Last Friday, the Egyptian Textile Museum held a bicycle marathon in which 200 bicyclists raced from Tahrir Square in central Cairo to the Textile Museum in Fatimid Cairo. Under the title By Bicycle to the Museum, the marathon was arranged by Egypt’s Will Association, ZBIKERS Team, Cairo’s Historical Management, Islamic and Coptic Antiquities Section, Egyptian Tourist Authority, Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Ministry of Interior.
“The aim of the marathon is to spread awareness of heritage and antiquity, and the high significance they carry to the lives of nations, peoples and civilisations. Heritage constitutes a main source of income for many countries; and it represents a window on the past to build the future. It encourages tourism which is one of the most important sources of income in the country and it greatly helps supporting the economy. The marathon also aims to send a message to the whole world that Egypt is safe and secure, and its streets are terrorism-free,” said Elham Salah, Head of Museums Sector at the Ministry of Antiquities.
The participants gathered at Tahrir Square at 8:30am; and the marathon started at 9:00am. The bicyclists rode through al-Futouh Gate in the 10th century wall of Cairo then on to al-Muizz Street which was the main street in the city at the time. Crowds of children had gathered holding posters and flags, eagerly waiting for the marathoners to arrive. The marathon passed the historical areas of al-Muizz Street, al-Hakem Mosque, the Islamic-era house of Beit al-Sehemi, al-Qamar Mosque, the Qalawoon complex which includes a mosque, palace, sabil (water fountain) and a madrassa (school), until it reached the Egyptian Textile Museum which is housed in Sabil Muhammad Ali. [http://en.wataninet.com/culture/museums/permanent-home-for-egyptian-textiles/14488/]
25 September 2016