2013/10/25

The Grand Egyptian Museum

The Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM)  is a planned museum of artifacts of ancient Egypt also known as the Giza Museum . It is largest archaeological museum in the world, the museum is scheduled to open in 2015 and will be sited on 50 hectares of land approximately two kilometers from the Giza pyramids and is part of a new master plan for the plateau. His design was decided by means of an architectural competition and The competition was announced on 7 January, 2002.

The organisers received 1557 entries from 82 countries, making it the largest architectural competition in history. In the second stage of the competition, 20 entries were asked to submit additional information. Judging was complete by 2 June, 2003. The competition was won by the company Heneghan Peng from Dublin, Ireland, winning 250,000 dollars. Second place was awarded to Coop Himmelblau. The building is designed by Heneghan Peng Architects, Buro Happold and Arup. The exhibition masterplan, exhibition design and museology is by Metaphor and Cultural Innovations Ltd.

The Grand Egyptian Museum

The Grand Egyptian Museum

The Grand Egyptian Museum


The Grand Egyptian Museum



The building is shaped like a chamfered triangle in plan. It sits on a site two kilometers west of the pyramids, near a motorway interchange. The building's north and south walls line up directly with the Great Pyramid of Khufu and the Pyramid of Menkaure. In front of the building is a large plaza, filled with date plants. One of the main features of the Museum is the translucent stone wall, made of alabaster, that makes up the front facade of the building.

Inside the main entrance is a large atrium, where large statues will be exhibited. On 2 February, 2010 Hill International announced that Egypt's Ministry of Culture had signed a contract with a joint venture of Hill and EHAF Consulting Engineers to provide project management services during the design and construction of the Grand Egyptian Museum. The total estimated project cost is US$ 550m, US$ 300m of which will be financed from Japanese loans, the remaining will be financed by the Supreme Council of Antiquities, other donations and international funds.

The new museum is designed to include the latest technology, including virtual reality. The Museum will also be an international center of communication between museums, to promote direct contact with other local and international museums. The Grand Egyptian Museum will include a children's museum, conference center, training center, and workshops similar to the old Pharaonic places.


On 5 January, 2002 then-Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak laid the foundation stone of the Grand Egyptian Museum. On 25 August, 2006 the Statue of Ramesses II was moved from Ramses Square in Cairo to the Giza Plateau, in anticipation of construction of the museum. The Statue of Ramesses II, estimated to be approximately 3,200 years old, will be cleaned and touched up, and will be situated at the entrance of the museum by 2010.

In 2007 GEM secured a $300 million loan from the Japan Bank for International Co-operation. The Egyptian Government will fund $147 million while the remaining $150 million will be funded through donations and international organisations. In late August 2008 the design team submitted over 5,000 drawings to the Egyptian Ministry of Culture. Following this, the construction tender was announced in October 2008. Earthmoving has begun to excavate the site for the building.

Tendering was due in September 2009, with an estimated completion date of 2013. On 11 January, 2012 A joint venture between Egypt’s Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) and the Belgian BESIX Group was awarded the contract for phase three of the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), a deal valued at $810 million. the project is estimated to finish in 2015 .

Jewelry and Amulets

Everyone wore jewelry. The wealthy had rich ornaments made of gold  and decorated precious stones such as with amethyst, turquoise, and lapis  lazuli. Less wealthy folks wore strings or collars with faience beads and amulets. (Faience is pottery  coated with brightly colored  glazes.) Jewelry, especially  amulets and charms, had  magical and protective powers. Carnelian, turquoise, and  lapis lazuli brought luck.

Jewelry and Amulets


Even  the poorest peasant child wore  a pottery or bone ring or amulet with a crude image of Bes. Amulets magically attracted good luck and kept away  evil. They protected the wearer  from accidents, hunger and  thirst, snakes, demons, and  other everyday dangers.

Amulets were made in many forms: scarabs (beetles) and the ankh (symbols of  eternal life), animals, gods and goddesses, crowns, and the Eye of Horus  (symbol of wholeness).

2013/10/22

Pectoral of Aperia

 Pectoral of Aperia


 Pectoral of Aperia


This pectoral, made of schist, was found in the tomb of the vizier Aperia at Saqqara. The two halves of this pectoral were found in two successive seasons of excavations.

Originally, the object was suspended from the neck of Aperia's mummy by means of two holes at its edges, which are adorned with two falcon heads. The recto, or front, of the pectoral displays a line of text. This incised inscription on the top of the pectoral gives the name and titles of its owner.

The pectoral was decorated with a scarab, which is now lost. The rest of the face of the pectoral is decorated with geometrical and floral motifs.

The verso, or back, of the pectoral displays the text of Chapter 30 of the Book of the Dead. This chapter warns of the danger of letting the mummified heart testify against the actions of the deceased in the realm of the dead.

2013/10/17

Egyptian Museum In Cairo

Egyptian Museum In Cairo







Location : Cairo, Egypt
 

Description

The Egyptian Museum was first built in Boulak. In 1891, it was moved to Giza Palace of "Ismail Pasha" which housed the antiquities that were later moved to the present building. The Egyptian Museum is situated at Tahrir square in Cairo. It was built during the reign of Khedive Abbass Helmi II in 1897, and opened on November 15, 1902 (More History). It has 107 halls. At the ground floor there are the huge statues. The upper floor houses small statues, jewels, Tutankhamon treasures and the mummies
A new museum is to be built close to the pyramids of Giza on the outskirts of Cairo, although the existing building in central Cairo will remain home to a selection of about 10,000 items


Egyptian Museum In Cairo


 Egyptian Museum In Cairo





Egyptian Museum In Cairo







Egyptian Museum In Cairo






The Museum also comprises a photography section and a large library. The Egyptian museum comprises many sections arranged in chronological order

The first section houses Tutankhamon's treasures.
The second section houses the pre-dynasty and the Old Kingdom monuments.
The third section houses the first intermediate period and the Middle Kingdom monuments.
The forth section houses the monuments of the Modern Kingdom.
The fifth section houses the monuments of the late period and the Greek and Roman periods.
The sixth section houses coins and papyrus.
The seventh section houses sarcophagi and scrabs.

A hall for the royal mummies was opened at the museum, housing eleven kings and queens. More than a million and half tourists visit the museum annually, in addition to half a million Egyptians

The current Egyptian Museum building in Cairo (at right) opened in 1902 and is filled with more than 100,000 antiquities from thousands of years of Egyptian history.









Egyptian Museum In Cairo
                        






2013/10/16

Ahmed Shawki Museum

The Museum of Ahmed Shawki 

The Museum of Ahmed Shawki

The Museum of Ahmed Shawki is one of the important museums in Egypt, which collects the Collectables , Holdings and everything about the life of the great Egyptian poet Ahmed Shawqi

Brief Biography about Ahmed Shawki :


The Museum of Ahmed Shawki

Birth and Education

Ahmed Shawki was born in Cairo in 1868 AD, to a family of an Arabian, Turkish , Greek and Janissary origin. His was a wealthy family with strong connections to the Khedive's palace. His grandfather came to Egypt, bearing a recommendation from Ahmed Pasha Al Jazzar, the Ruler of Acre to Mohammad Ali Pasha, the Ruler of Egypt. Being well-versed in both Turkish and Arabic, the ruler admitted him in to his entourage. With the passage of time and succession of rulers, the poet's grandfather was promoted to several outstanding posts, until he was last appointed by Khedive Said Pasha as Secretary of the Egyptian Customs House. When his grandfather died, he left behind a large estate. Unfortunately, Shawki's father squandered this estate and had to live on his own labour.


The refore, his grandmother (on his mother's side) took the new-born child away right from the cradle and sponsered him on behalf of his parents. In order to keep him away from hardships, the kind grandmother bestowed on the child more parental care and love than his parents could.


When he reached the age of four, Shawki was admitted to "Kuttab Al Sheikh Saleh" in Sayeda Zeinab District in Cairo, a one-class, one-teacher school for teaching juniors mainly to read and memorize the Qur'an. He then moved to Al Mobtadayan Primary then Secondary School where he was exempted from tuition fees in reward for his distinction. He later joined the School of Law. After completing two years of study, he was awarded a certificate in translation. As soon as he graduated the Khedive employed Shawki in his Royal Private Property Bureau. One year later, the Khedive decided that Shawki should be sent to Europe to complete his education. Shawki chose to study law, being the discipline most closely related to letters and largely dependent on eloquence and mastery of language. He tried as hard as he could to study also French literature in addition to his major subject of study. After three years of study, he graduated in July 18, 1893.


To complement Shawki's formal education, the Khedive ordered that he should spend more six months in France to acquaint himself with life and people in Paris, a luxury which Shawki could not afford, due to time constraint during his study. Shawki accepted many invitations by his French classmates to visit their towns and villages in the North and South of France. Shawki enjoyed French hospitality and commended the French farmer.


In 1894, Shawki returned home where the Khedive admitted him into his entourage. In 1896, Shawki was delegated by the Khedive to represent the Egyptian government in the Orientalists' Conference held in Geneva, Switzerland. Shawki enjoyed the opportunity of sightseeing this country. Hence, he proceeded to Belgium where he visited Brussels and attended an exhibition in Anvers. One year later, Shawki contracted an eye disease (ophthalmia) and therefore, travelled to Constantinople for treatment and convalescence along the Coast of the Posphorus. There, he stayed for forty days and returned home fully recovered.

Shawki's Poetry: "Al Shawkiyat"

Since his college days in Paris, Shawki was a close friend of Emir (Prince) Shakeeb Arsalan, a lebanese political leader and poet. Oftentimes, Shawki would read out his poetry to the Emir who admired and regularly read his published writings. The Emir expressed to Shawki a wish to see in print someday a collection of Shawki's poetry, bearing his name;"Al Shawkiyat".


Moreover, Shawki himself was surprised to find, after the death of his father, a small note, among his father's personal effect, reading : " This is what I could collect of my son's writings, while he was a student in Europe." Shawki then realized how interested his father had been in collecting his writings, whether published or not. Intent on executing his father's will, he had part I of his collection "Al Shawkiyat" first published in 1890.

Conscious of his moral and social responsibility as a poet, Shawki intentionally execluded from this collection many of his early poems which smacked of self- conceit and arrogance, which, he felt, would be more detrimental than beneficial to the rising generation. However, in memory of his glorious youth, he maintained in the collection a few specimen poems.

At the end of every Hijri year, Shawki regularly pursued the practice of publishing in serial parts, all his prose and poetry writings completed during the year, no matter how short or long.

Ahmed Shawki: Poet-Laurent

After a series of popular uprisings and civil resistence to British occupation of Egypt, the colonial power was forced to accept the principle of negotiation. The British announced their willingness to receive an Egyptian delegation in London. Shawki played a significant role in this situation. He wrote a supplication, no less exquisite than his poems, expressing the hopes and aspirations of the people. The supplication was recited simultaneously in the mosques and churches alike, following Friday prayers on June 4 , 1920 ( Ramadan 17, 1338 A.H) .The supplication was commonly Known then as the" Supplication of Global Prayer".


The reward received by Shawki was exile. He voluntarily chose Spain as a place of exile. All through the five years of his exile, he was singing the praise of his home country and Arab civilization. It was during this period that he wrote his reputed Andalusian nostalgic poems expressing his deep longing for home. When he returned from exile, he was warmly and passionately welcomed by masses of people in Alexandria and later in Cairo. He was deeply impressed by this welcome. He became closer and closer to popular feelings and more concerned and involved in the causes and problems of the people. He thus truly deserved to be known as the "Poet of Arabism and Islam."


Upon the publication of the second edition of Shawki's collection "Al Shawkiyat", a celebration was held in his honour on April 2, 1927, where Shawki was proclaimed as Poet- Laureate. Delegations from various Arab and Islamic countries came to voice their pledge of allegiance. This came as a response to a call addressed by a committee representing the Arab nation, expounding the favourable impact of Shawki's poetic achievements on the rejuvenation of the Arabic language, which constitutes a strong common linking bond for all Arab countries .


The call also pointed out that Shawki's production of poetry has never been forced out, but rather came as a free and spontaneous expression of his own innermost feelings as affected by events in the Arab World. As an evidence, much of his poetry had been circulated far and wide and frequently recited by all Arabic-speaking people. He, thus, well deserved to be crowned as the prince of poetry and poets (Poet-Laureate).

Shawki's Last Day

Thursday, October, 13, 1932 was, at the outset, quite as regular as any other day in his life. He met his friends, had his lunch and then his siesta up to sunset. Later, he made an evening ride in the company of his manager and his literary secretary, who used to be always in his company during the poet's late years.

They drove to Heliopolis desert, where the poet took a walk in fresh air. He then went to Ismail Shereen Pasha's house, to enjoy the fun of the regular evening gathering of friends. As usual also, he had his dinner at Solicino Restaurant. To complete his day schedule, he
proceeded to "Al Jihad House" at about 9 p.m.

As the newspaper owner's office room was full of visitors, he preferred to wait at the senior editor's room. The former took the visitors' leave and went out to see Shawki.

He noticed that he had a pale face and some light cough. Shawki then left for home, which he reached at 11p.m. At 3 a.m., the paging bell was roaring for help. Shawki's servant hurried to his master, who was suffering from a fit of asthma. As no hot water or camphor leaves were available, Shawki asked one of his treating physicians Dr. Presca or Dr. Gallad to be immediately called in. Feeling, however, that doom was knocking at his door, he asked his servant to send his love to his friends and soon passed away in the presence of his wife Khadija. The physician was soon in, but the poet's soul had faded away, leaving behind for the Arab Nation an immensely rich legacy of immortal poetry.


Shawki's Lyrics

Shawki wrote a large number of beautiful lyrics which were performed by several top singers such as Mohammed Abdel Wahhab, Abdo El Hamouli, Youssef El Manialawi, Malak and Umm Kalthoum. It is interesting to note that Shawki's lyrics written in colloqual Egyptian
Arabic are no less elegant and fascinating than his classical poems.

Selections of Shawki's Sayings

Shawki's prose writings, such as Aswaq Al Thahab "Gold Markets" contain many thoughtful statements which have been since then widely known as wise sayings. Following are examples of these sayings:

-He who oppresses with a rightful weapon will be oppressed with a wrongful weapon.
-When people brag, they lend to a cat a tiger's mustache.
-Doomed to perdition is a nation that by an individual survives and dies.
-Underwater, all depths are alike.
-Valour may require one be a coward for an hour.
-A woman- half learnt-looks prettier, a man-half ignorant-looks uglier.
-A wise man, while unforgetful of life is mindful of death.
-You may be cured of illness by protection, but cannot escape death until you have met it.
-He who delves deep in human souls, will never again rise.
-Brimful prisons are doomed to burst out.
-Right will never fade out in a nation as long as it has a single man alive.

An Anecdote from Shawki: During his exile in Spain, he took a bus together with his son Hussein, when a tall, heavily-built and apparently well-off man boarded the same bus. The man, with a gold chain hanging on his chest and a big cigar between his lips, soon fell asleep in a corner of the bus and went snoring boisterously. Then, a young pickpocket came on board. When he was about to pick the gold chain, he realized that Shawki was watching him. The pickpocket shook his head interrogatively as if asking permission from the poet to do so. Shawki nodded to him in acquiescence. Immediately the young thief picked the chain and left off.

As soon as the pickpocket got off, Shawki's son turned to him wondering: "Is it right to let the pickpocket lift the man's chain while asleep?"


Shawki said" How strange son! If you were assigned to distribute men's lots, who will you give the gold chain to? - Will you give it to an ugly giant or a smart youngman?" The son replied, "To the smart youngman."


Then Shawki commented simply, "O.K, he did take it."

Shawki's Works in First Edition

1.Al Shawkiyat (Shawki's poems) were issued in four parts: Part I was published in 1898, containing poems written between 1888 and 1898. Part III (Elegies) was publishedin 1936 and Part IV in 1943.
2.Ali Bey Al Kabeer (The Great), a play written by Shawki, while staying in Paris for study in 1893. The play was restructured and published in 1932. The new play was so different that it superseded the earlier version which never appeared in print again.
3.Athra' ul Hind (The Virgin of India), a novel published in 1897.
4.Del Whitman, a novel, published in 1899 and was never printed again. The novel was converted into a poetic drama that appeared under the name of Qambeez.
5.Ladias or the Last of Pharaos, a novel published in 1899.
6.Waraqat Al As (The Myrtle Leaf) published in 1904.
7.Nahg ul Burda, an eulogy to the prophet Muhammad, which is a variation on the theme of an earlier poem by Al Imam Al Bosairi, published in book form in 1910.
8.Masra' a Cleopatra (The Death of Cleopatra, poetic drama published in 1929.
9.Magnoon Layla (The Obsessed Lover of Layla or Layla's Maniac), a poetic drama published in 1931.
10.Qambeez, a poetic drama published in 1931.
11.States of the Arabs and Great Personalities of Islam, published in 1932. .
12.Ameerat Al Andalus (The Princess of Andalusia ), a poetic drama published in 1932.
13.Aswaq ulthahab ( Gold Markets), published in 1932.
14.Antara, a poetic drama published in 1932.
15.Al Sit Hoda ( Madam Hoda ) , a poetic drama, of which one scene was first published in 1933.
16.Shaytan Penta'our (Penta'our's Satan ) or Lubad Luqman wa Hudhud Solaiman ( The Seventh Vulture of Luqman and Soliman's Hoopoe), a poetic play that appeared in print only in 1953.
17.Al Bakheela ( The Miserly Woman ), first published in Al Doha Magazine, Qatar, then published by the Egyptian Book Organization.

Ahmed Shawki Musuem Information

* 6 Ahmed Shawki Street off Nile Corniche, Giza
* Telephone : 02-5729479


Decree of the President of The Arab Republic of Egypt No 549 / 1972

Having perused the Constitution, and Laws Nos 577 / 1954 regarding expropriation, in the public interest, of real property, the amendments thereof, Law No 252 / 1966, amending certain provisions relating to expropriation of property in the public interest and property acquisition and the presentation by the Deputy-Premier and Minister of Culture and Information,


Hereby decrees as follows:

Provision I: The project for setting up Ahmed Shawki Museum, with the total area of land and real property located on No.6, Ahmed Street, Giza Covernorate (Karmet Ibn Hanie) whose description, location and boundaries are shown in the memorandum and drawing herewith attached share be considered as public-service facilities.

Provision II: This Decree and its memorandum shall be published in the official Gazette.

Issued at the Presidency on May 3, 1972 Anwar El Sadat.



Introduction


Traditionally, a museum is known to be a place where objects of antique and historical nature are displayed. However, the modern concept of a museum has been developed so as to reflect, as well, all aspects of modern and contemporary life.


In the light of this concept, a museum is now envisaged as a centre of comprehersive and extensive cultural dissemination that aims at cultivating man's feelings and stimulating creativity in all fields. A museum can, therefore, be a melting pot, providing a tasteful and pleasant cultural mix, that reflects the unity and integrity of arts. Poet - Laureate Ahmed Shawki's Museum, originally named by the poet " Karmat Ibn Hani'e ( Ibn Hani'e's vineyard), was the first of a series of museums to be yet renovated.

Karmat Ibn Hani'e was not merely the Poet - Laureate's house but also the hub of men of letters, poets, playwrights, musicians, singers as well as a meeting place for statesmen, pressmen and other dignitaries.

With the inauguration of this museum, the Karma is re-created anew in order to resume its older role, but with new and fresh potential. The ultimate purpose of this cultural enterprise is to achieve the sublime goal of elevating arts and stimulating man's creativity and noble feelings.

Karmat Ibn Hani'e: Past and Present

Karmat Ibn Hani'e was the name given by Ahmed Shawki to the house he bought in 1914. The house was located in a quiet suburb of Cairo; El Matariya. In an air of romantic serenity and calm, the house lay in the middle of a spacious and gorgeous garden, strewn with ever-green trees, the oldest of which is a willow with intertwined branches. The real reason for the selection by Shawki of this location was its proximity to the Qubba Palace, the royal seat of Khedive Abbas of Egypt. Both the Khedive and the poet were very close friends and Shawki really enjoyed passing most of his leisure time in the company of the Khedive.

Shawki named his house after Ibn Hani Al Abbasi, commonly known as Abu Nuwwas, a famous Abbasite poet ( 756-814 AD). Shawki was highly infatuated with this great poet, whose real talent and rich achievements had not been duly evaluated and rather unjustly criticized. He was commonly, but not fairly, portrayed as a wanton and frivolous legendary figure. By naming his house after Ibn Hani, Shawki had in mind to commemorate, redress and do justice to this great early poet.

Although the house was already too big, particularly for Shawki's family, consisting of the poet, his wife, one daughter and two sons, an annex was added. In this annex, Shawki stored antique furniture and other objects, acquired by the poet from public auction sales, being one of his favourite hobbies. The house comprised numerous rooms: three dining rooms, five sitting rooms with different colours such as the red, green or white room etc...

The house was further expanded, when he acquired an adjacent house to accommodate his daughter " Omniya ", married at hardly the age of fifteen.This house was appended to the Karma .

The house also contained a spacious service building ( Selamlik). Part of the area was assigned as a garage for two horse- driven carriages; a victoria ( Hantour) and a phaeton. There was also a horse stable, where two horses were kept. Although Shawki had a liking for automobiles, and was one of the first who aquired cars in Egypt, yet, out of fear of speed, he did not like using them.

In the house garden, there was a large number of domestic animals such as deer, turtles, peakcocks and parrots. There was also a basin, where a crocodile was kept. The reptile was brought, at the request of Shawki's son, by an officer friend of the poet working in Sudan.

In view of Shawki's close friendship with the Khedive , the latter often referred needy persons asking for help to Shawki. He welcomed them and spent much of his time and money meeting their needs.

The house was also honoured with the visit of the Khedive and his Austrian wife on the occasion of the wedding of Ahmed Shawki's daughter.

With the outbreak of World War I, Britain proclaimed Egypt a British protectorate. Khedive Abbas, who was in a visit to Turkey was dethroned and banned from entry into Egypt. He was then replaced by Sultan Hussein Kamel as Khedive of Egypt.

As a result of this reshuffle, Shawki was exiled abroad. He chose to take Spain as a place of exile. Throughout the years of the war, he lived with his family in Barcelon, suffering from the pains of estrangement and expatriation from home. In the poems composed during this
period, he gave immortal expression of his patriotic feeling and nostalgia for his home country. His poetry, mainly the Andalusian nostalgic poems, expressing the bitterness of exile and passionate love of and yearning for his home country still survive as rare and immortal masterpieces of poetry.

Early in 1920, Shawki came back home from exile and was warmly and passionately welcomed by masses of the people in Alexandria and then in Cairo. He was strongly impressed by that welcome.

Shawki's New Karma

After his return home from exile, he no longer felt like living in El Matariya, although his house had remained intact, even unaffected throughout the period of exile. Shawki believed that his house had remained safe and intact on account of a signboard hanging on the entrance bearing the phrase " There is no god but Allah and Mohammed is the Messenger of Allah. "

For this reason, when he left his old house in El Matariya, he ensured that the signboard was relocated to the entrance of his new house in Giza.

In selecting Giza as a location for his new Karma, Shawki had good reasons. In his survey of other suburbs of Cairo, he found out that Zamalek was too low-lying. Heliopolis was quiet, healthy and well-served by means of transport but too far. Qasr El Doobara was too
congested. As to Giza, there were many important considerations to justify selection. First, Giza overlooks the River Nile, which Shawki adored and loved to live nearby. During his residence in EL Matariya, Shawki aquired a dahabiya (a long light-draft houseboat) on the Nile so as to be able to enjoy the view of the river.Shawki often cited a line of poetry by a Fatimide poet, recommending residence nearby the Nile: Albeit living in Egypt but not by the side.

Of the flowing Nile, say not you in Egypt reside

Another reason for selecting such site was its relative proximity to the Pyramids; another fovourite place of Shawki's choice. Every Friday, Shawki used to make outings to the Pyramids in the company of his family and friends including artists and literary writers. However, when Shawki moved to his house in Giza gave up the habit of frequenting the Pyramids. He needed not travel that far to his favourite place, when he could easily enjoy the view of the Pyramids, with the naked eye, right from his house.


Throughout the ensuing years, Shawki led a rich life teeming with literary achievements, glory and high renown. His eminent standing was further enhanced as he drew closer and closer to the innermost feelings of the masses, by truly expressing the agonies and aspirations of the Egyptian people and advocating and supporting their common causes.

Karmat Ibn Hani': A National Musem

In recognition of the outstanding achievements of Poet-Laureate Ahmed Shawki and his
far-reaching impact on Arabic literature, the Republican Decree No. 540/1972 was issued, converting "Karmat Ibn Hani' ", together with all the surrounding grounds into a national museum. This conversion was consummated in June 17, 1977.
Since then, Karmat Ibn Hani' has been, as ever before, during the poet's lifetime, the hub and meeting place of literary writers, poets, artists and musicians. Every month, two evening poetry recitals are regularly conducted in the museum Many artistic events, were provided and televised on air. In addition, several cultural events were held in the museum, including symposia, plastic arts shows, book and philatelic exhibitions and musical and vocal concerts .
Karmat Ibn Hani, once the-home of Poet-Laureate Ahmed Shawki has become, after a major face-lifting operation, an outstanding cultural centre that now plays a central role in enriching the cultural and intellectual scene and promoting letters and arts.

Components of the Museum

 



Ahmed Shawki Museum is located on the Nile Corniche in Giza. The snow-white palace is
surrounded by a green garden. Bronze statues of torch-bearing cherubim representing messengers of thought and culture bearing torches of enlightenment, are placed here and there in the garden. Once in, you are faced with a large statue of the poet, created by late Egyptian sculptor Gamal El Seguini. This statue was placed in this location in Karmat Ibn Hani' 14 years ago in a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the poet's death.

This statue is a replica of a bronze statue of the poet, the Italian Government ordered in 1962 to be erected in the Bourgese Park, Rome, Italy side by side with statues of a number of world top geniuses. The statue was made in recognition of the eminent standing of Poet-Laureate Ahmed Shawki and his high reputation not only in Egypt and Arab World but also all over the world. It was unveiled in an official grand ceremony, attended by the then Egyptian and Italian Ministers of Culture, the Mayor of Rome, sculptor Seguini and a host of Arab and foreign artists, poets and writers.








Ground Floor: Mohamed Abdel Wahhab Suite The ground floor comprises Ahmed Shawki's library with 332 books covering various areas of arts and letters. Some volumes contain draft manuscripts of poems hand-written by the poet on plain paper and book covers. This floor also contains the suite of the then emerging singer and composer Mohammed Abdel Wahhab. Abdel Wahhab's talent was truly appreciated by the poet. He believed that wealth was the proper environment for good art. For these reasons, he acted as the artistic and social patron of Mohammed Abdel Wahhab and actually hosted him in his house. This suite was the brithplace of several great songs created by both the poet and composer. Often, rehearsals of those songs were made in the suite.


 




 


This floor also comprises a high-quality audio library, that contains recordings of all songs written by Shawki and vocalized by Abdel Wahhab, in addition to those by the great singer "Star of the Orient" Umm Kalthoum. In this floor, there lie reading and listening rooms, a reception lounge as well as the palace entrance, with sofas, carpets and mirrors with gold-plated frames, all characterized with grandeur and wealth.

Insignias and Manuscripts

The upper floor comprises the Poet-Laureate's bedroom which still remains intact. The wall paper which has been in place for more than eighty years now, still maintains its original colours. The seats still lie in the corners. The Poet's bed with its high brass poles, a dressing table, photographs of the Shawkis are all in display. The place is so suggestive and representative that a visitor can easily get the feel of the old house, One can even visualize the poet's actual life at home. One time you see him relaxing on the sofa in a room corner, writing poetry, another, in a mood of deep meditation looking at the ever flowing Nile from his window.

The same floor contains the room of Mrs. Khadija Hanem Shaheen, the poet's wife. Centrally located, against the staircase there lies the poet's study, with its invaluable old-style furniture; an elegant desk arm-chair with a semi-circular base, and a harp-shaped ornamental unit on the back. The corners of the desk are ornamented with brass effigies of cherubim. The desk itself is raised on animal-shaped brass feet. All the furniture items are made of mahogeny. Against the wall, a glazed wooden bookcase solemnly stands.

Next to the study, there is a room where insignias and badges of honour awarded to the poet are displayed. Included also are some gifts and documents presented to the poet on the occasion of his coronation as poet-Laureate. His elegant gala uniform is still kept in a glazed showcase, reminiscent of the honours associated with the occasions and events where the uniform was used.


Next, there is a room containing more than 713 manuscripts and drafts of the poet's prose and poetry writings.


The museum contains also a collection of oil paintings, antique objects and photographs of the poet, his family, relatives, some friends and important dignitaries.


The Centre for Criticism and Creativity A distinctive feature of the new Karmat Ibn Hani' is the Centre for Criticism and Creativity. Through this centre, the museum can ideally perfrom its role as a source of cultural dissemenation, in continuation of the role that was perfomed during the poet's lifetime. Under the completed renovation scheme, a centre for criticism and creativity was set up in the basement. It comprises a conference room, a lecture room, a waiting area and a large library easily accessible to readers. Visitors can also attend seminars and symposia involving critical analyses of works of art, letters and poetry. The centre, which is actually a meeting place for writers, intellectuals and artists in Egypt and the Arab world, works for the advancement of arts and letters as well as the integration of arts.


 Ahmed Shawki Museum Photo :

Shawki's Sons


Bedroom


Shawki's Gala Uniform


 Shawki Statue


Reommendation Letters
 

Study Room


Ground Floor Entrance



 Ground Floor Entrance
  

 Corner of Shawki's Library


Reception Room
 

 Shawki Postage Stamp



Shawki at 22 in Paris



Outside View


The Police Museum at the Citadel

The Police Museum at the Citadel

The Police Museum at the Citadel



Last time I was in the castle to visit the Military Museum, I noticed at the Museum of the police, which seemed interesting, so I decided I would have to make the trip back to visit it as well. I had started to get used to the long stretch leading to the entrance of the castle. Today, there was no security as far as visits to many others. 

 I only had to pass through the metal gate to detect and then was inside the castle. As usual, there were many school groups visit the castle. And is considered one of the most popular school trips. As usual, there was a lot of tourists. Castle is great, but I've now got to know my way around, and I knew exactly where to find the Museum of the police.



The Police Museum at the Citadel The Police Museum at the Citadel

The Police Museum is a huge building with small windows that were once probably used by archers. There is an Egyptian flag atop the gate, and the gate itself is ancient, decorated with simple old Islamic arabesque. Once I entered the gate I found some Arabesque style chairs and a sofa to the right.

Afterwards, I found some wooden and brass souvenirs. At first I thought it was just another gift shop. However, when I saw some people building a stage, I realized that they were organizing the place for musical concerts that sometimes take place in the Citadel, and these souvenirs are for the people who will attend the concert


 I found another sign pointing to the Police National Museum. Next to the stairs of the museum, there was a huge statue of a lion. I think it's not ancient. It looked like it was made by a famous Egyptian sculpture such as Mahmoud Mokhtar as a gift to the museum. Once inside the museum, the first corridor contains portraits of Egyptian ministers throughout history. It is not very interesting, other than for observing the changes in their clothing throughout time.

After that, the first hall of the museum consists of weapons used by the Egyptian police throughout time, including the Pharaonic Period. In fact, there were many ancient shields and weapons in the hall, along with modern guns, mostly of British origin due to the British occupation of Egypt. There are also some shields and helmets from the Islamic Period, including one helmet dating to the Islamic year 11. It has Arabic sentences from the Qura'n meant to protect the soldier who wore it.


The Police Museum at the Citadel


The next hall is the Ismailia battle hall. It contains displays related to the battle of the Egyptian police against the British occupiers in 1951. This was one of the main triggers of the Egyptian revolution in 1952. This hall contains some real pictures of the battle and some weapons the Egyptians and the British used. In the middle of this small hall there is a small scale model of the police station in Ismailia and of the battle that took place.

The crimes hall is the most interesting in this museum. At various points in time, money forgery has been a problem in Egypt, and there are displays of printing machines and of counterfeit bills that look very real. Some criminals even produced fake coins, which was a difficult task, as well as other currencies including American.


The Police Museum at the Citadel


Then there are displays of the famous Egyptian criminals through time. One is of Mahmuod Amin Mahmoud, who was born in 1929. He lived in many different places like Maadi and Darb Ahmar and he committed more than 30 crimes of theft and murder. He eluded the police for many years, but died in 1960 in a battle with them. There are a number of displays, including a few real pictures of this scary individual.


The Police Museum at the Citadel



However, to the left of Mahmuod Amin there is a display of the most famous criminals in modern Egyptian history. They are Rayya and Sekina, two sisters who organized a prostitution ring at the beginning of the last century. That wasn’t their main crime though. They would kill women and steal their jewelry and money and then would bury them in an apartment the sisters owned next to the police station in Alexandria. One of their ploys was to approach women in the market and convince them to come back to their apartment to look at clothes they had for sales. Once the victim entered the apartment, they would kill her, rob her of whatever she had, and bury her in the same apartment. It was very hard for the police of Alexandria to capture them but they eventually did.


The Police Museum at the Citadel


The remainder of the displays in this small museum are mainly historic items that the police confiscated from those trying to smuggle the artifacts out of the country. Most of these are small statues that date back to the Greek Period in Egypt.

To be honest, I was a bit disappointed with the Police Museum, but I suppose it was worth a quick visit. Egypt is really working to upgrade their museums, and many of the newer ones, such as the Luxor Museum, are very nice and employ modern museum sciences. This one is not one of those at this point. Of course, we do try to inform tourists of what might, and might not be very interesting.