From the 10th to the 18th centuries Al-Muizz Street, which runs through the heart of Fatimid Cairo, gloried in its splendid Islamic architecture. In the years following it became badly run down. It has taken almost 20 years of restoration and rehabilitation for the street to regain much of the splendour it saw in the days of the Fatimids, Ayoubids, Mamluks and Ottomans.
Formerly the street resounded with the cacophony of shouts as traffic -- both motorised and horse or donkey-drawn -- battled with vendors and pedestrians for right of way. Now by day it is a pedestrian zone, not quite in keeping with the past but rather more suited to the nature of today's visitors.
At the invitation of Culture Minister Farouk Hosni, Mrs Suzanne Mubarak attended the openning on Saturday and was given a tour of four of the 34 architectural monuments lining the street.
There's a map of the northern part of the street on Wikipedia, which makes for impressive viewing (keep clicking to zoom in on a version that you can actually read), and an excellent photograph also on Wikipedia of one small part of the street. If anyone has any photos of the street that they would like to share please get in touch with me: andie @ easynet.co.uk