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
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!
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.