B12. Al-Bustan al-Sa'idi Passageway
Superblock: B. Huda Sha'rawi Superblock
Genealogy: Informally pedestrianized
Morphology: 2 Entrances - straight perpendicular
Area: 461m2
Average Width: 6.7m
Length: 61.1m
Total number of premises: 13
Dominant activities: Closed

For decades after its creation in 1925, al-Bustan al-Sa‘idi Passageway functioned as a normal Downtown side street, linking Tal‘at Harb and al-Bustan al-Sa‘idi Streets. However, by the 1970s two of the street’s most prominent establishments, the local cafe Zahrat al-Bustan and the more upmarket Café Riche, had transformed the street, gradually encroaching with tables and chairs into spaces that had previously been parking for cars. Both cafes feature in Downtown Cairo’s rich history: Café Riche, at its present location since 1908, was a meeting place for the leaders of the 1919 Revolution. Zahrat al-Bustan cafe acted as the gathering place for leaders and activists of the 2011 Revolution. During renovations in the 1980s, Café Riche enclosed their open-air sidewalk extension into a covered dining hall, completing the transformation from street to passageway. 


Other establishments on the street include a shoe repair shop, a shoe-making factory specializing in medical and large-size shoes, and Dawn: a publishing house founded by three young activists, hosting literary salons, conferences, exhibitions and workshops.