Feature

‘Tree Massacre’ At One Of Egypt’s Oldest Parks Sparks Protests

‘Tree Massacre’ At One Of Egypt’s Oldest Parks Sparks Protests

Merryland after the 'tree massacre'
Merryland during the ‘tree massacre’

By Nada Deyaa’, Daily News Egypt

Growing up in the Heliopolis neighbourhood of Cairo means spending a part of your life inside the walls of Merryland Park.  With the relaxing greens covering everywhere, the feeling of purity inspired by the swan lake it has, and the loud giggling of children while playing in their special section, this is a haven of peace in the capital’s chaos.

That breath-taking scene was recently replaced with a lonesome desert view after all of the trees were removed, leaving the beautiful park a barren place to build a garage. This is a part of infrastructure upgrades, the owning company claims.

The Merryland Park holds a lifetime of memories for most people living nearby, as the park has played a huge part in Heliopolis’ green scene.

“The Merryland is connected to every period of my life time,” said Nehad Wassim, a Heliopolis resident. “I used to go play there when I was a little kid, then my romantic memories when I was engaged were there, and after I gave birth to my daughter, I used to take her there to play with her friends.”

The memories people have with the Merryland are unlimited nor countable, according to Nehad.

The park is owned by the public sector company Heliopolis Housing and Development Company.  Ali Moustafa, the company’s Chairman, said in a phone interview with the privately-owned CBC channel that the trees were not chopped down. He said they were only moved from their place to another garden until they build the underground parking space, which is required to renew the park.

“The trees were moved by an agriculture specialist that made sure that they can be replanted again,” Moustafa said. “Rare trees were never touched.”

The Ministry of Environment stated in a press release on Sunday that the company did not receive permission from the ministries of Environment or Agriculture to cut the trees down. Minister of Environment Khaled Fahmy asked that the proceedings be stopped until it is known whose responsibility it is and the environmental side effects of the action.

Fahmy called the incident of “unfair trimming for the trees”, and ordered a claim against the company responsible for the park development be filed until the situation has been studied. This is due to the lack of environmental approvals, which does not allow such practices.

Mahmoud Hejazy, Chairman of the Holding Company for Housing, which has the authority over the Heliopolis branch, refused to comment to Daily News Egypt until the final decision has been given.

The Merryland Park is considered one of the largest parks in Cairo, and was established in 1952.

Humans of Aghanistan: Seeing Past the Stereotypes
Arab Kings and Presidents In Egypt As Sisi Calls For Unified Arab Military Force

Subscribe to our newsletter


  • booolaaa

    Why they want to cut trees for parking lot instead of natural and healthy living.

  • Commander_Chico

    They’re cutting down trees all over the place in Heliopolis, Mohandeseen and Dokki as they build bigger apartment buildings.

Feature
@DailyNewsEgypt

Daily News Egypt is a completely independent news provider for Egypt and the wider MENA region.

More in Feature

01ea6fda4ec705de1f0d8307df4aad284af86e9fad1a6e2ae0a0f14630297bf5

Meet the Company Redefining Egypt’s Health Insurance Market

Enas El MasryDecember 4, 2016
13920532_1736726203248967_2577116043429050990_o

Making #HerStory Matter: Promoting Gender Equality on Arabic Wikipedia

Egyptian StreetsNovember 27, 2016
ahmed saied

‘We Made Chess Out of Soap’: Exclusive Interview with Released Political Prisoner Ahmed Saied

Aya NaderNovember 23, 2016
Students watch a movie being projected in the playground

The Oromo in Egypt: Why Have 11,000 Ethiopians Fled Their Homeland?

Nada NaderNovember 15, 2016
Trump at an early campaign event in New Hampshire on June 16, 2015. Photo by Michael Vadon

Egyptian Expats Weigh in on Trump Victory, Express Fear of Rhetoric

Aswat MasriyaNovember 12, 2016
An employee counts money at an exchange office in downtown Cairo
Credit: Amr Abdallah Dalsh/ Reuters

Timeline: The Egyptian Pound Over the Last Five Decades

Aswat MasriyaNovember 3, 2016
Photo courtesy of Blue Ocean PR

The Four Pillars of Happiness: Egyptian Lifestyle Consultant Discusses Wellness

Salma El SaeedNovember 2, 2016
pablo-breast-cancer

How You Can Help the 45,000 Egyptian Women Diagnosed With Breast Cancer Each Year

Egyptian StreetsOctober 31, 2016
Egyptian Streets is an independent, young, and grass roots news media organization aimed at providing readers with an alternate depiction of events that occur on Egyptian and Middle Eastern streets, and to establish an engaging social platform for readers to discover and discuss the various issues that impact the region.

© 2016 ES Media UG. All Rights Reserved.