El Max Rescue Project

Rawda Abdelhady

The El-Max district to the West of Alexandria, Egypt, is one of the last fishing communities in Alexandria. The significance of this region in terms of its incumbent maritime traditions, buildings, features and objects, is indisputable, the issue here is how to best safeguard this unique area for future generations.

Problem Statement
As part of the Egyptian Government Industrial and Exportation policy towards 2030, a new logistics bay area will be developed in the next year (2021-22), and a new state of the art docking facility will be built between the Western Harbour and El Dekhila Harbour of Alexandria. El-Max new Harbour will become the epicentre for trade and exportation from Egypt. Thus, the whole traditional El-Max district will be wiped out, and all its inhabitants will be relocated. As a result, this community will no longer have direct access to the Mediterranean Sea, and thus, these unique traditions of fishing, boatbuilding, and their associated livelihood, will be lost forever.

Goals and Mission
This rescue project aims to urgently document and record El-Max district’s tangible and intangible cultural heritage. The documentation process includes; visual documentation such as photography and videos, surveying documentation, GIS and mapping, architectural documentation, archiving and gathering oral histories.

The project is funded by the Foundation in collaboration with projects of the Raquda Foundation for Art and Heritage NGO-NPO, which began in 2015 with the aim of preserving, conserving and documenting the tangible and intangible cultural heritage, along with a number of HFF scholars. 

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