Cairo – Re-conceptualizing the Capital’s Heritage
At a critical junction in the history of world, the heritage of capital cities, like Cairo, is not to be regarded simply in terms of its architectural or artistic value, but as a means for understanding the social dynamics that have shaped our world so that we can develop appropriate sustainable strategies for coping with pressing urban, national and global problems.
Cairo, more than a 1000 years old, with a variety of heritage resources, is ideally suited for learning, within the context of its built environment, the social history of the capital as a microcosm of world history.
Saving dilapidated buildings and decaying historical neighborhoods should therefore not be motivated just by a concern for the splendor and aesthetics of outstanding architectural structures, or primarily by a nostalgia for a putative golden age, or even only for national income from tourism, implicitly perpetuating Orientalist and Imperialist conceptualizations of Cairo.
Instead, Cairo’s Capital Heritage can inform local communities and visitors of intercultural exchanges,religious tolerance, Cosompolitan world views, social cohesion, and the values of learning.
During, the last millennium, the world was made and remade several times.
Cairo’s heritage provides tangible proxies of these global changes, and prepares us for comprehnding the scope and magnitude of ongoing developments and what it takes to be a part of an ongoing global transformation.