Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Gamal Abdel Nasser House Turned to a Library | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A Chinese tourist poses for a photo in front of the Sphinx at the Giza Pyramids on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt March 2, 2016. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Alexandria- Visitors will soon have access to the house of late Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser after Dr. Nivine al-Kailani, the head of Cultural Development Fund, announced that the house will be transformed into a library after a reparation process that took two years.

Kailani told Asharq Al-Awsat Newspaper that the “cost of repairing the house reached EP350, 000. It will be inaugurated in a short period. The house’s space is 160 square meters located on a 380-square-meter land. It consists of five rooms and a reception hall. In addition to the library, the house will include a theater and will be equipped with three halls.”

The late president had historical stances and transforming his house in Alexandria into a museum was a dream to the city’s residents. However, this house was neglected for over 46 years.

The house where Abdel Nasser was born (1918-1970) goes back to 1904 when his father purchased it. The family remained there for years; then the father moved to Cairo for work after selling the house for EGP3,000 to Al-Sawi family. Years after, President Anwar Sadat ordered the evacuation of the house to make it a museum in Abdel Nasser’s memory. Alexandria governorate purchased the house for EGP30, 000.

The house is important because it is where Abdel Nasser began to confront the mandate, although the late president had several houses in Egypt and each house witnessed a chapter of his life and of Egypt’s history as well.

In a famous statement made by Abdel Nasser during an interview with David Morgan to Sunday Times, he said: “I still remember my first clash with the powers that be (authority). It was in 1933; at the time I was a student in Alexandria not yet fifteen years old. I was crossing Mansheya Square in Alexandria when I came across a clash between a student demonstration and the police. I entered jail as an enthusiastic student and left fraught with rage. A long time passed before my ideas, beliefs and plans took shape but even at that early stage I knew my country was embroiled in a continuous struggle for freedom.”