Categories: Art & Culture

The Last Chapter for Cairo’s Houseboats

For many locals and foreign tourists, the brightly painted wooden houseboats dotted along the River Nile are an iconic part of Cairo’s rich cultural and architectural heritage.

But starting this week, the last of those remaining— about 30 in total— are set to be destroyed or removed by the Egyptian authorities as part of what they describe as an effort to beautify the waterfront.

Some of the floating houses, permanently moored on the riverbank, are inhabited by poor residents, while others have been extensively restored. A few have been turned into restaurants, offices, and gyms.

 

This decision to issue demolition orders was supported by Egypt’s government in a statement saying they were built decades ago without their permission and that their owners had not obtained the proper permits or licenses.

The ministry of irrigation has vowed to continue its efforts to remove moored homes from the river “in clear violation of the law.” He says it is “a clear message to those who transgress on the Nile” by the minister, Mohammed Abdel Ati.

Many of the locals own their homes, but they claim to have recently filed legal challenges against significant increases in official fees for boat parking and riverbank access.

Ahdaf Soueif, an Egyptian novelist and literary figure, who lives on a Kit Kat houseboat, said, “This is my home, my only home. I built it myself and I thought it would be my last home.”

In the evening, the banks of the Nile are alive with restaurants, cafes, and private sports clubs.

Several small businesses, such as felucca sailboat operators, were forced to close after Egypt’s government opened the first section of a new 5-kilometer (3-mile) walkway along Cairo’s corniche.

Riverbank development has triggered debate about the future of one of Cairo’s most historic spots and the city’s distinctive character.

As an insult to injury, the people who lose their homes are not receiving any compensation.

Share
Published by
Yusha

Recent Posts

  • Art & Culture

The Ultimate Playlist To Cool Your Summer Down

This year’s summer featured some of the hottest days recorded in recent history. Leaving the house during peak daylight hours…

8 hours ago
  • Art & Culture
  • Opinions

The Reason Straight Men Are Single Is Because Women Raised Their Standards, Study Shows

The dating scene has probably never been so difficult to navigate through than today. After two solid years of reclusion,…

9 hours ago
  • Art & Culture

Feeling Off Lately? Here, the Unusual Ways the Full Moon Can Impact Your Health

If you’ve noticed that you have had a pounding headache that won’t go away no matter how many painkillers you…

9 hours ago
  • Art & Culture

To Retrieve His Savings, an Armed Man Is Holding Bank Staff Hostage in Lebanon As the Country Continues To Suffer

Anyone following the news, even from afar, will know that the past few years in Lebanon have been far from…

1 day ago
  • Art & Culture

Qatar Is Transforming Into Outdoor Museum Ahead of FIFA World Cup

Qatar is gearing up for the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2022, set to kick off on November 21. After erecting…

1 day ago
  • Art & Culture

This is Why Egypt is Planting 100 Million Trees

Egypt has launched its 2050 national strategy for climate change, which outlines the country's vision for reducing emissions in various…

2 days ago