Caring for the living in the “City of the Dead”

The “City of the Dead” is considered as one of the most populated slum areas, estimated at 150,000 inhabitants extending over 8 kilometres in old Cairo. The dense population contributes to generally poor living conditions for the inhabitants. Children in this neighborhood have no access to recreation or stimulating activities. The isolation of the community and the association of its inhabitants with the cemetery create a prevailing social stigma. In the meantime, city of the dead holds a cultural heritage that is prevailing in old Cairo although it is not consciously recognized as a potential touristic site. This project offers a promising opportunity for improved quality of lives for young people in this neighborhood and overall improved economic and skills building opportunities within its prevailing handicraft people. The project additionally capitalizes on the existence and use of the Qaitbey complex, an already renovated historical building in the neighborhood, using the monument site as a community center that engages the community and serves it. This project addresses economic and social needs of the young inhabitants of the city of the dead. It provides a platform for the community, presented in the community center, to collectively address issues of concern and participate in its own social development. The community center will be used as a training site and creativity hub for young children and women. The estimated immediate neighbors to the Qaitbey complex are around 750-1000 inhabitants who will be impacted directly while indirect beneficiaries include the population of the wider area. The project will specifically aim to:

Improve the skills, productivity, and economic returns related to crafts people in the community

  • Physically upgrading and providing equipment for 10 glassblowing and carpentry workshops in the area.
  • 60 young craftspeople develop expertise in design and product quality.
  • Products are marketed through participating in 4 annual fairs, exhibitions and creating an online platform to sell the products.

Children and young population have enhanced cognitive and life skills through creative activities.

  • 100 children participate in arts and crafts classes at the center 3 times a week.
  • At least 30 children and youth have access to computer courses and internet resources at the community center.
  • Quarterly activities are organized including concerts, sports activities, and performances which would bring revenue to the community center.

Local community members fully manage the community center

  • Around 50 young local people have developed leadership skills to organize and manage cultural events, such as the Sultan Fair, concerts, performances and artistic installations.
  • An annual work plan is developed and implemented with participation of the community to ensure the capacity of local leaders is enhanced in managing the community center
9th September 2018
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