CAIRO – 20 January 2021: Director General of Research, Archaeological Studies and Scientific Publishing at the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities in South Sinai Abdel-Rahim Rayhan said that the Ministry of Defense in Egypt established the first police center in Egypt on the Gulf of Aqaba in the Tarabin area ofNuweiba city.
The center is located 75 km south of Taba, 75 km north of Dahab, 200 m from the shore of the Gulf of Aqaba and it is registered by Resolution No. 991 of 1999.
Rayhan stated that the story of the establishment of this center was linked to the family of Mohammad Ali. When he took over the rule of Egypt in 1805 AD, he seized the Hijaz castles and made himself the protector of the Two Holy Mosques.
According to Rayhan, a conflict occurred between Mohammad Ali and the upper state (Turkey) during the days of Sultan Mahmoud II, who ruled from 1808 until 1839, defeated Mohammad Ali and took back the Hijaz.
Despite this, the Egyptian soldiers remained in the forts of Hijaz, Muwailih, Dhaba, Al- Wajh, Aqaba Castle and Sinai Castles to protect the pilgrimage path.
“When the land pilgrimage route across Sinai was neglected after turning to the sea route in 1885 AD, the upper state demanded Mohammad Ali to retrieve the Hijaz forts, and he delivered them,” explained Rayhan.
Rayhan adds that the last of the castles that were delivered was the Aqaba castle in the year 1892 A.D. The Egyptian soldiers left the Aqaba castle and camped for eight months in Taba Valley in Sinai under the leadership of Saad Bey Rifaat and dug a well of water there.
Because of the difficulty of life in this area, they reached out to the Ministry of War in Cairo to complain about their difficult conditions they put up with in this valley, so the Ministry of War sent a committee to choose a suitable place for the soldiers.
This area, where the police station was built in 1893 on an area of 1000 square meters during the reign of Khedive Abbas Helmy II, was chosen due to the abundance of water, and ease of transportation, as well as its proximity to the sea, and population centers. The center included a number of horse-riding policemen.
Rayhan indicates that the center is square in its form. Its length from north to south is 32.75 meters and its width from east to west is 23.50 meters. It does not contain any defensive towers but rather corner towers; granite, sand, limestone, coral and clay stones were used in its construction.
In the middle of the entrance block, the eastern façade overlooking the Gulf of Aqaba is 4 m in height and 4 m in width and is built of regular shaped limestone.
The building consists of a central open saucer in the middle of a water well, a limestone building with a diameter of 1 m and a ladder used to clean the well, in addition to brackish water suitable for watering livestock.
In the four corners of the building, dirt panoramic views reach the upper walkway that turn over the outer walls of the castle.
It includes two groups of buildings: the stable and warehouses on the northern side, and the soldiers' rooms on the southern side, consisting of two floors with four rooms each. Each room has a door and windows that open onto the courtyard.
This is in addition to arcade openings in the southern wall. These chambers contain arcade openings for shooting arrows in the southern wall.