Off the Well-worn Tourist Trail: Hassan Fathy Village

Get the best advice about your holiday in Luxor.

Moderators: DJKeefy, 4u Network

User avatar
Winged Isis
Egyptian Pharaoh
Egyptian Pharaoh
Posts: 3866
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2007 2:38 pm
Location: Australia
Has thanked: 1568 times
Been thanked: 1025 times
Gender:
Australia

Off the Well-worn Tourist Trail: Hassan Fathy Village

Post by Winged Isis »

Something to do that's a bit different. I enjoyed my first visit a number of years ago, as do my tour clients, as something different to the usual "Temples and Tombs Trail". I can attest from personal experience this style of buildings are great in which to live.

This week in 1900: Architect Hassan Fathy is born

Thu, 28/03/2013 - 12:25

Ahmed Zaki Osman
History will long remember Hassan Fathy for his courageous yet unsuccessful attempt to use architecture as a tool that could challenge Western hegemony and transform the lives of Egyptians.

Fathy was born on 23 March 1900. Throughout his career, he was involved in establishing environmentally sound homes for Egyptians, especially underprivileged residents in Upper Egypt and the Western Desert.

Growing up at a time when Egypt was desperately searching for its own identity, Fathy worked on developing an architectural identity that could help strengthen that of the nation.

Some historians argue he was an opponent of Western-style architecture, which uses mass-produced reinforced concrete. But this is a relatively simplistic take on his vision. In his book “Architecture for the Poor: An Experiment in Rural Egypt,” Fathy showed how architecture could be a tool for wide social and political resistance and transformation.

He wrote: “In modern Egypt there is no indigenous style. The signature is missing; the houses of rich and poor alike are without character, without an Egyptian accent. The tradition is lost, and we have been cut off from our past...”

Fathy’s search for an architectural identity was not only centered on how to build a house. He was concerned with how to transform people’s lives, economically, socially and culturally.

These ideas were implemented in his New Gourna project in Luxor, which he started after World War II. The old village of Gourna, located at the heart of archaeological sites on the hills, worried authorities due to residents’ repeated attempts to loot ancient Egyptian tombs.

Fathy proposed to use architecture to create new ways of living for these residents, offering them economic opportunities and, at the same time, initiating Egyptian-inspired architecture.

He said a house’s architecture should respect the “role of traditions.” For him, that meant respecting local realities and finding solutions that did not threaten them. One such reality in Upper Egypt, for example, meant that relatives preferred to have their houses close to each other. He argued — and here, he played the role of an anthropologist — that “the need for protection from nature and other men, both for themselves and for their cattle, is reflected in the way the houses and villages open inward toward the center and turn their backs on the outside world.”

Another focus in his project was the environment. Fathy used mud bricks in his houses saying they were not only an economic must, but also eased the summer heat.

He also acknowledged that the new village should have its own economic means, such as reviving traditional crafts that could be shown in permanent exhibitions.

The inspiring project of new Gourna, however, suffered major setbacks.

In his 1958 novel “Al-Gabal” (The Mountain), author Fathy Ghanem showed how the project was often ignored. And, in the more recent present, a few symbolic attempts have been launched to revive the project at a time when the new Gourna village has become another site for illegal and poorly regulated construction in Egypt.


http://www.egyptindependent.com/news/we ... fathy-born

Another interesting site:
http://archnet.org/library/parties/one- ... party_id=1


Carpe diem! :le:

User avatar
Dusak
Egyptian Pharaoh
Egyptian Pharaoh
Posts: 5896
Joined: Sun May 11, 2008 2:29 pm
Location: LUXOR
Has thanked: 5908 times
Been thanked: 7355 times
Gender:
Thailand

Re: Off the Well-worn Tourist Trail: Hassan Fathy Village

Post by Dusak »

An interesting post as well as an interesting insight towards future construction although mud brick have been used for centuries. Of not much use nowadays in most of Egypt I would say as the change in weather patterns will mean that over the coming decades Upper Egypt will receive more rain fall which easily destroys such constructions. However, a revised construction of the roof, such as the Anglo Saxons used to disperse the water away from the walls would prevent this although they tended to use wood or wattle and daub for the walls, but not really a viable one today.

User avatar
Bullet Magnet
Royal V.I.P
Royal V.I.P
Posts: 2530
Joined: Sat Nov 21, 2009 10:38 am
Location: Le Manège Enchanté
Has thanked: 9029 times
Been thanked: 2303 times

Re: Off the Well-worn Tourist Trail: Hassan Fathy Village

Post by Bullet Magnet »

Biodegradable housing makes perfect sense to me, as you say Dusak, with the right kind of roof the walls wont suffer too badly and mud is a great insulator from the heat.
Easily disposed of too, either by man or nature.. :cool:
There's a time for everyone, if they only learn
That the twisting kaleidoscope moves us all in turn.

A-Four
Egyptian Pharaoh
Egyptian Pharaoh
Posts: 3832
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:04 pm
Location: London
Has thanked: 1604 times
Been thanked: 1711 times
Gender:
United Kingdom

Re: Off the Well-worn Tourist Trail: Hassan Fathy Village

Post by A-Four »

The only problem with this village on the WB is that it was built on the old floodplain, and for the past 20 years or so, many of these houses suffer from severe damp.

User avatar
Ruby Slippers
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 460
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2005 3:14 pm
Has thanked: 427 times
Been thanked: 623 times
United Kingdom

Re: Off the Well-worn Tourist Trail: Hassan Fathy Village

Post by Ruby Slippers »

The only time I have been off the well known tourist trail was being inside the Aga Khan's Mausoleum - which not too many tourists would find an available option these days. It was simplicity itself and very peaceful. The single red rose laid by his wife was extremely poignant .

A-Four
Egyptian Pharaoh
Egyptian Pharaoh
Posts: 3832
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:04 pm
Location: London
Has thanked: 1604 times
Been thanked: 1711 times
Gender:
United Kingdom

Re: Off the Well-worn Tourist Trail: Hassan Fathy Village

Post by A-Four »

You may not know this Ruby Slippers, but you are a member of a exclusive club, this whole area in Asswan is now closed to the public. From the top of this hill you could see quite clearly why the Aga Khan regarded Asswan as one of the most beautiful places in the world.

I remember taking my family there on their very first visit to Asswan, telling them not to look behind them until they reached the very top of that winding path that reached the tomb, I think you would agree the view was outstanding. The Aga Khan's wife always said that, as long as she was alive this area would be open, after that, it was up to the Egyptian authorities.

User avatar
Ruby Slippers
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 460
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2005 3:14 pm
Has thanked: 427 times
Been thanked: 623 times
United Kingdom

Re: Off the Well-worn Tourist Trail: Hassan Fathy Village

Post by Ruby Slippers »

I agree with you 100% about the view, A-Four. Aswan is my favourite place, although others moan about the 'dusty atmosphere' there. I know that admittance to the mausoleum ceased when the Begum died, so I consider myself extremely fortunate to have visited before she did. Shows you just how long I've been going there, doesn't it? :)

User avatar
Who2
Egyptian Pharaoh
Egyptian Pharaoh
Posts: 6870
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 12:04 pm
Location: Siddharthanagar
Has thanked: 1548 times
Been thanked: 5368 times
Gender:
Nepal

Re: Off the Well-worn Tourist Trail: Hassan Fathy Village

Post by Who2 »

Another totally misunderstood (one of my) 'saints, appreciated only by the few, he could have saved this world from much suffering.....:cool:
PS: 2/3rds of the worlds' population live in adobe houses. And many by choice

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hassan_Fathy
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adobe_hous ... _the_world
"The Salvation of Mankind lies in making everything the responsibility of All"
Sophocles.

User avatar
Chocolate Eclair
Royal V.I.P
Royal V.I.P
Posts: 1621
Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2010 4:56 pm
Location: Luxor Egypt
Has thanked: 124 times
Been thanked: 752 times
Gender:
Egypt

Re: Off the Well-worn Tourist Trail: Hassan Fathy Village

Post by Chocolate Eclair »

The problem being with "Off the Tourist Trail places" is the fact that there have been reports of Westerners being kidnapped in the World Press, even though these were taken in the Sinai Desert, it reflects all over the Country to the average tourist. Those of us that live here seem to be the only ones that both know the truth and just what is going on, its getting that over to the average Tourist.

There are many places we would like to visit but will wait until security gets tighter, and the Police are ordered back to as they were.

User avatar
Ruby Slippers
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 460
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2005 3:14 pm
Has thanked: 427 times
Been thanked: 623 times
United Kingdom

Re: Off the Well-worn Tourist Trail: Hassan Fathy Village

Post by Ruby Slippers »

CE, I'm going back many years when I visited the Mausoleum. There were few threats then - although in fairness I have to say that the Luxor massacre happened later the same year.

User avatar
Winged Isis
Egyptian Pharaoh
Egyptian Pharaoh
Posts: 3866
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2007 2:38 pm
Location: Australia
Has thanked: 1568 times
Been thanked: 1025 times
Gender:
Australia

Re: Off the Well-worn Tourist Trail: Hassan Fathy Village

Post by Winged Isis »

CE, this is only in New Gurna and not far from where you live, not the middle of the desert! As Mr Jones would say, "Don't panic!!! Don't panic!!!" :urm:
Carpe diem! :le:

User avatar
Chocolate Eclair
Royal V.I.P
Royal V.I.P
Posts: 1621
Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2010 4:56 pm
Location: Luxor Egypt
Has thanked: 124 times
Been thanked: 752 times
Gender:
Egypt

Re: Off the Well-worn Tourist Trail: Hassan Fathy Village

Post by Chocolate Eclair »

You never see me out after dark I am afraid, there will be a time when something happens to a tourist, or a European living here, I do not want to be the first, be it Sinai or Gourna. When you live here full time you here of many things that happen that do not get out to visitors.
Was not all that long ago that someone wanted to show someone around my villa late at night, do not know why or what for, they did not have an invite... Mind you they did get moved on with a flea in their ear by the villagers.

User avatar
Ruby Slippers
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 460
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2005 3:14 pm
Has thanked: 427 times
Been thanked: 623 times
United Kingdom

Re: Off the Well-worn Tourist Trail: Hassan Fathy Village

Post by Ruby Slippers »

DH has just reminded me of another 'off the tourist trail' visit which I had completely forgotten about. We were privileged to go behind the temple of Abu Simbel and see how it had been moved to higher ground. It was like a huge cave, hollowed out of the mountain. I should have some photos around which show the complexity of the whole operation. A magnificent example of engineering at its best without which Abu Simbel (and Philae) would be under water by now. :up

User avatar
Dusak
Egyptian Pharaoh
Egyptian Pharaoh
Posts: 5896
Joined: Sun May 11, 2008 2:29 pm
Location: LUXOR
Has thanked: 5908 times
Been thanked: 7355 times
Gender:
Thailand

Re: Off the Well-worn Tourist Trail: Hassan Fathy Village

Post by Dusak »

[quote="Chocolate Eclair"]You never see me out after dark I am afraid, ]

That's understandable Choc, considering how regular your power cuts are getting. I should imagine neither out nor in. :lol:

User avatar
FABlux
Egyptian God
Egyptian God
Posts: 9959
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2005 1:32 pm
Location: Luxor
Has thanked: 292 times
Been thanked: 182 times
Gender:
Egypt

Re: Off the Well-worn Tourist Trail: Hassan Fathy Village

Post by FABlux »

Ruby Slippers wrote:DH has just reminded me of another 'off the tourist trail' visit which I had completely forgotten about. We were privileged to go behind the temple of Abu Simbel and see how it had been moved to higher ground. It was like a huge cave, hollowed out of the mountain. I should have some photos around which show the complexity of the whole operation. A magnificent example of engineering at its best without which Abu Simbel (and Philae) would be under water by now. :up
An excellent exhibition, but in theory it is included in every visit to Abu Simbel as part of the entry ticket.

User avatar
Ruby Slippers
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 460
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2005 3:14 pm
Has thanked: 427 times
Been thanked: 623 times
United Kingdom

Re: Off the Well-worn Tourist Trail: Hassan Fathy Village

Post by Ruby Slippers »

Fablux, I've been to Abu Simbel 3 times and on subsequent visits, behind the scenes, as it were, was not an option. Just the first time. That was 1996.

User avatar
Winged Isis
Egyptian Pharaoh
Egyptian Pharaoh
Posts: 3866
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2007 2:38 pm
Location: Australia
Has thanked: 1568 times
Been thanked: 1025 times
Gender:
Australia

Re: Off the Well-worn Tourist Trail: Hassan Fathy Village

Post by Winged Isis »

Well I never knew it was still there, having also only seen it on my first visit (January 2003)! Then, it was in a separate building near the entry, from memory. I have been disappointed it had gone, as it was very interesting and brought back childhood memories of seeing news reports of one of the outside-Ramses statue-heads being lifted into position. I will certainly seek it out next visit.
Carpe diem! :le:

User avatar
Ruby Slippers
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 460
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2005 3:14 pm
Has thanked: 427 times
Been thanked: 623 times
United Kingdom

Re: Off the Well-worn Tourist Trail: Hassan Fathy Village

Post by Ruby Slippers »

I hope you find it, WI. As for me - 3 times is enough! :)

User avatar
Winged Isis
Egyptian Pharaoh
Egyptian Pharaoh
Posts: 3866
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2007 2:38 pm
Location: Australia
Has thanked: 1568 times
Been thanked: 1025 times
Gender:
Australia

Re: Off the Well-worn Tourist Trail: Hassan Fathy Village

Post by Winged Isis »

So how did you get to see this, as it is not usually offered? From when I took my first tour group, I have been wanting to show them this before seeing the temples. When was your last time, and how much did it cost, please?
Carpe diem! :le:

User avatar
Winged Isis
Egyptian Pharaoh
Egyptian Pharaoh
Posts: 3866
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2007 2:38 pm
Location: Australia
Has thanked: 1568 times
Been thanked: 1025 times
Gender:
Australia

Re: Off the Well-worn Tourist Trail: Hassan Fathy Village

Post by Winged Isis »

I have seen the door in the back, but assumed that was for maintenance. So Fran, where is the exhibition these days?
Carpe diem! :le:

  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post
  • Campaign to renovate Hassan Fathy Village in Luxor
    by Winged Isis » Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:09 pm » in Visiting Luxor
    10 Replies
    164 Views
    Last post by Hafiz
    Thu Nov 23, 2017 3:39 am
  • Headgear worn by Muslim women
    by dsaxelby » Thu Dec 12, 2013 7:16 pm » in Know Egypt
    29 Replies
    318 Views
    Last post by Glyphdoctor
    Fri Dec 13, 2013 7:47 pm
  • Holy Family Trail in Egypt
    by Winged Isis » Wed Apr 10, 2019 12:02 am » in General Discussions and Rants
    2 Replies
    281 Views
    Last post by A-Four
    Sun Apr 14, 2019 5:44 pm
  • Egypt Just Opened its First Long-Distance hiking Trail
    by Winged Isis » Sat Mar 16, 2019 11:59 am » in Know Egypt
    5 Replies
    351 Views
    Last post by Hafiz
    Wed Mar 27, 2019 3:37 pm
  • Hassan a very wise Bedu.
    by Who2 » Mon Oct 22, 2012 3:24 pm » in Know Egypt
    1 Replies
    194 Views
    Last post by Who2
    Mon Oct 22, 2012 5:43 pm