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What You Need to Know About The Government's Plan For Al Waraq Island

We might have a bigger Zamalek in central Cairo soon.

On Sunday, Egypt's official gazette published a decision by the Prime Minister in which Al Waraq island was officially handed over to the New Urban Communities Authority, setting in motion the government's plan to turn the 1400 acre island into a modern residential and commercial hub right off of Central Cairo.

It was July of summer 2017 when security forces violently clashed with the Island's residents in an attempt to evacuate it to break ground on the new project, dubbed Horus Island. After the death of one citizen and numerous injuries on both sides, the government postponed the plan indefinitely until the aforementioned decision saw the light.The announced project, Horus Island, which was proposed by the New Urban Communities Authority last year, will boast a number skyscrapers, 50-acre artificial lake, a marina, and 44% of the land area of the project will be dedicated to green spaces, according to Shorouk News.

The government further clarified it won't be stripping current residents from their right to return to the island, which is why 130 acres are dedicated to Horus Village, a residential project for the current residents who wish to return to the island after the project is completed. For those who simply can't wait that long, the government has expressed its willingness to either relocate them to other areas at no expense or financially compensate them for giving up their homes.It remains unclear how the government plans to evacuate the island in light of last year's clashes, but what's definite is that Prime Minister Sherif Ismail's government doesn't intend to put the project off any longer.

The project is naturally controversial as it entails removing people from homes in which they've lived for decades, but is it a fair price for once-again turning our capital into a habitable, modern, and investment-attracting city? Or does it reflect capitalistic greed and authoritarianism at its worst? We'll leave that answer up to you. 

Photos: Shorouk News


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