Kafr Abdu

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Kafr Abdu
كفر عبده
Kafr Abdu is located in Egypt
Kafr Abdu
Kafr Abdu
Location in Egypt
Coordinates: 31°13′30″N 29°57′17″E / 31.224876°N 29.954585°E / 31.224876; 29.954585Coordinates: 31°13′30″N 29°57′17″E / 31.224876°N 29.954585°E / 31.224876; 29.954585
Country  Egypt
Governorate Alexandria
Time zone EST (UTC+2)

Kafr Abdu (Arabic: كفر عبده‎‎) is a neighborhood in Alexandria, Egypt. It is chiefly a residential neighborhood for wealthier Egyptians, including professionals, and foreigners living in Alexandria. During the Revolution of 2011, the Egyptian Army cordoned the neighborhood off, only allowing residents of the area into it, to prevent looting, particularly of the vacated apartments of foreigners forced to flee.

Kafr Abdu is distinguished by having many trees, villas and cafés, and considered to be one of the most high-class neighborhoods in Alexandria. The original name of Kafr Abdu street was Marshal Allenby, a British Field Marshal appointed High Commissioner of Egypt in 1919. The street connected the Rosetta avenue (later known as AbuQir or Horreya road, a major artery crossing the city from East to West), to the top of Abu Nawatir hill where Marshal Allenby had his residence and headquarters. The street basically led to his residence and the park that still holds his name. Many wealthy British and other foreign businessmen built their large villas along the same street. The neighbourhood developed following a garden city pattern, with lavish vegetation and trees lining streets. It attracted poorer classes of the population seeking work as gardeners, servants or guards, they soon established themselves in tents in an adjacent shanty town at the bottom of the hill, called “the Arab Khana”, that incrementally developed into what is called today the neighbourhood of “Zaerbana”. With the Egyptian revolution in 1952, president Nasser ordered the change of all foreign, and specially English, names of streets and public places. The street was then baptised Kafr Abdu, no information about the reason for this name could be found. Almost all other adjacent streets with foreign names were changed as well. The only remains of that era is the park which is still called the Allenby park by Egyptians, and often mistakenly called the “Olympic park”. In spite of the changes, the area remained an upper-class neighbourhood, and many of the villas deserted by its foreign owners after the revolution, were bought by wealthy Egyptians, many of them in prominent positions: Marshal Alouba, captain of King Faruk’s Royal yacht, Doctors Salama, Abou el Ela and Said, prominent professors at Alexandria University, businessmen such as El Naggar, Zahran, and Talaat Mostapha, are only some examples (the brother of Nasser also got a villa). During the last decades, greedy promoters succeeded in systematically demolishing villas and building apartment blocks with no consideration for architectural and urban historical values of the place. Today, the Kafr Abdu neighbourhood stills attracts many people and businesses but the once calm and peaceful neighbourhood with its green streets and lanes has become an overcrowded place where people and cars compete for space.

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