Conservation is Research: Recent Findings from Megawra's Athar Lina Conservation Program

Lecture by May al-Ibrashy, Megawra-Built Environment Collective and the Athar Lina Initiative

  • 1:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. EETARCE National
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Since 2013, Megawra-BEC’s Athar Lina Initiative has conserved the domes of Shajar al-Durr, Sayyida Ruqayya, al-Ja’fari and ‘Atika and is currently working on the conservation of al-Imam al-Shafi’i Mausoleum and al-Shurafa Shrine, all in Historic Cairo’s al-Khalifa District. The conservation process often results in discoveries and findings. Some are the result of deliberate investigation. Others are pure luck. They range from a small floral detail revealed after modern paint is removed, to inscriptions uncovered or deciphered for the first time to an entire shrine unearthed under an existing one. The challenge is always to find the time and mindset to do the necessary exploration and research while dealing with the day-to-day demands of a conservation site. 

About May:

May al-Ibrashy is a licensed architectural engineer with 25 years of field experience in conservation and heritage management in Historic Cairo. She is currently founder and chair of Megawra-Built Environment Collective, a twin institution consisting of Egyptian NGO and consultancy working on issues of the built environment. She coordinates Athar Lina, an initiative run by Megawra-BEC in partnership with the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities and Cairo Governorate that conserves the heritage of al-Khalifa in Historic Cairo and conceives of it as a driver for community development.  She is also adjunct lecturer of architecture at the American University in Cairo.