Bayt Al-Suhaymi (“House of Suhaymi”) is an old Ottoman era house museum in Cairo, Egypt. It was originally built in 1648 by Abdel Wahab el Tablawy along the Darb al-Asfar, a very prestigious and expensive part of Islamic Cairo. In 1796 it was purchased by Sheikh Ahmed Al-Suhaymi whose family held it for several subsequent generations. The Sheikh greatly extended the house from its original through incorporating neighbouring houses into its structure.
If you go south of the Sabil of the Mosque of Suleiman, you will find a narrow lane – Darb al-Asffar – that runs to the east. This lane boasts of modern paving stones and graceful mashrabiyya (wooden lattice screens), linking it to the Middle Ages.
The preceding group of buildings you will meet constitute segments of the Beit El Suhaymi, which is a family estate that dated back to the 17th and 18th centuries. Your trip through the narrow hall should take you to the peaceful courtyard where you find reception halls, baths, and storerooms all around.
A thorough restoration has been completed, leaving about 30 families displaced. However, the place is still under-furnished, and the environment may be a bit creepy, after all, all you see around are the fire extinguishers and precautions required by the extensive new woodwork. Perhaps, the only advantage of the restoration is the reclamation of the streets for residents. Instead of the former small workshops and factories, which used to be sources of noise and insecurity for kids, the lane now offers the same privacy to residents, like it was during its initial creation.
Updated On March 23, 2020