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40 Maadi Villas are About to be Demolished and Residents are Fighting Back with a Petition

14 villas have been demolished so far with plans for 40 more with demolition permits.

With the boom in Cairo's population, which is naturally contributing to unprecedented growth in demand on housing units in our already over-populated metropolis, a number of Cairo's neighbourhoods have been witnessing an assault on their architectural heritage with the destruction of many of the city's villas and turning them into high-rise residential units. This wave of destruction started years ago in Heliopolis, rushing through to Dokki, and now the storm seems to be blowing in full force in the upscale neighbourhood of Maadi, where 14 villas were demolished and 40 more were green-lit for demolition, according to Shorouk News.  

(Demolishing permit on a villa, Nancy Salem)

As a response to the swift demolition campaign, a public petition addressing Egypt's Prime Minister was launched a week ago, collecting signatures in objection to the plans. Signatures are to be collected until the end of today, after which they will be sent to the Prime Minister urging him to take definitive action. The petition was started by Sarayat Maadi Occupant Union, which points the blame for the ongoing destruction to municipal authorities. The #Maadi_Under_Destruction petition has gathered 427 signatures so far. The campaign aims to collect the highest number of signatures possible in order to express unity in resistance to the aggressive destruction of their beautiful neighbourhood, and expose what the petition refers to as 'massive corruption' behind the issuing of the demolishing permits.

There's one day left for signature collection, you can sign the petition here.

(Photo: Nancy Salem on Facebook)