Cairo : Movements continued in Egypt rejecting the Egyptian authorities’ demolition of the historic Cairo cemeteries . As many as 2,700 tombs are to be removed and moved to new locations outside Cairo, as part of the capital’s development plan.
Parties, human rights organizations, former ministers, members of Parliament, trade unionists, and architects announced, in a statement, their intention to file a complaint with the Attorney General against the Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Ahmed Issa, the Minister of Awqaf Muhammad Mukhtar Gomaa, the Governor of Cairo, Major General Khaled Abdel-Aal, and those responsible for urban coordination. And all parties involved in the removal and demolition work.
Among the signatories to the statement, whose number has exceeded 300, are former Minister of Culture Farouk Hosni, former Minister of Supply Gouda Abdel-Khalek, former Minister of Tourism Mounir Fakhry Abdel-Nour, Representative Diaa El-Din Daoud, and coordinator of the Debt and Budget Deficit Committee in the National Dialogue, Talaat Khalil.
The list of signatories also included the Socialist and Conservative Popular Alliance parties, the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, and the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights.
The demolition operations affected the graves of figures who influenced the modern history of Egypt, including Youssef Siddiq, Sheikh Muhammad Rifaat, the poet Hafez Ibrahim, the writer Yahya Haqqi, and the poet Mahmoud Sami Al-Baroudi.
The signatories to the statement confirmed that they would later announce a number of steps and procedures to confront the demolition of cemeteries, and that they hope that their demands will reach informed ears capable of listening to the voice of specialists, and holding accountable those responsible for the destruction of our heritage, in order to preserve the capabilities and wealth of this country and its history.
The signatories to the statement demanded the imposition of the necessary guards to prevent the waste and destruction of more of these historical buildings and the rare artifacts they contain, the withdrawal of all demolition equipment from them, and an assessment of the damage caused to this area.
Funerary building –
According to the statement, the historic Cairo cemeteries area, which is registered on the World Heritage List, is protected by international and local laws, and its value was acquired by those it included in its wealth, from successive generations of the people of this country of all its groups and classes, and those who contributed to its cultural and civilizational renaissance, starting with Through the first companions (may God be pleased with them), and through the righteous saints of God and many rulers and politicians, artists, writers and poets, and thousands of struggling Egyptians, as well as
It includes unique, highly diverse architectural treasures that express time periods in the development of funerary architecture extending from ancient Egypt to the present day, while it is now facing the largest process of destruction in its history.
The statement pointed out that solutions and alternatives to removal were presented by a committee formed by the Council of Ministers of specialists in urban planning and heritage preservation, and prepared a study of the feasibility of the traffic roads project that penetrates the cemeteries, which began its implementation in 2020 and undertook to technically refute it, and proved its futility. traffic and economically.
Statement: It was as if there was a race against time to erase part of the nation’s history, memory and heritage, and oppress its people by exhuming their graves and insulting and dispersing the remains of their families.
The signatories affirmed that the committee presented alternatives that depend on the exploitation of the current and modern road network, and approved its efficiency for the next ten years, without prejudice to the historical cemeteries, with a vision to exploit the site for religious and cultural tourism, as well as solve the problem of the rising ground water level in the region. However, we were surprised, after presenting this proposal, by the relentless re-demolition and with more intensity than before, as if there was a race against time to erase part of the nation’s history, memory and heritage and oppress its people by exhuming their graves and insulting and scattering the remains of their families.
The solidarity activists stressed that they appealed to the responsible authorities to withdraw from the destroyed road network project, and they resorted to the State Council, which refused to consider the urgent part of their lawsuit to stop the demolition work in this area, and they sent dozens of complaints and requests to no avail.
See remove –
In addition, hundreds of Egyptian painters and photographers participated in a tour called “Tale of Removal,” to document the graves before they were removed.
Mohamed Hamdy, the founder of the “Drawing Egypt” initiative on Facebook, did not expect that this number of artists would respond to his invitation. In previous tours organized by the initiative to document the Egyptian heritage, the audience did not cross the fingers of the hands.
Hamdi described the attendees in the tour that aimed to document the graves of Imam al-Shafi’i before removing them as legendary.
The initiative invited talented young people to tour the graves of Imam al-Shafi’i, yesterday, Saturday, to draw and photograph the graves before removing them.
“Drawing Egypt” defines itself as an initiative concerned with the arts and history of Egypt, as it documents it with drawing, photography and video, by drawing people, monuments, landmarks and streets of Egypt, as well as talking about the history of Egypt simply and without complication, in partnership with students of the Faculty of Art Education, Helwan University and all talented people who love drawing. .
During the past months, the demolition operations affected the graves of figures who influenced the modern history of Egypt, including Youssef Siddiq, a member of the 1952 revolution, Sheikh Muhammad Rifaat, who was known as the harp of the sky, the poet Hafez Ibrahim, who was known as the “Poet of the Nile,” the writer Yahya Haqqi, and the poet Mahmoud Sami Al-Baroudi, who was called the Lord of the Sword and the Pen.
The authorities also retracted the demolition of the tomb of the dean of Arabic literature, Taha Hussein, after his family threatened to transfer his remains outside the country.
The tombs contain unique architectural treasures of great diversity, which express periods of time in the development of funerary architecture extending from ancient Egypt to the present day.
The removal operations that affected historical cemeteries in downtown Cairo are part of the Cairo 2050 plan launched by Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, when he was head of the Urban Communities Development Authority, in 2009.
The crisis of demolishing historical cemeteries began on October 24, 2021, and a memorandum was revealed regarding the cemeteries that occurred within the scope of the demolition in the Salah Salem Axis Development Project from the Cihan Sadat Axis to Al-Fustat Park, with an extension of 6 kilometers, interspersed with the cemeteries of Al-Mujawarin, Bab Al-Wazir, Sidi Jalal, Al-Sayyeda Nafisa, and Al-Tahawiyya. Imam Al-Shafi’i and Sidi Omar.
And in 2020, a controversy arose regarding a number of tombs in the Manshiyat Nasser area in the heart of historic Cairo, allegedly to be a “Mamluk cemetery”, dating back about 5 centuries, in order to establish a bridge. The Mamluk tombs are considered the oldest Islamic cemetery in Egypt, and occupy a privileged location in the center of the capital.
Tunisia: An official in the main Ennahdha opposition party was placed under house arrest
The Salvation Front , the main opposition coalition in Tunisia, said yesterday, Saturday, that the authorities have placed Abdel Karim Harouni, a senior official in the Ennahdha Party, under house arrest at his home.
Al-Harouni heads the Shura Council, the highest institution in the Ennahdha Party, which was the largest political party in Parliament, which President Kais Saied announced to freeze in 2021.
The Salvation Front coalition said in a statement, “This arbitrary decision is in the context of arresting the historical leaders of the Ennahda movement, closing all of its headquarters, and threatening its cadres and activists.” The National Salvation Front considers this new step an episode targeting democracy and freedoms in Tunisia.”
This year, the police arrested the party’s leader, Rashid Ghannouchi, the president’s most prominent critic, in addition to a number of party officials, including Nour El-Din El-Behairi, Riad Bettaieb, Sayed Ferjani, Al-Sahbi Ateeq, and Mohamed Ben Salem.
The government also banned meetings at all Ennahda headquarters, and the police closed all party offices in a move the party said was aimed at consolidating authoritarian rule.
This year, the police arrested prominent politicians who accuse Saied of carrying out a coup after he froze the work of the parliament elected in 2021 and moved towards ruling by decree before redrafting the constitution. Saeed described those arrested as “terrorists, traitors and criminals.”
Opposition parties denounced the arrest of their leaders and described the matter as politicized, and local and international human rights groups urged the authorities to release the detainees.
Libyan Attorney General Al-Siddiq Al-Sour announced Formation of a fact-finding committee regarding the meeting of the Foreign Minister and her Israeli counterpart
The formation of an investigation committee to investigate the incident of the meeting of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the National Unity Government, Najla Al-Manqoush, with her Israeli counterpart, Eli Cohen.
Libyan Attorney General Al-Siddiq Al-Sour announced the formation of an investigation committee to investigate the incident of the meeting of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the National Unity Government, Najla Al-Manqoush, with her Israeli counterpart, Eli Cohen, in Italy last week.
In a statement published by the Libyan Public Prosecutor on Saturday evening through his official Facebook account, he said that he had received “reports related to the Foreign Minister’s violation of the rules of boycotting Israel, and a decision was issued to form an investigation committee entrusted with the task of investigating the amount of damage that befell the interests of the Libyan state based on the reports of the intelligence service.” .
The committee was also tasked, according to the statement, with “collecting evidentiary materials necessary to carry out the interrogation of those invited to the meeting, including hearing the statements of those from whom it is possible to obtain clarifications necessary to investigate the incident.”
Last week, Cohen met his counterpart Mangoush in the Italian capital, Rome, according to what the Israeli Foreign Ministry announced in a statement.
The meeting sparked widespread anger in Libya, as political parties denounced it, and hundreds of Libyans went out in the cities of Tripoli, Al-Zawiya (west), Benghazi (east), and Al-Marj (east of Benghazi) to express their refusal to meet, while the House of Representatives and political blocs called on the Attorney General to open an investigation into that.
Libyan Law No. 62 of 1957 prohibits every natural or legal person from concluding, in person or through an intermediary, an agreement of any kind with bodies or persons residing in Israel or belonging to it by their nationality or working for it or with those on their behalf.
Whoever violates this shall be punished by imprisonment for a period of no less than 3 years and no more than 10 years, and a fine may be imposed.
In response to Cohen’s meeting, the head of the national unity government, Abdul Hamid al-Dabaiba, issued a decision to suspend al-Manqoush from work as a precaution and to refer her to investigation as soon as news of the meeting was circulated.
The Libyan Presidential Council called on Al-Dabaiba to provide clarification regarding the meeting, considering it a “violation of the laws that criminalize normalization with Israel.”
Parliament Speaker Aqila Saleh declared, during an emergency session convened by the parliament, “the refusal of normalization with Israel, and adherence to defending the Palestinian cause.”