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It is known as the Cairo Tower or the Gezira Tower due to its location on Gezira Island (Zemalak) in front of the Nile River, Cairo, it is considered a symbol of Egyptian civilization and dignity, and by climbing its top you can view the entire Egyptian capital and all the landmarks of Cairo.
Information about the Cairo tower
The tower was designed during the era of the late President Gamal Abdel Nasser, it was implemented and designed by the Egyptian architect (Noam Shabib), and about 500 Egyptian workers contributed to the construction. The construction process cost about 6 million Egyptian pounds, and the period of its construction was between 1956 AD and 1961 AD. It was designed by Naoum Shabib in the form of the pharaonic lotus flower, which was sanctified by the ancient Egyptians as an expression of the nobility of the Egyptian civilization, and they used the Aswan granite stone that the pharaohs used in building their temples to build its base. The height of the tower is 187 m, thus becoming higher than the Great Pyramid (Khufu) by about 43 meters, and consists of 16 floors. The Americans called it (Abdul Nasser’s thorn), the Egyptians called it (stop Roosevelt), and historians called it (the longest “no” in history).
The tower includes a revolving restaurant on the fifteenth floor with a panoramic view, through which you can view, while eating, the city of Cairo with its landmarks and neighborhoods.
The story of building the Cairo Tower
There are many stories and accounts about the construction of the Cairo Tower (Al-Jazeera), in one of the accounts, an amount of 3 million dollars was sent from the US President (Dwight Eisenhower) with the representative of the CIA (Kermit Roosevelt), to be handed over to the late President (Gamal Abdel Nasser), as a grant provided to help friendly countries, but in fact, it was a bribe for the purpose of Egypt’s concession of the cause of the Algerian revolution against the French occupation. Abdel Nasser took the entire amount and wanted to teach a lesson to Roosevelt by using it to build a building that would remain a symbol of the dignity of the Egyptians over time, although the state needed this amount at the time, but the Cairo Tower was built, which is why it was called “stop Roosevelt”.
In another narration, the state wanted to build a wireless tower for global communications (as a development of the tools of government in Egypt after the July 1952 revolution, such as the level of communications between Egypt and abroad, direct communication between it and the Egyptian embassies abroad, and direct communication between the governmental bodies: the presidency, ministers, the army, and the main work centers“, as stated by Hassan Al-Tohamy, one of the Free Officers close to Sadat and Gamal Abdel Nasser). At that time, the amount was sent to be at the disposal of the Prime Minister at the time, Major General (Muhammad Naguib), and when Abdel Nasser learned of the matter, he went directly to inquire from him about the truth, and at that time he denied knowing the fact that the amount was a bribe, then Abdel Nasser ordered to keep the amount and instead of building the wireless tower he took advantage of the amount to build this monument that bears witness to the dignity of the Egyptians (the largest “no” in history).
Cairo Tower renovation
The tower was renovated and restored between 2006 and 2008 AD, the cost of this renovation amounted to about 15 million Egyptian pounds, to add three floors of metal structures at the bottom of the tower, the construction of an emergency ladder, an elevator for visitors, and new external lighting on the facade of the building.
Landmarks that can be seen from the top of the Cairo Tower
In a journey that takes only 45 seconds by elevator and reaching the balcony of the tower, which includes optical amplifiers (telescopes), through which you enjoy a panoramic view in a few minutes of the city of Cairo as a whole and its landmarks, and among the most prominent landmarks that can be seen are Citadel of Saladin, Maspero Building, Abdeen Palace, the Nile River, the three pyramids, the Sphinx, Al-Azhar Al-Sharif, and others.
The Tripartite Aggression and the Cairo Tower
The Cairo Tower was used as a center for radio broadcasts (secret and overt) to reach the continents of Asia and Africa, bringing the number of hours it broadcasted to about 301 hours in different languages, according to a BBC report in 1960 AD, the number of hours increased later until it reached 560 hours, therefore, it is said that it was among the reasons for the occurrence of the tripartite aggression against Egypt because of the revolutionary radio stations that it was broadcasting.