Qasr al-Ayni Street

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Qasr al-Ayn Street)
Jump to: navigation, search
View of Qasr al-Ayn Street, spelled in Egyptian vernacular

Qasr El-Einy Street (Arabic: 'شارع القصر العيني') (official name; alternatively transliterated as Kasr Al-Ainy); also known as Tahir Qasr El-Einy Street (30°2'14"N 31°12'28"E) is one of the oldest streets in Downtown Cairo, Egypt.


Qasr El-Einy (Arabic for Palace of El-Einy) owes its name to the nearby landmark of the same name, El-Einy Pacha's palace, now one of the oldest and most prestigious medical schools in the Middle East and Africa. The street is also known as Tahrir Qasr El-Einy Street because of its outlet into Midan Tahrir (Tahrir Square). The streets downtown, including Qasr El-Einy, are famous for being constructed during the time of Muhammad Ali of Egypt.

Location and History[edit]

Qasr El-Einy Street is located in Downtown Cairo, running parallel to the Cairo Metro Line 1, spanning El Sayyeda Zeinab, Saad Zaghloul and El Sadat stations along its length. The street runs NNE from the National Cancer Institute to the Tahrir Square, a distance of 2.4 kilometres (1.5 miles). Midan Tahrir was originally built in the late 1860s as Khairy Pasha palace, where the American University in Cairo's campus was built in the 1920s. Qasr El-Einy used to be a two-way street in the 1990s.

Midan Tahrir—Tahrir Square
Midan Tahrir—Tahrir Square with the Mogamma building, Qasr al-Ayn Street begins to the left.

The Metro's Sadat Station serves Tahrir Square, providing links to Giza, Helwan, Maadi, and other districts and suburbs of Greater Cairo. The area around Midan Tahrir includes the Egyptian Museum, the Headquarters of the Arab League building, The Mogamma government building, the original downtown campus of the American University in Cairo, the Nile Hotel, and the National Democratic Party-NDP headquarters building.

Midan Tahrir has been the site for numerous major protests and demonstrations, including in March 2003 when people came out to protest the War in Iraq,[1] and the 2011 Egyptian protest gatherings. Midan Tahrir was originally called "Midan Ismailia", named after 19th-century ruler Khedive Ismail, but the name was changed to Midan Tahrir after the Egyptian Revolution of 1952.[2]

People's Assembly Building

The People's Assembly Building is the Parliament of Egypt's house. Egypt has a two-chamber legislature made up of the lower People's Assembly—Majlis ash Shaab, which is the locus of legislative power, and the upper Consultative Council—Majlis ash Shura. The power in the People's Assembly is concentrated in the hands of the leadership, an elected speaker and the chairs of the specialized committees into which the assembly is divided. The president and prime minister begin each legislative session, which lasts seven months, with an overview of government policy. Laws proposed by the executive or by legislators are first considered in committee and then, with the consent of the legislative leadership, by the full Parliament assembly.[3]

In 2008, the People's Assembly Building was severely damaged from a fire.[4]

Egyptian Geographic Society.
The Egyptian Geographic Society

The Egyptian Geographic Society (Arabic: الجمعية الجغرافية المصرية; French: Société de géographie d'Egypte) was established by a decree of Khedive Isma'il Pasha on 19 May 1875. Its first president was the German botanist, traveller and ethnologist Georg August Schweinfurth. Originally founded as the Khedivial Society of Geography, its name was modified several times in order to reflect Egypt's changing political status. It acquired its current name following the Egyptian Revolution of 1952.[5]

Egyptian Ethnological Museum

This museum houses exhibits covering the activities and traditions in Cairo including village crafts, costumes, equipment and other items of daily life. The Museum is located at the Geographical Society Building on Qasr El-Einy Street.[6]

Cairo University Hospital—Qasr alAyn Hospitall, with landmark tower on Qasr al-Ayny Street.
Cairo University Hospital—Qasr alAyn Hospital

The Kasr Al-Ainy Medical School (Arabic: قصر العيني) is part of the Cairo University School of Medicine, and is located in Garden City district in downtown Cairo.[7] Kasr Al-Ainy Medical School is one of the largest, oldest, and most prestigious medical schools in Africa and the Middle East. Along with the Cairo University Hospitals, it is considered the largest medical institution in the Middle East, and probably one of the largest in the world. Established in 1827, it was named after Al-Ainy Pacha, whose palace was originally the school's main building. It accepts about 1600 students annually out of the thousands of applicants who apply. The students are chosen by a computer program based on the score they have achieved in high school. It provides a 6-year combined premedical-medical programme leading to a MBBCh which is usually followed by a 1-year internship at the university hospital.[8]

Kasr Al-Ainy is considered a symbol of the medical profession in Egypt, a stronghold of science and culture, and a towering image of human mercy. Hence, the founding date of Kasr Al-Ainy on March 11, 1827 was appointed as the day of the annual festival for the Egyptian medical profession.


Located in the center of downtown Cairo, Qasr El-Einy Street has a wide range of buildings including apartment complexes, banks, churches, gas stations, government buildings, hospitals, internet cafes, mosques, pharmacies, and numerous shops and restaurants. Qasr El-Einy Street is a one-way street that heads directly towards Tahrir Square (ميدان تحرير) with no intersections, numerous side streets, and occasional bus stops.

Major institutions and buildings[edit]

Qasr El-Einy Street has many notable institutions, buildings, and landmarks. Listed southeastward from its Tahrir Square terminus they include:

  1. AUC—American University in Cairo Bookstore (and original AUC Campus, now AUC downtown campus)
  2. The Mogamma
  3. The Principal Bank for Development and Agriculture
  4. Shura Council (Majlis Ash-Shura, مجلس الشورى)
  5. The Society for Egyptian Geography
  6. The Egyptian Ethnological Museum
  7. Ministry of Transport (General Authority of Roads, Bridges, and Land Transport)
  8. Peoples Assembly (Majlis Ash-Shaab, مجلس الشعب)
  9. Ministry of Social Solidarity
  10. Cairo University Hospital—Kasr AlAiny Hospital
  11. Cairo University College of Pharmacy
  12. Moustapha Fahmy Bay's "Faisal Nada Theater" (1931)
  13. Cairo Medical Synidicate
  14. National Herpetology and Tropical Medicine and Research Institute

Adjacent and nearby sites[edit]


Mugamma (alternatively The Mogamma), literary meaning ‘combined,’ is Egypt’s government office complex located adjacent to Qasr al-Ayn Street on the south side of Midan Tahrir—Tahrir Square, where much of the government paperwork is done. It’s a Soviet era sponsored gray concrete massive twenty story tall building. The interior has narrow hallways, unlabeled doors to the many government agencies located in this one building, and a plethora of clerks "all shouting at the top of their lungs" in an attempt to process paperwork. The agencies in the building include: the Fire Fighting Organization; the Tax Evasion Investigations Offices; the Passport Offices; and the High Committee for Sports and Youth. This is where people go to get a marriage license, a driver's license, and most any other necessary license. If one needs to transact with the Egyptian government on public business of most kinds, the Mogamma is where it is transpires.[9]

The Egyptian Museum

The Egyptian Museum — officially the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, and commonly referred to as the "Cairo Museum" — on the northern side of Midan Tahrir—Tahrir Square is one of the world's great archaeology and ancient art museums. The extensive building holds a massive and comprehensive collection of Egyptian antiquities, with at least 136,000 items on display. Hundreds of thousands of additional items are in the museum's basement storerooms and elsewhere, and are added to each year with ongoing archaeological excavation discoveries.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hiel, Betsy (June 19, 2005). "Egyptian reformers taking it to streets". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. 
  2. ^ Vatikiotis, Panayiotis J. (1997). The Middle East: From the End of Empire to the End of the Cold War. Routledge. p. 194. 
  3. ^ "Egypt - Government". Retrieved 2012-09-08. 
  4. ^ My Lighthouse
  5. ^ "History Of The Society". Egyptian Geographic Society. Retrieved 2008-08-18. 
  6. ^ Egypt. "Ethnological Museum - Cairo - Reviews of Ethnological Museum". TripAdvisor. Retrieved 2012-09-08. 
  7. ^ "Cairo University Hospital—Kasr Al-Ainy Hospital website". 2010-06-01. Retrieved 2012-09-08. 
  8. ^ "Kasr Al Ainy - Cairo University School of Medicine, Cairo, Egypt - Hospital Listing". 2008-02-29. Retrieved 2012-09-08. 
  9. ^ "The Mugamma, The Center of Egypt's Sprawling Bureaucracy". Retrieved 2012-09-08. 

External links[edit]