The Mogamma

The Mogamma
The Mogamma

The Mogamma on Tahrir Square, Cairo
General information
Town or city Cairo
Country Egypt
Completed 1952

The Mogamma (Arabic: بمجمع التحرير), also spelled Mugamma is a government building in Cairo, Egypt. The Mogamma building was given as a gift by the Soviet Union and was ordered for construction in 1950.[1] The Soviet Union believed it could gain influence in Egypt and perceived it as a potential ally. The building was completed in 1952, just before the revolution in Egypt. Mohamed Naguib was the ruler at the time and Gamal Abdel-Nasser was in charge of the military when the building was received.[2] Two years later, Nasser became president in 1954 and the building was thus associated with his era and the new regime. The Mogamma is located in downtown Cairo to the south of Tahrir Square, which was at the time, the newly designed "Liberation Square." [3]



The Mogamma is an administrative governmental building, where all paper work is done by government agencies. For example, one can go there to process documents, get a driver's license, or issue a visa. The governmental agencies that are located in the building include the Tax Evasion Investigations Offices, the Fire Fighting Organization, and the Passport Offices. The 14-storey building is the workplace of 18,000 Egyptian public servants.[4]

Structure and Architecture

The structure and architecture of the Mogamma building was influenced by the building styles in the Soviet Union but designed by the Egyptian architect, Kamal Ismail. The external appearance was not of main importance but rather, the structure focuses on central organization and maximization of space. The appearance of the building is plain yet intimidating in its colossal size.

It can be claimed that during Nasser's regime, Egypt was "moving to a closed society modeled along Soviet lines." [5] The fact that the building was a present from the Soviet Union and the way in which it represents Soviet architecture, can serve to reinforce this claim.

The Mogamma in Cinema

The Mogamma has appeared in several Egyptian movies, the most famous one being Al-irhab wal Kebab (Terrorism and Kebab), a comedy in which the building's bureaucracy frustrates an Egyptian citizen to the point that he mistakenly grabs a guard's gun, proceeds to take the building hostage, and is labeled a terrorist.[6] The film uses the Mogamma and unbearable bureaucracy as a metaphor for all that is wrong in Egyptian society.[7]

The Mogamma Today

In 2005, the government indicated it had plans for the government administrative buildings and departments to be moved from their present locations in and around the downtown area to someplace else.[8] The Mogamma is believed to have created and contributed to the enormous amount of congestion in Tahrir Square and will thus be included in the move to the desert area in the Fifth Settlement, following in the footsteps of the American University in Cairo.[9]

However, the fate of the Mogamma building remains uncertain for many reasons. First, the inconvenience this move will pose for hundreds of people is immense. Second, the move would require added benefits for government employees to reimburse them for the longer travel and to keep them working there. Third, architects who oppose the move claim that the downtown area used to be beautiful and is now in need of making it valuable again by creating parks and gardens, and possibly renovating the building. Lastly, the move of the Mogamma building raises questions about other problems, more specifically public transportation which is in need of improvement.

The move is impending but when it is to occur and to where, is still uncertain and is prone to change.

During the 2011 Revolution

During the 2011 Egyptian revolution, the Mogamma was closed on account of the sit-in in Tahrir Square. A second sit-in in Tahrir Square, beginning on 8 July 2011, also included a blockade of the Mogamma.

See also


  1. ^ El Hussini, Mohrez Mahmoud. Soviet-Egyptian Relations 1945-1985. Houndmills: Macmillan Pres, 1987.
  2. ^ Ginat, Rami. The Soviet Union and Egypt, 1945-1955. London: Frank Cass, 1993. Volume I: 86-89.
  3. ^ Williams, Sasha. "The Mogamma: Architectural Gem or Bureaucratic Oddity?" Daily News Egypt. 10 July 2009. <>
  4. ^ El-Noshokaty, Amira. "A Resilient Complex." Al-Ahram Weekly. <>.
  5. ^ Jack. Crabbs, "Politics, History, and Culture in Nasser's Egypt," International Journal of Middle East Studies 6 (1975): 387
  6. ^ Sardar, Ziauddin. "What Egyptian Cinema Can Teach Us." New Statesman. 2 April 2007. <>.
  7. ^ Gordon, Joel. Hero of the Arab Nation. Oxford: One World, 2006.
  8. ^ (9 October 2005). Red tape Mecca on its way out, Reading Eagle (from The Washington Post), Retrieved December 13, 2010
  9. ^ Meyer, Karl E. Riding the Cairo Carousel. Winter 2007/08, Vol. 24, No. 4, Pages 108-112. March 19, 2008

Coordinates: 30°2′35.1794″N 31°14′5.9755″E / 30.043105389°N 31.234993194°E / 30.043105389; 31.234993194

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См. также в других словарях:

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  • Tahrir-Platz — Der At Tahrir Platz bei Nacht; im Hintergrund Ägyptens Zentralverwaltungsgebäude, die Mogamma Der Tahrir Platz, (arabisch ‏ميدان التحرير‎ Mīdān at Taḥrīr, [ …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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