Last Call for Heliopolis Heritage Competition Entries



Tue, 09 May 2017 - 09:45 GMT


Tue, 09 May 2017 - 09:45 GMT



To celebrate the 112th anniversary of Heliopolis, Photopia and the Heliopolis Heritage Initiative are holding an open exhibition in the streets of Korba starting May 19.

The exhibition will feature the winning works from the fourth Heliopolis Heritage Photography Competition ( The deadline for submissions is tonight at 7pm.

The competition is part of the Heliopolis Heritage Initiative which aims to preserve the unique style of the neighborhood, especially after so many villas have been demolished to give way to the construction of new buildings with little respect to the signature architectural design of the district.

Cooperating with photography hub Photopia and under the auspices of the Ministry of Antiquities and Cairo Governorate, the competition aims to raise community awareness of Heliopolis heritage by documenting through distinguished photos the neighborhood’s architectural gems and its people.

“We grew up in Heliopolis and we have seen its glorious days, we are doing this completely for free and it is the least we can do to pay back to our community and to preserve and keep its heritage alive,” Photopia managing partner Marwa Abu Leila explains.

Photopia was founded by three photography enthusiasts as a permanent hub for the growing photography community in Egypt, offering a wide range of services and facilities, including a studio, a gallery, courses, workshops, a bookstore, a library and photography gear.

Founded in 2011, the Heliopolis Heritage Foundation aims for a better quality of life for Heliopolis residents, by bringing together technocrats and volunteers with different expertise to create a better a community. The foundation focuses on five main aspects; architectural heritage protection, green zones and park enhancement, cultural heritage protection and activities, traffic and transportation solutions and waste management challenges in Heliopolis.

Abu Leila explains next week’s competition will focus on three main subjects and entrants will need to take the following specifications into consideration: Heliopolis’ balconies (a shot showing the architectural beauty, whether partial or whole or group, of Heliopolis’ balconies), people in Heliopolis (a series of four to six photos of environmental portrait shots showing a person or a group in a beautiful Heliopolis setting; a caption telling the story is a plus) and the Heliopolis metro: A shot showing the Heliopolis metro, or an element of the metro, such as the metro tracks or station.

Popular Heliopolis spots include the Baron Palace and the Presidential Palace. Not to be missed when passing through Orouba street (originally known as the Avenue des Palais and later renamed Orouba in late President Gamal Abdel Nasser’s era), the Baron Palace was built by Belgian industrialist and Egyptologist Édouard Louis Joseph, Baron Empain. Empain was also the head of Heliopolis Oasis Company and along with Boghos Nubar, son of Egypt’s Prime Minister Nubar Pasha, they established the city of Heliopolis in 1905.

The Presidential Palace was originally built as the Grand Heliopolis Palace Hotel in 1910 by Baron Empain’s company and is a synthesis of Islamic, European, Persian and Moorish architecture. The style later became known as Heliopolis Style, which is now evident in the architectural fashion of buildings in Korba and was remarkably evident in the interior and exterior design of the hotel. It was considered Africa’s most luxurious hotel at the time, as described by French historian Robert Ilbert.




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