Thursday, June 27, 2019

The fire of Cairo’s Attaba vegetables market : The curse of neglect

I do not like to write these blogposts.

Photo of the fire on Thursday
from Facebook 
Earlier Thursday, a huge fire engulfed Cairo’s old Attaba vegetable market destroying a huge part of it due to the lack of industrial security.

Thankfully no one is harmed in that fire.

According to news reports, the fire started because of some gas cylinder. The fire destroyed many of the shops inside the wooden market in early Thursday morning.

Old wood, extremely hot weather conditions and lack of any means to put of fire can destroy buildings stronger than this.

The initial financial losses according to the Cairo prosecution is estimated by LE 2 million according to Al-Watan Newspaper.

Now, most of the news websites took the news and published scary photos for the huge fire that destroyed several shops inside the market ignored its history.

We found out that this market was originally planned in the time of Khedive Ismail in the 19th century in his vision to turn Cairo into another Paris. He wanted to have modernized markets then. It was designed and built by Austrian architect Julius Franz Pasha.

It was inaugurated in the time of his son Khedive Tawfik. It was inaugurated on  15 December 1892.

Cairo's Old Attaba vegetables Market
The unique gate and roof of the market by Michel Hanna in 2016 
It is registered as a "Building with distinguished architectural style" in the National Organization For Urban Harmony under the number "03220000032" which means it could not be demolished if I am not mistaken.
Here is a fantastic report about what was known as Le Marche De Caire. 
Here is also a great study about the market. 

Le  Marche de Cairo after the fire
The building after the fire 
Those old vegetable markets like in Attaba could have developed into a modernized farmers market keeping its old and unique architectural style and facades.
Cairo's Old Attaba vegetables Market
The Market's roof in the old good days by Mostafa El-Sadek 
I hate the fact that I know more about the history of my city when disasters happen only and places like this.
After the fire !! "Twitter"

Unfortunately, this news did not catch the attention of the country or the people of Cairo as other things occupied the main public attention like Warda-Gate in the Egyptian National Team which I will speak about later.

It is just sad that we got this great heritage and we do not only appreciate or keep it as it should but we destroy it.

This was a neglected diamond in the rough, the government and Cairo governorate could have used in a better way than leaving it like that.

We are paying the price of neglect in this country. Hell, we have been paying the price of this for a long time.

I know it is impossible but I hope and I pray the officials would order its restoration to the old style modernizing it at the same time to help the vendors to sell their merchandise in a better way just like the Farmers' market.

I hope that Ismailia Company begins to think about it.

I pray that its place won't turn in to a parking lot or an ugly towering building. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank You for your comment
Please keep it civilized here, racist and hateful comments are not accepted
The Comments in this blog with exclusion of the blog's owner does not represent the views of the blog's owner.