Naguib Pasha Mahfouz’s personally curated collection of rare obstetric deformities and curios is once again open to the public.
As of today, everybody out there with a lingering curiosity for the oddities of old-timey obstetrics and gynaecology (no judgement here) is invited to the newly renovated Naguib Pasha Mahfouz Obstetrics & Gynaecology Museum in Kasr El Aini Medical School, the biggest museum of its kind in the MENA region. Originally established in 1929, the Museum is home to Naguib Pasha’s collection of medical oddities, congenital deformities and all manner of birth-related diseases and mutations spanning his entire career.
The museum is set to have about 1300 of the good doctor’s 3000 or so specimens on display, creating a roadmap of sorts for the patterns of development and evolution of various diseases and deformities affecting both newly born children as well as foetuses. Currently, the museum houses only 400 specimens, with the rest of the samples being carefully and meticulously prepared for display (that gunk in the jars isn’t going to replace itself), bearing in mind that these are all one-of-a-kind samples of diseases and medical phenomena that are almost extinct thanks to the leaps and bounds of modern medicine. Specimens such as the ones on display provide a wealth of educational value to students and observers alike; seeing as most of them are “live” examples of topics only found in text, and no longer in reality.
Not to be confused with the world-renowned writer of the same name, Naguib Pacsha Mahfouz (1882-1974) was regarded as the father of obstetrics and gynaecology in Egypt, and a pioneer in the proper identification and treatment of obstetric fistula, as well as being the first to establish a proper OBGYN department in the entirety of Egypt way back in the day. Apart from providing a bulk of the specimens in the museum to Kasr Al Aini, he also provided the rest to the museums of each of the following universities; Ein Shams, Alexandria, Assiut and Khartoum.