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Tags: Cairo

Al-Ahram Studio Cairo Fire: Significant losses to iconic film production site

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Fire devastates Al-Ahram Studio

A major fire severely damaged the 80-year-old iconic Al-Ahram Studio in Cairo early Saturday morning.

The Egyptian state news website Al-Ahram reported that the blaze, which required over five hours for firefighters to control, spread to adjacent buildings.

The fire erupted shortly after the completion of a Ramadan television series filming at the studio.

The state media described the loss as substantial, including the studio’s decorations, wood, designated photography areas, and corridors.

Videos on Egyptian media sites depicted the studio and surrounding buildings engulfed in flames.

While no fatalities were reported, several individuals were transported to hospitals for treatment.

Cultural impact and government response

Al-Ahram Studio, a linchpin in the Arab film industry since 1944, has been celebrated as the “Hollywood on the Nile.”

It has contributed significantly to the careers of international stars such as the late actor Omar Sharif and director Youssef Chahine.

The studio’s campus spans 27,000 square meters, housing three production stages, a screening room, and an editing suite.

Following the incident, Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and Minister of Culture Nevine El-Kilany visited the site to assess the impact.

Madbouly announced financial assistance for families affected by the fire, with the State Information Service stating each would receive 15,000 Egyptian pounds for rent until their homes are repaired.

Investigation and community reactions

The cause of the fire is currently under investigation by Egypt’s Public Prosecutor.

This probe aims to determine the origins of the blaze at one of the Arab world’s oldest film production houses.

The fire has raised concerns about the preservation and safety of cultural landmarks in Egypt.

Local and international communities expressed shock and sorrow over the incident.

The loss of Al-Ahram Studio is felt deeply in the film industry, both as a historical site and a hub for creative output.

The studio has been instrumental in producing numerous Egyptian films and television series, marking it as a key cultural asset.

IFSJ Comment

The fire at Al-Ahram Studio in Cairo underscores the critical need for stringent fire safety measures, especially in cultural and historical sites.

Such incidents not only result in economic losses but also erase irreplaceable parts of cultural heritage.

This event serves as a reminder for the need to regularly assess and upgrade fire safety protocols in all buildings, particularly those with significant cultural value.

Ensuring the safety of these sites is essential for preserving historical and cultural legacies for future generations.

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