Egypt’s Sheikh Zayed City residents protest Sawiris project

Sixty days after Sheikh Zayed City residents launched campaigns through social media sites rejecting an announcement by business tycoon Naguib Sawiris regarding the building of residential towers, a hotel and a shopping center across 160 acres in the heart of the quiet city, local authorities announced periodic meetings with representatives of residents aimed at calming them.

The story begins with a post by Sawiris announcing the construction of residential towers, a hotel and a shopping center across 160 acres, replacing the International Park in Sheikh Zayed City.

Residents of the city of Sheikh Zayed consider the Sawiris project a threat to the tranquility of their city, which they chose in order to distance themselves from the hustle and bustle of the capital.

Sheikh Zayed City residents used hashtags and created groups on social networking websites with the aim of stopping the project. Celebrities joined the campaign, most notably writer and poet Omar Taher.

Sheikh Zayed City local authorities issued a statement quoting the spokesperson of the Cabinet and confirming that the project continues to push for development efforts and investments in new urban cities.

Sheikh Zayed City officials tried to calm residents by saying that the project would not impact the infrastructure of the city and that there are standards for buildings in the city under which Sawiris would abide in accordance with the permits he already obtained for the project.

In response, residents filed an emergency lawsuit against the construction of the project, hoping to suspend it.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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