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Photographic view of “Protected Cairo” minarets and domes

“Minarets and Domes of Guarded Cairo” is the title of a photo exhibition opened by the National Organization for Urban Integration to celebrate World Heritage Day, held on April 18 every year, at Prince Das Palace in Cairo on Tuesday evening.

Domes of the Muhammad Ali Mosque in Salah al-Din Citadel from inside by artist Hossam el-Mandali

Egyptian Minister of Culture Dr. The exhibition, under the auspices of Nevin Al-Ghilani, features around 110 paintings that express the idea and philosophy of building minarets and domes in various Islamic periods, starting with the Islamic conquest, the Umayyad. Dr. Muhammad al-Rashidi, supervisor of the Department of Culture, says that the Iqshidid and Tulunid eras spanned the Fatimid era and then the Ayyubid era. Publication of National Organization for Urban Coordination and Exhibition Coordinator.

The domes of the Muhammad Ali Mosque in the Salah al-Din Citadel from the outside (Photo: Hosam Al-Mandali)

Al-Rashidi tells Ashark al-Awsad: “Cairo was known from ancient times as (the city of a thousand minarets); As there are so many mosques and minarets, anyone viewing the city from a vantage point can enjoy the sight of minarets spread across different shapes and heights.

According to al-Rashidi, “Since the Islamic conquest of Egypt, especially the construction of the first minaret in Egypt for the Amr ibn al-Az Mosque, architects competed to build and decorate these minarets until the (Basuna Mosque) minaret built in the year 21 AH, 2020.”

Umm Sultan Shaban Mosque in Al-Darb Al-Ahmar (Photo: Umar Al-Razzaz)

In addition, the exhibition represents a tour between the minarets, through which visitors learn about the various influences of architecture in the Islamic world and their reflection in the architectural styles of mosques in Egypt. The influence of ancient Islamic styles on Egyptian mosques, and the development of minarets during the Ottoman era and the era of the Muhammad Ali family to the modern era.

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“Many minarets built in Egypt in the fifties and sixties of the last century show the influence of ancient styles, such as the Mosque of Omar Makram, Al-Fath and Al-Nur; according to Al-Rashidi, the architects still draw inspiration for their designs from the great architectural heritage of the various minarets in Cairo.

Khair Bey Mosque in Darb al-Ahmar (Photo: Omar al-Razzaz)

While domes record those aesthetic architectural elements, ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​through its symbol, calls man to abandon the earthly world and towards the sky. The exhibition has a remarkable presence. Parallel to the idea of ​​the growth and diversity of minarets, this exhibition covers the history of domes and their variety surpassing the temples, covering parts of the mosque or the entire house of prayer from the Ottoman era and the era of Muhammad Ali's family.

Jahin Al-Khaludi Mosque on Mount Moghaddam (Photo: Umar Al-Razzaz)

The details of the domes and how the outer shape of the dome and the hemisphere on the side show the believer's humility and submission to his Creator and the awareness that if he submits to God he will not rise. In all his worldly affairs Al-Rashidi says: “Domes are a distinctive element of many buildings of Islamic character in Egypt”.

The exhibition presents a collection of rare black and white photographs from the collections of the Committee for the Preservation of Arab Antiquities and the archives of the National Organization for Cultural Cohesion, as well as recent photographs by an elite group of photographers specializing in antiquity and heritage. Photography by: Hossam Al-Mandali, Omar Al-Razzaz, Michael Hanna, Hisham Tawhid, and Andrew Shenouda. field.

Painter Omar Al-Razzaz participates with a group of photographs including the two domes of the “Umm al-Sultan Shaban” mosque, the minaret of the “Zahin al-Khaludi” mosque on Mount Moghaddam, in addition to the dome. “Prince Aslam Al-Shildar” Mosque and “Khair Bey” Mosque in Al-Darb Al-Ahmar area of ​​Cairo.

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Minarets and Domes in the City of a Thousand Minarets… Among the Exhibited Works (Asharq al-Awsad)

Al-Razzaz Asharq told Al-Awsad: “One of the most important aspects of the event is that it takes place in an archaeological site, which matches the atmosphere of the exhibitions and enhances its philosophy.”

The participation of the artist Hossam al-Mandali came through two images covering the interior and exterior aesthetics of the domes in the “Salah al-Din Citadel” of the Muhammad Ali Mosque. He told Asharq Al-Awsad: The National Cultural Coordination Center is an effective means of highlighting various archaeological, civilizational and cultural sites. “What Reinforces Egyptian Identity.”

Artist Kareem Badr participates in a work highlighting the details of the dome and minaret of “Al-Mansur Qalaun” on Al-Muis Street, “Asharq Al-Awsad”: pointing out “the growing role of photography in documentation and tourism implementation”. .”

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