Laughter and tears echo through apartment walls, where memories are built and history is forever etched. A home, a sacred place, by human passion made sweet.
Egypt soars with history, an epicenter of art, culture, science, and music. From renowned celebrities and artists, to revolutionaries and scientists, the ‘Aash Hena, (Lived Here) initiative spotlights the homes of Egypt’s icons.
In efforts to pay homage to those icons, the initiative, launched by the National Organization for Urban Coordination (NOUH) in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture in 2018, aims to document where they lived by hanging recognizable plaques on their buildings.
The project not only aims to pay tribute to the icons of culture and heritage in Egypt, but it also aims to introduce future generations to the personalities who have influenced Egypt in varying fields.
Throughout different districts around Cairo, walkers can spot the signs hung on buildings. The signs include the names of the historical figures, their birth and passing dates, as well as their job description. People can know more about the different personalities by scanning a QR code on the sign, which directs to a small part about their biography.
“Most of the personalities featured were born in Upper Egypts, or in different governorates; however, we decided to place the plaques on the buildings that witnessed the greatest periods of creativity in their lives,” explained Mohamed Abou Saeda, chairman of NOUH.
As of 2020, there are over 500 plaques all over Egypt. Famous figures such as Hussein Bicar, Rosa al-Youssef, martyr Ahmed Mansy, legendary feminist Nawal al-Saadawi are some of the names documented in the project – a tribute to their life’s work and achievements in life.