When Cairo was founded in 969CE by the Fatimid dynasty, 20% of the city was devoted to open space. However, by the second half of the 20th century, Cairo had become one of the densest metropolises in the world.
In 1984, the Aga Khan Trust for Culture began the development of a new park in order to create a green lung for the rapidly expanding city’s population. The only suitable central location was a 30-hectare mound of rubble that had been a rubbish dump for over 500 years.
Today, the park attracts over one million visitors per year. The project has evolved to include the restoration of several nearby mosques and monuments along with socio-economic initiatives in the neighbouring Darb al-Ahmar district that include support for its historic artisan community.
Thanks to AKTC/Garry Otte for the use of XXX photograph.