Heritage in the Street: Megawra | BEC’s Athar Lina Initiative in Historic Cairo
Based in al-Khalifa in Historic Cairo and run by the Megawra-Built Environment Collective, Athar Lina is a participatory initiative to establish modalities of citizen participation in heritage conservation based on a vision of heritage as a resource not a burden. Since its inception in 2012, Athar Lina has worked on conservation, heritage education, urban revitalization and heritage industries. It has conserved four domes from the 12th and 14th century and is currently working on the conservation of two other monuments including al-Imam al-Shafi’i shrine. It runs an Open-Spaces Program focusing on improving infrastructure and services to upgrade quality of open spaces. This is directly linked to Athar Lina’s Ground Water Research Project which seeks to resolve problems of groundwater-rise in heritage sites by extracting water and reusing it for the benefit of the community for purposes such as irrigation and cleaning. In addition to its Heritage Education Program and the Heritage Summer School it runs for al-Khalifa’s children, it runs the Athar Lina Heritage Design Thinking School which explores the potential of heritage for income-generation. Finally, through its research and advocacy project, Citizen Participation in Historic Cairo, Athar Lina is working on conservation, revitalization and management plans for al-Khalifa.
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