NMEC exhibits several objects intended to educate the visitor about the Egyptian civilization across various key historical phases, starting with the Predynastic and Ancient Egyptian periods, and continuing across the Graeco-Roman, Coptic, Islamic and contemporary modern times. NMEC is located at the heart of Al-Fustat, the ancient Islamic capital of Egypt, and is surrounded by several religious complexes.
NMEC is the first museum in the Arab world focusing on the earliest civilization in history – the ancient Egyptian civilization. It is the only museum in Egypt that offers the visitor a general overview of all the different historical periods that encompass Egypt. This has been approached as a layered cumulative product regarding the interaction of the Egyptian people with their land throughout history. This has been created via a multidisciplinary thematic approach designed to highlight Egypt’s tangible and intangible heritage. In addition, NMEC is an important cultural, educational, recreational, and research center for local and international visitors and scholars.
In 1982, UNESCO has launched at the request of the Egyptian government, a global campaign for the establishment of the Nubia Museum in Aswan and NMEC in Cairo. The existing design, by an Egyptian architect, was the winner of an international architectural competition.
In 1999, the joint efforts of the Egyptian Government resulted in finding a suitable site at Al-Fustat neighborhood for the birthplace of the NMEC project. This specific site was chosen instead of the previously selected one, currently known as “Opera”.</p><p>NMEC’s foundation stone was laid in 2002, despite the archeological excavations that took place at the museum’s areas since the early 2000s. The joint efforts of UNESCO, the Egyptian Authorities, and the Ministry of Culture collectively aimed at establishing a museological institution that reflects the various cultural aspects of Egypt’s rich history through adopting aesthetically and technologically advanced methods used at the 21st renowned museums.
In 2017, the temporary Exhibition Hall (“Egyptian Crafts through the Different Eras”) was inaugurated in the presence of Ms. Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO. This hall covers an area of 1000 square meters, and showcases the four main crafts that shaped the Egyptian culture: Pottery, Wood, Textile, and Ornaments. Approximately 400 artifacts from different time periods are displayed, as well as a number of short films highlighting the distinctive characters of these authentic Egyptian crafts.
Aiming at enhancing the societal role of NMEC in attaining Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS), NMEC is providing several means of accessibility for individuals with special needs. Special entries and passages have been created and managed for the convenience of those with mobility disabilities so as to facilitate their visit and ensure a smooth journey in NMEC’s complex. In addition, the educational department at NMEC has prepared specific workshops for individuals with special needs in order to sharpen their talents and maximize their joy during their visit at NMEC.