Al Amrikiyya Area – A Story of Two Worlds Coming Together
Strolling around 6th October city’s “Al Amrikiyya Area” is like stepping into a little Damascus, hustling and bustling in the heart of Egypt. Life takes on a distinctive Syrian character that is manifest everywhere from storefronts to the hawkers who dwell on the sidewalks.
Situated between the 6th October City Administration Building and “El Hossary” Mosque, Al Amrikiyya is a vibrant mixed-use platform of restaurants and small shops, which are operated mainly by Syrians and Egyptians.
Mohammad Mamdouh, a 24-year-old Syrian, came to Egypt in 2012 after losing his home to the war in Syria. Together with his brother, he opened the first Syrian mobile store in Al Amrikiyya to support their parents and family. “I am very comfortable living here. I am studying Business Administration at Cairo University and was lucky to be enrolled like a local Egyptian back in 2014,” he said.
At Al-Amrikiyya, a diverse community has come to form the core of its social fabric. This feature extends to swathes of Egypt’s 6th October City, which is one of the main urban settlements hosting refugees as well as Syrian business people and workers. It has also become a major economic hub and meeting point.
Ali Emad, an Egyptian who works in a coffee shop at Al Amrikiyya, steps into his neighboring Syrian restaurant to fetch some change. “Syrians are such a warm-hearted community with whom I interact on a daily basis,” he said. As someone who has worked in the area for several years now, he watched it grow, especially since it became a marketplace for both Syrians and Egyptians. “I saw the development of Al Amrikiyya and I am sure there is more it can offer if it gets upgraded,” he added.
Keen on supporting refugees and the host community and mindful of the centrality of the area to all stakeholders, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency in Egypt, has decided to fund an in-depth study to upgrade the area before its implementation by the city administration.
The study, undertaken in collaboration with Takween Integrated Community Development, ushered in an area-based development plan to improve Al-Amrikiyya’s physical infrastructure and devise socio-economic support schemes with the different workers in the hub.
The plan was well-received by the 6th October city administration, the apparatus responsible for its execution, in a move which attests to the long-standing cooperation between UNHCR and the Egyptian government.
UNHCR has been operating in Egypt since 1954. Throughout the years, it has supported refugees and asylum-seekers in urban settings residing mostly in Cairo and Alexandria with lesser numbers in other northern governorates. As of 31 August 2018, 235,397 are registered with UNHCR in Egypt. They come from 58 countries including Syria, Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, South Sudan, Iraq, Yemen and others.
Page 4 of 8
COVID-19 takes heavy toll on refugees in Egypt23 Nov 2020
Before the COVID-19 outbreak, the majority of refugees in Egypt were already highly vulnerable. Now, many have lost their source of income and are struggling to meet basic needs.
UNHCR, Okhtein Launch a Digital Campaign in Support of UNHCR work in Lebanon29 Oct 2020
At the onset of the Gouna Film Festival, UNHCR and Okhtein launched a joint campaign to support those who were severely impacted by the Beirut explosion.
El Gouna Film Festival and UNHCR Sign Cooperation Agreement to Support Refugees28 Oct 2020
El Gouna Film Festival (GFF) and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency signed a joint cooperation agreement to raise public awareness about refugees and create a UNHCR platform within GFF.
Partnering with GFF 2020, Sawiris Foundation & UNHCR Partner to Support Refugee Children in Egypt 2021/2225 Oct 2020
UNHCR and Sawiris Foundation for Social Development will sign a partnership agreement to support refugee children in 2021 – 2022.
Egyptian MFA, UN in Egypt Launch Response Plans to Support Refugees and Asylum-Seekers6 Oct 2020
Launched for the third consecutive year, the ERP targets refugees and asylum-seekers from Sub-Saharan Africa, Iraq and Yemen as well as host community members.
Sawiris Foundation partners with UNHCR to support vulnerable refugees amidst COVID-1918 Jun 2020
UNHCR partnered with the Sawiris Foundation for Social Development to support 2,673 distressed refugee families in Egypt for six months amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
Coronavirus Pandemic Exacerbates Challenges for Refugees In Egypt4 Jun 2020
Loaded with fresh meals, Arabiyet Elkheir, “the car of good” drove through rugged roads before pulling over in East Cairo. Although it was met by an outburst of residents, the distribution was over before even starting.
More than Just a Meal: Kinda Alloush and a number of celebrities support refugees in Ramadan28 Apr 2020
UNHCR brought together Sayeda, a Yemeni refugee, and the actress Kinda Alloush, to share with us a delicious recipe aromatized with memories of the warmth of the homelands.
Refugees struggle to adapt to life under COVID-1923 Apr 2020
Nearly 20 million people constituting approximately 84% of the world’s refugees are hosted by developing countries with limited resources and overwhelmed healthcare facilities.
Mohamed Salah joins up with Vodafone and UNHCR as first Instant Network Schools Ambassador25 Feb 2020
Footballer Mo Salah becomes Ambassador for school programme that aims to give a quality education to 500,000 refugee and host country students by 2025.