Recommended fiction with more on Downtown Cairo and The Yacoubian Building:

In 1934, Hagop Yacoubian, the millionaire and then doyen of the Armenian community in Egypt, decided to construct an apartment block that would bear his name. He chose for it the best site on Suleiman Basha and engaged a well-known Italian engineering firm to build it, and the firm came up with a beautiful design—ten lofty stories in the high classical European style, the balconies decorated with Greek faces carved in stone, the columns, steps, and corridors all natural marble, and the latest model of elevator by Schindler. Construction continued for two whole years, at the end of which there emerged an architectural gem that so exceeded expectations that the owner requested of the Italian architect that he inscribe his name, Yacoubian, on the inside of the doorway in large Latin characters that were lit up at night in neon, as though to immortalise his name and emphasise his ownership of the gorgeous building.

– Alaa Al Aswany, The Yacoubian Building translated by Humphrey Davies (2007 reprint edition)

Image: Downtown Cairo, Cairo, Egypt.

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