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Al Sehemy House

The house consists of two sections: a south section built by Sheikh Abdel Wahab Al-Tablawy in 1648 AD (1058 after Hegira) and a north section built by Hagg Ismail Shalaby in 1796 A.D (1211 A.H ). The entrance is formed by a corridor leading to the front door of the house. This type of passage has the task of protecting the internal area from the external one.

A stroll down Cairo’s El Moez Street during most of Cairo Day Tours will bring you through a busy area of Egypt’s famous Khan Al Khalili. Beyond the narrow alley of jewelry shops and eager shopkeepers, this famous street opens up and becomes a charming cobblestone street. This end of Moez Street is home to several attractions and has seen a bit of a revival over the past decade. Much of this is due to the renovations of Al Sehemy House, one of Cairo’s historical treasures.

It is a complex of two homes built in the 17th and 18th centuries. It is considered one of the finest remaining examples of merchant homes. For years, Al Sehemy House is one of the interesting places of things to do in Cairo sat in its dilapidated state, unused and unappreciated. However, the 1990s project to restore the historic site to its original state proved not only beneficial for the building; but for the entire neighborhood as well.

Since the massive renovation of Al Sehemy House, the structure is now open to the public as a museum and for a variety of performances. During Ramadan, the house is an especially popular site for concerts and performances organized by the Ministry of Culture. Beit El Suheimi is also great year-round forTannoura dances and storytelling or for a quiet afternoon tour.

The first room of the house is a grand reception with impressively high ceilings and a long chandelier. Despite the simple stone walls, the room is grand with intricate wooden mashrabeya screens allowing for minimal light but incredible privacy. The beautifully designed screens are a feature throughout the house, adding a rich tonal contrast to the stone structure.

The second floor is a bit of a maze, and dark, thin halls often lead to darker rooms with low ceilings. Some of the rooms are completely empty except for a layer of dust caked to the walls, while others have carpets and a few tables and accessories. One second-floor room lacks the screened windows but has a lovely balcony with a bright view of the courtyard below. This room has a seating area and is great for catching your bearings while exploring the rather disorienting house.

After exploring the maze of the house, the last stop should be behind Al Sihimi House, where a second courtyard displays a series of photographs depicting images of the House before, during, and after the recent massive renovations.

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