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Report - Boys School, Cairo

insanebuslady

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#1
Hey guys, long time no post. Thought I'd put a thread up on a very cool boys school I visited while in Egypt. Big ups to KTS for his help, and I'm going to borrow the history from his thread since I should have left for work five minutes ago

I was lacking a tripod and was forced to shoot at wide open apertures, high iso, low shutter speed etc. Oh well

KTS:

The story told on the streets about this place is that this mansion was the home of Jean-Francois Champollion, the man who discovered the Rosetta Stone. They say that this mansion is where he spent months translating the hieroglyphic and demotic from the greek below it and helping unlock the secrets of ancient Egyptian writing.

The reality is that this mansion was built 60 years after Champollion's death for Prince Said Halim, one of the grandsons of Muhammad Ali, the founder of modern Egypt. Halim was obsessed with Rome which is ironic since it was in Rome where he was assassinated in 1921. He had his architects design this place to look like it belonged in Rome and even had all of the building materials imported from Italy.

The mansion was taken by the British in WW1 and kept by them as punishment to Halim who sided with the Ottomans during the war. It was eventually turned into the Al-Nassiriyah Secondary School For Boys where many future leaders of the Egyptian government would receive their education. Over the years the building was poorly maintained as can be seen and was later moved to a new location and for decades now the school has sat abandoned. A few years ago the building was finally cleaned out of all of the old school supplies and beds and was added to the country's roster of historic places. Since then it has sat empty and guarded waiting for someone to come and reuse the building. The size of the rooms were normal for the late 1800s for a house, but as a school these rooms must have been packed to the brim with students and their desks. The lack of space to capture the rooms even with a 17mm lens was amazing, I can only imagine what this place would have been like filled with students. Many of the chalkboards weren't even chalkboards, they were chalkboard paint painted onto the wall with crude framing put up around them. I wish I could have seen what they used for desks here.
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I ended up having to bribe my way into here and was only allowed fifteen minutes, which ended up being more like ten when the guy playing guard demanded double what I'd already given because I was taking pictures, even though he'd seen me walk in with a camera. I politely refused and made my way out

A few more on my Flickr
http://www.flickr.com/photos/33940411@N08/sets/72157627939697928/with/6264917952/