Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Devastating News about the Pasha's house

Edited, here is a pictures as requested



I was driving back from the airport last night and saw they have started attacking the wonderful old houses on the corniche by Luxor temple. Today I got this email
Dear Jane,

I found your address on your website while searching articles related to my grandfather (Yassa [Pasha] Andraos)'s house in Luxor. I noticed from your blog that you are very interested in Luxor news.

I write to you in despair, as my family have learned that in spite of all the legal procedures and judgements in our favour, Mr. Samir Farag has started to demolish my grandfather's house. You may not know that prior to being occupied by the National Democratic Party and the 'Niyaba Idariya', this house witnessed historical events, from receiving Saad Zaghloul - who could only go to that house since my grandfather was the honorary consul of Italy and therefore had diplomatic immunity -, to being visited by kings and queens from all over the world.

Moreover, the house as you may well know is of architectural interest, as per the book 'Egypt: the Living Past', TGH James; photographs by Graham Harrison, London: British Museum Press in association with the Egyptian State Information Service, 1992, page 146. It is considered a national historic patrimony, according to the authorities (hay'at al tansiq al hadary).

How come the head of Luxor City has the freedom to destroy our history even against the law and judgements made by the Egyptian Court? Is Luxor's history limited to Ancient Egypt or is it also history through the ages?

Is there anything you know about all this? I know for sure that the Andraos house is not in the way of the Karnak-Luxor project, so what is it? Religion? Another blow to the once 'pashas' so hated by Nasser (to whom Farag is incidentally related by marriage)? I would feel better if I could understand. I thought we had a respected judicial system but it seems to me that almighty centres of power are still more effective in my country!

Best regards,
Leila Henein


I wish there was something I could say, I am gutted, I loved those houses. They are destroying Luxor and making it into Disney land.

13 comments:

Ben Morales-Correa said...

Is it possible for you to take some pictures so we can appreciate what is being destroyed?

EgyptHoliday said...

Hi Jane, Thank you for your work! I read your news every day! I also love the old houses and the lifestyle!...anywhere in and around Luxor. Let's hope that is not made in the great transformation too many errors. Even here in Germany there is such an action, I know it only too well. With us, everything happens because of the lignite. But life goes on and everything changed. Any change is at first not wanted but can also bring benefits. I'm already a bit sad when I hear it all. I am pleased but always when I can visit Luxor. Let us hope that all is well! Greetings from Germany, Georg

Jane Akshar said...

I have edited it to add a picture

greytgirl said...

A very sad state of affairs. Being in the Architectural industry here in Australia and having visited the ancient and modern Architecture of Egypt, I am dismayed that a balance can't between the two historically important faces of Egypt.

sue c said...

That is OUTRAGEOUS!
What a great shame!
I totally agree with greyttgirl, this building is still a piece of Egypt's history and deserves to be kept for posterity.
Sue

EgyptHoliday said...

Jane, here you can see what happened with us in Germany! and this is just one example in German - Translation in English and all because of money, money, money!

EgyptHoliday said...

Jane, you have written a little earlier: "Finally we took the tuff tuff, little train to view the effect of the first stage of the flood lightening of the West Bank. Luckily I was sitting next to Mansour Boraik and managed to get a bit of information. It is planned that the entire West Bank will be lit and tourists will be able to visit." Everything has two sides. I believe the house disturbed the view of the West Bank! It has been new renovated and it was so beautiful! One also needs to know what you want! Question Dr Samir Farag for the great reconstruction plan. He knows the plan and knows what is to be demolished and what errors are happening. What should be done? The world (not only Luxor) is changed! I read from Isis & Osiris (only in German but many photos) Luxor alteration in - Luxor's Master Plan

EgyptHoliday said...

The Egyptian Ministry of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities, in association with the UNDP, retained Abt Associates to produce a 20-year Comprehensive Development Plan for the City of Luxor (CDCL). Projects and Publications (Abt Associates Inc. U.S.) Comprehensive Development Plan for the City of Luxor

EgyptHoliday said...

Hi Jane, I hope it's a beautiful day in Luxor! I like Luxor and Egypt, just like you. The topic has not let me rest. Here the "City of Luxor Master Plan". Anyone can look at him and find out! City of Luxor Master Plan 2030 Also the Pasha's House found including Pasha's House

and the two buildings, seen from the Luxor temple side. Private photos from January 30, 2009 Photo 1 and Photo 2 It can be seen why the houses have to go. The view at the Luxor West Bank, whether illuminated or not!

I personally do not think it's so good that Leila Henein here again working up their private loss! I also think that the houses of the back are not renovated. I hope I see you in Oct/Nov.

L Henein said...

NATIONAL LOSS - Personal loss is only a small part of the story! "...prior to being occupied by the National Democratic Party and the 'Niyaba Idariya', this house witnessed historical events, from receiving Saad Zaghloul - who could only go to that house since [Yassa Pasha Andraos] was the honorary consul of Italy [and the Russian Empire, and the Kingdom of Belgium...] and therefore had diplomatic immunity -, to being visited by kings and queens from all over the world [Umberto I, Elisabeth of Russia,Haile Selassie and many many more...]

Moreover, the house as you may well know is of architectural interest, as per the book 'Egypt: the Living Past', TGH James; photographs by Graham Harrison, London: British Museum Press in association with the Egyptian State Information Service, 1992, page 146. It is considered a national historic patrimony, according to the authorities (hay'at al tansiq al hadary).

Luxor like the rest of Egypt has a modern history too, not only an ancient one.
P.S. The document posted shows renovation of the houses not demolition.

EgyptHoliday said...

Hello Leila, Thank you for your accurate historical portrayal. I know it all and have also read about it! Even if it hurts me so fair a house disappears, at least from the front it was beautiful. One way they done, Jane described in her article "New Excavations starting next Saturday at Luxor Temple". I thought Pasha's house would obstruct the view of the West Bank. Yes, the house was listed only as an example of a color change in the master plan. This master plan is only a representation and not the actual plan!

What will really happen? You should read this plan... "The Comprehensive Development of the City of Luxor Project, Egypt - Final Structure Plan, Volume I - Technical Report" and "The Comprehensive Development of the City of Luxor Project, Egypt - Final Structure Plan, Volume 2 Supplementary Documents".... and more.

I like the demolition of Pasha's House does not! I like but not the new square in front of Karnak and Luxor Temple or the changes on the West Bank! I regret all those forced to leave their homes, and all who have yet to do in the future! Sorry... here in Germany, whole villages with church and beautiful old houses were demolished because of the lignite... and many houses had a story! Some people got a lot of money, other people were dispossessed and others have chained themselves to the house.

It's all about money money money, no matter which side! The future changes will frighten many people. Luxor will be fine, and be done for the tourists from Hurghada and Marsa Alam. Not even designed for European tourists but even for the Chinese boom. It will bring work and money to Luxor and the garbage will disappear. It will mean more suffering for those affected. I like the old Luxor more, but I am only an individual traveler.

Informs you, and read the articles which describe what happens in the next years. You can always see it either way!

EgyptHoliday said...

Documents from UNESCO World Heritage

State of conservation of World Heritage properties inscribed on the World Heritage List (PDF/Download) 2007add2 Page10 - 2008add Page88 - 2008add2 Page12 - 2009add Page78

Report of the joint World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission to the world heritage site of Thebes and its Necropolis (DOC/Download) Report 2008

Webpage Ancient Thebes with its Necropolis

I'm partially terrified and there are surely more documents!


whc09-33com-7B-Adde 2009 a little preview

1. relocation of the corniche route to the Temple of Luxor necessitating the recovery of several “metres” of existing structures (the Luxor Museum, and Chicago House)

2. Regrets that the detailed state of conservation report provided by the State Party does not respond to many of the requests made by the Committee in its decisions of the 31st and 32nd sessions: ....... Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2010, a detailed progress report on the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 34th session in 2010.

peterhiatt said...

If this was an eyesore I would agree,knock it down.But I think it's a beautiful building that needed a little refurb and attention.Surely they could have come to a better compromise,or maybe they need the space to erect another of those stupid ugly billboards.