ALEXANDRIA’S THIRD PLACES

STORY 08

Amir Studio

I have the impression that a number of shops, especially in downtown Alexandria are still working only to keep a family business.  A few meters beside Khan El Khalili shop on Fouad street we see this small vintage photography studio. It could represent one of the firms that could not compete with the very competitive and yet stagnant market in Alexandria. The old city’s downtown is packed with old shops, either totally closed and abandoned for years or open from time to time. Their opening hours are irregular. Usually, their owners are observed seated inside or in front of the shops. They might have lost their economical value, but yet, they still represent some other values to the owners. The situation of those shops can impact the urban image of the city. For an outsider, the city could look deserted or abandoned. Are they worth keeping? Or they would be lost to gentrification?… Who can tell? I never managed to interview the owner of Amir Studio. Every time I have the energy, I go there during the opening hours (written down in golden Arabic calligraphy on the glass door) to find the shop either sealed with metal shutters, or the shutters are open but the glass door is closed. It is worth mentioning that this shop was also part of the Zogheb palace. 

About Alexandria’s Third Places