The Downfall of 'the Paris of the Middle East'

Historic architecture is rapidly being replaced by cookie-cutter high-rises in Cairo, much to the displeasure of local architects and historians.

They worry that much of the city's charm will be destroyed, killing off its former reputation as the "Paris of the Middle East".

"The adventurous architecture was a synthesis of European and Middle Eastern. It became an expression of the city's self-confidence.

'It was the opening of commercial life, the opening for industry, the opening for culture itself, which gave this dream for the people to build such buildings,' explains architect Mona Zacharia, who has been involved in some impressive restoration projects.

Now, the demise of the villas has its own message."

Full Story: Cairo's architecture gems left to crumble



Downfall of the Paris of Europe

If the plans for Grand Paris go through, Paris, France, will also destroy much of its charm.

Maybe some day Cairo will be called the "Paris of the Middle East" again - meaning the city in the middle east whose historic charm was destroyed by a binge of highrise construction.

Charles Siegel

Cairo - Paris of the Middle East?

Maybe the New York of the Middle East, but I thought Paris was reserved for Beirut?

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