What is truly distinctive and unique about Cairo is its authenticity. No matter where you are, whether in a local market or a local restaurant, you are always greeted with an aura of rawness that is rooted in its long history.
Tucked away in Downtown Cairo on Abdel Khalek Tharwat Street is Stephenson Pharmacy, Egypt’s oldest pharmacy. Founded in 1889, the pharmacy is currently owned by the Samman Family and was refurbished by Yasmine El Meleegy and Marwa Abdelbenhelim in 2021. The pharmacy is currently holding an exhibition displaying its old artifacts, including through audio and visual guides, until the 18th of March.
“I wanted to create an exhibition experience beyond the gallery, in an accessible public setting. I also wanted this to be a practice in breaking into closed spaces, and a questioning of what museology entails, and whether old spaces should be classified as museums or sanctuaries,” El-Meleegy tells Arab News.
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Popular Instagram account @cairo.says, which documents Egypt’s urban sites, paid a visit to the pharmacy recently and shared its experience online. “Many items such as glass syringes, grinders, stamps, laboratory tools have been maintained throughout the past 100 years. A lot of these items are kept at the back of the pharmacy and have been used to produce medication for patients depending on their needs and were also used to store exotic herbs,” Cairo Says tells Egyptian Streets.
Below are just a few photos taken by @cairo.says from their visit showing what you can expect to see at the exhibition, which takes place everyday between 6 and 9 pm except on Fridays until 18 March.