Naoum Shebib: The Pioneer of Modern Architecture in Egypt

Naoum Shebib: The Pioneer of Modern Architecture in Egypt


Photo Credit: Naoum Shebib

The Cairo tower stands sentry in the heart of the capital: observant to the lives of Cairo’s residents and alluring in nature. Naoum Shebib is the man behind one of Cairo’s most iconic modern landmarks, an Egyptian architect notably described as the ‘precursor of modern architecture in Egypt.’

Shebib was born on 28 November 1915 into a Jewish Egyptian family. He graduated from the Faculty of Engineering at Cairo University in 1937, and obtained both of his Masters degrees, in Soil Mechanics & Engineering, and another in Structural Engineering from the same university.

Between 1941 and 1970, he pursued his career as an architect, a structural engineer, and a contractor.

Undoubtedly, Shebib’s most famous work is the Cairo Tower, and he is often described as the ‘father of skyscrapers.

Photo Credit: Naoum Shebib


He designed and oversaw the construction of several other iconic buildings in Egypt, including the building for Al-Ahram Egypt’s Ramses Street, Egypt’s first skyscrapers, one of which is located in Saha street in downtown Cairo, and dome roofs for various buildings in Egypt such as cinemas, commercial buildings, and churches.

Shebib was an innovator, and in his works, he took into consideration the most modern methods used in reinforced concrete construction.

Cairo Tower – Egypt Tours Portal

He was not only an ambitious architect, but he was also a great leader, who valued and encouraged the workers executing his projects.“ I want to mention the courage of Egyptian workers and their patience and ability to work at such heights despite their exposure to inclement weather,” he noted in his speech at the inauguration of the Cairo Tower.

In his projects, he used different types of structural elements, such as mushroom structural supports, and thin concrete shell vaults (dome roofs), the latter of which became a signature element of his work.

In 1971, Naoum Shebib relocated to Canada with his family, where he lived until he passed away in 1985.

How an Egyptian Startup Became the Leading Esports Platform in the Middle East
Salon Essraa: The TV Show Telling Stories One Egyptian Expat at a Time

Subscribe to our newsletter


Farah Rafik is a graduate from the American University in Cairo (AUC) with a dual degree in Multimedia Journalism and Political Science. After being an active participant in Model United Nation (MUN) conferences both locally and internationally, Farah discovered her love for writing. When she isn’t writing about Arts & Culture for Egyptian Streets, she is busy watching films and shows to review. Writing isn’t completed without a coffee or an iced matcha latte in hand—that she regularly spills. She occasionally challenges herself in reading challenges on Goodreads, and can easily read a book a day.

More in Buzz

5 Hidden Gems in Cairo Worth Exploring in 2023

Dina Khadr28 May 2023

Egypt’s Al Ahly Basketball Team Clinch African Championship

Shereif Barakat28 May 2023

Making Nations Pay for Climate Change: 6 Questions on the Loss and Damage Fund

Omar Auf24 May 2023

Social Media Reacts to First Edition of Egypt Fashion Week

Amina Abdel-Halim23 May 2023

Is Egypt’s ‘Masyaf’ Season Canceled This Year?

Marina Makary22 May 2023

From Petra to Luxor: a Look at the Arab World’s Longest Hiking Trail

Amina Abdel-Halim22 May 2023

How is This Egyptian Startup Facilitating Co-Ownership of Vacation Homes?

Marina Makary18 May 2023

Beyond Entertainment: The Social Impact of Egypt’s ‘Mosalsalat’

Amina Abdel-Halim16 May 2023