SEE – August 29th: A recent initiative adopted by the National Organization for Urban Harmony (NOUH) and the Ministry of Culture to pay homage to Egypt’s cultural icons and to introduce them to future generations.
The initiative, called “Lived Here, involves installing100 signs throughout Egyptian cities marking the former homes of such legends as Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz, former UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali and singer Umm Kulthum.
The project got off to a slow start when both NOUH and the ministry went through administrative changes, but in February 2018, NOUH finally designed and installed 70 signs for 70 prominent Egyptian figures outside their one-time residences. The signs include a brief description of the figure’s work, achievements and life.
As of this summer, 100 signs can be found around Cairo, Alexandria and several other cities, and Egyptians have taken notice. Social media platforms are full of photos of and selfies with the signs, and newspapers have praised the initiative.
The chairman of NOUH, Mohamed Abou Saeda, told Al-Monitor that the idea started as part of the Street Story Project to protect Egypt’s architectural heritage from demolition. The project sought to install signs detailing each street’s history as well as information about prominent past residents.
He added that the first 100 signs are just the beginning and there will eventually be signs for thousands of prominent Egyptian figures.