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Fire, redevelopment controversy engulf 127-year-old Cairo market

An Egyptian presidential decision to vacate and restore the Ataba market stirs traders’ fears of the government's desire to control the largest market in Cairo and turn it into an investment zone.
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CAIRO — Egyptian Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouli met July 22 with Cairo Gov. Khaled Abdel-Aal, Culture Minister Inas Abdel Dayem and the head of the General Organization for Physical Planning, Alaa Abdel Fattah, to discuss a presidential directive to develop the Ataba market, the largest market in the Egyptian capital, located in Mosky neighborhood. The directive called for the evacuation of merchants and the restoration of the market following a massive fire June 27. 

The historical Ataba market, built in 1892, has a strategic location in the heart of the Egyptian capital, just a few kilometers from Tahrir Square. It stretches over ​​5,200 square meters (1.3 acres), and includes 460 shops; there are also thousands of street traders in adjacent Ataba Square.

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