Dr. Khaled El Enany, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Dr. Mokhtar Gomaa, Minister of Awqaf, and Major General Khaled Abdel Aal, Governor of Cairo, opened today the Imam al-Shafi’i Mosque, after its restoration and the Friday prayers was held in it.
The two ministers and the governor also visited the project to restore and raise the efficiency of the Quba of the Imam al-Shafi’i, which began in March 2017 under the supervision of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, with funding from the American Ambassadors Fund at an estimated cost of 20 million Egyptian pounds.
Dr. Khaled El-Enany said that the restoration project of the mosque is a huge one that was undertaken by the Arab Contractors Company because of its experience in this field under the supervision of the ministry at an estimated cost of about 13 million pounds funded by the Ministry of Endowments. He referred to the efforts made by the government to develop the area as a whole. This was among the work done to develop Ain El-Sira Lake and the area around the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization, including bridges and roads. He added that there will be a grand parade soon transporting 22 mummies of ancient Egyptian kings and queens from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization. The Minister of Tourism and Antiquities expressed his happiness with the ongoing cooperation with the Minister of Awqaf.
General Hisham Samir, Assistant Minister of Tourism and Antiquities for Engineering Affairs, explained that the first phase of the restoration project was completed in 2018. The phase included the completion of all historical and construction monitoring of the Quba and the archaeological documentation of its components and decorations. In addition, an optimal restoration approach was put in place to address the structural deterioration and to the take necessary protective measures for all its architectural and decorative elements. This, in addition to the completion of all of the external facade restoration.
The second phase of the project started in 2019, where nearly 65% of it was completed, but the work is scheduled to continue until mid 2021. It also included upgrading the efficiency of the Quba from the inside, adjusting its external location and the development of a modern lighting system for it.
Dr. Osama Talaat, Head of the Islamic, Coptic and Jewish antiquities sector at the Supreme Council of Antiquities, indicated that archaeological excavations were carried out during the first phase of the project, which resulted in the discovery of remains of a building that was at the mausoleum in the Fatimid era, that is, before the construction of the current Quba dating back to the era of al-Malik al-Kamil al-Ayyubi in the year 608 AH. This is in addition to the log cabin restoration.
As for the Imam al-Shafi’i Mosque, it was built during the reign of Khedive Tawfiq in 1399 AH/1892 AD. It follows the style of covered mosques and is constructed of limestone with a wooden roof with a square sistle in the middle. Attached to the mosque is a Quba dating back to the Ayyubid era.