Tour Leishaa Cemetery

Walk through a unique Karaite Jewish Cemetery in the heart of Cairo

Leishaa Cemetery

This area is the burial place of a Karaite Jewish family that lived in Cairo, Egypt.

Basatin

This cemetery is in an area of southern Cairo called Basatin. There is a large Jewish cemetery in this area, as well as several other family plots scattered throughout the neighborhood.

Karaite Jews

Karaite Jews were present in Egypt from at least the 11th century but most had immigrated to Israel by the 1960s. 

A recent conservation project to clean and protect this site was carried out from 2019-2020 by the American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE) in collaboration with the Drop of Milk Association, funded by the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation.

This corner had several informal buildings. The inhabitants had moved out before the conservation project began and the buildings were removed. There was also overgrown vegetation and debris throughout the space.

Here several members of the Leishaa family are buried.

Zaki Lichaa

He was born in 1870 and lived until 1945.

Cultural Crossroads

The gravestones have writing in Hebrew, Arabic, and French, demonstrating the mix of languages and cultures in early 20th century Egypt.

While the conservation and protection of these family graveyards is an important first step, Samy Ibrahim explains that much more work needs to be done in the larger area of Basatin to secure the site and make it available to visitors interested in Egypt's Jewish heritage.

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Credits: Story

This conservation of the historic Jewish cemetery of Basatin was conducted by the American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE) in collaboration with the Drop of Milk Association and funded by the  U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP).

Story created by Tessa Litecky, ARCE
Learn more about ARCE at arce.org    

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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