However, after the 1952
revolution, themost significant
changeoccurred toDowntown
whenPresidentGamal Abdel-
Nasser gradually tookcontrol over
manyenterprises andbuildings.
Street nameswerechanged
During that time,many residents
beganmoving tonewer areas
1,2,3,4,5,6,7 9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,...40
Powered by FlippingBook