Our Cairo Day Tour to City
of the Dead Usually
Starts at 12:00 afternoon egyloveTours Expert Licensed Tour Guide will Pick You
up from your hotel then you will be transferred by Private A/C Vehicle to a
place near by the City Center of Cairo where the City
of the Dead or
``Qaraafa, Araafa`` Located.
about a four mile long cemetery from northern to southern part of Cairo, Egypt.
To the people of Cairo and other Egyptians,
it is simply el'araafa is an Arabic Egyptian word
which means "the cemetery".
is a bustling grid of tombs and mausoleums where people live and work Amongst
their dead and ancestors. Many residents live here to be near their loved ones,
or because they were forced from more crowded areas in Cairo and 60s immigration from countryside.
fact many came from their villages simply looking for work — a good example of
rural to urban migration in an LEDC.Its foundation dates back to the Arab
conquest of Egypt in 642 AD. The Arab commander, Amr ibn
al As, founded the first Egyptian Arab
capital, the city of Al Fustat,
and established his family's graveyard at the foot of the hill al Moqattam.
The other tribes
buried their dead within the living quartiers. The following Arab dinasties
built own political citadel northwards to the previous, founding a new
graveyard every time.
Qarafa and the Lesser Qarafa (the
commander's family cemetery) have been inhabiting since the first centuries
after the conquest. Its first resident nucleus consisted of the custodians to
noble graves and the staff in charge of the burial service as well as the Sufi
mystics in their khawaniq (colleges).
During the Fatimid
Caliphate, because of their Shi'ite faith, the sovereigns supported pilgrimages
to Ahl al Bayt (Prophet's family) shrines as part of their politics. These
pilgrimages increased the cemetery's habitat in order to provide pligrims'
needs. The following sultan, Salah el Din, in order to unify all the four
capitals within a surrounding wall, included both cemeteries in an unique urban
The next Mamluk
rulers, originally freed slaves forming a military caste, founded a new
graveyard named Sahara, because of its deserted environment,outside the city at
its north-eastern border.
was also a place for military parades, such as tournaments and investiture
ceremonies, as well as for processions, at which sultan and nobles took part
during the religious celebrations. So that many of them built their palaces on
the main road of the cemetery in order to assist to the spectacles. With the
Ottomans (1517-1798) Egypt became just a mere province of a vaste
empire with Istanbul as capital.
the following three centuries Egypt was ruled by pashas, sultan's
representatives, selected Among his
closest because of the importance of this country for agricultural and
financial supplies. Because of the short term of the rulers' office, only few
of one hundred and ten pashas who administrated Egypt,
decided to build own tomb there, on the contrary of Cairenes.
the beginning of the sixteenth century an urban and heterogeneous community,
populated Al Qarafa. The economic improvements affected the urban territory of Cairo with the birth of new neighbourhoods
which caused a reduction in the utilization of the old cemetery. However since
the funerary monuments were symbols of self-glorification for the upper classes
in order to perpetuate own memory, their tombs were garlanded with gilded
decorations with festoons, based on nature, flowers and fruits.
necropolis, because as a site of extraordinary concentration of awalya's tombs,
Sufi colleges and madrasa, it attracted many people in search of baraka
(blessing). During the following centuries Egyptian
population empoverished more and more.
lower stratum of middle class collapsed and moved to other peripheral zones and
the fellahin, the Egyptian
peasants and farmers, emigrated to the capital. Both of them crowded the
poorest fringe zones as well as the City of the Dead.
The newcomers changed Al Qarafa's face from an urban district to a hybrid
community of rurals and citizens.
Following the 1992
earthquake many people were forced to move into family tombs thus adding to the
number of people already living there. around 15:00 pm Transfer you Back to
Prices: Quoted Per Person in u.s.d